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Working Paper No. 20
- Cities and Fragile States -  


ROBO-WAR DREAMS:
GLOBAL SOUTH URBANISATION AND
THE US MILITARY’S’ REVOLUTION IN MILITARY AFFAIRS’


Stephen Graham
Department of Geography
Durham University


November 2007

Copyright ©  S. Graham 2007

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Crisis States Working Papers Series No.2
ISSN 1749-1797 (print)
ISSN 1749-1800 (online)

Crisis States Research Centre


RoboWar Dreams:
Global South Urbanisation and the US Military’s  
‘Revolution in Military Affairs’

Stephen Graham
Department of Geography
Durham University


Abstract

This article seeks to open up to critical scrutiny the attempts currently being made to re-engineer post-Cold War US military power to directly confront global south urbanisation.  Through analysing the discourses produced by US military commentators about ‘urban warfare,’ and the purported military and technological solutions that might allow US forces to dominate and control global south cities in the future, the paper demonstrates that such environments are being widely essentialised as spaces that necessarily work to undermine the United States’ military’s high-technology systems for surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting. The paper shows how, amid the on-going urban insurgency in Iraq, widescale efforts are being made to ‘urbanise’ these military systems so that US military forces can attempt to assert high-tech dominance over the fine-grained geographies of global south cities in the future. This includes an examination of how US and Israeli forces, by 2007, had already begun to implement ideas of robotised or automated urban warfare to counter the complex insurgencies in Iraq and Palestine/Israel, respectively.

Introduction
“War has entered the city again – the sphere of the everyday” (Misselwitz and Weizman, 2003, 272).

Cities, warfare and organised political violence have always been mutual constructions. “The city, the polis, is constitutive of the form of conflict calledwar, just as war is itself constitutive of the political form called thecity” (Virilio 2002: 5, original emphasis). War and the city have intimately shaped each other throughout urban and military history. “There is […] a direct reciprocity between war and cities”, writes the geographer Ken Hewitt. “The latter are the more thoroughgoing constructs of collective life, containing the definitive human places.  War is the most thorough-going or consciously prosecuted occasion of collective violence that destroys places” (Hewitt 1983: 258).  

The “Implosion of Global and National Politics into the Urban World”

In the ‘new’ wars of the post Cold War - which increasingly straddle the ‘technology gaps’ separating advanced industrial nations from informal fighters – cities, once again, are emerging as the key sites. Indeed, urban areas are now the ‘lightning conductors’ for the world’s political violence. Warfare, like everything else, is being urbanised. The great geopolitical contests of cultural or religious change, ethnic conflict and diasporic social mixing; of economic re-regulation and liberalisation; of militarisation, informatisation, resource exploitation, and ecological change are, to a growing extent, boiling down to often violent conflicts in the key strategic sites of our age: contemporary cities (Sassen 2002).

The world’s geopolitical struggles increasingly articulate around violent conflicts over very local, urban, strategic sites (Scheper-Hughes and Bourgois 2003; Sassen 2002). The last two decades have seen a geopolitical and strategic reshaping of our world based heavily on a proliferation of organised, extremely violent acts against cities, those who live in them, and the support systems that make them work.  

The events of September 11th, 2001 are, of course, the most well-known and extensively reported case (see Calhoun et al 2002; Booth and Dunne 2002). But there are many, many others. Catastrophic urban terrorist attacks – fuelled by religious or political radicalism, anti-modernism, or resistance to brutal occupation, repression, or perceived biases of globalisation - have also targeted urban sites in Kitay (Bali), Moscow, Bombay and Karachi;  London and Madrid; Jakarta, Casablanca, Delhi and Islamabad; and Riyadh,  Mombassa, Kabul, Istanbul and Nairobi.  

Since 9/11, George Bush’s ‘war on terror’ – a purported response to those attacks – has inflicted massive onslaughts by US and British forces on Basra, Baghdad, Kandahar, Kabul and surrounding areas. In the case of Iraq, this happened despite not a shred of evidence emerging to link Saddam Hussein’s regime to Al-Qaeda. Far from being routes to simple ‘regime change’ and peaceful reconstruction, however, these attacks have been followed by complex, uneven, guerrilla-style resistance campaigns against occupying ground forces. In these, the fact that occupiers have to move down from GPS targeting from 40,000 ft, or out from behind armoured plate, to occupy urban sites, means that they have become immensely more vulnerable to political opponents and bitter local civilians alike.  

With a slightly longer time frame we should not forget, either, the levelling of Grozny by the Russians in 1996; the sieges of Sarajevo and Mostar in the Balkan wars of the early 1990s; the LA riots of 1992; the United States’ bloody incursion into Mogadishu in 1993; the 3 continuing suicide bombings in Israeli bars, buses and malls; Israel’s bulldozing of Jenin and Nablus in Spring 2002, and their continuing policies of strangulation, immiseration and demolition against Palestinian cities; or the resource or drug-fuelled guerrilla wars in Freetown, Bogotá or Monrovia.  

Finally, we must also not ignore the increasingly violent temporary urban sieges that now regularly occur around the planet  (Warren 2004; Cockburn and St Clair 2000; Thomas 2003; Negri 2003). In these, anti-globalisation or anti-state movements ‘swarm’ together around the fortified urban summits of the IMF, the G8, and the WTO, to protest against the inequities of neoliberal globalisation. In post-modern, high-tech replays of medieval sieges, temporary walls, battlements, and massive armed force work - often with extreme violence - to try and separate the ‘inside’ from the ‘outside’ on the other side of the street. This happens even though both sets of protagonists are global organisations temporary settled in local space for ritualised, bloody combat.

In such a context, anthropologist Arjun Appadurai has noted what he calls an “implosion of global and national politics into the urban world” (Appadurai 1996: 152).  ‘New’ urban wars, he argues, “take their energy from macro events and processes […] that link global politics to the micro politics of streets and neighbourhoods” (Appadurai 1996: 152-153).  To Appadurai, these new urban wars thus represent little less than:

“a new phase in the life of cities, where the concentration of ethnic populations, the availability of heavy weaponry, and the crowded conditions of civic life create futurist forms of warfare […] and where a general desolation of the national and global landscape has transposed many bizarre racial, religious, and linguistic enmities into scenarios of unrelieved urban terror”  (ibid.)


Global South Urbanisation as a Challenge to Western Military Doctrine

Fuelled by these transformations, Western military theorists and researchers are increasingly preoccupied with how the geographies of global south cities, and processes of global south urbanisation, are beginning to influence both the geopolitics and the techno-science of post Cold-war political violence. Indeed, almost unnoticed within ‘civil’ urban geography and social science, a large ‘shadow’ system of military urban research is quickly being established. Funded by Western military research budgets, this is quickly elaborating how the effects of rapid urbanisation are allegedly already becoming manifest, and how the global intensification of these processes will deepen them in the future (Graham, 2004a).  As Keith Dickson, a US military theorist of urban warfare puts it, the increasing perception within Western militaries is that:

For Western military forces, asymmetric warfare in urban areas will be the greatest challenge of this century […]. The city will be the strategic high ground -- whoever controls it will dictate the course of future events in the world.
(Dickson 2002a: 10)

Motivated by the growing realisation that the scale and significance of contemporary processes of urbanisation across the world might significantly reshape the geopolitics, doctrine and realities of post Cold War Western military strategy, such research fuels a crucial set of techno-military discourses. Within and through these, attempts are currently being made to reconstitute the structure, orientation and techno-science of western military power to directly reflect the alleged implications of such urbanisation.  

The central consensus amongst the wide variety of western military theorists pushing for such shifts is that “modern urban combat operations will become one of the primary challenges of the 21st century” (DIRC 1997: 11). Major Kelly Houlgate (2004), a US Marine Corps commentator, notes already that “of 26 conflicts fought [by US forces]” between 1984 and 2004, “21 have involved urban areas, and 10 have been exclusively urban”.

The widening adoption of ‘urban warfare’ doctrine follows centuries when Western military planners preached Sun Tzu’s mantra from 1500 BC that the “worst policy is to attack cities”.  It follows a post World War II Cold War period marked by an obsession with mass, superpower-led ‘Air-Land’ engagements centred on the North European plain within and above the spaces betweenbypassed European city-regions. Whilst numerous wars were fought by western forces in developing world cities during the Cold war, as part of wider struggles against independence and terrorist movements and the ‘hot’ proxy wars, such conflicts were very much seen by western military theorists as unusual side-shows to the imagined superpower ‘Air-Land’ and nuclear engagements (Davis 2004a).

Consequently, the doctrine of ‘urban warfare,’ already marginal, received very little attention during the Cold War and became even more marginalised within Western military rhetoric (Hills 2004). On the rare occasions when urban warfare was specifically addressed in Cold War military doctrine, United States’ forces, in the euphemistic language so typical of military forces, tended to “approach the urban area by rubbling or isolating the city” using tactics unchanged since World War II (Grubbs 2003: iii). That is, they either ignored, or sought to systematically annihilate, urban places (as at Hue during the Vietnam war).  In the place of this neglect by western military doctrine of the specific challenges of counter-insurgency warfare within cities, a highly contested, diverse and complex set of institutional and techno-scientific battles are now emerging through which attempts are being made to try and re-imagine and reshape Western military forces so that counterinsurgency operations within large urban areas become theirde facto operations (Hills 2004).

Prevailing conceptions of Western military engagement are thus being widely challenged to address the perceived perils of engaging in ‘military operations on urban terrain’ (or ‘MOUT’).  As the world’s pre-eminent military power, the military forces of the United States provide the most interesting and important example of how discursive constructions of ‘urban terrain’ are being used to justify attempts at the ‘transformation’ of the technologies, tactics and strategies of national military intervention more broadly (see Ek 2000).  US military research on ‘urban operations’ dwarfs that of all other nations combined (Hills 2004). The bloody experience of the Iraq urban insurgency is already looming large in these debates. A major review of the imperative of urban warfare ‘doctrine’ for US forces, prepared by Major Lee Grubbs in 2003, for example, stated baldly that “as the Iraq plan evolves, it is clear that the enemies of the United States military have learned a method to mitigate the Joint [US] Force’s dominance in long range surveillance and engagement. The enemy will seek the city and the advantages of mixing with non-combatants” (2003: 56).


The Aim and Structure of the Current Paper

One particularly important feature of US military discourses on urbanisation looms large in such debates. This is the way in which the sheer three-dimensional complexity and scale of global south cities allegedly undermine the United States’ expensively assembled and hegemonic advantages in surveillance, targeting and killing through ‘precise’ air and space-based weapons systems (Graham 2003; Davis 2004b).  

In such a context, this article seeks to analyse critically the ways in which processes of urbanisation are currently being imagined by US military theorists to significantly undermine the military and techno-scientific dominance of the US military in a rapidly urbanising world.  The article is motivated by the argument that the processes through which US military planners imagine, and discursively construct, global south cities as their predominant ‘battlespace’ for the early 21st century, demands critical social scientific scrutiny. The article falls in to three parts. In the first, discursive problematisation of global south cities produced by US military urban researchers and commentators are reviewed.

Emphasis is placed on how developing world cities are depicted as intrinsically labyrinthine, chaotic, structureless and deceptive environments which substantially frustrate the wider US geopolitical strategy based on the US military’s advantages in air and space-based surveillance, digital processing, and ‘network-centric’ warfare – transformations that, together, are sometimes labelled the ‘Revolution in Military affairs’ or ‘RMA’   (Gregory 2004).  

The second part of the paper goes on to analyse the way in which key actors within the US military-industrial complex are suggesting deeply technophiliac ‘solutions’ to this purported  erosion of US geo-strategic power through global south urbanisation. Here what I call the ‘urban turn’ of the of the RMA – the shift in deeply technophiliac discourses from discussions of planet-straddling weapons systems to technological innovations designed to allow the micro-spaces of developing world ‘megacities’ to be controlled - is analysed in detail.  Centred on the concept of ‘persistent area dominance’ within the so-called ‘Long War’, such strategies entail the saturation of ‘adversary’ cities with large numbers of miniature surveillance and targeting systems. These are being designed to support continuous targeting, and destruction, of detected ‘targets’.

An examination follows of how US and Israeli forces, by 2007, had already begun to implement ideas of robotised or automated urban warfare to counter the complex insurgencies in Iraq and Palestine/Israel, respectively. The final part of the paper draws brief theoretical and research conclusions of the preceding discussions.


Dreams Frustrated? Urbanisation and the ‘Revolution in Military Affairs’ (RMA)

Urban operations represent a black hole in the current Revolution in Military Affairs pantheon of technological advantage […]. The technologies traditionally ascribed to the current Revolution in Military Affairs phenomenon will have negligible impact on Military Operations in Urban Terrain. (Harris 2003: 38-41)

The military strategies to project, sustain and deepen US geopolitical power in the post Cold war period (see Roberts et al 2003; Kirsch 2003; Barnett 2004) rest on the exploitation of a ‘transformation’ of US military power through what has been termed a ‘Revolution in Military Affairs’ (see Ek 2000, Pieterse 2004). Centring on the technologies of ‘stealth,’ ‘precision’ targeting, and satellite geo-positioning, the RMA has widely been hailed amongst US military planners as the means to sustain US dominance in the post Cold War world (Stone 2004).

Central to the RMA is the notion that “military operations are now aimed at defined effects rather than attrition of enemy forces or occupation of ground” (Cohen 2004: 395). Through the interlinkage of the ‘system of systems’ of U.S. military technologies, RMA theorists argue that a truly ‘network-centric warfare’ is now possible through which US forces can continually dominate societies deemed to be their adversaries through their increasingly omnipotent surveillance and ‘situational awareness’, devastating and precisely-targeted aerial firepower, and the suppression and degradation of the communications and fighting ability of 6 any opposing forces (Arquilla and Ronfeldt 2001; Graham 2005). Thus, RMA theorists imagine US military operations to be a giant, integrated, ‘network enterprise’ – a ‘just-in-time’ system of posthuman, cyborganised warriors that utilises many of the principles of logistics chain management and new-technology based tracking that are so dominant within contemporary management models (Gray 2003).  

Importantly, however, such technophiliac discourses depicting an RMA ushering new relatively reduced-risk, ‘clean’ and painless strategy of US military dominance assumed that the vast networks of sensors and weapons that needed to be integrated and connected to project US power would workuninterruptedly. Global scales of flow and connection have thus dominated RMA discourses; technological mastery, omnipotent surveillance, real-time ‘situational awareness’, and speed-of-light digital interactions have been widely portrayed as processes that, intrinsically, would usher in US military ‘Full Spectrum Dominance’, on a planetary scale, irrespective of the geographical terrain that was to be dominated.  

RMA discourses have, in this sense, been notably ageographical. Crucially, from the point of view of the current paper, little account was taken of the geographical specificities of the spaces or geographical terrains inhabited by the purported adversaries of the US in the post Cold War period (or how they are changing through processes of urbanisation and globalisation).  A key axiom of RMA rhetoric has been the idea that the US was now able to prosecute its global strategies for geopolitical dominance through a “radical non-territoriality” (Duffield 2002: 158).

In response to this neglect of global urbanisation within RMA discourses, and spurred on by the catastrophic and ongoing urban insurgency since the US-UK invasion of Iraq in 2003, an increasingly powerful range of counter-discourses have emerged within the US military.  Through these a second group of US military theorists have asserted that the technophiliac dreams of RMA will either fail, or be substantially undermined, by global processes of urbanisation, especially in the global south cities where they imagine US forces being most often engaged.  The pronouncements of those advocating an ‘urban turn’ in the RMA have had two main features.


