Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Robotics The Military Hardware

Canadian Firm Gave Libyan Rebels Surveillance Drone 165

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the we're-watching-you dept.
Joining the posted submitter club, suasfan22 writes with a bit in Wired about the use of a drone by Libyan Rebels. From the article: "The Libyan revolutionaries are more of a band of enthusiastic amateurs than experienced soldiers. But it turns out the rebels have the kind of weaponry usually possessed by advanced militaries: their very own drone. Aeryon Labs, a Canadian defense firm, revealed on Tuesday that it had quietly provided the rebel forces with a teeny, tiny surveillance drone, called the Aeryon Scout. Small enough to fit into a backpack, the three-pound, four-rotor robot gave Libyan forces eyes in the sky independent of the Predators, Fire Scout surveillance copters and manned spy planes that NATO flew overhead. Don't worry, it's not armed."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Canadian Firm Gave Libyan Rebels Surveillance Drone

Comments Filter:
  • Buncha Canadian imperialists!!!
  • How are ground attack missions part of a "No Fly Zone"? And where are the anti-war protestors?
    Just wondering if it is okay to make all the strikes you want without the approval of congress as long as it is just with drones?
    And was the Libyan government any more evil, corrupt, and dangerous than Iraq?

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      And was the Libyan government any more evil, corrupt, and dangerous than Iraq?

      Lockerbie bombing.

      So yeah the country that does actual terrorism is worse than the one that was only accused of it.

      • by LWATCDR (28044)

        Invasion of Kuwait? Just incase anyone doesn't remember that was 23 years ago and the US bombed them for it.
        I am actually all for getting rid of that government but the way it is being done frankly is in violation of US law IMHO.
        The War Powers Resolution of 1973 says that.
        "The War Powers Resolution requires the President to notify Congress within 48 hours of committing armed forces to military action and forbids armed forces from remaining for more than 60 days, with a further 30 day withdrawal period, with

        • by h4rr4r (612664)

          Invasion of Kuwait was a war not terrorism. Also it was about control of the oilfield.

          • by LWATCDR (28044)

            I said dangerous. Not to mention that Iraq did have a nuclear weapons program before the first gulf war and also had massive amounts of chemical weapons. If you want to go on and claim that they where no longer a threat because of the first gulf war I would say that Libya was also no long a threat because the US air strikes and the 20+ years of no terrorist attacks on the US and Gaddafi's dismantling of his nuclear program, promising no more terrorist actions, and dismantling his chemical weapons.
            As I said

            • by Chris Burke (6130) on Tuesday August 23, 2011 @06:46PM (#37185662) Homepage

              As I said I really have no problem taking him out with military action. He was a dangerous nut case. The problem I have is with not following the law. And I question the integrity of the "anti-war" movement as anything but partisan at this point.

              Well I can only speak for myself, and I don't consider myself part of the "anti-war movement", but I was (and still am) a vocal critic of the Iraq War.

              If the second Iraq War had been initiated in response to a popular uprising against Saddam and had consisted of advisers and air support instead of 150,000 U.S. troops occupying the country, then I would have been cautiously supportive. Then I would have believed that Iraq was a threat, not to the U.S. which was always ridiculous, but to its own people (and not just in the generic way that living under a dictator is dangerous).

              Of course that ship had already sailed (and then sunk), which is why the Iraqi people weren't as happy to see us as one might have hoped.

              So that, for me, is why the difference in reaction. It's not about partisanship... I also became cautiously pro-Afghan war when it became clear they were taking it seriously. Then Iraq came along and fucked that up besides being a clusterfuck of its own.

              I'm not anti-war, I'm anti-stupid. :)

            • by jackbird (721605)

              Not to mention that Iraq did have a nuclear weapons program before the first gulf war

              Disingenuous at best. The destruction of their reactor by the Israelis in 1982 was indeed "before the first gulf war," but long enough before that it doesn't really count. After that, they had amibitions, but no real progress.

          • by dokc (1562391)

            Invasion of Kuwait was a war not terrorism. Also it was about control of the oilfield.

            This is also about control of the oilfields.

        • by he-sk (103163)

          The problem with the War Powers Resolution is that the executive maintains that its unconstitutional and Congress does not have the balls to challenge this view in court.

        • Sorry but when you unleash the military one should not play fast an [sic] free with the rules. Every i should be dotted and every t should be crossed.

