Nuke Fear Turning To Action?

No Nukes.jpeg

What sane person would not be afraid of the incredibly destructive power of nukes (and other weapons of mass destruction)?


Currently, there are about 15,000 either stockpiled or poised to strike around the world. 


Enough deadly weapons to kill the entire planet!


After a frightening series of 5 nukes tests since 2006 plus 18 technologically progressive ballistic missiles tests over the last 6 months, things are escalating after new sanctions imposed to try to contain the threat–with North Korea rattling it’s nuclear arsenal with a shrill threat of attack moving to “physical action” and the U.S. shooting back “fire and fury,
” 


As to further North Korean mad progress, it was reported that they are developing a powerful new H-bomb with immense destructive power, especially towards our density killing fields:


– If such a weapon would strike, G-d forbid, Washington D.C., it could mean 500,000 dead and another 900,000 injured–let alone what this would mean in terms of a destructive decapitation to the very functioning and continuity of our government and country. 


– Even worse fatalities would occur should it strike our financial capital, New York City, with estimates of 1.7 million dead. 


Hence, the news that this is no joking matter anymore (as if it really ever was). 


Fears typically first get expressed in rhetoric, but then with greater and ever potent means for them to become reality, the risks increase for them to actually make the horrific leap. 


What happens next with the ever menacing dangers from rogue Axis of Evil nations, North Korea and Iran–and will we ever feel and be safe again, absent any meaningful social progress while they continue to absolutely and speedily advance their ever more deadly weapons programs and the means to deliver them, first class. ;-0


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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Drone Warfare: Integration At Its Best

Drone Warfare: Integration At Its Best

I learned a lot about Drone Warfare reading and thinking about “The Killing Machines” in The Atlantic by David Bowden.

The benefits of drones for military use are numerous:

– Stealth: Drones can be relatively small (some are now even the size of bugs) and they can survey from vehicles that are aerial, terrestrial, underwater, or I would imagine, even subterranean. In a sense, even a spy satellite is a type of drone, isn’t it?

– Persistent: They can hover unmanned over enemy territory for not only hours, but also days at a time, and switching in replacement drones can create a virtually continuous stream of surveillance for months or years, depending on the need.

– Powerful: The sensors on a drone can include high-definition cameras, eavesdropping devices, radar, infrared, “and a pixel array so dense, that the device can zoom in clearly on objects only inches wide from well over 15,000 feet above.” Further, with features like Gorgon Stare, multiple cameras linked together can view entire cities in one feel swoop.

– Long-range: Drones can function doing reconnaissance or surveillance far away and deep into enemy territory. With drones, no one is too distant or remote as to be untouchable.

– Lethality: Drones can carry missiles such as The Hellfire, a “100-pound antitank missile” and other weapons that can act expediently on information without the need to call in additional support.

– Precise: Drones can hit targets with amazing precision–“It targets indiscriminate killers with exquisite discrimination.”

– Safety: Drones carry out their work unmanned with (or without) controllers stationed at safe distances away–sometimes thousands of miles back at the homeland.

– Expendable: Drones themselves are throwaway. As with a bee, a drone is more or less useless when disconnected from the hive. Similarly, a military “drone is useless as an eyeball disconnected from the brain,” since drones function only as an extension of back-end satellite links, data processors, intelligence analysts, and its controller.”

Overall, the great value of drones is their integration of technologies: vehicles, global telecommunications, optics, sensors, supercomputers, weapon systems, and more.

To me, between the questions of fairness, legality, and privacy–drones are being given a bum rap.

– Fairness: Just because one side has a technology that the other doesn’t, should not mean it’s wrong to use it. This is what competition and evolution is all about. I remember learning in school, when children would complain to the teacher that something was unfair, and the teacher would reply, “life is unfair!” This doesn’t mean we should use a shotgun approach, but rather use what we got, appropriately.

– Legality: Is it legal to kill targets rather than apprehending them, trying them, and otherwise punishing them? This is where sincere deliberations come in on whether someone is a “lawful target” (e.g. enemy combatant), “imminent threat” (e.g. self-defense), whether other alternatives are viable (e.g. collateral damage assessments), and will killing them do more hard than good to foreign relations, influence, and even possibly breeding new hate and terror, rather than quelling it.

– Privacy: The issue of privacy comes less into play with military matters and more with respect to domestic use for law enforcement and other civilian uses (from agriculture to urban planning). The key is protect citizens from being unduly monitored, tracked, and scrutinized–where freedom itself is under big-brother attack and we all become mere drones ourselves in a national hive of complacency and brainless obedience.

Rather than scaling back drones use, I liked Mary Ellen O’Connell vision of new drones “capable of delivering a warning–‘Come out with your hands up!’ and then landing to make an arrest using handcuffs.”

This is the promise of technology to learn from mistakes of the past and always bring possibilities of making things better in the future. 😉

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Don McCullough)

Emperor Titus and The Micro-Drones

The Talmud tells of how the wicked Roman Emperor Titus who destroyed Jerusalem and the Holy Temple in 70 AD was punished with a small insect that flew into his nose and gnawed at his brain for seven years.

By the time Titus died, they opened his skull and found the insect had grown to the size of a bird–the lesson was that Titus thought that he was so powerful with his legions, but G-d showed him that even a little insect sent by G-d could defeat him.

Now when I watch this amazing video from the Air Force about micro-drones, I see this story come to life all over again.

With Micro Air Vehicles, little drones the size of insects can carry out missions from surveillance to lethal targeting of enemy forces.

They can fly, hover, perch, power up, sneak up, sense, communicate, and attack.

With these micro-drones, especially in swarms, these small packages of sensors and weapons can bring a big wallop for our warfighters.

And like with Emperor Titus, you would not want these buzzing around and giving you big headaches–because these little buggers will be able to take down the mightiest of foes. 😉