Signal Failures: Urban Environments as Physical Interrupters to ‘Network-Centric Warfare’

“In simple terms walls tend to get in the way of today’s battlefield communications and sensor technologies” (Hewish and Pengelley 2001)

The first major feature these pronouncements been the strong suggestion that the urban terrain in poor, global south countries is a great leveller between high-tech US forces and their low-tech and usually informally organised and poorly equipped adversaries (Gregory 2004; Graham 2004b).  The complex and congested terrain below, within, and above cities is seen here as a set of physical spaces that limit the effectiveness of high-tech space-targeted bombs, surveillance systems, and automated, ‘network-centric’ and ‘precision’ weapons. The U.S.  defence research agency, DIRC, for example, argue that “the urban environment negates the abilities of present US military communications equipment” resulting in dead spots, noise, signal absorbtion, and propagation problems that severely undermine the principles and technologies of ‘network-centric warfare’.”  (DIRC 1997)  

The architects Misselwitz and Weizman are amongst the very small number of critical urban researchers who have addressed the ways in which urbanisation undermines the technologies produced by the RMA. They conclude that within contemporary cities:

high-tech military equipment is easily incapacitated. Buildings mask targets and create urban canyons, which diminish the capabilities of the air force. It is hard to see into the urban battlespace; it is very difficult to communicate in it, because radio waves are often disturbed. It is hard to use precision weapons because it is difficult to obtain accurate GPS satellite locations. And it becomes more and more difficult (but not impossible) for the military to shoot indiscriminately into the city. For all these reasons, cities continue to reduce the advantages of a technologically superior force. (Misselwitz and Weizman 2003: 8 )

The ‘urbanisation of battlespace’ is therefore seen by US urban warfare commentators to reduce the ability of U.S. forces to fight and kill at a distance (always the preferred way because of their ‘casualty dread’ and technological supremacy). Cities are therefore seen to produce rapidly escalated risks for US forces fighting pre-emptive, expeditionary wars. “From refugee flows to dense urban geography, cities create environments that increase uncertainty exponentially” (DIRC 1997). Military operations in cities are therefore seen as treacherous Trojan horse-style events, which might allow weak and poorly equipped insurgents to gain victory over the world’s remaining military superpower (Glenn et al 2001).  


The ‘Urbanisation of Insurgency’: Global South Cities as Refuges From US Vertical Power

Opposition forces will camouflage themselves in the background noise of the urban environment. Within the urban environment, it is not the weapon itself rather the city which maximises or mutes an arm’s effectiveness. (DIRC 1997: 11)

A second main feature of US urban warfare discourses is that the breaking down of high technology sensors and weapons, because of the physical morphology of cities, will directly and causally lead to an increasing tendency amongst the United States’ political adversaries to take refuge within cities.  “The long term trend in open-area combat”, writes the leading US ‘urban warfare’ commentator, Ralph Peters (1996: 6), “is toward overhead dominance by US forces.” As a result, he predicts that “Battlefield awareness [for US forces] may prove so complete, and ‘precision’ weapons so widely available and effective, that enemy ground-based combat systems will not be able to survive in the deserts, plains, and fields that have seen so many of history’s main battles.”
  
As a result, Peters argues that the United States’ “enemies will be forced into cities and other complex terrain, such as industrial developments and inter-city sprawl” (1997: 4). Grau and Kipp, (1999), concur, suggesting that:

“urban combat is increasingly likely, since high-precision weapons threaten operational and tactical manoeuvre in open terrain. Commanders who lack sufficient high-precision weapons will find cities appealing terrain […], provided they know the city better than their opponent does and can mobilize the city’s resources and population to their purposes.” (Grau and Kipp 1999: 4)

Central to this perception of the incentives underlying what RAND theorists, Taw and Hoffman (2000), have termed the ‘urbanisation of insurgency,’ is the notion that insurgents 8 exploiting the physical geographies of global south cities can force US military personnel to come into very close physical proximity and so expose US politicians to much higher casualty rates than stipulated within RMA doctrine. DIRC argue that:

The weapons [such insurgents] use may be 30 to 40 years old or built from hardware supplies, but at close range many of their inefficiencies are negated.  The most effective weapon only needs to exploit the vulnerabilities that the urban environment creates. Each new city will create a different pool of resources and thereby create different urban threats. (DIRC 1997: 8 )

Here, the obvious limits of attempting to understand the complex geographies of cities through the verticalised surveillance systems emphasised by the RMA are a major bone of contention amongst those promulgating the counter discourses emphasising the urbanisation of insurgency. A common tendency here is to naturalise and essentialise the complex physical and social geographies of global south cities as ‘jungle’-like environments, in which small insurgent groups gain political and financial support from the wider population, that necessitate new techniques to ensure the ‘cleansing’ of the city (Glenn 2001). As is very common in US military and political literature on the threats of future urban insurgencies (see Norton 2003), the DIRC report emphasises that informal andfavela districts in global south cities add great power to the strategies of insurgent and criminal groups utilising the classic techniques of guerrilla and ‘asymmetric’ warfare against potential US or western incursion. It argues that:

the shanty sprawl of the developing city frequently allows insurgents to adapt their rural strategy more effectively to an urban environment. Asymmetric forces have the same benefits and advantages that have traditionally been enjoyed in the jungle of forest base: control over territory, allegiance (whether voluntary or coerced) of much of a country’s population, inaccessibility to security forces.  The urban environment adds reasonably secure bases for operations around the heart of government and its administrative and commercial infrastructure […].  The urban geography of slums favors the tactics of an unconventional force. […] Guerrilla campaigns need not be overall military urban success, but rather need only to make the opposition’s campaigns appear unpalatable to its domestic support. Urban warfare favors the media age. (DIRC 1997: 6)


Dreams Reclaimed?  From Preemptive War to  ‘Persistent Area Dominance’?

“The time has come to change the perception that the high-tech US war machine fights at a disadvantage in urban areas.” (Houlgate 2004)

Urban areas should become our preferred medium for fighting. We should optimize our force structure for it, rather than relegating it to Appendix Q in our fighting doctrine, treating it as the exception rather than the norm […]. It is time to tell Sun Tzu to sit down […]. Instead of fearing it, we must own the city. (Lt. Col. Leonhard, US Army 2003[sic])

With the widespread perception that the intensifying urbanisation of the parts of the global south that the US military envisage being their dominant areas of operation is radically undermining their broader efforts at techno-scientific transformation, a wide range of projects and initiatives are emerging aimed at specifically tailoring the ‘RMA’ to the specific 9 geographies of urban areas in the global south.  With the urban insurgency in Iraq as an on-going fulcrum war, a ‘transformation’ based on the technophiliac celebrations of the death of geography through new technologies is, ironically, being transformed into a major techno-scientific effort to develop and experiment with surveillance, communications and targeting systems that are specifically tailored to the fine-grain physical and human geographies of global south cities.  

It is now widely argued within US military strategic organisations and think-tanks that the RMA needs to be reconfigured to address the challenges of tightly built global south cities; that new bodies of ‘urban’ research need to be built up to understand how to use military violence to deliver precise ‘effects’ in such cities; and that the doctrine, weaponry, training and equipment of US forces need to be comprehensively redesigned so that urban military operations are their de facto function. Major Lee Grubbs (2003: iii-5) of the US Army argues that US forces need to be redefined so that their main purpose is to “create operational shock in the urban environment.” This requires, he argues, a deep understanding of the battlespace “to identify causality between critical point, action, and effect achieved.” In turn, Grubbs suggests that “Operational design and a process for understanding the city becomes critical for the selection of critical points to destroy, control and influence […]. The challenge is the development of an executable operational concept for achieving systematic, across the entire system, effects within the urban environment through the selective use of force” (ibid.)

A large output of conceptual, techno-scientific and Research and Development material has been created by the ‘urban turn’ of the RMA, especially since the Iraq invasion (see Grubbs 2003; Houlgate 2004). The overwhelming rhetoric in such efforts emphasises that new military techno-science, specifically developed to address cities, will turn global south urban environments into areas that US forces can completely dominate, using their technological advantages, with minimum casualties to themselves. New weapons and sensor programmes, specifically designed to enhance the ability of future US forces to control and dominate global south cities through network-centric means, are already emerging from the wider efforts at physical and electronic simulation, wargaming, and the evaluation of the experience of the Iraq insurgency.  These centre first on unveiling global south cities through new sensor technologies, and second on developing automated and robotic weapon systems linked to such sensors.  


Technophiliac Unveilings of Global South Cities: Dreams of ‘Real-Time Situational Awareness’

The first key effort to redirect the RMA to the purported challenges of US forces attempting to dominate and control global south cities involve programmes designed to saturate such cities with myriads of networked surveillance systems. The dream of US military theorists is that this can be done to such an extent that any identified target can be automatically identified at any time and so exposed to high-technology tracking and killing powers of ‘network-centric’ weapons. Such visions imagine pervasive and interlinked arrays of ‘loitering’ and ‘embedded’ sensors as overcoming all the limits and interruptions that megacity environments place in the way of successfully implementing networks centric warfare.  Ackerman  (2002), for example, suggests that such sensor suites will be designed to automatically trace dynamic change rather than constantly soaking up data from unchanging environments: observing ‘change’ rather than observing ‘scenery’, as he puts it. In other words, algorithms will be designed to only function when definable changes occur. They will thus identify purported notions of ‘normality’ against the ‘abnormal’ behaviours and patterns that can then be assessed as targets.

One major example of such a development is the tellingly title ‘Combat Zones That See’  (CTS) project led by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).  Launched at the start of the Iraq insurgency in 2003, CTS “explores concepts, develops algorithms, and delivers systems for utilising large numbers (1000s) of algorithmic video cameras to provide the close-in sensing demanded for military operations in urban terrain.” Through installing computerised CCTV across whole occupied cities, the project organisers envisage that, when deployed, CTS will sustain “motion-pattern analysis across whole city scales”, linked to the tracking of massive populations of individualised cars and people through intelligent computer algorithms linked to the recognition of number plates and scanned in human facial photos. “Combat Zones that See”, the launch report, suggests:

will produce video understanding algorithms embedded in surveillance systems for automatically monitoring video feeds to generate, for the first time, the reconnaissance, surveillance, and targeting information needed to provide close-in, continuous, always-on support for military operations in urban terrain. (DARPA 2003a: 6)

A direct response to the interruptive effects of city environments on older notions of air and space-based network centric warfare, CTS, will be designed to specifically address the  “inherently three-dimensional nature of urban centres, with large buildings, extensive underground passageways, and concealment from above” (DARPA 2003a: 7).

The central challenge of CTS, according to DARPA, will be to build up fully representative data profiles on the ‘normal’ time-space movement patterns of entire subject cities so that algorithms could then use statistical modelling to  “determine what is normal and what is not” (quoted in Sniffen 2003). This will be a purported aid to identifying insurgents’ activities and real or potential attacks, as well as warning of the presence or movement of target or suspect vehicles or individuals. The report states that the CTS project will:

include [...] analysis of changes in normalcy modes; detection of variances in activity; anomaly detection based on statistical analyses; discovery of links between places, subjects and times of activities; and direct comparison and correlation of track data to other information available to operators. Predictive modelling, plan recognition, and behavior modeling should alert operators to potential force protection risks and hostile situations. Forensic information (where did a vehicle come from, how did it get here?) should be combined and contrasted to more powerful ‘forward-tracking’ capabilities (where could the vehicle go?, where is the vehicle going?) to allow operators to provide real-time capabilities to assess potential force threats. (DARPA 2003a: 13)

After a stream of protests from US civil liberties groups, DARPA stressed that, whilst the initial test of mass, urban tracking will take place at a US Army base within the United States (Fort Belvoir, Virginia), the deployment of CTS will only take place in “Foreign urban battlefields” (Defense Watch 2004).

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Saturating occupied or target cities with micro-scale and even nano-scale sensors and cameras is also being investigated by the CTS Programme and an associated programme labelled HURT.


Figure 1: DARPA urban ‘Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Target Acquisition’ (RSTA) platforms as envisaged
by its HURT Programme (Darpa, 2004).(LOS=Line of Sight)


‘Persistent Area Dominance’: Towards Robotic Killing Systems in Urban Warfare

Military leaders are developing a vision of the tactical operations future where adversaries will have to decide if they should send flesh and blood troops to fight nuts, bolts, circuits and sensors. (Lawlor 2003)

The second main area of defence research and development to help assert the dominance of US forces over global south cities focuses on a shift towards robotic air and ground weapons which, when linked to the persistent surveillance and target identification systems just discussed, will be deployed to continually and automatically destroy purported targets in potentially endless streams of automated killing. The dreams of linking sentient, automated and omnipotent surveillance – which bring God-like levels of ‘situational awareness’ to US forces attempting to control intrinsically devious global south megacities – to automated machines of killing, pervades the discourses of the urban turn in the RMA (see, for example, Huber and Mills 2001). A telling example comes from the discussion of a model near-future US ‘urban operation’, described by Defense Watch magazine during its discussions of DARPA’s CTS Programme just discussed (2004).  

In their scenario, swarms of micro-scale and nano-scale networked sensors pervade the target city, providing continuous streams of target information to arrays of automated weaponry.  Together, these systems produce continuous killing and ‘target’ destruction: a kind of robotised counter-insurgency operation with US commanders and soldiers doing little but overseeing the cyborganised, interlinked and increasingly automated killing systems from a safe distance.  Defense Watch (2004) thus speculate about “a battlefield in the near future” that is wired up with the systems resulting from the CTS programme and its followers.  Here 13 unbound technophiliac dreams of omnipotent urban control blur into long-standing fantasies of cyborganised and robotised warfare. “Several large fans are stationed outside the city limits of an urban target that our [sic] guys need to take”, they begin, and go on to explain that:  

Upon appropriate signal, what appears like a dust cloud emanates from each fan.  The cloud is blown into town where it quickly dissipates. After a few minutes of processing by laptop-size processors, a squadron of small, disposable aircraft ascends over the city. The little drones dive into selected areas determined by the initial analysis of data transmitted by the fan-propelled swarm. Where they disperse their nano-payloads.

“After this, the processors get even more busy”, continues the scenario:

Within minutes the mobile tactical center have a detailed visual and audio picture of every street and building in the entire city. Every hostile [person] has been identified and located. From this point on, nobody in the city moves without the full and complete knowledge of the mobile tactical center. As blind spots are discovered, they can quickly be covered by additional dispersal of more nano-devices. Unmanned air and ground vehicles can now be vectored directly to selected targets to take them out, one by one. Those enemy combatants clever enough to evade actually being taken out by the unmanned units can then be captured of killed by human elements who are guided directly to their locations, with full and complete knowledge of their individual fortifications and defenses  […]. When the dust settles on competitive bidding for BAA 03-15 [the code number for the ‘Combat Zones That See’ programme], and after the first prototypes are delivered several years from now, our guys are in for a mind-boggling treat at the expense of the bad guys.  (2004 [sic])

Such omnipotence fantasies extend even further to the automated surveillance, through emerging brain scanning techniques, of people’s inner mental attitudes to any U.S. invasion.  This way ‘targets’ deemed to be resistant can be automatically identified and destroyed:

Robotic systems push deeper into the urban area […]. Behind the fighters, military police and intelligence personnel process the inhabitants, electronically reading their attitudes toward the intervention and cataloguing them into a database immediately recoverable by every fire team in the city (even individual weapons might be able to read personal signatures, firing immediately upon cueing […]. Smart munitions track enemy systems and profiled individuals […] Satellites monitor the city for any air defense fires, curing immediate responses from near-space orbiting ‘guns’. Drones track  inhabitants who have been ‘read’ as potentially hostile and ‘tagged’. (Defense Watch 2004)

Such dreams of continuous, automated, and robotised urban targeting and killing are far from being limited to the realms of such futuristic speculation, however. Rather, as with the CTS programme, they are fuelling very real multimillion dollar research and weapons development programmes aimed at developing ground and aerial vehicles which not only navigate and move robotically but select and destroy targets without ‘humans in the loop’, based on algorithmically-driven ‘decisions’.  

Lawlor (2003), for example, discusses the development of ‘autonomous mechanized combatant’ air and ground vehicles or ‘tactical autonomous combatants’ for the US Air Force.  These are being designed, he notes, to use ‘pattern recognition’ software for what he calls ‘time-critical targeting’, i.e. linking sensors very quickly to automated weapons so that fleeting ‘targets’ both within and outside cities can be continually destroyed. Such doctrine is widely termed ‘compressing the kill chain’ or ‘sensor to shooter warfare’ in US military parlance (Hebert 2003).  Lawlor states that the ‘swarming of unmanned systems’ project team at US forces JOINT Command Experimentation Directorate, based in Suffolk, Virginia, are so advanced in such experimentation that “autonomous, networked and integrated robots may be the norm rather than the exception by 2025”.
 