          :thumb_up:

          If you can't get Congress to go along with whatever military action it is you want to involve yourself in, you probably have no business being there in the first place.

          Don't even get me started on the irony of the current administration wanting to get the U.S. involved in a brand new foreign war when it has still been unable to extricate us from the previous TWO foreign wars that the prior administration got us involved in -- despite campaign promises to do exactly that.

          • by cduffy (652)

            Don't even get me started on the irony of the current administration wanting to get the U.S. involved in a brand new foreign war when it has still been unable to extricate us from the previous TWO foreign wars that the prior administration got us involved in -- despite campaign promises to do exactly that.

            Campaign promises were not to extract ourselves from both wars -- only one of them. Should have listened to the details closer.

            • Campaign promises were not to extract ourselves from both wars -- only one of them.

              'Kay. I stand corrected. From which war did we manage to extricate ourselves?

              Should have listened to the details closer.

              Well, maybe. But since I pretty much figured he was lying no matter what he said, there really didn't seem to be much point.

              • by cduffy (652)

                'Kay. I stand corrected. From which war did we manage to extricate ourselves?

                I think you're reading something into my statement which wasn't actually said.

                • Can you sum up your point, then? I observed that it seems rather ironic to me that the same guy who made such a big deal out of getting us out of war in the Middle East is now trying to weasel around the War Powers Act by engaging us in yet another Middle East country without seeking Congressional approval, a formality which even Bush -- as much as I despise him -- recognized he needed. I fail to see how anything in this thread so far refutes that point. It's possible I'm just being dense -- it happens,
                  • by cduffy (652)

                    If I wanted to make a point, I would have made a point, and it would have been explicit enough to be readily understandable.

                    Instead, I was doing nothing more than correcting a common misconception -- one even frequently seen among the President's supporters, who all too often took "change" to mean whatever they wanted to hear rather than listening to the details (which were spelled out for those paying attention).

                    Obama was very clear when on the campaign trail (and in statements prior to the campaign) that

            • by LWATCDR (28044)

              And did that happen?

      • The Libyan government responded to peaceful mass protests with guns. Shooting unarmed protesters puts you in the evil camp. The NATA resolution was not just a no fly zone. The actual language was extremely broad:

        Key points The resolution, adopted under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter: demands the immediate establishment of a ceasefire and a complete end to violence and all attacks against, and abuses of, civilians; imposes a no-fly zone over Libya; authorises all necessary means to protect civi

    • by gQuigs (913879)

      How are ground attack missions part of a "No Fly Zone"?

      They aren't. All the attacks are under the "protecting civilians" banner.

      And where are the anti-war protestors?

      Tired.

      Just wondering if it is okay to make all the strikes you want without the approval of congress as long as it is just with drones?

      AFAIK Congress hasn't undone the "blank check for war" they gave to the president after 9/11.

      And was the Libyan government any more evil, corrupt, and dangerous than Iraq?

      Meh.. it's hard to tell anything with the media filters... but they did seem more insane and more actively killing civilians.... (whereas with Iraq, they had already killed a lot of civilians and we did nothing)

    • by drnb (2434720)

      And where are the anti-war protestors?

      Waiting for a republican administration apparently.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Gravatron (716477)
        Not all liberals are opposed to all wars, just the ones we find unjust. In this case, you had a bunch of rebels who asked for NATO's help, and got it, in a very controlled, un-escalated form. No boots on the ground, no skyrocketing costs, no casualties, etc. It's almost a police action. Only the most pacifistic of liberals have a problem with it. Now, the conservatives did, but that was because they hate any situation where Obama can get a foreign policy victory.
        • by LWATCDR (28044)

          So as long as it is cheap it is okay?
          And the protests started before any of those things happened during the first Gulf war.

          My main problem is with the not obeying the war powers act.

          • by hedwards (940851)

            The more costly it is the greater the necessary justification. Supporting rebels trying to overthrow a brutal dictator is really something that we should be doing more of. Especially when it's as cheap as it is. Granted we're still talking about many, many millions of dollars and probably billions of dollars, but ultimately, unlike Iraq, this is a war in which the people will thank us for our help.

            As opposed to Afghanistan which could have more effectively been done with cruise missiles given the lackluster

            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              by LWATCDR (28044)

              "unlike Iraq, this is a war in which the people will thank us for our help."
              Some do in Iraq, some will not in Libya that is if they live. Just what makes you so sure that one brutal government will not be replaced by new one? May I suggest that you read the book A Tale of Two Cities.

