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Robotics The Military Hardware Politics

Afghanistan Called First "Robotic War" 288

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the salute-your-robot-overlords dept.
retroworks writes "Fareed Zakaria (Editor of Time, CNN GPS) writes that one in 50 USA combatants in Afghanistan is now a robot. There are more fighting robots than elevators in the country. Article has links to film of robots in action, allusions to Terminator films."
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Afghanistan Called First "Robotic War"

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  • by deconvolution (715827) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @08:07AM (#35719320)
    Tons killing machines and none for Fukushima. Well done.
  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @08:21AM (#35719484) Journal
    Afghanistan seems like kind of a low bar for the "elevators to combat robots" metric, since it has been a mixture of tribal infighting and superpower proxy wars at least since the British showed up(and had a lousy time... and then the Russians showed up, and had a lousy time... and the Americans showed up...); but it is, nevertheless, something of a dramatic shift.

    What I'm not looking forward to is what will happen when(if ever) the demand for military combat robots slackens a bit and the producers thereof start seriously targeting the home market. Through a combination of military contractors trying to avoid being vulnerable to having only a single customer and direct transfers of military hardware from the DoD [dla.mil](you may throw an SSL warning if your browser doesn't trust DoD certs) military hardware generally has a way of coming home. Even random sheriffs are burnishing their toys collection [waybackmachine.org](it's a wayback machine link because, for reasons that are completely inexplicable, the broader response to the 'The Peacemaker' was perhaps less favorable than anticipated...) I know, from observing one of their training exercises, that the supply of m16s maintained by the police force in the unbelievably boring and low crime bedroom community where I work is much higher than I would have expected.

    This suggests that it is only a matter of time before we can expect to see surplussed predators and such 'protecting and serving' here at home.
  • by Hazel Bergeron (2015538) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @08:38AM (#35719650) Journal

    the progenitors of the biggest genocides in human history(who have yet to apologize for any of them btw),

    I'm sorry for every time I have contributed to this country which still does some awful things to its own people and to foreigners. I very much try to be productive while minimising the support I give to my government and businesses which act on its behalf. I'm too young to have been involved in some of the popular[tm] genocides you're probably thinking of ("biggest" is an ill-defined and unhelpful term), so I am not sure it has any meaning for me to apologise for them.

    Just to clear things up: it's wrong when the British/French/Spanish/Dutch/etc. empire did it, and it's wrong now the American Empire's doing it.

    The difference is that Europe has learnt some (not enough - and always dangerously close to forgetting it) humility while the US is still playing catchup. This is as you'd expect: Europe's had quite a few centuries' head start and two recent world wars to shake us up.

"Never ascribe to malice that which is caused by greed and ignorance." -- Cal Keegan

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