By that date, Lawlor predicts that “technologies could be developed […] that would allow machines to sense a report of gunfire in an urban environment to within one meter, triangulating the position of the shooter and return fire within a fraction of a second” providing a completely automated weapon system devoid of human involvement. Such plans form part of a $200 billion project to massively robotise US ground forces known as ‘Future Combat System’. Under this program, it is planned that robotic vehicles will replace one third of US armoured vehicles and weapons by 2015.  

Lawlor quotes Gordon Johnson, the ‘Unmanned Effects’ team leader for the US Army’s ‘Project Alpha’, as saying of an automated anti-sniper system that:

if it can get within one meter, it’s killed the person who’s firing. So, essentially, what we’re saying is that anyone who would shoot at our forces would die. Before he can drop that weapon and run, he’s probably already dead. Well now, these cowards in Baghdad would have to play with blood and guts every time they shoot at one of our folks. The costs of poker went up significantly […]. The enemy, are they going to give up blood and guts to kill machines? I’m guessing not. (Hebert 2003: 3)

Lawlor (2003: 2) predicts that such robo-war systems will “help save lives by taking humans out of harm’s way”. Here, tellingly, only US forces are considered to fall within the category ‘human’.

In addition, unmanned aerial vehicles armed with ‘intelligent munitions’ are already being designed that will, eventually, be programmed to fire on, and kill, ‘targets’ detected by US Force’s real-time surveillance grids, in a completely autonomous way. Such munitions will loiter over targets for days at a time, linked into the data links, until ‘targets’ are detected for destruction (Kenyon 2004). A programme called TUDLS – or ‘Total Urban Dominance Layered System – for example, is currently underway to provide what Plenge (2004) describes as: “long hover and loiter propulsion systems, multidiscriminant sensors and seekers, mini- and micro-air vehicles, mini-lethal and non-lethal warheads, autonomous and man-in-the loop control algorithms, and a strong interface with the [urban] battlespace in formation network.”

Crucially, such munitions will be equipped with algorithms designed to separate ‘targets’ from ‘non-targets” automatically. The ultimate goals, according to Pinney, an engineer at Raytheon, is a “kill chain solution” based on “1st look, 1st feed, 1st kill” where each armed unmanned vehicle continuously “seeks out targets on its own” (2003 16). Tirpak (2001), a US air force specialist, envisages that humans will be required to make the decisions to launch weapons at targets only “until UCAVs establish a track record of reliability in finding the 15 right targets and employing weapons properly”.  Then the “machines will be trusted to do even that”.  


Nascent Robotisation in Iraq and Palestine/Israel

By 2007, such military discourses and technophiliac fantasies were quickly moving towards the first stages of implementation on the streets of Iraq’s cities. In June 2006 the first armed and remotely-controlled ground robots in the history of warfare – so-called ‘SWORDS’1 machines armed with M249 machine guns – were deployed in Baghdad (Blech 2007). These allow soldiers to fire the systems guns from up to a kilometre away by remote control.  “Many people are fearful that armed robots will run amok on the battlefield,” admits a press release describing trials of this system from the US Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (2007). In an attempt at reassurance, the piece states that the robots still “employ a ‘man in the loop’ where they are always under director control of a soldier.  The soldier issues commands to the robot and weapons through an operator control unit.  Commands to rocket and grenade launchers are communicated through a newly developed remote firing and control system.”

Col. Terry Griffin, head of joint US Army and Marine Corps robot program, and tasked with deploying the next armed machine known as ‘Gladiator’, argues that the machines first job will be to disband groups of ‘undesirables’. He cites three stages of escalation: “First the robot issues warnings through a loudspeaker. It fires rubber bullets. Finally, the robot starts firing its machine gun” (quoted in Blech 2007).

In Israel/Palestine, meanwhile, the Israeli military are already deploying robotic and remotely controlled machine gun turrets, part of the “See-Shoot” system developed by Rafael, to deploy lethal force along the 37 mile border with the Gaza strip. Such robotic turrets have also been sold to US forces. “Combined with a Rafael-developed acoustic sensor detection and direction-finding device, [they] essentially becomes a robotic anti-sniper weapon for wheeled or tracked vehicles.” (Opall-Rome 2004). According to Defence News’ Tel Aviv correspondent  “each machine gun-mounted station serves as a type of robotic sniper, capable of enforcing a nearly 1,500-meter-deep no-go zone” (Opall-Rome 2007). The guns and their long sensors are “tied in by optic fibre to a command network which will also be able to draw information from existing ground sensors, manned aircraft, and overhead drones.” (Page 2007).  

Whilst the longer term shift towards the true automation of firing is envisaged, Initially, at least, Israeli soldiers are required to approve ‘See-Shoot’s’ decisions to fire. “At least in the initial phases of deployment, we’re going to have to keep the man in the loop,” an unnamed IDF commander remarked recently. “We don’t want to risk making tragic and politically costly mistakes with such a lethal system.” (cited in Opall-Rome 2007).

Israel is also planning to deploy mobile armed robots to support military incursions into Palestinian towns and cities. The hope, according to the manufacturing company, Elbit Ground Systems, is that “such robotic vehicles will become “triggers” which could discriminate between innocent and peaceful activities along the [Gaza-Israel] perimeter, to hostile or suspicious actions, based on the target’s responses” (Defense Update 2007).
______________
1 The Special Weapons Observation Reconnaissance Detection System

The Israeli military also now operates robotic 60-ton bulldozers to aid in house demolition and landscape clearance in areas that are deemed to hazardous for human-driven bulldozers.

Meanwhile, US investment in the field of armed Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) dwarfs that in armed ground robots. Initially, attention is centring on introducing more and more armed drones which are piloted, and fired, by remote human pilots – such as the ‘Predator’ and its more heavily armed successor – the ‘Reaper.’ In the case of the Predator, the many attack missions in the Middle East carried out by this drone have actually been ‘piloted’ by CIA personnel in a US Air Force base on the other side of the world on the edge of Las Vegas.  

As with armed ground robots, however, the shift towards autonomous aerial weapons systems is already underway. The US Air Force’s emerging Low Cost Autonomous Attack System (LOCAAS), for example – one output of the Future Combat Systems Program – is a jet powered ‘stand off’ munition which has been designed to “autonomously search for, detect, identify, attack and destroy theatre missile defence, surface to air missile systems, and interdiction/armour targets of military interest” (Sparrow 2007: 63). It will be equipped with a Laser Radar system as well as an Autonomous Target Recognition capability that will allow it to search for and identify targets within a 33 sq. mile area (Sparrow, 2007).

In both the air and ground domains, much effort is already going in to establishing the technologies and ethical protocols that would allow armed robots to use artificial intelligence technologies to autonomously ‘decide’ to launch their weapons at targets. Integrated within the Future Combat Systems Program within the US military (Sparrow, 2007), efforts here are focusing on the shift from piloted armed drones to ones that automatically fire at targets, at armed ground robots that operate independently, and at armed missiles, bombs and munitions that ‘loiter’ over a district or city ‘seeing’ out targets to attack over extended periods of time.

Armed autonomous ground vehicles, labelled ‘Tactical Autonomous Combatants’ (TACs), are being developed for missions deemed too dangerous, lengthy or simply long for humans. The previously cited Gordon Johnson, ‘unmanned effects team leader’ at the Project Alpha, cites the advantages of such a strategy for US forces addressing the challenges of future urban warfare:

At the tactical level, TACs aren’t going to get hungry, they’re not going to get tired, they’re not going to get ‘Dear John’ letters and have their minds concentrating on something other than what they are supposed to be thinking about. They have all the information they require that is available to blue forces at their disposal to help make decisions because they are all networked together. And if they need information that they don’t have in their local database, they’ll send out a request to ‘The Net’ and would get the information they need or collaborate with other machines and get the information they need (cited in Lawlor 2003).

A whole universe of ‘automated target recognition’ software is also evolving here, allowing robots’ computers to continuously compare the electronic signatures of ‘targets’ with those stored on electronic databases. “Before SWORDS fires its first salvo at terrorists in Iraq,” writes Jörg Blech (2007) inDer Spiegel,  “it needs the permission of two human operators.  […] However, it is only logical that decisions over life and death will increasingly be 17 transferred to the machine – just as soon as engineers have figured out how to overcome the problem of distinguishing between friends and foes.”  

This is where software development efforts in the field of automatic target recognition are now concentrating. Geared specifically towards the apparently impossible challenge of automatically picking out individual cars and individuals within the density and confusion of a major city, these techniques, informed closely by experience in Iraq, are now centring on whether spectral imaging, using 70 different wavelengths, can differentiate apparently identical vehicles in cities (McCarter 2005).  

Dr. John Kerekes, head of one such programme, labelled RASER, at MIT, explains that, rather than developing software that automatically identifies the signatures of military vehicles, the focus now is on tracking and identifying civilian cars and trucks in urban contexts. “Nowadays,” he argues, “the problems are in a more urban area or a smaller town, but typically not out in the open somewhere, and the nature of the threat is much more elusive in the sense that the enemy may not be driving military vehicles at all.” In such a context, he wonders: “Can you indeed distinguish between vehicles? These are just ordinary civilian vehicles, not of any particular distinguishing characteristics visually. But through this extra-spectral information and these additional channels, there may be features that we can use to identify them and tell them apart.” (Cited in McCarter 2005).

Once again, it is in the scenarios being proffered by the US military industrial complex that we see the possible future of the nascent architectures of robotised military power in Iraq and Israel/Palestine. Gary Graham (2004), of DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office, introduced a talk at the 2004 DARPAtech conference as follows:

I’d like you to imagine the battlefield of the future. Unmanned combat aircraft dominate the skies above the theater.  A swarm of unmanned ground vehicles prowls the forests and fields of our enemies.  These vehicles have sensors that can see, hear, and maybe even smell.  High above the theater, peering down from space, are spacecraft that are being refueled on-orbit.  Their on-board electronics and software are also being upgraded and replaced as easily as sliding a PCMCIA card in-and-out of a laptop.  A helicopter glides over the battlefield and drops a box of missiles.  This box is identical to dozens of missile boxes that are already in place on the battlefield, many sitting in the rear compartments of Humvees.  These boxes of missiles are very different, though.  They aren’t attended by human operators, and they already know where they are – each has GPS and a COMM [unications] link.  They sit, poised, waiting for command signals.

A corporal out in the field sees the enemy coming over the hill.  He radios, “I need fire support NOW!”  The box just dropped by the helo knows where the corporal is and it knows where the bad guys are.  It launches its first flight of missiles.  Some are loitering missiles that fly a little slower.  They are launched first.  They go up and post a highwatch over the battlefield.  Next, faster, precision attack missiles are launched and detonate on their targets, and we have lots of smoking holes...but we missed one or two.  One of the missiles loitering overhead surveys the scene, detects a surviving moving target, and says, “You missed one; I can take him.”  On command, he dives in and takes out his target.  The battle is over.  The enemy never even knew the corporal was there!  But now you have a lot of smoking holes where the bad guys used to be. (cited in Morrish 2004)


Conclusions

“The ultimate expression of sovereignty resides […] in the power and capacity to dictate who may live and who must die” (Mbembe 2003: 11)

A large-scale military research and development programme is currently underway in the United States to tailor the ‘Revolution in Military Affairs’ to the specific micro-geographies of the global south cities that many US military theorists envisage to be their main ‘battlespaces’ on the 21st century. Here the cutting-edge techno-scientific efforts and priorities of the world’s dominant military power are being shifted dramatically from an emphasis on globe-spanning control, networking and vertical targeting – treating planet Earth as some unitary, ageographical ‘battlespace’ – to one aimed at bringing maximum control, surveillance and killing power to the detailed micro-geographies of the burgeoning urban environments of the global south.

Such dreams of omnipotence must, of course, be treated with caution. The US military and its associated complex of R & D outfits have, after all, long held fantasies of superweapons that would deterministically realise their dreams of mastery and omnipotence (Franklin 1988). As now, such technophiliac dreams of mastery have usually evolved closely with the wider discourses of speculative fiction and popular geopolitical domains and entertainment industries (Gannon 2003). The ‘technological fanaticism’ of both has deep roots within US political, popular and military culture (Sherry 1987).  As Jeremy Black (2001: 97) suggests, we therefore need to be careful to interpret the RMA, and its latest ‘urban turn’, not as some quasi-rational response amongst US military and political elites to changing geopolitical conditions, but, rather, as “symptomatic of a set of cultural and political assumptions that tell us more about modern western society than they do about any objective assessment of military options”.

Moreover, we must also remember that the ‘U.S. military’ is far from being some single, unitary actor. All of the discourses, projects and programmes analysed in this paper remain extremely contested. Within the vast institutional complex that together constitutes the ‘US military’, and its associated security and military industries and lobby groups, major political battles are underway – fuelled by the ongoing nightmare in Iraq – over the degree to which technophiliac dreams of omnipotence, through some urbanised ‘RMA’ or ‘network centric warfare,’ are realistic, even in military terms. Many in the US Army, in particular, are deeply sceptical that the horrors and ‘fog of war’ in bloody ‘urban operations’ like the Iraqi insurgency can ever really be technologised, mediated, and saturated with sentient surveillance and targeting systems to anything like the degree that is common in the discursive imaginings driving the programmes discussed above.
 
Whilst what I have called here the urban turn in the RMA is, of course, being driven by often wild and fantastical discourses, its effects are likely to be very material and profound.  Massive techno-scientific efforts to equip the US military so that they can saturate global south cities with real-time surveillance, targeting and killing systems are undoubtedly underway, fuelled by the nascent experimentations on the streets of Iraq’s cities and in and above the West Bank and Gaza. The latest military-industrial-‘security’ research drive is focusing on using new algorithmic surveillance capabilities to try and overcome the ways in which the micro-geographies of global south cities are portrayed as environments that interrupt wider dreams of US military and technological omnipotence.

Above all, as the ‘war 19 on terror’ seeks to project notions of war that are unbound in time and space, so the sovereign power to kill is in the process of being delegated to computer code.  Whether such systems will ever function as imagined even in military terms is, then, beside the point. The very existence of a quasi-imperial project for launching the world’s dominant military power’s high-tech warfare systems into global south cities will – if implemented – seem very likely to lead to widespread civilian casualties.  This seems especially so as new algorithmic systems seem likely to emerge that are the actual agents of continuous, autonomous killing as ‘kill chains’ are ‘compressed’, ‘sensors’ are linked automatically to ‘shooters,’ and the dreams of ‘persistent area dominance’ achieve full expression through the favourable context of the Bush Administration’s large post-9-11 defence spending increases.

To put it mildly, dreams of clinically identifying and surgically killing only ‘fighters’ within cities, through the use of ‘autonomous’ computer algorithms and fantasies of ‘brain scans’, are both dangerously deluded and deeply disturbing. It seems very probable that deploying such systems would result in the death and injury of many civilians. Here we confront the added and deeply troubling development whereby software agency emerges as the ultimate ‘intelligence’ automatically stipulating who should die and who should live whilst at the same time attempts are made to remove US military personnel as far as possible from risk to death and injury.
 
In such a scenario, the philosopher Robert Sparrow (2007: 62) worries that it will become increasingly impossible to attribute war crimes to humans at all. “It is a necessary condition for fighting a just war, under the principle ofjus in bellum [or just war], that someone can be justly held responsible for deaths that occur in the course of the war,” he writes. However, “as this condition cannot be met in relation to deaths caused by an autonomous weapon system it would therefore be unethical to deploy such systems in warfare.”