          • by artor3 (1344997) on Tuesday August 23, 2011 @10:20PM (#37187078)

            So as long as it is cheap it is okay?

            Call me callous, but yes, to an extent. If we can help some rebels overthrow a dictator with minimal loss of life and a relatively low cost, with substantial support from our allies, then that's fine. I'd prefer we be more open about our intentions, but I understand the need for realpolitik.

            If the war is going to cost a trillion dollars, kill thousands of our kids and hundreds of thousands of civilians, and be led by a joke of a "Coalition of the Willing" that consists of us, Great Britain, and five guys from East Bumblefuck, then we ought to be a bit more cautious. The fact that our allies aren't willing to get on board should be a warning sign, not a cause to deride them as cowards and rename potato products.

            If Bush had handled Iraq the way Obama handled Libya, I would have been fine with it.

        • by drnb (2434720)
          The point you are missing is that the wars in iraq and afghanistan are still basically following the bush war plan but the protesters are surprisingly absent.
          • Except for the part where the people asked for it, and proved with their own blood that they wanted to fight this fight. We refused to stand on the sidelines in an ongoing war and we made a difference. That's something to be proud of. Bringing war to a people at peace, even if they think they are unhappy, is something different entirely.

            Most people in the US don't like congress. What if a foreign power came in to "liberate" us from congress? You'd be pissed, right? Well what if you were presently i
            • by drnb (2434720)
              Did you read the post you replied to, or were you intending to reply to the original rather than the followup?
              • I was observing that it shouldn't be surprising that protestors are absent. And to compare the Libyan war in any way to something like Iraq is absurd. I thought Afghanistan was right. I thought Iraq was wrong, and I protested it. Getting involved in the Libyan war was the right thing to do.

                Yes, I see that your point was probably meant in regard to the constitutional or maybe international legality of the involvement. My point is that protestors are not driven by fine legal points. They are driven b
        • I'm not a "pacifistic liberal". I have a problem with this because US is doing the exact same thing they did in Afghanistan 30 years ago - giving weapons to people who have similar short-term goals, while ignoring their long-term goals (see sig).

        • Most conservatives that I know and hang with don't "hate" Obama. As a person, he seems like a nice guy. The kind you would want to party with. But come on, he's not fit to be commander in chief. Most likely he's acting on advice from his advisers like most POTUS do. But regardless, Obama is causing more harm to this nation via his ineptitude.

          I hope him and his family live a long and healthy life. But dear God, he needs to vacate the office ASAP. Him, and most of the congress as well!

          • Obama has done a lot to fix the huge errors in judgement the bush ii admin made. As an outside observer I would have to say that bush ii was the biggest disaster the usa has ever had. He started an unnecessary war, lied about the reason for starting it, and did many other things, including various less than insightful statements, that made the usa a laughingstock in the eyes of much of the world. Freedom Fries. Right. Statesmen don't respond to valid criticism, and honest advice with schoolboy tantrums.

      • by geekoid (135745)

        Yes, minor action in Libya with no ground forces is exactly the same as making up lies, invading a country, and then torturing people.

        • by LWATCDR (28044)

          And calling this a "No fly zone to protect civillans" isn't a lie? Bombing a country and killing it's citizens isn't an invasion? You are sending military forces into their territory. It isn't an occupation but it is still a violation of a nation by military forces. I will give you that no torture has happened yet by US forces.

          • by hedwards (940851)

            There was a civil war going on. We were specifically requested by one side to stick our noses in. Yes we could have opted not to involve ourselves in it at all, but it's hardly a violation of a nation to take sides in a civil war when requested to do so by one of the sides. And ultimately the support we provided was pretty modest mainly serving as an evener to keep the rebels from being shot in droves from the air.

            Next thing you'll be telling us that the French shouldn't have aided American revolutionaries

            • by LWATCDR (28044) on Tuesday August 23, 2011 @06:11PM (#37185324) Homepage Journal

              Yes if you partake in a civil war on the side that is trying to overthrow a government you violating that nation. How could it be anything else. If the some group in the US asked for the overthrow of the the government and say China started firing cruise missiles at a base in the US would you not consider that an act of war?
              I mean really?
              Think about what you are saying?
              Yes it is taking a military action? Or if the US started to attack UK military bases because the IRA asked them too?

