Tag Archives | Warfare

The Pentagon Has Created A Database Of Every Bomb They’ve Dropped Since WWI

The saddest spreadsheet in the world? Via io9:

For the past six years, the U.S. Air Force has been compiling an exhaustive list of every bomb their planes have dropped since World War I.

The database, which is part of a project called THOR (Theater History of Operations Reports), was put together by Lieutenant Colonel Jenns Robertson using thousands of historical documents.

For the Vietnam War alone, Robertson has examined records showing that from October 1965 to May 1975 at least 456,365 cluster bombs were dropped on Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. The database is also being used for current conflicts, including investigations into civilian deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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#NoNATO: Breaking The Cycle And Building A Better World

Truman Signing North Atlantic Treaty

The North Atlantic Treaty was signed in Washington, DC on 4 April 1949.

Aaron Cynic writes at Diatribe Media:

After assuming command of NATO in 1950, then General Eisenhower said “If in 10 years, all American troops stationed in Europe for national defense purposes have not been returned to the United States, then this whole project will have failed.” The Cold War is over. NATO has long outlived its original purpose.The old system of alliances does little to do to protect sovereign nations, and instead gives more ability to industrialized, wealthier nations to exploit weaker States. Even NATO actions that are done under the guise of “humanitarian intervention” often have catastrophic consequences for the local population. As so many of these interventions have included bombing campaigns, civilian casualties are high. Often, NATO forces have used weapons banned by the Geneva Conventions, including depleted uranium and cluster bombs. Both of these weapons have long lasting and disastrous consequences for a local civilian population long after combat ends and forces withdraw.… Read the rest

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Military Models Drone Controllers On Playstation

Venezuela Video GamesNew York Review of Books on how the Pentagon is drawing inspiration for warfare from video games (which have historically drawn inspiration from warfare):

And yet the US military does little to discourage the notion that this peculiar brand of long-distance warfare has a great deal in common with the video-gaming culture in which many young UAV operators have grown up. As one military robotics researcher tells Peter Singer, the author of Wired for War: “We modeled the controller after the PlayStation because that’s what these eighteen-, nineteen-year-old Marines have been playing with pretty much all of their lives.” And by now, of course, we also have video games that incorporate drones: technology imitating life that imitates technology.

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Media Roots Radio: Video Game Warfare, Covert War in Iran, SOPA & Fair Use

Via Media Roots: Abby and Robbie discuss the reality of war: the pre-propaganda that has manufactured consent for the illegal occupations, video game warfare and cognitive dissonance in combat, the Marine urination scandal; Martin Luther King Jr. and historical revisionism minimizing how anti-imperialism was the main pillar of his philosophical platform; the CIA and the US covert war in Iran; SOPA, PIPA breakdown, the difference between copyright and fair use, the threat to net neutrality and websites like Media Roots under this overarching legislation.
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The Rise Of The Drones

droneMilitary planners are also pushing for greater autonomy for drones and other unmanned systems. Some are even arguing that the autonomous systems themselves will be better at making the decision about when and where to fire weapons than humans.

New Left Project writes about the inhuman future of how we engage in warfare. Will the decision whether to conduct military strikes eventually be determined by algorithm?

One night last summer Shakeel Khan and his family were at home in North Waziristan when there was a huge explosion. ‘I was resting with my parents in one room when it happened. God saved my parents and I, but my brother, his wife, and children were all killed.’ The children were five and three years old. Khan says, ‘I must support my aged parents now but I earn very little We don’t have enough to reconstruct our house and fear that the drones will strike us again.’ Shakeel Khan and his family, living in a remote part of Pakistan, had become victims of one of the newest weapons on the planet: unmanned drones.

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HRW: All Sides In Somalia War Guilty Of Crimes

Photo: Abdurrahman Warsameh/International Relations and Security Network (CC)

Mass burial for those killed during Mogadishu infighting. Photo: Abdurrahman Warsameh/International Relations and Security Network (CC)

Where there is conflict there is someone to point the finger. Human Rights Watch have decided that everyone is ‘guilty’. Via AFP:

All the parties to Somalia’s conflict have violated the rules of war and are guilty of causing civilian casualties in the fight for territorial control, Human Rights Watch said Monday.