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CSRC Series 2 Working Papers
WP1James Putzel, ‘War, State Collapse and Reconstruction: phase 2 of the Crisis States Programme’ (September 2005)
WP2Simonetta Rossi andAntonio Giustozzi, ‘Disarmament, Dembolisation and Reintegration of ex-comabatants (DDR) in Afghanistan: constraints and limited capabilities’, (June 2006) WP3Frederick Golooba-Mutebi, Gabi Hesselbein and James Putzel, ‘Political and Economic Foundations of State making in Africa: understanding state reconstruction’, (July 2006) WP4 Antonio Giustozzi, ‘Genesis of a Prince: the rise of Ismail Khan in western Afghanistan, 1979-1992’ (September 2006)
WP5Laurie Nathan, ‘No Ownership, No Peace: the Darfur Peace Agreement’,  (September 2006)
WP6Niamatullah Ibrahimi, ‘The Failure of a Clerical Proto-State: Hazarajat, 1979-1984’ (September 2006)
WP7 Antonio Giustozzi, “Tribes” and Warlords in Southern Afghanistan, 1980-2005’ (September 2006) WP8 Joe Hanlon, Sean Fox, ‘Identifying Fraud in Democratic Elections: a case study of the 2004 Presidential election in Mozambique’ WP9Jo Beall, ‘Cities, Terrorism and Urban Wars of the 21st Century’, (February 2007) WP10  Dennis Rodgers, ‘Slum Wars of the 21st Century: the new geography of conflict in Central America’, (February 2007)
WP11  Antonio Giustozzi, ‘The Missing Ingredient:non-ideological insurgency and state collapse in Western Afghanistan 1979-1992’, (February 2007)
WP12  Suzette Heald, ‘Making Law in Rural East Africa: SunguSungu in Kenya’, (March 2007)
WP13  Anna Matveeva, ‘The Regionalist Project in Central Asia: unwilling playmates’, (March 2007)
WP14  Sarah Lister, ‘Understanding State Building and Local Government in Afghanistan’, (June 2007) WP15 Pritha Venkatachalam, ‘Municipal Finance Systems in Conflict Cities: case studies on Ahmedabad and Srinagar, India’, (July 2007)
WP16  Jason Sumich, ‘The Illegitimacy of Democracy? democratisation and alienation in Maputo, Mozambique’, (September 2007)
WP17  Scott Bollens, ‘Comparative Research on Contested Cities: lenses and scaffoldings’, (October 2007) WP18  Debby Potts, ‘The State and the informal in sub-Saharan African economies: revisiting debates on dualism’, (October 2007)
WP19  Francisco Gutiérrez Sanín, Tatiana Acevedo and Juan Manuel Viatela, ‘Violent liberalism? State, conflict,  and political regime in Colombia, 1930-2006: an analytical narrative on state-making’, (November These can be downloaded from the Crisis States website (www.crisisstates.com), where an up-to-date list of all our publications including Discussion Papers, Occasional Papers and Series 1 Working Papers can be found.

The Crisis States Research Centre aims to examine and provide an understanding of processes of war, state collapse and reconstruction in fragile states and to assess the long-term impact of international interventions in these processes. Through rigorous comparative analysis of a carefully selected set of states and of cities, and sustained analysis of global and regional axes of conflict, we aim to understand why some fragile states collapse while others do not, and the ways in which war affects future possibilities of state building. The lessons learned from past experiences of state reconstruction will be distilled to inform current policy thinking and planning.

Crisis States Partners Colombia:  
Instituto de Estudios Políticos y Relaciones Internacionales (IEPRI), Universidad Nacional de Colombia (Bogotá)

India:
Developing Countries Research Centre  (DCRC), University of Delhi

South Africa:
Department of Environmental and Geographical Sciences,  
University of Cape Town

with collaborators in Uganda and other parts of sub-Saharan Africa

Research Components

Development as State-Making: Collapse, War and Reconstruction

Cities and Fragile States: Conflict, War and Reconstruction

Regional and Global Axes of Conflict

Crisis States Research Centre
Development Studies Institute (DESTIN)
LSE, Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE
Tel: +44 (0)20 7849 4631  Fax: +44 (0)20 7955 6844
Email: csp@lse.ac.uk  Web: www.crisisstates.com
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H0llyw00d

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won't need all that....just send in the spiders...;)


Offline Dig

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Interrupting the Algorithmic Gaze? Urban Warfare and US Military Technology Chapter for MacDonald, F. at al (Ed.) Geopolitics and Visual Culture: Representation, Performance, Observant Practice (Tauris)
Download: http://www.geography.dur.ac.uk/information/staff/p
by Stephen Graham http://www.dur.ac.uk/geography/staff/geogstaffhidden/?id=934

Abstract:
“For Western military forces, asymmetric warfare in urban areas will be the greatest challenge of this century […]. The city will be the strategic high ground – whoever controls it will dictate the course of future events in the world ” (Dickson, 2002a, 10)

The Colonial Present – Gregory - 2004
The Pentagon’s New Map – Barnett - 2004
Envisioning the Homefront: Militarization, tracking and security culture – Crandall - 2005
War as a Network Enterprise: The New Security Terrain and its Implications – DUFFIELD - 2002 www.upf.edu/iuhjvv/_pdf/arrels/dossier/duffield/duffield4.pdf
Vertical geopolitics: Baghdad and after – Graham
How technology will defeat terrorism – Huber, Mills - 2002
Sun Tzu’s bad advice: Urban warfare in the information age – Leonhard - 2003
Feral Cities – Norton - 2003
The Urbanization of Insurgency – Taw, Hoffman - 2000
Persistent surveillance comes into view, Signal Magazine, Available at www.afcea.org/signal – Ackerman - 2002 www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/milreview/pendall2.pdf
9-11: A strategic ontology: Pre-emptive strike and the production of (in)security”, InfoTechWarPeace, August 6, www.watsoninstitute.org/infopeace/ available – Barocas - 2002
If the cities do not fall to the Allies, there may be no alternative to siege warfare”, The Independent – Bellamy - 2003
Change and transformation in military affairs – Cohen - 2004
Combat Zones That See Program: Proper Information. Available at https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&tab=core&id=507adc944c32f29724621a5ee4f1637c&_cview=0 – DARPA - 2003
Heterogeneous Urban RSTA Team, Briefing to Industry, Darpa: Washington D – DARPA
The Pentagon as global slum lord – Davis
The war on terror: Cities as the strategic high ground – Dickson
A revolution in military geopolitics – Ek - 2000
Corralling the Trojan Horse: A Proposal for Improving – Glenn, Steed, et al.
Cities and the ‘war on terror,’ paper submitted – Graham
Switching cities off: Urban infrastructure and US air power – Graham - 2005 http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/2120566451-50396594/content~db=all~content=a723844418
Cities and the ‘war on terror – Graham - 2006
Urban combat: confronting the spectre,” Military Review – Grau, Kipp - 1999
Posthuman soldiers and postmodern war – No - 1999
The death of the civilian,” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space – Gregory - 2006
Compressing the kill chain.’ Air Force Magazine – Hebert
Facing urban inevitabilities: Military operations – Hewish, Pengelley - 2001
Future Wars in Cities – Hills - 2004
Urban warfare transforms the Corps – Houlgate - 2004
Empire and the Bush doctrine, Environment and Planning D – Kirsch - 2003
Robotic concepts take shape, Signal Magazine, Available at www.afcea.org/signal – Lawlor - 2004
Military operations as urban planning – Misselwitz, Weizman - 2003
Stealth, precision, and the making of American foreign policy, Air and Space Power Chronicles, June, Available at www.airpower.maxwell.af.mil/airchronicles/cc/omara.html – Mara, R - 2003
Our soldiers, their cities – Peters - 1996
Neoliberal empire – Pieterse - 2004
Pentagon project could keep a close eye on cities, Philly.Com, available – Sniffen - 2003
Politics, technology and the revolution in military affairs – Stone - 2004
Heavyweight contender, Air Force Magazine, 85(7), available at http://www.afa.org/magazine/July2002 – unknown authors - 2001
Desert Screen : War at the – Virilio - 2002
Putting the Post-Human in the Loop: Future Combat Systems Roderick - 2008 www.informaworld.com/index/907077144.pdf
Human-Computer Interface: The Cyborg www.brown.edu/Departments/MCM/amm/archive/cyborgArch.html
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

Offline starvosan

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Don't you just wish you lived in a country where the government was more concerned with raising living standards than with developing new and more efficient ways to kill people?

Offline Kilgore Trout

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Don't you just wish you lived in a country where the government was more concerned with raising living standards than with developing new and more efficient ways to kill people?

Yes!
"I do not believe that there were, at the Council of Nicea,
three persons present who believed in the truth of what was set down.
If there were, it was on account of their ignorance."
J. M. Roberts, "Antiquity Unveiled", 1892

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Network-centric Warfare
Dominating entire societies Worldwide through ubiquitous surveillance


http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=13939


by Tom Burghardt

Global Research, June 11, 2009


What Pentagon theorists describe as a "Revolution in Military Affairs" (RMA) leverages information technology to facilitate (so they allege) command decision-making processes and mission effectiveness, i.e. the waging of aggressive wars of conquest.

It is assumed that U.S. technological preeminence, referred to euphemistically by Airforce Magazine as "compressing the kill chain," will assure American military hegemony well into the 21st century. Indeed a 2001 study, Understanding Information Age Warfare, brought together analysts from a host of Pentagon agencies as well as defense contractors Boeing, Booz Allen Hamilton and the MITRE Corporation and consultants from ThoughtLink, Toffler Associates and the RAND Corporation who proposed to do just.

As a result of this and other Pentagon-sponsored research, military operations from Afghanistan to Iraq and beyond aim for "defined effects" through "kinetic" and "non-kinetic" means: leadership decapitation through preemptive strikes combined with psychological operations designed to pacify (terrorize) insurgent populations. This deadly combination of high- and low tech tactics is the dark heart of the Pentagon's Unconventional Warfare doctrine.

In this respect, "network-centric warfare" advocates believe U.S. forces can now dominate entire societies through ubiquitous surveillance, an always-on "situational awareness" maintained by cutting edge sensor arrays as well as by devastating aerial attacks by armed drones, warplanes and Special Forces robosoldiers.

Meanwhile on the home front, urbanized RMA in the form of ubiquitous CCTV systems deployed on city streets, driftnet electronic surveillance of private communications and radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips embedded in commodities are all aspects of a control system within securitized societies such as ours.

As Antifascist Calling has written on more than one occasion, contemporary U.S. military operations are conceived as a branch of capitalist management theory, one that shares more than a passing resemblance to the organization of corporate entities such as Wal-Mart.

Similar to RMA, commodity flows are mediated by an ubiquitous surveillance of products--and consumers--electronically. Indeed, Pentagon theorists conceive of "postmodern" warfare as just another manageable network enterprise.

The RFID (Counter) Revolution

Radio-frequency identification tags are small computer chips connected to miniature antennae that can be fixed to or implanted within physical objects, including human beings. The chip itself contains an Electronic Product Code that can be read each time a reader emits a radio signal.

The chips are subdivided into two distinct categories, passive or active. A passive tag doesn't contain a battery and its read range is variable, from less than an inch to twenty or thirty feet. An active tag on the other hand, is self-powered and has a much longer range. The data from an active tag can be sent directly to a computer system involved in inventory control--or weapons targeting.

It is hardly surprising then, that the Pentagon and the CIA have spent "hundreds of millions of dollars researching, developing, and purchasing a slew of 'Tagging tracking and locating' (TTL) gear," Wired reports.

Long regarded as an urban myth, the military's deployment of juiced-up RFID technology along the AfPak border in the form of "tiny homing beacons to guide their drone strikes in Pakistan," has apparently moved out of the laboratory. "Most of these technologies are highly classified" Wired reveals,

But there's enough information in the open literature to get a sense of what the government is pursuing: laser-based reflectors, super-strength RFID tags, and homing beacons so tiny, they can be woven into fabric or into paper.

Some of the gadgets are already commercially available; if you're carrying around a phone or some other mobile gadget, you can be tracked--either through the GPS chip embedded in the gizmo, or by triangulating the cell signal. Defense contractor EWA Government Systems, Inc. makes a radio frequency-based "Bigfoot Remote Tagging System" that's the size of a couple of AA batteries. But the government has been working to make these terrorist tracking tags even smaller. (David Hambling and Noah Shachtman, "Inside the Military's Secret Terror-Tagging Tech," Wired, June 3, 2009)

Electronic Warfare Associates, Inc. (EWA) is a little-known Herndon, Virginia-based niche company comprised of nine separate operating entities "each with varying areas of expertise," according to the firm's website. Small by industry standards, EWA has annual revenue of some $20 million, Business First reports. According to Washington Technology, the firm provides "information technology, threat analysis, and test and evaluation applications" for the Department of Defense.

The majority of the company's products are designed for signals intelligence and surveillance operations, including the interception of wireless communications. According to EWA, its Bigfoot Remote Tagging System is "ideal" for "high-value target" missions and intelligence operations.

EWA however, isn't the only player in this deadly game. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Pentagon's geek-squad, has been developing "small, environmentally robust, retro reflector-based tags that can be read by both handheld and airborne sensors at significant ranges," according to a presentation produced by the agency's Strategic Technology Office (STO).

Known as "DOTS," Dynamic Optical Tags, DARPA claims that the system is comprised of a series of "small active retroreflecting optical tags for 2-way data exchange." The tags are small, 25x25x25 mm with a range of some 10 km and a two month shelf-life; far greater than even the most sophisticated RFID tags commercially available today. Sold as a system possessing a "low probability of detection," the devices can be covertly planted around alleged terrorist safehouses--or the home of a political rival or innocent citizen--which can then be targeted at will by Predator or Reaper drones.

The Guardian revealed May 31 that over the last 18 months more than 50 CIA drone attacks have been launched against "high-value targets." The Pentagon claims to have killed nine of al-Qaeda's top twenty officials in north and south Waziristan. "That success" The Guardian avers, "is reportedly in part thanks to the mysterious electronic devices, dubbed 'chips' or 'pathrai' (the Pashto word for a metal device), which have become a source of fear, intrigue and fascination."

According to multiple reports by Western and South Asian journalists, CIA paramilitary officers or Special Operations commandos pay tribesmen to plant the devices adjacent to farmhouses sheltering alleged terrorists. "Hours or days later" The Guardian narrates, "a drone, guided by the signal from the chip, destroys the building with a salvo of missiles. 'There are body parts everywhere,' said Wazir, who witnessed the aftermath of a strike."

It is a high-tech assassination operation for one of the world's most remote areas. The pilotless aircraft, Predators or more sophisticated Reapers, take off from a base in Baluchistan province.

But they are guided by a joystick-wielding operator half a world away, at a US air force base 35 miles north of Las Vegas. (Declan Walsh, "Mysterious 'chip' is CIA's latest weapon against al-Qaida targets hiding in Pakistan's tribal belt," The Guardian, May 31, 2009)

But while American operators may get their kicks unloading a salvo of deadly missiles on unsuspecting villagers thousands of miles away, what happens when CIA "cut-outs" get it wrong?

According to investigative journalist Amir Mir, writing in the Lahore-based newspaper The News, "of the sixty cross-border Predator strikes...between January 14, 2006 and April 8, 2009, only 10 were able to hit their actual targets, killing 14 wanted al-Qaeda leaders, besides perishing 687 innocent Pakistani civilians. The success percentage of the US Predator strikes thus comes to not more than six percent."

So much for "precision bombing." But as CIA Director Leon Panetta recently told Congress, continued drone attacks are "the only game in town."

A "game" likely to reap tens of millions of dollars for enterprising corporate grifters. According to Wired, Sandia National Laboratories are developing "Radar Responsive" tags that are "a long-range version of the ubiquitous stick-on RFID tags used to mark items in shops."

A Sandia "Fact Sheet" informs us that "Radar-tag applications include battlefield situational awareness, unattended ground sensors data relay, vehicle tracking, search and recovery, precision targeting, special operations, and drug interdiction." Slap a tag on the car or embed one of the devilish devices in the jacket of a political dissident and bingo! instant "situational awareness" for Pentagon targeting specialists.

As Sandia securocrats aver, Radar Responsive tags can light up and locate themselves from twelve miles away thus providing "precise geolocation of the responding tag independent of GPS." But "what happens in Vegas" certainly won't stay there as inevitably, these technologies silently migrate into the heimat.