              As I asked do you feel that the US and NATO are "enforcing a no fly zone to protect civilians" and nothing more? Do you feel that attacking another nation is okay? Do you feel that not obeying the laws of the US involving military action is okay?
              I have no problem with taking action in Libya. I have a big problem with not obeying US laws while doing it.

              • If the population of the US rose up against a dictator who had seized control of their country, and turned the military against his or her own people, and that population asked for our help, then absolutely, we would provide help. As with the Libyans the concern is for the people of the US, not the government.
                • by LWATCDR (28044)

                  And are you saying that would not be an act of war? It is not is this the morally correct thing to do but is it an act of war or not.

                • by hedwards (940851)

                  Personally, I would hope so and so long as the forces recognized our right to self governance afterwards and put us back on the road to democracy the military personnel would be greeted as liberators.

                  That being said, it's unlikely to happen just because it would require a virtual WWW III to take down the US military and the dictator would have nukes.

                  • by LWATCDR (28044)

                    The question isn't would it be right or wrong. The question is wouldn't that be an act of war. AKA in invasion. Not an occupation but an invasion of that nation. Suppose the party requesting the help in the Civil war was the Klan? Would that make it easier for your?

              • by hedwards (940851)

                I've got no problem with it. The War Powers Act was unconstitutional and I have yet to see anybody try to sue the President or the Federal Government for violating it. The President doesn't have grounds for a lawsuit as he can't demonstrate grounds without violating it.

                This isn't like those improperly declared wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, requiring the President to get approval for an operation of this type would significantly weaken the President's role as Commander and Chief which really requires a const

    • ask a libyan

      the point is aggression is wrong, right?

      well, the aggression of the qadaffi regime against it's own people has been defeated. as someone who doesn't like aggressive warmongering, you're happy, right?

      oh i see. you believe in things like the toothfairy, the easter bunny, and that people like qaddafi go away by themselves, like a popped soap bubble. and that all the criminality they do in the meantime, until they will magically pop like a soap some day, is acceptable to you? is that it?

      choose:

      1. op

      • by LWATCDR (28044)

        "ask a libyan

        the point is aggression is wrong, right?"

        Guess what? It will depend on which one you ask? Do you really think that every Libyan is hates the current government and wants revolution?

        Every statement you made could have and was said about Iraq as well.
        I actually do think that intervention in Libya is a good thing but I am more concerned about the spin and they abuse of US law by the current administration.
        1. The current administration REFUSES to follow US law in the form of the War Powers Act of 1

        • right: the qaddafi regime will stop butchering it's people and wait while you wrangle over your legalisms

          maybe you can get the UN to write him an angry letter. that'll teach qaddafi

          pffffffffffft

          and i'm glad that you side with the tiny minority of libyans invested in the current regime at the pig feeding trough that defend his murderous regime

          sir: you've lost your moral compass. you only have a legal compass. it is not sufficient for what you think it is sufficient for. namely, doing the right thing

          • by LWATCDR (28044)

            Tiny minority? Have you taken a poll? Yes I feel that in a democratic country rule of law must always be upheld. The "Damn the law and do what is right" will most often end up terribly wrong. Why not go to congress and get their approval or at least try.
            There is a reason why we have such laws. Every villain is the hero of their own story. I use my moral compass just fine to guide my own actions. The thing is that the president of the US is not a king and is bound by laws. He must always use a legal compass.

    • The Left was so used to condemning the Iraq war that they failed to see the important differences.
      Top 10 Myths about the Libya war [juancole.com]

      • by FhnuZoag (875558)
        It's not the left. It's just the axis of dumbasses. There's plenty of leftwingers (myself included) that opposed Iraq, want a withdrawal from Afghanistan, and still support this intervention.
    • by couchslug (175151)

      None of those considerations matter in big boy politics.

      Anti-war protestors don't oppose war on principle because opposing war on principle is pretty stupid even for hippies.

      Qaddafi pissed of enough people on both sides of the political spectrum that taking him out made sense. Oil is WELL worth war and bloodshed to obtain. There is enough to make the Libyan people prosperous, perhaps help reverse emigration from Libya (good for the EU), and a prosperous Libya can be a useful regional example.

      As for Congress

  • ...Aeryon Labs, a Canadian defense firm, revealed on Tuesday that it had quietly provided the rebel forces with a teeny, tiny surveillance drone, called the Aeryon Scout.

