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Robotics The Military

Air Force Planning New Drone Fleet For Pakistan 240

mattnyc99 writes "With tensions high on the border, a new commander in Afghanistan, and complaints of civilian deaths from robotic US strikes in Pakistan raising anti-American sentiment, the Air Force is sketching out concepts for new robotic hitmen, reports Among the new drones (which are all very small) are the Suburb Warrior (loaded with four or five mini missiles for semi-urban environments), the Sniper targeting system ("that can lock on to multiple targets, allowing a single drone pilot to coordinate the attacks of a squadron of robots"), and a backup fleet of flying buggies that act as suicide-bomber snipers. From the article: 'Picking through the dozens of systems in this briefing, many of which will be flight-tested within five years, there's a clear set of goals: build smaller, even microscopic drones with smaller weapons that can hunt in swarms and engage targets in the close quarters of urban battlefields. And hunt as soon as possible.'"
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Air Force Planning New Drone Fleet For Pakistan

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  • by couchslug ( 175151 ) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @07:47PM (#28367887)

    "Look at how itchy a trigger finger our "all volunteer" army has given US Presidents. "What do I care? It's not MY kid."

    That statement ignores the many and frequent interventions, wars, and military actions before the advent of the Volunteer Force. Google ye some Smedley Butler for examples. :)

    There isn't evidence that the politicians sending the military to war don't care about the troops, even if they mismanage them sometimes due to situational ignorance. The military itself during the pre-volunteer days often treated troops badly, and now that it must compete for recruits standards of living have _greatly_ improved.
    Casualties are far more controversial than during the Cold War, and vast amounts have been invested in protecting troops. (Going into Iraq under-armored was provably and specifically the fault of the military, not the politicos. The Army refused to learn from Mogadishu years before.)

  • by digitalchinky ( 650880 ) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @08:21PM (#28368143)

    I hope you've got a lot of jammers and people willing to set them up, because that same UAV that just noticed it can't talk to HQ any longer has just slaved a human pilot in to the zone. He or she is ready to unleash a few HARM's on target to clear up any noisy patches.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @08:57PM (#28368367)

    You think weapons have changed anything? You're fucking retarded. Why does England have such a problem with knife violence. Weapons don't cause violence, encourage violence, or really do anything except change the shape of the wound. People cause violence.

  • by qbzzt ( 11136 ) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @10:20PM (#28368863)

    The point, once again, is to make killing massive amounts of people as simple as pressing a button, with no soldiers on the ground

    Did you read the article? The point of this technology is to kill targeted people with as little collateral damage (= dead innocents) as possible. To quote the article:

    Instead of dropping Hellfires or a 500-pound bomb on an insurgent hideout, one or more Suburb Warriors could fire a volley of mini-missiles at confirmed targets, without vaporizing the wedding reception next door.

  • by fractoid ( 1076465 ) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @10:42PM (#28368993) Homepage

    They use guerrilla warfare, which is notoriously ineffective, because it's the best they can do.

    It's what the who now? Guerrilla warfare is a P.R. and resource-denial strategy rather than an invasion strategy. That doesn't change the fact that it's incredibly effective, which is why the behemoth that is the U.S. military can't 'beat' a bunch of scruffy extremists hiding in schools and hospitals. The problem with guerrilla warfare is a moral one - in order to engage in it you need to be willing to get a lot of innocent people killed.

  • Smartship (Score:4, Informative)

    by wasted ( 94866 ) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @11:34PM (#28369315)

    they will do so without any hesitation, because machines do not hesitate.

    Unless they run on Microsoft :)

    I don't believe it.How the fuck does Microsoft bashing fit here?

    Because it is believed that a Microsoft-based machine will likely have an error/crash, thus causing hesitation, such as happened with the USS Yorktown [] for a couple of hours.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 18, 2009 @12:21AM (#28369565)

    See Sherman's March To the Sea, the Fall of Carthage, etc.

    The concept of "Total War" goes back a long time before robots, before modern warfare, before machines. Destroy the will of the enemy to continue the fight. That's how wars have been ended for centuries. If you think it was simply about killing the soldiers you don't think long term - just raise up another generation of soldiers and send them off. Think of the Crusades. Think of the long wars of the middle ages that went on for generations.

    Do you think Custer made his name going toe to toe with Native American Tribal Warriors? Hell no - he'd go wipe out the villages when they were out on hunting parties.

    Do you think that "Ethnic Cleansing" efforts really are a reflection of the robotics of war - when the enemy attacks in the night with a machete, so their village is wiped off the face of the earth? No, it's war. It's about killing the enemy so they won't mess with you again. Resistance is wiped off the face of the earth, literally.

    It's been a long time --- a VERY long time --- since two armies would send their champions out, let them fight it out, and then walk away, accepting the results of that single fight.

  • by Philip_the_physicist ( 1536015 ) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @02:58AM (#28370339)
    In the Peninsular War, the Spanish guerrileros were so effective that there were many areas where the French wouldn't send anything smaller than a battalion. It was this which massively weakened the French army, by making their entire supply chain unstable. Whilst the partisans didn't win the war alone, they were as important as the Anglo-Portuguese army, especially in the earlier years of the war.
  • by ArcherB ( 796902 ) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @07:29AM (#28371941) Journal

    The Kuwaitis love us!

    Of course they do - they slant drill into Iraq, Saddam bitchslaps them, and we go roll over him after telling him we wouldn't.

    That is one of the bullshit excuses Saddam used to invade Kuwait. Of course, you believe it because a guy that rapes [] the wives of the political opposition and sends the video to her kids has so much credibility. But I'll let it stand because I was talking about the people who live in Kuwait. This doesn't just mean the sheiks in their Rolls, but the Bangladeshi workers, the Bedouins, the jewelry store owners, the guy selling pots, pans and prayer rugs and so on. These guys didn't (supposedly) "slant drill" into Iraq. They went to work everyday trying to feed their families.

    Oh, and your bullshit excuse aside, you didn't mention Germany, Japan, Italy and the rest of the places I mentioned. Or was Germany justified because they were framed for sinking the Lusitania?

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