Homeland Security: Feeding the RFID Beast

One (among many) firms marketing a spin-off of Sandia's Radar Responsive tags is the Washington, D.C.-based Gentag. With offices in The Netherlands, Brazil and (where else!) Sichuan, China, the world capital of state-managed surveillance technologies used to crush political dissent, Gentag's are a civilian variant first developed for the Pentagon.

According to Gentag, "the civilian version (which still needs to be commercialized) is a lower power technology suitable for commercial civilian applications, including use in cell phones and wide area tracking." Conveniently, "Mobile reader infrastructure can be set up anywhere (including aircraft) or can be fixed and overlaid with existing infrastructure (e.g. cell phone towers)."

One member of the "Gentag Team" is Dr. Rita Colwell, the firm's Chief Science Advisor. Headquartered at the University of Maryland, College Park and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, according to a blurb on Gentag's website "Colwell will lead development of detection technologies that can be combined with cell phones for Homeland Security applications."

Another firm specializing in the development and marketing of RFID surveillance technologies is Inkode. The Vienna, Virginia-based company specializes in the development of low power devices "for integration into all types of products." According to a 2003 article in the RFID Journal, the firm has developed a method for "embedding very tiny metal fibers in paper, plastic and other materials that radio frequency waves can penetrate. The fibers reflect radio waves back to the reader, forming what Inkode calls a 'resonant signature.' These can be converted into a unique serial number."

Indeed, the fibers can be embedded in "paper, airline baggage tags, book bindings, clothing and other fabrics, and plastic sheet," Wired reported. "When illuminated with radar, the backscattered fields interact to create a unique interference pattern that enables one tagged object to be identified and differentiated from other tagged objects," the company says.

"For nonmilitary applications, the reader is less than 1 meter from the tag. For military applications, the reader and tag could theoretically be separated by a kilometer or more." The perfect accoutrement for a drone hovering thousands of feet above a target.

More recently, the RFID Journal reports that Queralt, a Wallingford, Connecticut-based start-up, received a Department of Homeland Security grant to design "an intelligent system that learns from data collected via RFID and sensors."

Tellingly, the system under development builds on the firm's "existing RFID technology, as well as an integrated behavioral learning engine that enables the system to, in effect, learn an individual's or asset's habits over time. The DHS grant was awarded based on the system's ability to track and monitor individuals and assets for security purposes," the Journal reveals.

And with a booming Homeland Security-Industrial-Complex as an adjunct to the defense industry's monetary black hole, its no surprise that Michael Queralt, the firm's cofounder and managing director told the publication, "The reason this development is interesting to us is it is very close to our heart in the way we are going with the business. We are developing a system that converges physical and logical, electronic security."

The core of Queralt's system is the behavioral engine that includes a database, a rules engine and various algorithms. Information acquired by reading a tag on an asset or an individual, as well as those of other objects or individuals with which that asset or person may come into contact, and information from sensors (such as temperature) situated in the area being monitored, are fed into the engine. The engine then logs and processes the data to create baselines, or behavioral patterns. As baselines are created, rules can be programmed into the engine; if a tag read or sensor metric comes in that contradicts the baseline and/or rules, an alert can be issued. Development of the behavioral engine is approximately 85 percent done, Queralt reports, and a prototype should be ready in a few months. (Beth Bacheldor, Queralt Developing Behavior-Monitoring RFID Software," RFID Journal, April 23, 2009)

Creating a "behavior fingerprint," Queralt says the technology will have a beneficial application in monitoring the elderly at home to ensure their safety. Homes are laced with humidity, temperature and motion-sensing tags that can for example, "sense when a medicine cabinet has been opened, or if a microwave oven has been operated." In other words, the Orwellian "behavioral engine" can learn what a person is doing on a regular basis.

But given the interest--and a $100,000 DHS grant, chump change by current Washington standards to be sure--corporate and intelligence agency clients have something far different in mind than monitoring the sick and the elderly!

Indeed, the RFID Journal reports that "a company could use the system, for instance, to monitor the behavior of employees to ensure no security rules are breached."

Want to surveil workers for any tell-tale signs of "antisocial behavior" such as union organizing? Then Queralt may have just the right tool for you! "The workers could be issued RFID-enabled ID badges that are read as they arrive at and leave work, enter and exit various departments, and log onto and off of different computer systems," the RFID Journal informs us. "Over time, the system will establish a pattern that reflects the employee's typical workday."

And if a worker "enters the office much earlier than normal on a particular occasion," or "goes into a department in which he or she does not work," perhaps to "coerce" others into joining "communist" unions opposed let's say, to widespread surveillance, the ubiquitous and creepy spy system "could send an alert."

Queralt is currently designing an application programming interface to "logical security and identity-management systems" from Microsoft and Oracle that will enable corporations to "tie the RFID-enabled behavioral system to their security applications."

The Future Is Now!

This brief survey of the national security state's deployment of a literally murderous, and privacy-killing, surveillance technology is not a grim, dystopian American future but a quintessentially American present.

The technological fetishism of Pentagon war planners and their corporate enablers masks the deadly realities for humanity posed by the dominant world disorder that has reached the end of the line as capitalism's long death-spiral threatens to drag us all into the abyss.

The dehumanizing rhetoric of RMA with its endless array of acronyms and "warfighting tools" that reduce waging aggressive imperialist wars of conquest to the "geek speak" of a video game, must be unmasked for what it actually represents: state killing on a massive scale.

Perhaps then, the victims of America's "war on terror," at home as well as abroad, will cease to be "targets" to be annihilated by automated weapons systems or ground down by panoptic surveillance networks fueled by the deranged fantasies of militarists and the corporations for whom product development is just another deadly (and very profitable) blood sport.

Tom Burghardt is a researcher and activist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His articles can be read on Dissident Voice, Global Research, The Intelligence Daily, Pacific Free Press  He is the editor of Police State America: U.S. Military "Civil Disturbance" Planning, distributed by AK Press.

Offline Satyagraha

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... U.S. forces can now dominate entire societies through ubiquitous surveillance, an always-on "situational awareness" maintained by cutting edge sensor arrays as well as by devastating aerial attacks by armed drones, warplanes and Special Forces robosoldiers.

The thing is, when people hear things like the above ("armed drones, warplanes and Special Forces robosoldiers"), they imagine these things in far-flung places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan... never in places like Chicago or Salt Lake City... but then you have to connect it to the next line....

Quote
Meanwhile on the home front, urbanized RMA in the form of ubiquitous CCTV systems deployed on city streets, driftnet electronic surveillance of private communications and radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips embedded in commodities are all aspects of a control system within securitized societies such as ours.


That's the connection - the only one we need - that puts the UAVs and robosoldiers on your block. The Revolution in Military Affairs seems to me to be a Coup by the Military over ALL human affairs.  There are some completely out-of-control psychos dreaming up this stuff; and I hope they find little UAVs sitting outside their own windows. I don't think they believe they are targeted (and surely don't believe their own families are targeted.) They deceive themselves.



Quote

The Future Is Now!

This brief survey of the national security state's deployment of a literally murderous, and privacy-killing, surveillance technology is not a grim, dystopian American future but a quintessentially American present.

The technological fetishism of Pentagon war planners and their corporate enablers masks the deadly realities for humanity posed by the dominant world disorder that has reached the end of the line as capitalism's long death-spiral threatens to drag us all into the abyss.

The dehumanizing rhetoric of RMA with its endless array of acronyms and "warfighting tools" that reduce waging aggressive imperialist wars of conquest to the "geek speak" of a video game, must be unmasked for what it actually represents: state killing on a massive scale.


Perhaps then, the victims of America's "war on terror," at home as well as abroad, will cease to be "targets" to be annihilated by automated weapons systems or ground down by panoptic surveillance networks fueled by the deranged fantasies of militarists and the corporations for whom product development is just another deadly (and very profitable) blood sport.



We need to educate people about the 'dehumanizing rhetoric' of RMA (hell, they're not even bothering with euphemisms at this point) They say what they mean - and they mean KILLING.
And  the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, 
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,  ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 25:40

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In  his  opening  remarks,  Mr.  Barry  Desker, Director  of  IDSS  observed  that  the  1991 Gulf  War  appeared  to  herald  a  “revolution in military affairs” (RMA)—brought about by the integration of emerging technologies into military  operations  and  possibly  heralding  a change in the way war was fought. While this claim  was  perhaps  in  hindsight  premature, military  power  has  since  increasingly emphasized the importance of surveillance and precision strike, led by advances in information and communications technology and emphasizing the importance of quality over quantity.

Mr.  Desker  went  on  to  say  that  if  the world  was  on  the  cusp  of  an  RMA  in  1991, then it seems we are now truly in the midst of  this  phenomenon.  What  this  RMA  means in  strategic  and  operational  military  terms, remains a matter of debate, with several schools of  thought.  The  “system-of-systems”  school sees  the  conduct  of  war  dominated  not  by platforms or people, but by data processing and  networking  of  forces.  The  vulnerability school highlights the easy accessibility of these technologies  to  both  friends  and  foes  alike.  The dominant battlespace knowledge school posits  that  the  battlefield  will  become  more “transparent”  through  the  use  of  sensors, whilst the multi-dimensional school believes the  real  revolution  will  come  through  the networking of mobile, rapid deployment and special operations forces.

Mr. Desker argued that the RMA is attractive to Singapore for a number of reasons: declining birth  rates  and  its  impact  on  enlistment  of available national servicemen; its high education standards,  knowledge  economy  and  organic defence industrial base; and most significantly, the SAF’s mature conventional warfare capability.  The RMA would seem to be the next logical step; however, this step will likely be both difficult and expensive. Existing RMA literature tends to be U.S.-centric, and the aim of this conference is to seek an understanding of what the RMA might mean for small states like Singapore.

KEYNOTE ADDRESS

Eliot Cohen (Johns Hopkins University) spoke of   “Change  and  Transformation  in  Military Affairs”. What exactly is an RMA? A young U.S.  Army  captain  in  1974  could  have  spent  his entire career up until now thinking about and encountering  nothing  but  the  RMA;  having reached this stage, however, that captain might not be certain what the “RMA” is, or if indeed it had happened. This possibly calls into question the whole idea of an RMA. In order to answer this  more  adequately,  Cohen  outlined  four “critiques” of the current state of thinking about the RMA in theoretical terms, and then looked more empirically at exactly what has happened to the conduct of war.

The  first  critique  relates  to  RMA  theory’s geopolitical assumptions. Much of RMA theory has  been  premised  on  the  overwhelming predominance in global politics of the U.S., as the only power with the full-spectrum of RMA capabilities. This has coloured the RMA debate, in that it reflects U.S. capabilities. The second critique  of  RMA  theory  is  that  it  has  focused on  technology  as  the  main,  if  not  exclusive, engine behind transformation. While much of the  technology  is  truly  astounding,  perhaps a more comprehensive and holistic approach is  necessary.  The  more  interesting  part  of transformation, even the technological side, is the human component that “puts it all together”.  The  hardest  part  to  change  is  doctrine  and culture,  not  the  “gadgets”.  Some  of  the  most interesting  changes  have  been  in  the  human dimension, such as the role of NCOs, officers’ career paths and the role of civilians and private companies.

A third critique revolves around the question of how transformation actually occurs. Cohen made  the  point  that  much  of  RMA  theory  is actually “a normative debate masquerading as a  positivist  discussion”.  What  initially  seems like basic social science may in fact be a more normative stance that the RMA is “a good thing” or that transformation “ought to happen”. This has led to the belief that change is imposed from the top down. However, there is some doubt concerning the ability of military institutions to change in this fashion. From a military history perspective, most change would actually appear to “bubble up” from below. In the case of the U.S.  today,  real  change  is  not  coming  from top  level  “experimentation”  (with  its  all  too predictable results) but from “people tinkering around  in  the  field”  in  training  or  actual operations. If this is the real process by which change occurs, the more important question might  be:  Is  change  accepted  or  rejected  by those above, and are leaders willing to let their people try new ideas?

A fourth critique revolves around the tendency of RMA theory to ignore the reactions of other states  to the RMA.  U.S. defence spending is “so far off the charts” that other countries (and non-state groups) are exploiting their own available technology.  The desire for WMD capabilities is one example of the danger of this, as states seek to neutralize the U.S. conventional advantage. Medium powers have  pursued  RMA-type  capabilities, but the key question is how effective they have been and  what  difference  it  really makes.  Finally, there is also the  threat posed by terrorism and other such non-state groups. RMA theory would  traditionally  treat  this  as  irrelevant  to conventional warfare and capabilities. However, terrorism is a way of bypassing conventional strengths. Furthermore, there is much evidence that even basic information technology can be of use to both sides (for example, the Internet and GPS).

Cohen then posed the question: Has there been any transformation or radical change in military affairs? The answer may be found in three empirical “tests”. First, do soldiers and military organizations look different today? A U.S. Army infantryman of 1945 and his 1975 counterpart  are  essentially  similar  in  their basic  equipment  and  weapons.  However, the  U.S.  Army  infantryman  in  2004  has  a different  uniform,  wears  body  armour,  uses night  vision  devices  and  possesses  advanced communications equipment and GPS systems.  Second, are battle outcomes different? While the answer is somewhat harder to say, two facts can be acknowledged: outcomes are far more lopsided, which can be directly related to the possession of RMA capabilities; and it may be a mistake to look only at the battles that did occur rather than those that did not, that is, inter-state war has declined in part because of this perception of lopsided outcomes.

Third, are battle processes (that is, combat) different? Whilst much remains the same at the close  quarter  element  of  war  (characterized by factors such as fear, friction and violence), it  should  be  acknowledged  that  this  is  but one reality of battle. At a higher level (at the command  post  and  operational  levels)  and in  a  parallel  reality,  combat  is  profoundly different.

In conclusion, whether one calls these changes a “revolution” or not, the fact remains that we have witnessed a very large transformation in “war”. This has been the result of both hard elements like technology and geopolitics, and also softer elements of military power. The most important questions are whether these changes are complete, and what further changes will we continue to see over the next 30 years—what the Army captain of 2035 will think on reflection of that transformation.


PANEL ONE

MILITARY TRANSFORMATION IN THE ASIA-PACIFIC Larry Wortzel   (Heritage Foundation), spoke on “Chinese Perspectives on the RMA”. Chinese military leaders have been watching the changes in U.S. military doctrine and operations very carefully  for  well  over  20  years.  PLA  leaders and  key  thinkers  from  institutions  such  as the Academy of Military Science and the PLA National  Defence  University  have  sought  to acquire documents and doctrine about the U.S.  transformation process. The PLA was convinced about the utility of the RMA when they witnessed first  hand  how  both  China  and  the  U.S.  (in cooperation) were able to successfully support the  mujahadeen  in  Afghanistan  to  defeat Soviet  forces,  the  “marriage”  of  technology and doctrine on the battlefield could make a difference.

Much of the PLA’s RMA capability has come from U.S. assistance, both in terms of hardware (like  artillery  locating  radars)  and  in terms of  documents  and  doctrinal  support.  It is because of this level of assistance that the PLA understands how technology, equipment and doctrine can fundamentally affect warfare. The principle areas of Chinese RMA capability are battlefield connectivity, range and endurance of weapons, precision and miniaturization, stealth, automation and simulation, in addition to the main operational concepts (such as dominant manoeuvre).  Moreover,  they  understand  no single technology will be dominant (the “silver bullet” approach). However, this level of success has not yet translated into the industrial sector and production. Whilst they are very good at some aspects of production (missiles) in many areas, they have little or no expertise in systems engineering (aircraft engine manufacture being a key example).

This experience has key lessons for small and medium states. States embarking on the RMA must analyse carefully the scope of their needs, what the threat is and what the desired ability to  respond  is.  China  has  largely  done  that.  They  must  also  ask  what  new  platforms  and technology can they adopt within manpower and  budget  limits  (what  can  we  NOT  do?).  Again, China is a good example of success in this  area.  Finally  they  must  ask  the  strategic question  of  where  they  fit  internationally  in terms of defence industrial production. It is this area that China has not done well.

