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Robotics The Military Hardware Politics

Afghanistan Called First "Robotic War" 288

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 @09:07AM (#35719320)
    Tons killing machines and none for Fukushima. Well done.
  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @09:21AM (#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 [](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 [](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 @09:38AM (#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.

Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them. -- Bill Vaughn