Somali government forces backed by troops of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) have fought bloody battles in the capital Mogadishu with the Al Qaeda-inspired Shebab rebels who want to topple the administration.

“All sides have used artillery in the capital Mogadishu in an unlawful manner that has caused civilian casualties,” the rights group said in a report.

“Al-Shebab has fired mortars indiscriminately from densely populated areas and the TFG (government) and AMISOM forces have often responded in kind with indiscriminate counterattacks.

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The Pentagon’s LSD Bombs

I never knew there was such a thing as “psychedelic warfare”. From a vintage Popular Science article, via Parapolitical:

Secret U.S. tests show[ed] startling military uses for weird new chemical agents. The so-called “loony gas,” which we believed could incapacitate enemies without actually harming them, turned out to be LSD. Although we acknowledged that LSD could make people “daffy,” we also stated that these psycho-chemicals were more or less humane. That is, the military could saturate enemies with LSD and take over their towns, without destroying them, before the people recovered.

LSDbomb

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Military’s Best Secret Weapon: Dolphins

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Assassinating enemy divers with CO2-filled syringes? Parachuting from the sky and blowing up enemy ships kamikaze-style? Acoustically detecting a 3-inch ball 200 meters away in complete darkness? All this and more as Skeptoid covers the James Bond’s of the sea, deployed first by the USSR and today by the Indian Navy and U.S. Navy Marine Mammal System:

Dolphins and sea lions have advantages that are hard for navies to ignore. They swim far faster than divers, and are much easier and cheaper to deploy than remote underwater vehicles. They can dive hundreds of meters and return, with no concern about decompression, quicker than a human diver could even get suited up. Dolphins’ underwater acuity is such that they can acoustically detect a 3-inch ball 200 meters away in complete darkness, and even discriminate between different kinds of metal. A dolphin’s brain is famously larger than a human’s, in part because so much of it is dedicated to processing sonar signals.

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Navy Turns To Online Gamers In Fight Against Somali Pirates

wargames_video_boxIf you have spent the past fifteen years in a dank basement playing video games while immersed in a thin layer of Dorito crumbs, the U.S. military needs you to sort out the geopolitical mess around the Horn of Africa for them, please. AFP reports:

The Office of Naval Research plans this month to launch the US military’s first online war game to draw on the ideas of thousands of people instead of the traditional strategy session held inside the Pentagon’s offices.

“Piracy off the Horn of Africa has been an enduring problem that has many stakeholders. We selected this topic for the pilot scenario,” Schuette said.

The game will have three rounds over three weeks, with players in the first stage faced with a piracy scenario and asked to propose brief, Twitter-length solutions. Players will be presented with boxes labeled, “Innovate” and “Defend,” with questions such as: “What new resources could turn the tide in the Somali pirate situation?” In the second round, there are more scenarios to grapple with and then in the third, players are grouped in teams and will come up with a more detailed “action plan.”

The precise details of the war game scenarios are being kept under wraps for the moment by the game designers, the Institute for the Future, a non-profit group based in Palo Alto, California.

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Osama Bin Laden: Myths of Villainy and Deceit

DestroCommentary on the subject of the week, on Modern Mythology:

This is how it works with terrorism, by definition. Our own psychology works against us. Fear, a popular tool of the Bush administration, was used to do a real disservice to their own “war on terror” by painting the picture of this guy hanging out in his underground bunker with Destro, Cobra Commander, and The Joker. (That is should they ever hope to win a “war on terror” — I assume they actually intend to “win” as much as the “war on drugs” could ever be won, as we meanwhile prop up the regimes that supply the materials).

Recent reports say Osama didn’t have a gun. But that’s almost beside the point, since the deed is done and it’s not likely we’re going to be seeing criminal investigations in the assassination of a figure like Osama Bin Laden. In the end he did share at least one thing in common with Saddam Hussein — both of them were tools for US interests for a time, and unlike puppet dictators, these used their own horrific means to their own ends and thus ‘had to be stopped.’ But in a National sense, maybe in an international sense, the blood is on all our hands, and it has been for a long time.

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