Tim  Huxley  (IISS)  then  spoke  on  the Singapore experience of the RMA. Singapore has  the  most  advanced  military  capability  in Southeast  Asia,  reinforced  by  the  advantages of  its  status  as  an  advanced  economy  and  a highly  educated  population.  However,  while Singapore  has  clearly  well  developed  RMA capabilities  in  the  areas  of  precision,  C4ISR and integrated logistics, some problem areas persist.

The first key challenge is the organizational and doctrinal aspects of the RMA. In technical terms, Singapore has the necessary prerequisites for participation in the RMA, but so far has not implemented  the  necessary  organizational and doctrinal innovations that make the RMA a total “system of systems”. MINDEF and the SAF already “speak the language of the RMA” with a high degree of fluency, now they need to become more creative to enhance their natural competitive advantage. A related problem lies in the traditional structures of command and control, coupled with the SAF’s characteristically rigid,  hierarchical  reluctance  to  delegate.  An incipient  change  is  evident,  however,  in  the frustrations of junior officers to this culture, as seen in recent Pointer articles.

The second key challenge for Singapore is to adopt RMA capabilities that are relevant to the evolving strategic environment. Since 1998 the regional security environment deteriorated significantly, increasing the importance of the deterrent  ability  of  the  SAF.  The  SAF  must retain its capability to locate/target/destroy any enemy in the context of combined arms/joint operations.  However,  Singapore  also  needs to  take  account  of  asymmetric  challenges  to this conventional capability and to the specific demands  of  any  possible  complex  regional emergency.  Non-state  threats  to  Singapore’s national  infrastructure  are  another  tangent that the SAF will need to be able to address.

The  complicating  factor  for  Singapore  is  the slim resources available for procurement and production  of  RMA  capabilities.  The  SAF  has little  prospect  for  expansion  in  real  terms, given the cap in government spending set at 6% of GDP. This has forced the deferment of important programmes and delayed equipment replacements.

Finally, the “RMA” forms only one component of Singapore’s wider “transformation”. Huxley quoted Andrew Tan who believes that Singapore must  move  away  from  core  competencies involving quantity and adopt a more “portfolio” approach  of  quality  capabilities.  The  recent formation  of  a  Future  Systems  Directorate charged with challenging established military thinking is evidence of the SAF’s potential for radical change. In the medium term, this implies that the SAF may “evolve” into quite a different organization, smaller and more specialized with older equipment replaced by locally produced high-tech options.

Michael  Evans  (Land  Warfare  Studies Centre,  Australia)  then  spoke  on  Australia’s perspective  on  the  RMA.  Australia  has  been interested in the RMA for over a decade, but does not see it so much as a “revolution” or dramatic change in the nature of war, rather as a continuum of military transformation. Australia sees three key technologies as characteristic of this transformation: C4ISR, precision strike and stealth. However, due to its demographics and vast continental geography, Australia has been most interested in an RMA based on quality, not quantity, and has as such developed a unique approach called the Knowledge Edge.

The Knowledge Edge began as an in-service debate,  and  has  progressed  into  an  official philosophy that refers to “the exploitation of
information  technologies  to  allow  Australia to  use  the  relatively  small  ADF  to  maximum effectiveness”.  The  Knowledge  Edge  has formed the foundation for the development of two  other  concepts,  namely,  network-centric warfare  and  multidimensional  manoeuvre.  Both concepts allow the Knowledge Edge as a theory to be operationalized, and reflect the belief  that  it  is  possible  to  move  away  from massing forces towards massing the effects of weapons platforms through the accumulated power  of  a  network.

To  Australia,  network-centric warfare is about the transformation from a  “joint  force”  into  a  “seamlessly  integrated force”, where platforms are treated as “nodes” that  share  information  to  increase  combat power.  The  long-term  aim  is  the  creation  of a networked series of three “grids”: a sensor grid,  a  command-and-control  grid,  and  an engagement grid. Multidimensional manoeuvre constitutes  the  ADF’s  Future  Warfighting Concept,  and  is  facilitated  by  the  fusion  of network-centric  warfare  and  effects-based operations.  It  is  additionally  seen  as  the  key enabler in the creation of a “seamless force”.

Several  major  theorists  provide  the  main intellectual  influences  on  Australian  military transformation: Liddell Hart, John Boyd, John Warden and David Deptula. However, possibly more  important,  has  been  the  influence  of foreign military experiences. The U.S. and the Office  of  Force  Transformation  (headed  by Admiral Cebrowski) has been a key influence, as  has  the  cooperation  with  the  Swedish Armed forces with whom Australia shares an unexpected degree of similarity in defence and strategy.

For  Australia,  high  technology  will  never be  a  panacea  for  all  security  problems.  In fact, it was not yet clear if the network-centric approach  would  be  truly  applicable  to  joint warfare, given its origins in air-power theory.  The  Australian  approach  to  the  RMA  can  be characterized as one of modesty, pragmatism and caution. Australia has relied on tying theory to  real  experimentation  before  expending resources. Finally, Australia must avoid the view of an “immaculate battlespace” and complete information dominance, and he ended with a quote from Clausewitz: “In war, the example is  the  real-life  case,  [and]  the  formula  the abstraction”.


DISCUSSION

Wortzel  asked  Cohen  whether  he  detected any  operational  differences  in  the  newer “digitized”  formations  now  serving  in  Iraq.  Cohen responded that he observed not so much operational differences, but a willingness to be creative and to “play around” with the benefits provided  by  digitization.  He  also  noted  that they seem to have adapted very quickly to the demands of the counter-insurgency campaign.  Cohen  however  cautioned  against  drawing any conclusions at all from the conduct of the second  Gulf  War,  due  largely  because  of  the “wretched” performance of the Iraqi Army.

Bernard  Loo   (IDSS)  commented  that Cohen’s three “tests” of an RMA ontology might not be applicable outside of the U.S. experience.  He made the observation that when RMA theory is translated into the world of smaller states, the levels of asymmetry (and lopsided victory) may not be as great, and that to a large extent levels of uncertainty as to the outcomes of military confrontation still exist.

Jason  Sherman  (Defence  News)  asked the  panel  how  they  would  “rank”  countries of  the  region  from  an  RMA  perspective.  Wortzel noted that Japan is the most advanced in  Northeast  Asia,  with  arguably  the  most advanced  naval  and  air  forces  in  the  Pacific region. South Korea does not understand the RMA  at  all,  as  evidenced  by  their  angst  over the  redeployments  of  the  USFK  away  from the  DMZ.  Taiwan  has  achieved  a  good  level of doctrinal understanding and technological ability,  but  still  has  very  strong  parochial service  structures  that  will  hamper  further development.  Huxley  gave  a  rough  order  of merit as Australia, Singapore, Malaysia and then perhaps Thailand.

He posed a further question, however, as to the extent states like Singapore and  Australia  understand  their  regional strategic circumstances and the relevance RMA systems have to the “real challenges” facing the region over the next 20 years. Evans offered a rejoinder that for Australia, it was clearly not a  question  of  “either/or”.  Australia  faces  two parallel strategic concerns: the ANZUS Alliance and its associated commitments and regional tensions. Furthermore, RMA technologies have a vast impact on operations conducted by the ADF  in  the  region,  Timor  being  an  excellent example  of  the  benefits  of  a  networked approach to command and control and logistics particularly.

Malcolm  Brailey  (IDSS)  asked  Huxley what the minimum threshold for Singapore’s RMA  was,  and  whether  they  really  do  need to  follow  the  U.S.  model.  He  then  asked Evans to comment on the dangers of Australia becoming a provider of “niche” forces for the U.S. at their own expense. Huxley reiterated his  comments  regarding  the  limitations  on Singapore’s  defence  budget;  the  implication of this was that the real benefits of the RMA would  always  be  constrained  in  Singapore’s case. He pointed out that an appropriate term to describe Singapore’s RMA efforts might be one coined by Malcolm Davis, “RMA lite”. Evans responded that it is not good for any army to be  SOF  heavy.  Balanced  ground  forces  with true combined arms capabilities are the best structure in this region, and a “big change” can be seen in Australia over the next ten years as they move from being a light-infantry force to being a light-armoured force.

Finally, Andrew Tan (IDSS) asked the panel that if the key to the RMA was not just technology but also cultural  change, then what kinds of organizational cultures were best suited to the RMA and if this can culture be created. Cohen responded that in his opinion there are four main cultural qualities that any good military wishing to transform itself must have. First, it must accept mistakes as normal and not punish people for experimenting. Second, it must be self-critical. Third, it must share information.  Last, and underpinning all these, it must have a high regard for the truth. This cultural change requires strong leadership and “wisdom” from the top of the organization.


LUNCH TALK

Jimmy Khoo (FSA, SAF) spoke on “Networks and  the  Knowledge  Warrior”.  He  began  by pondering  on  some  of  the  risks  posed  by transformation. He reminded the conference that  many  corporate  companies  only  start to  look  at  transformation  when  “death  is  at their  doors”,  but  few  are  lucky  in  these  last ditch attempts. The best time to explore and implement  transformation  therefore  is  when you are at the peak. The SAF has chosen the perspective that you should not wait until it is too late, and is exploring transformation at a time of its own choosing, in order to conduct experiments  and  then  correctly  decide  its future.

Rapid  developments  are  afoot  in  many military  technology  areas,  from  sensors  to precision  guidance  to  unmanned  vehicles, which when “synergized” with new operational concepts and organizations allow armed forces to “jump to the next level”. The information-led RMA will allow the SAF to do things better and faster. The SAF has developed its own concept of information warfare, namely IKC2 (Integrated Knowledge Based Command and Control). IKC2 is “network enabled and knowledge based” and acts as a force multiplier that will allow the SAF to do more with less. It is conceptualized on the OODA loop warfighting cycle and aims to reach superiority across the spectrum of capabilities, hence achieving asymmetry over any opponent.

In the physical domain, the SAF wants to “see first and see more”. In the cognitive domain, it wants to “understand faster and better” and to make better decisions in shorter time. Finally, the SAF wants to be able to act faster and more decisively.  The  possibilities  are  limitless  and depend rather on how the SAF can creatively exploit technology and knowledge. The SAF is embarking  aggressively  on  experimentation, and has for that purpose recently opened the SAF Centre For Military Experimentation.

The  SAF  believes  that  it  is  not  enough, however, to focus on the hardware alone. At the  heart  of  transformation  are  people,  and education  of  defence  professionals  is  a  key part of this, as well as creating a true “learning organization”.  Second  is  the  capacity  for change.  All  long-term  resources  have  been safeguarded and the Future Systems Directorate will also look at what types of organizations will shape change. Third, the SAF wants to create a “marketplace” of creative concepts and ideas.  There is a need for competing ideas to challenge existing ideas and issues. This process has to be internalized and to become “second nature” for the SAF.


PANEL TWO

OPERATIONAL TRANSFORMATION (PART 1) Christopher Coker ( LSE)  spoke  on “Biotechnology,  the  Military  Transformation, and the Future of War”. He began by making two  important  points.  First,  the  information and biotechnology revolutions are not distinct as  the  information  age  influences  biology.  Since the DNA was looked upon as a kind of information storage package, Darwin’s theory of “survival of the fittest” is being replaced by “evolution by negative feedback”. He also said that we are living in an age where nature is far more important than nurture. We are entering an age when man will try to alter human nature by  biological  means  as  opposed  to  cultural projects. Some of the nightmares in this century will be biological rather than cultural.

On  the  impact  of  biotechnology  on the  existential  dimension  of  war,  it  will allow  the  reengineering,  reconfiguring  and reprogramming  of  the  warrior  in  the  future.  This is not mere science fiction. There are two ways to “transform” the warrior: performative and behavioural. The performative method can change warrior-machine interaction by making the warrior more machine friendly by fusing man and machine functionally and/or meshing man and machine physically. The U.S. military has been working on fusing the body and machine functionally, not meshing them physically. The behavioural method enhances the power of the soldier by gene manipulation and/or the use of synthetic drugs. Since conscience and guilt flow along the same neural pathway as fear, a drug that reduces fear might also reduce (and even eliminate) conscience. It would then be possible to create “natural born killers” who kill under orders without remorse or guilt.

What are the implications of these potential developments on war? There is a danger that these  developments  will  instrumentalize  war by  taking  out  the  existential  element  of  war.  Biotechnology  threatens  to  instrumentalize human  nature  according  to  instrumental preferences and can erode the ethics of war, as it has the potential to change the way a warrior experiences  life  by  genetic  and  biochemical means.  The  most  worrying  development  is the rise of a warrior caste rather than a class that  perceives  itself  to  be  distinct  due  to “technicity”—technological  prowess,  not  by ethnicity or race. This has the potential to alter our self-understanding as members of the same species.

It is possible that in the future, the human body  may  become  an  object  to  be  modified or  redesigned  at  will  by  the  state.  The  idea of  humanity  is  a  continuous  process  of “becoming” human, and the ethical challenges of  biotechnology  are  so  daunting  that  the prospect  that  we  would  fight  “post-human” wars should prompt deep contemplation. The current RMA debate is centred on technologies with a potential to change the “character and conduct” of war; however, biotechnology has the potential to change human nature itself and by implication could change the “nature” of war itself.

Joshua Ho (IDSS) spoke of the theory and practice of effects-based operations (EBO) as “The Advent of a New Way of War”. EBO is an attempt  to  move  away  from  the  destruction-centric attrition-based linear approach to warfare to a new way of fighting by first identifying the outcomes of a campaign and then deriving the means  to  achieve  those  outcomes.  Implicit to the EBO strategy is shaping the behaviour of  the  adversary  to  such  an  extent  that  he chooses  to  surrender  and  not  fight  the  war.  EBO thinking can be found in the writings of Sun Tzu, Clausewitz and even Liddell Hart and Douhet.

Six  different  concepts  of  EBOs  can  be discerned from the literature. One theory sees EBO as a planning methodology for the conduct of operations. Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) provides one such example, where the national strategy  was  integrated  with  the  operational objectives.  A  second  theory  treats  EBOs  as efficient targeting. Effects-based targeting was used extensively in OIF. A third theory treats EBO as the application of all sources of national power. OIF represented a limited example of the use of this concept as alternative measures such  as  economic  sanctions  after  Operation Desert  Storm  and  diplomatic  negotiations  at the  UNSC  were  attempted  before  resorting to  the  use  of  force.  A  fourth  theory  treats EBO  as  rapid  dominance.

OIF  provided a visible  example  of  this  theory  where  cruise missile  strikes  and  air  bombardment  were conducted on hundreds of targets in parallel with the deployment of manoeuvre forces on the ground. The fifth theory focuses on EBO as interaction and collaboration between the operational commander and other key actors in the campaign in order to deal with uncertainty in  operations  arising from  a  complex  and adaptive adversary. There was little indication that  this  theory  was  applied  in  the  ground battle during OIF. The sixth theory focuses on EBO as network-centric warfare (NCW). This theory also considers the adversary as a complex adaptive  system.  Although  not  demonstrated during OIF, the proponents have cited the U.S.  Army’s  advanced  warfighting  experiments  as proof of the efficacy of NCW.

Sensor capabilities are the first requirement in  the  conduct  of  EBO.  However,  there  are limitations to the current sensing capabilities: the  inability  to  detect  and  identify  mobile missile launchers; the inability to discriminate against civilian and mobile targets (for example, trucks);  and  the  inability  to  detect,  identify and  discriminate  targets  holding  in  foliage or  within  buildings.  Knowledge  creation and  management  is  the  next  important component capability required. Just as crucial as knowledge creation and management is the need to convey information from the sensors to  the  knowledge  systems.  Another  aspect is  the  communication  backbone  needed  to communicate command intent.

The next step after sensing the environment, deciding on the course of action to take based on the analysis of adversary information and creating knowledge through computer models is to create precise effects through physical action with “effectors”—precision guided munitions, manoeuvre forces, Special Forces and information operations.  EBOs hold promise for the future of warfare as their successful execution can allow militaries to economize on the employment of force and reduce the number of troops needed on the ground during the hot war phase.