    This means the rebel forces got some hardware, right?

    Small enough to fit into a backpack, the three-pound, four-rotor robot gave Libyan forces eyes in the sky independent of the Predators...(emphasis mine)

    With this, my understanding then shifts to the fact that the Libyan government forces got "eyes in the sky" with this "hardware donation".

    And here's why: The Libyan forces up until a few hours ago, referred to Libyan Government forces led by Mr. Gaddafi. Right?

    I am confused. Or am I getting old?

    • by hedwards (940851)

      I think at this point we're recognizing the rebels as the legitimate governing power of the Libyan people. And yes, these things do get confusing, civil wars tend to get that way.

    • Both the government forces and the rebel forces are Libyan forces; the robot was given to the rebel Libyan forces. The article already stated that, so didn't bother to qualify the second time around, due to context.

      Either that, or the company decided to play fair, and gave one each to the government and rebels....

  • by Anonymous Coward

    While I have no problem with supporting democracy, I'm worried if these conflict zones are becoming testing grounds for arms manufacturers. Maybe it's just me, the blunt sales pitch on the video is a little shameless.

  • It's good for the rebels, bad for the regime. Are we supposed to be cheerleaders? Is this story about technology or about the Libyan civil war?

    Great tool by the way.

    Does anybody think it's a good idea to meddle with internal conflicts of other nations?

    • by geekoid (135745)

      Yes. Just be smart.

      • by roman_mir (125474)

        well, this is just a cheap toy, but what's so smart about meddling with other people's affairs? Who made you world's police?

        America, fuck yeah?

  • It probably had an iPad to show the Lybians something scary that they havent't seen before, like a never ending Terrance and Phillip show...

  • Yet.

    Sincerely,

    Wacko Serial Bomber.

  • Poor-sport hockey fans on the west coast notwithstanding, isn't being polite a Canadian stereotype?
    • We are polite. Americans however confuse 'polite' with 'weak'. I don't understand why. As Churchill said, "If you must kill a man, it costs you nothing to be polite about it.".

      • What's this 'we' stuff you're talking about? As an American myself, I never confuse kindness for weakness. But I know all too damn well that others do! So when it comes to American foreign policy, being kind to some nations often doesn't project the intent and capability that we are (generally) known for. Sometimes, the other side just doesn't get it.

      • Surely it says something that even at a price of nothing, churchill wasn't willing to bear the cost....

      • by T.E.D. (34228)

        Perhaps just the Northerners you are used to dealing with.

        I had a friend who grew up in Philidelphia. When he moved to the South he started raving about how nice everyone was. I had to hurredly explain the difference between friendly and polite to him (yes, people will be polite to you when they actually hate your guts). He was clueless.

    • by Phrogman (80473)

      That's not entirely true, I am sure there is at least one rude Canadian up here. Oh sorry, I didn't mean to offend you by disagreeing with you... :P

  • by roc97007 (608802) on Tuesday August 23, 2011 @05:29PM (#37184954) Journal

    ...in the Sharper Image catalog?

  • Very enterprising.
    Reminds me of "Market Forces" [amazon.com] (by Richard Morgan, author of Altered Carbon among others).
    Kind of like venture capital firms, but competing for would-be regimes in sovereign states instead of startup businesses.
    Rather plausible.

    A coup in Cambodia. Guns to Guatemala. For the men and women of Shorn Associates, opportunity is calling. In the superheated global village of the near future, big money is made by finding the right little war and supporting one side against the other–in exchange for a share of the spoils.

    Oh, and the "death match" road warrior duels to make Partner in a firm didn't hurt the story any. :-)

  • because who has a 4 foot backpack? Their are r/c heli vehicles with extreme range and cameras on the white market. Big whoop.
  • Story picked up by international news agencies regarding real world use with real imagining from that use on their web site. Some marketing drone, pun intended, is in for a job promotion.
  • Hmmm wonder if they given the Libyans any ITAR [wikipedia.org] restricted stuff... If they have and they haven't got the proper agreement in place, then they're in deep doo-doo... Canadians or not...
  • run by a touchscreen tablet powered by Windows XP

    Pretty brave of these Libyan rebels to rely on Windows in a battlefield.

For every bloke who makes his mark, there's half a dozen waiting to rub it out. -- Andy Capp

Working...