jueves, 27 de enero de 2011

Profiles: Chris Hables Gray on Technocracy and Warfare

El Sr. Gray escribió un libro llamado Postmodern War: The New Politics of Conflict. El libro examina las implicaciones de avances tecnológicos en como la guerra es realizada y como las sociedades perciben el fenómeno de la guerra. Una conferencia sobre el libro aquí

En su libro nos narra:...

Humans and Machines

"The U.S. military has been striving for years to replace soldiers in battle with machines so as to make foreign wars more palatable to the American people, who still refuse to admit to themselves that they are citizens of the history's most powerful imperial state. In this particular war, thanks to overwhelming air superiority and incredible Iraqi inferiority, a remarkably low casualty count was achieved, making the American public very happy. Reagan got more troops blown up in one hour in Lebanon than Bush lost in the whole Gulf War, although hundreds of thousands of Iraqi and Kuwaiti soldiers and civilians were killed. The second benefit of the machines-for-men policy is that machines help soldiers kill more enemies, not just physically but psychologically as well. It is hard to kill people hand to hand, one to one, face to face. With machines you can kill many and at a distance. This somehow seems more moral as well. The confirmed killing of thousands of civilians in Iraq would constitute a terrible war crime if they had been killed by soldiers with knives or hand guns. The real morality of the incredible air attacks can be inferred from this pilot's account of his experience: "It's almost like you flipped on the light in the kitchen at night and the cockroaches start scurrying, and we're killing them" (Morse, 1991, p. A3)"

[English Aljazeera, US army uses video games as part of recruitment drive]

Autonomous Weapons (Shoot 'n' Scoot, Fire 'n' Forget, Sell-Contained
Launch-and-Leave First-Pass Single-Shot Kills)

"While truly autonomous weapons are still in the distant future, so-called smart weapons, which follow carefully programmed instructions to find targets that they then compare to stored images, did work in the Gulf War, especially the Tomahawk cruise missiles launched by the Navy. But, since they needed individual programming and carried only a limited pay load, they were useful only on very short lists of targets. The British deployed autonomous weapons with limited success during the Falkland War (Military Technology Staff, 1987, p. 52). The Sea Wolf antiaircraft system in particular had many computer problems, including resetting itself when confronted with multiple targets (Hastings and Jenkins 1989). Teleoperated (remote-controlled) systems have had a somewhat better record. Israeli drones have proved very valuable in drawing antiaircraft fire. After many expensive failures going back to Vietnam, remote piloted vehicles (RPVs) had moderate success during the Gulf War directing battleship guns and Marine Corps artillery (Frantz, 1991). Still, the U.S. high-tech drone programs, bedeviled by failures and cost overruns (M. Thompson, 1988) have never been as successful as the Israeli low-tech approach (Hellman, 1987). The U.S. Army bought a whole "family of three types of unmanned air vehicles" even though a fly-off between two vehicles (one from California Microwave and the other from Lear Siegler's Developmental Science Corp.)[ 60 ] The Present resulted in both failing. The three drones perform imagery intelligence, signals intelligence measurement and signatures analysis, and meteorological data collection; they also can operate nuclear, biological, and chemical detection sensors (Defense Electronics Staff, 1987, p. 37). The Gnat 750 was tested in Bosnia in 1995. The more elaborate Predator and the high-tech Dark Star were still under development in 1996, but some of their supporters were already predicting the end of manned aircraft (Patton, 1996). What will undoubtedly actually happen is that drones will be used for real-time intelligence, decoys, and artillery spotting and human warriors will still fly planes long into the twenty-first century."

[Modern Warfare AC130 Montage]

Informational War

"Information is now the crucial military resource and information processing a central military operation. Computers were a primary weapon of the U.S.-Allied victory:

• Computers to organize and track the movement of the massive armies to the Saudi desert.
• Computers to soak up and sort out the thousands of satellite images and the hours of captured electronic transmissions from the fleet of over 50 satellites.
• Computers to help fly the planes, drones, and helicopters that, along with all the other weapons, were produced in computerized factories by robots as often as humans.
• Computers to guide the bombs and missiles and even the artillery shells.
• Computers to jam the radars and fool the targeting computers of the Iraqis.
• Computers to send messages and point satellite dishes as much for CNN as for the DoD.
• Computers to game the Iraqi responses and predict the region's weather.
• Computers to track the weapon platforms and their maintenance.
• Computers to count the weapons expended.
• Computers to look up the home addresses of the dead."

[Modern Warfare UVA Predator Drone in Action]

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