This is not going to be easy, as it requires pervasive and persistent  sensors,  the  ability  to  manage  the knowledge  created  of  both  expected  enemy courses of action and own responses to achieve the desired strategic outcomes, and the ability to  affect  those  outcomes  through  precise application of kinetic and non-kinetic means on the targets of choice. If one does not possess the full spectrum of such capabilities, the conduct of EBO is likely to be limited. Finally, it requires a human in the loop to know the adversary and self as well as to dictate the pace of war.

Manjeet  Pardesi  (IDSS),  in  his  paper, “UAVs/UCAVs  –  Missions,  Challenges,  and Strategic Implications”, studied the impact of UAVs/UCAVs on manned aircraft. To answer this question,  three  air  operations  were  studied:

ISR, Suppression of Enemy Air Defences (SEAD) and air superiority mission.

UAVs are important because  they  provide  the  military  with  a radically new platform and are also integral to the network-centric warfare concept.

UAVs  have  been  traditionally  used  as Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) assets and their ability to do so has been boosted by the advances in sensor and modern info-communication  technologies.  UAVs compare favourably with manned ISR platforms (AWACS and JSTARS) as well as satellites. AWACS and JSTARS aircraft have limited manoeuvrability and self-defence; moreover, their loss is likely to bring severe political repercussions. Manned missions  provide  high-resolution  data  and are extremely flexible at adapting to multiple mission  scenarios.

However,  their  major limitation is their loiter time. UAVs, on the other hand, are capable of long loiter times, but this makes a UAV a slow platform as there is a direct trade-off between loiter time and speed. This makes  the  UAV  a  highly  vulnerable  platform.  When  compared  to  satellites,  UAVs  have  two major  advantages:  they  can  fly  closer  to  the target  and  their  flight  path  can  be  changed at  will.  However,  unlike  satellites,  UAVs  lack situational  awareness  (SA).  Moreover,  UAVs require  a  great  deal  of  bandwidth  and  this puts serious limitations on their use. The ISR system of the future is likely to be space-based, providing wide-area surveillance at a low level of resolution, but looking for cues that require more  detailed  monitoring,  which  would  be covered by manned and unmanned vehicles.

The  successful  strike  missions  performed by the armed Predator UAV in the global War against Terrorism has opened up a new debate on their role for SEAD missions. With a variety of new enemy tactics such as the “shoot and scoot” tactic employed by the Serbians in the Kosovo War together with “anti-access threat” systems like SAMs, cruise missiles and theatre ballistic  missiles,  this has  prompted  the  U.S. to consider using armed UAVs and UCAVs for SEAD  missions.  However,  mobile  SAM  sites are difficult to detect, and the higher speed of newer missiles makes them more manoeuvrable thereby  reducing  the  “escape  zone”  for friendly UAVs.  Unmanned  jet  engine  G-force limitations  do  not  significantly  exceed  those of the human pilot, and do not substantially increase  their  defensive  capability  against missiles.

Furthermore, since the final decision to “shoot/kill” a target would rest on the human in the loop, this would exacerbate bandwidth requirements  and  this  communication  delay might prove fatal in a high threat environment.  Due to these limitations, UCAVs are likely to play a role in “pre-emptive” SEAD missions and not “reactive” SEAD missions, and that they would be used together with manned platforms and satellites for communications purposes).

After a Predator launched an unsuccessful air-to-air Stinger missile in March 2003 at an Iraqi  MiG,  speculation  about  their  role  in counter-air  operations  has  grown.  However, given  that  there  are  limitations  along  the same  lines  as  those  for  SEAD  missions,  they might at best be used to provide active sensors against  highly  lethal  anti-aircraft  weapons  in support  of  manned  aircraft,  not  to  replace them. Furthermore UCAVs will not likely have their own air-to-air weapons as they would be carrying a modified Sidewinder missile and/or AMRAAM that already exist.

The U.S. is not likely to have more than 400 UAVs/UCAVs by the end of this decade but is planning to purchase close to 3,000 JSFs and more than 300 F-22s. Moreover, the investment made  by  the  U.S.  in  UAV/UCAV  projects  is miniscule compared to the investments made in the F-22 and the JSF programme. Finally a UAV  system  is  not  necessarily  much  cheaper than these advanced manned tactical aircraft.

Their  high  cost  makes  them  attritable,  not expendable. The UAV is thus not a disruptive technology as there would always be missions that would require the manned aircraft. With the increased U.S. emphasis on pre-emption, this makes the use of UAVs (armed with chemical or biological weapons) a very serious threat.

Anti_Illuminati

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DISCUSSION

Kumar Ramakrishna  (IDSS) referred to the 1980 Craig Thomas novel Firefox, in which the pilot was able to control the aircraft using his thought  processes.  Is  Thomas’  vision  within reach? Coker replied by saying that McDonnell-Douglas  had  initiated  a programme  in  1986 called the “Pilot Associate Project” that treated the pilot as just another electronic subsystem in  the  aircraft and  was  designed  so  that  his controllers  can  switch  him  off  if  need  be  or enhance his performance. He added that in the future the computer could remove the human pilot out of the loop by monitoring fear through sweat  and  excessive  palpitation.  According to  Coker  this  would  remove  the  distinction between a manned and an unmanned aircraft by making the pilot a “surplus”.

David  Betz  (King’s  College,  London) wondered  if  the  acquisition  of  machine-like attributes  by  the  human  warrior  coupled
with  the  parallel  process  of  acquisition  of human-like  attributes  by  machines  will  meet somewhere in the middle along the lines of a “cyborg”. He then commented that we should perhaps  channel  our  funding  to  expendable and  cheap  robots  with  some  level  of  human discernment.  

Coker  replied  saying  that  the main point that needs to be understood about the  biotechnology  age  is  that  we  would  not be drawing the distinction between man and machine.  Betz  also  enquired  about  the  high costs of UAVs, in contrast to the promises of cheap  UAV  technologies  found  in  early  RMA debates. Pardesi replied saying that their costs were being escalated by the expensive sensor technology  together  with  engine  technology which  needed  to  cater  for  long  loiter  time together with a high acceleration rate.  Wortzel  commented  that  conscience-less murder  has  existed  without  the  benefit  of biotechnology; one need only to look at the Nazis  in  World  War  II,  ethnic  cleansing  in Rwanda,  Kosovo,  Uganda,  and  the  radical Islamists  of  today.  These  acts  need  to  be explained.  Coker  responded  by  saying  that the  whole  question  of  nature  or  nurture  in explaining  mass  murder  is  heavily  debated.  

Most  evolutionary  psychologists  are  working on explaining the nature of violence and not necessarily that of the nature of war or violence in war. These studies show that murderers are impulsive, hyperactive, not easily disciplined, suffer from attention deficit disorders or low intelligence.  Paramilitary  organizations  (as opposed  to  the  military)  frequently  recruit people who who fit this profile, and many of the atrocities perpetrated during war, including the  Nazis  in  World  War  II,  were  perpetrated by  paramilitary  organizations.  Evolutionary psychologists have shown that the gene pool for  violence  of  a  collective  organized  nature becomes smaller as a species progresses, simply because the strategy for killing for a purpose becomes  less  attractive.  The  argument  put forward by proponents of genetic engineering for the creation of conscience-less warriors is exactly this, that is, genes require manipulation as  the  gene  pool  for  collective  organized violence is shrinking.

Coker  then  went  on  to  talk  about  the ethics  of  robotics,  that  is,  ethics  governing autonomous  weapons  systems  that  can  not only acquire targets independently but also kill independently on the basis of their judgment.

The  U.S.  Congress  passed  a  law  in  1986 forbidding the U.S. military to build autonomous weapons  systems  that  can  kill  on  their  own judgment. Crude forms of such systems are only 10 to 15 years away. This is extremely important ethically as it raises the Isaac Asimov principle of robotics that robots should never be armed and should never be able to take human lives.

The point about biotechnology is not to change human nature but to make us better at things we have been doing for the last few thousand years, including war. Biotechnology is giving us a chance to conduct war more effectively.  However,  by  trying  to  change  the  nature  of human beings, we risk diminishing war rather than improving it.

Wortzel commented on the limits of EBOs by saying that (hypothetically) he could see George Tenet talking to George Bush and saying that “one bomb on one restaurant in Baghdad and we are not going to have to fight a war”, and Tommy Franks in the U.S. Army saying that “we are not ready for 30 days” and some “brilliant guy” saying that EBOs will make the Iraq War unnecessary,  but  they  all  squandered  their chances. Ho replied by saying that the purpose of his paper was to demystify EBOs as they had stimulated interest after the Iraq War. EBOs can be seen at three levels. At the strategic level, EBO  is  about  the  national  decision-making process; at the operational level, EBO is about how to win the war better; and at the tactical level, EBO attempts to lift the fog of war.

On UAVs, Wortzel suggested that one could look into  bandwidth  issues  by  creating  models  to turn  certain  functions  on  and  off  at  specific times  to  circumvent  bandwidth  limitations imposed by technology. Pardesi agreed that this made a good research topic while adding that the purpose of his research was to study the air missions that were likely to be transformed with the introduction of UAVs.

Cohen  advised  that  when  thinking  about the RMA, one should think about how modern technology would change the nature of certain phenomena, for example, the fog of war. There has always been some uncertainty about what combatants  on  a  battlefield  know.  However, modern technology, while removing some of these  uncertainties,  can  create  new  ones,  as knowledge  would  depend  upon  inputs  that could be erroneous or interpreted incorrectly.  In effect, modern technology would change the “nature” of that fog.

Evans commented on the difference between the existential or the primal force on the one hand, versus the detached professional on the other. Military professionals have not come to grips  with  the  phenomenon  of  the  Madmax warrior, who mixes barbarism with the tools of modernity. This issue is often not discussed because it involves the basic principles, that is, the nature of violence and the nature of human beings.

Khoo  expressed  optimism  in  the  ability of technology to lift the fog of war provided one  knew  how  to  best  use  such  technology.  Technology permits not only the networking of systems but also the networking of people who can then better understand a given situation in a battle and provide better solutions. What if two networked opponents go against each other? The answer is that in such a situation, the more manoeuvrable opponent with a faster decision-making cycle would end up outdoing the less manoeuvrable one.


PANEL THREE

OPERATIONAL TRANSFORMATION (PART 2)

David Betz, (King’s College, London) spoke on  “The  RMA  and  Military  Operations  Other than War”. The basic question is if the concept of RMA is relevant to Military Operations Other than War (MOOTW). In part, the answer to this question  lies  in  how  one  defines  these  two concepts.  MOOTW  includes  two  categories of  operations.  The  first  category  involves operations that deter wars and resolve conflicts, and includes operations like peace enforcement, peacekeeping, counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency.  The  second  category  involves operations  that  promote  peace  and  support civil authorities, and includes operations like humanitarian assistance, counter-drug and civil support.  Without  getting  into  the  academic debate on the definition of the RMA, the RMA has  been  described  by  various  catch  phrases like Effects-based Operations, Rapid Decisive Operations  and  Network-centric  Warfare.  Central to all these themes was a formula to “fight light and fight fast”.

The conceptual difficulty with understanding the current RMA is the elusiveness of victory.  Fighting and winning large-scale wars in high intensity  combat  is  a  relatively  small  part  of what  armed  forces  do  today.  Going  down the  spectrum  of  conflict,  the  case  for  the RMA  becomes  less  convincing.  What  could be  constituted  (if  at  all)  as  the  moment  of victory in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)? The things armed forces find themselves doing in Iraq today (after April 2003) are not the tasks for which they are optimized. While the RMA replaces  manpower  with  a  weapon  effect, the  application  of  technology  to  MOOTW  is not a simple task, as it requires “boots on the ground”.

There are fundamental differences between war  and  MOOTW.  Unlike  war,  the  objectives of  an  MOOTW  are  seldom  clear.  Compared to wars, which have an open fire policy, strict rules of engagement govern MOOTW. Moreover, unlike a war, the military may not necessarily have a lead role in MOOTW. Last but not the least, while in a war, victory is self-evident; in an MOOTW, victory is equivocal. There is no RMA in MOOTW and given that MOOTW is perceived to be the future of war, it calls into question the relevance of the RMA.

Malcolm Brailey (IDSS) spoke on the role of  Special  Operations  Forces  and  the  RMA.

In  the  latter  half  of  the  20th  century,  it  has become standard practice among most military organizations  to  include  elite  combat  units within their organizational structure. Initially special operations forces (SOF) were meant to support the aims of conventional strategy and the  activities  of  conventional  military  forces.  However, over the last ten years or so, they have developed into an indispensable component of modern armed forces outside of and separate to conventional structures and doctrine. SOF are displaying greater utility across the spectrum of  conflict  and  are  shaping  the  strategy  and conduct  of  operations  in  both  character  and intent.

SOF have been recently required to conduct operations  on  a  global  scale,  across  regions within  a  “strategic  culture  of  pre-emptive action” against two key threats: international terrorism  and  the  proliferation  of  WMD.  Coalition and partner nations have participated and  cooperated  with  the  U.S.  on  such  tasks.  Counter-terrorism  is  also  a  mission  for  the SOF  within  the  domestic  environment.  SOF operations have come to be seen as a defining part of any strategy for homeland security. SOF are increasingly performing a wide variety of missions  outside  of  the  “warfighting  rubric”, like the counter-drug missions in Central and South America, and the location and capture of international war criminals. He mentioned that one of the most interesting and challenging missions performed by SOF since the early years of the Vietnam War was that of “unconventional war” (UW). UW in Afghanistan was so successful that  the  “SOF-centric”  campaign  has  been described as a possible future model for the conduct of warfare and applicable across a wide range of future conflict types.

SOF  in  many  countries  are  transforming themselves  into  truly  “joint”  organizations.  The U.S. has created a unified command, the United  States  Special  Operations  Command (USSOCOM), with service-like responsibilities to  oversee  all  SOF,  reporting  directly  to  the Secretary of Defense for all budget, equipment, training and doctrinal issues. The most striking example  of  the  joint  nature  of  the  SOF  and its  role  was  demonstrated  in  the  conduct  of OIF  in  early  2003  when  some  10,000  SOF were especially deployed into Iraq for combat purposes. The conduct of joint operations has also led to concrete technical innovations such as the integration of airpower with SOF on the ground. Highlighting the growing importance of  technology,  SOF  are  extensively  using  the Blue-Force  tracking  devices  to  increase  their own  situational  awareness  and  to  reduce the  possibilities  of  fratricide  by  air  delivered weapons.  SOF  are  embracing  the  concept  of NCW.  Finally,  SOF  represent  a  harbinger  for change  in  the  way  states  regard  the  conduct of war, and they offer an increasingly viable, effective and legitimate alternative to traditional approaches to the use of force by states.


DISCUSSION

John  Ciorciari  (IDSS)  enquired  to  what extent  R&D  was  going  into  communications not between/within the military, but between the  military  and  local  population.  He  stated that there were different kinds of technologies to facilitate cooperation between soldiers on the ground and the local population, after the soldiers had attained an occupation stance. Betz mentioned that if the soldiers can be connected to a central site with translators then MOOTW operations  can  be  simplified  by  calling  this site up from the ground to be able to better understand the locals. Technology is important, but there is no “killer” technology for MOOTW.  There  are  cases  (like  better  body  armour) where better technology is a definite plus. But the  example  of  the  British  in  southern  Iraq, where their troops removed their headgear to be able to better communicate with the local community and in the process made themselves more vulnerable, is instructive.

Technology can work at cross-purposes in combat and contact.  There  is  no  technology  that  has  qualitatively transformed  MOOTW  (as  opposed  to  high-intensity warfare). Brailey replied saying that some technologies could be extremely useful in a peacekeeping type operations, for example, in a riot-like situation if images of the protagonists could  be  transferred  to  a  central  repository and cross-checked to establish their identities.  The  most  transformative  technology  in  a peacekeeping mission is night vision.  Cohen raised an issue with the term MOOTW.

He noted that on an average at least one U.S. soldier was killed every day in Iraq, and hence the situation on the ground was an actual war as opposed to a MOOTW. He mentioned that the outcome of the conventional part of the wars in Iraq and Yugoslavia were over-determined since they were very weak states (economically and militarily). The real question was at what cost (of man and material) was the U.S. willing to fight to win the non-conventional part of the war in Iraq. He also noted that victory is very rarely self-evident in war. He wondered if the outcome of the first Gulf War could be declared a victory for the U.S. and its coalition partners.  He  mentioned  that  some  of  the  militaries good at harnessing the RMA somehow ended up being good at fighting irregular wars. For example, the British had been able to innovate and got better at fighting irregular wars. Betz replied saying that conceptually speaking, he had made the same point as Cohen. MOOTW is indeed a modern war since it is what armies do these days, but there are no technological solutions to the problems faced by MOOTW.


PANEL FOUR

LIMITS TO TRANSFORMATION

Thomas Mahnken (Johns Hopkins University) spoke  of  U.S.  officer  attitudes  towards  the RMA,  based  on  a  project  done  with  the  U.S.  Naval  War  College.  Essentially,  the  project sought to find how the officer corps felt about military  transformation  in  the  U.S.  military.  There are four reasons why officers’ attitudes matter.  Firstly,  officers  will  be  the  ultimate practitioners of the new way of war. Secondly, the true innovators will come from their ranks.  Thirdly,  as  future  leaders,  they  will  set  the command climate towards change. Finally, they are the nation’s recognized experts on military affairs.

The rationale for transformation is both threat and opportunity driven. The number of officers who believe radical change is needed increased from 47% in 2000 to 57% in 2002. A total of 69% of officers in 2002 feel that transformation is needed because of perceived projected threats compared with 9% in 2000. There has been an increase—from 63% in 2000 to 70% in 2002—in those who believe new technology, operational concepts and organizations will make it easier for the U.S. to use force. Moreover, 8 out of 10 officers believe, as a result, it will be easier for the U.S. to achieve decisive battlefield victories.  A total of 70% of officers surveyed in 2002 feel that  new  technology,  operational  concepts and organizations will offer the U.S. the ability to  engage  in  high-intensity  operations  with substantially reduced risk of casualties.

In short, there is significant support for the benefits of transformation.  In terms of organization, there is significant support  for  change.  Six  out  of  10  believe modern conditions require significant changes to traditional service roles and missions. More U.S.  Army  officers  than  U.S.  Marine  officers believe  that  the  need  to  maintain  separate services  will  diminish.  However,  there  is  not much support for the diminished role of each respective service.

On the question of whether the respective service tends to reward innovators, the majority were uncertain. The Marines agreed that most of  their  service  rewarded  innovators.  When asked  if  fear  of  failure  inhibits  innovation  in their  branch  of  service,  more  than  half  said yes. Army officers see it as the greatest problem with  Marine  officers  seeing  it  as  the  least  of problems. Senior officers see it as the greatest problem while junior officers less so. About half of the officers said that their branch of service has a culture that is open to self-criticism. Again there were marked services differences, with the Marines agreeing most that their service is open to self criticism while the Army the least so.

When asked if officers believe that the U.S.  military is on the right path, 6 in 10 officers believed in radical change. When asked if the U.S.  military  is  on  the  right  path  of  change, the answer was uncertainty. Moreover, officers were  unsure  if  they  had  seen  evidence  of transformation. Eight out of 10 believe that real transformation will require major changes to personnel management, but 58% was uncertain if they had seen major changes to personnel management in their service. More than 8 out of 10 agree that real transformation will require changes  to  military  training  and  education, but 65% was uncertain if they had seen such changes. U.S. officers clearly favoured jointness and 65% expect to see more centralization in future U.S. military operations, but the majority did  not  necessarily  welcome  centralization.  Eight out of 10 officers feel they should spend time thinking about their profession and the overall impact of advanced technology on joint warfare but again the majority were uncertain if they had the time to do so.

The  main  observation  was  that  there  was latent  support  for  transformation,  driven  by perception of threat and benefits, with some support  for  organization  change,  within  the context  of  current  services  and  specialties.  Most  officers  do  not  appear  to  have  a  lot  of experience  with  innovation  and  feel  that some  organizational  pathology  mitigates  the possibility for innovation. Service affiliation is the most important determinant of officer attitudes, with  the  Army  becoming  more  accepting  of transformation since 2000. Service/specialities show  preference  as  anticipated,  but  service appears to be a more important determinant of attitude than speciality or rank. Senior officers seem to be more open to change—at more than twice in scale—than junior officers. According to evidence related to transformation, in more than  two  times  the  number  of  cases,  senior officers  were  supportive  compared  to  junior officers.

Richard Bitzinger (APCSS) defined an RMA as a disruptive shift in the concept and conduct of warfare. The elements of the current RMA
are: greater battlefield awareness/connectivity and  automation;  improving  range,  accuracy, speed  and  penetration;  new  sensors  and seekers, new information technology, and also new  materials  and  construction  techniques; and finally new platforms for ISR, navigation and target acquisition and systems integration skills.

Transformation is more than just modernization.

Many Asia-Pacific  countries are  acquiring  previously  unavailable  high technology systems, such as submarines, PGMs, UAVs, and air-to-air refuelling. Transformation is not only about acquiring new weapon systems that  accrue  asymmetric  advantage,  it  also means synergy as well as networking of existing systems.

Elements or ingredients to transformation include  vision,  institutional  and  leadership, financial  resources,  organizational  space, experimentation, transformation of technological and  industrial  bases.  The  impediments  to transformation  are  cultural/institutional, resources,  impact  of  legacy  system,  the  role and impact of industry both in the defence and commercial field.
One  of  the  biggest  impediments  is  the lack  of  vision  or  the  inability/reluctance  to conceptualize and implement transformation.  Asia-Pacific  militaries  are  often  hierarchical, bureaucratic and risk averse. Most are resistant to the “levelling” nature of the IT-based RMA.

Moreover,  change  is  dangerous  to  SOPs  and careers. Besides, the difficulty in accepting new ideas is compounded by “old boys networks” in defence decision making, which reinforces conservative thinking. Moreover, there are few linkages on the part of the military to centres of  innovation  outside  the  military.  The  case study in Taiwan is a case in point. In addition, defence ministries prefer traditional platforms to transformational systems, because they are more prestigious.

Second  is  the  issue  of  organizational  and institutional  resistances  to  change.  Studies by  Barry  Posen  have  indicated  that  large institutions are resistant to change, especially militaries.  What  then  are  the  factors  that affect change? They are direct shocks such as loss in war or indirect shocks and even then there is considerable cognitive dissonance to overcome.

Third,  transformation  is  not  cheap.  Very often,  transformation  requires  new  and expensive systems. Many Asia-Pacific countries are  increasing  defence  spending,  but  it  may not  be  enough  to  fund  both  legacy  and transformational systems, or may not be buying enough transformational systems in sufficient quantities.  This  is  a  problem  of  resource limitations, in other words.  A  fourth  problem  is  the  effects  of  legacy systems, which naturally exacerbates resource constraints  and  enforces  institutional  bias  in favour of legacy systems over transformational systems.  An  example  of  legacy  systems  is manned aerial vehicles, which most air forces still prefer to UAVs, and land forces with large armoured columns as opposed to light mobile forces.

Inhibitions can also be found in the defence technology  and  industrial  base.  In  many Asia-Pacific  countries,  their  national  defence and  technology  base  is  unable  to  contribute significantly to transformation. This is because of  limited  R  &  D  capabilities,  in  particular, finding difficulties to adapt civilian technologies for  military  purposes.  Moreover,  many  lack system  integration  skills  and  the  ability  to knit together disparate systems. Interestingly, there  are  few  links  to  domestic  commercial IT  sectors.  The  inhibitor  in  the  commercial sector  is  also  hardly  surprising.  For  many commercial  sectors,  especially  IT  sector, defence work is unprofitable, too much work and with limited dual application opportunities.  Moreover,  domestic  “high-tech”  capabilities were  sometimes  overstated.  For  example, in  China  and  Taiwan,  there  is  basically  very much  low  end  OEM  production.  The  same problem applies to India, where low-end work is carried out and not much beyond software development.


DISCUSSION

Wortzel asked Mahnken if there was a perception that the U.S. Secretary of Defense did not trust the  officer  corps  and  was  seeking  innovative views from the defence science sector. Mahnken argued the officer corps is still important. From the  top  down  perspective,  it  is  important  to know which part of the officer corps is receptive to  the  Defense  Secretary’s  ideas.  From  the bottom up perspective, interesting ideas arise from the officer corps.

A  participant  asked  about  Mahnken’s observations, namely whether the Marine Corps is ahead of its time in terms of what they are doing. Mahnken said this is true. The Marine culture has all the positive attributes, such as being self-critical and also the not-so-positive side, which is attachment to the status quo. In a way, the U.S. Marine Corp sees other services playing catch-up in learning the way warfare is becoming more integrated.

Wayne Turnbull (U.S. Embassy in Vietnam) asked if there have been similar studies done for the Non-Commissioned Officers and if they plan to do so. Mahnken replied that none has been done, but one may be considered in the future.  The reason why the Officer Corps was chosen was because the officers are in a position to implement changes in a big way in the future.  Loo  wondered  if,  in  the  case  of  Taiwan, since there are more entrepreneurs (and hence less  risk  averse),  there  is  a  disjuncture  with regards to the military. Bitzinger replied that most  militaries  are  a  state  unto  themselves.  While  in  Taiwan,  there  are  many  small  and medium enterprises (SMEs) with a culture for innovation,  these  are  not  large  state-owned enterprises. Moreover, the impact of these SMEs on military transformation is limited.

Coker commented  that  innovation  can sometimes be dangerous and that there are fears that being too innovative may not necessarily be  a  good  thing.  Mahnken  replied  that  the question is about what innovation can do. He added that sometimes there would be aversion to innovation because of uncertainty. On one hand, militaries tend to innovate, but being a large organization, there is a tendency not to innovate because it can be disruptive. Bitzinger agreed that innovation can be dangerous and it can  be  difficult  to  find  a  middle  ground regarding innovation. Evans remarked that if any change is going to occur in an organization, there  needs  to  be  a  convergence  of  two forces—the radicals from the bottom and the conservatives at the top must embrace change together. Only then can change take place.

Ho  asked  if  there  were  any  incentives  to encourage officers to think about transformation and  develop  a  positive  attitude  toward  it.  Mahnken  replied  that  when  the  U.S.  Army argued for transformation in 2000, many were sceptical.  By  2002,  the  U.S.  Army  has  gotten on  the  bandwagon.  This  was  because  most infantry officers see it as beneficial and perceive their role in the army as important. Thus, it is important to obtain support after identifying the path ahead and to explain it individually how these officers would fit into the new system.  Jeffrey Chen (IDSS) asked Mahnken what the main driving force for transformation is. Is it internally driven or because of external stimuli, or both? Also, would the U.S. military transform so significantly that adversaries no longer dare challenge the U.S.? Mahnken remarked that it was hard to pin down whether transformation was internally driven or a response to external circumstances.

He  opined  that  the  military changes because of operational and strategic challenges. As for the benefits of transformation, it is unlikely that there are “absolute benefits” as adversaries tend to be adaptive. While U.S.  doctrine  seeks  not  only  to  deter  but  also  to dissuade, the U.S. has had limited success as no one would challenge the U.S. Navy or Air force, but some countries or non-state actors have been responding in different measures.  Chen  asked  if  the  examples  of  successful U.S. defence companies can be replicated and, if  so,  what  the  key  ingredients  to  successful replication  were.

Bitzinger  replied  that  the arms industry has a high entry cost and there is little advantage to latecomers. In the case of the U.S., there is a large domestic market, even after industry consolidation, and there is still much competition and hence innovation. Moreover, the costs of transformational weapons systems are high, making it hard for many companies to  compete  effectively.  Only  government  or state-owned defence companies can effectively compete but often, they do not respond well.

Thus, the dynamics of the international arms

industry  favour  those  larger  U.S.  companies.  Smaller defence contractors can only benefit as junior partners.
Loo  commented  that  one  reason  why many Asia-Pacific militaries go with traditional platforms such as aircraft and destroyers over networking of computers is that it is a more tangible manifestation of power, directed both at the targeted adversary, as well as for domestic consumption. Bitzinger agreed with Loo that in many instances, it was as much psychological reassurances as well as deterrence in purchasing platforms.  

Loo  then  asked  Mahnken  if  he could explain why there was greater support for  transformation  by  senior  U.S.  officers  as compared with junior officers. Mahnken offered two explanations. One was that junior officers tended to be more parochial because, as junior officers, they are focused on learning the trade and  getting  promoted  within  the  system.  Secondly, junior officers have not been exposed to other services and know less of change in their  lifetime  compared  with  senior  officers who have experienced change throughout their military careers.


CONCLUSION

THE ROAD AHEAD FOR MILITARY TRANSFORMATION

What is the future research agenda for the IDSS RMA  Programme?  While  this  first  conference dealt with the “high theory” of the RMA, other issues will need to be examined in the future.  One key issue is organization change. Evans and  Mahnken  agreed  that  while  technology changes  are  important,  they  are  constantly occurring.  In  essence,  it  is  the  human  and doctrinal  issues  that  are  important.  While technology is always there, it is how humans use technology  that  is  important.  Organizational and  cultural  dimensions  are  very  important, but it can sometimes be difficult to examine.  A  possible  approach  would  be  to  examine the  military  transformation  efforts  of  other countries, through a series of case studies on Australia, Sweden and Israel, examples that may have useful lessons for Singapore.

A second issue that needs further examination is  the  motivation  behind  different  countries adopting  RMA-type  transformations.  What  is also not much examined is the implication of an RMA-transformed military on the strategic environment  of  the  state.  In  the  Asia-Pacific, an RMA-transformed military is likely to be in a minority—a situation of strategic asymmetry will therefore exist between the RMA-transformed military  and  its  putative  adversaries.  What implications  are  there  for  future  inter-state conflict,  and  will  force-on-force  encounters become a thing of the past as a result of this asymmetry?

Coker raised several issues needing closer examination. One was the ethics of RMA, such as ethics involved in the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Secondly, it is important to consider the relationship of soldiers to their profession, such as the idea and concept of sacrifice and what it means to be a warrior in the age of RMA.  Finally, the issue of non-lethal weapons, as this is considered neither hard nor soft power.  Brailey noted that RMA-related issues require attention especially since these issues will likely provoke  even  more  questions.  Chen  noted other aspects and technologies that can have more immediate implications, say, over the next two decades, will also need further study.

What  is  clear  from  this  conference  is  that the  RMA  and  the  related  issue  of  defence transformation  are  not  unproblematic phenomena.  In  this  respect,  while  this conference sought to answer the question of what the RMA means for a small state, it has also raised more questions that will evidently need further examination.

Offline Dig

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This is what I heard...

"What is needed is more localized false flags to act as trauma based behavior modification instigators. These series of nano-engagements will be used to evolve humans into a transhumanist state. This cyborg state will be outfitted with a hive mind chip which can be more easily controlled by an elite class of technologists and bankers."

That about sum it up you scumbags?
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Offline squarepusher

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Important highlights from the articles:

ROBO-WAR DREAMS: GLOBAL SOUTH URBANISATION AND
THE US MILITARY’S’ REVOLUTION IN MILITARY AFFAIRS’


Sensors

Quote
"In their scenario, swarms of micro-scale and nano-scale networked sensors pervade the target city, providing continuous streams of target information to arrays of automated weaponry. Together, these systems produce continuous killing and 'target' destruction: a kind of robotised counter-insurgency operation with US commanders and soldiers doing little but overseeing the organised, interlinked and increasingly automated killing systems from a safe distance."

My note: See, peer through all the candy-coated euphemisms and so on and realize what they mean when they say the sensor is an 'information producer' - it produces new target acquisition data for killing or 'engagement' purposes (and notice - 'engagement' could also be construed as meaning - you as a member of the crowd being targeted by a 'sense and respond' supply chain-based advertising system - such as the often-quoted Minority Report example)

Target Acquisition

Quote
""Such omnipotence fantasies extend even further to the automated surveillance, through emerging brain scanning techniques, of people’s inner mental attitudes to any U.S. invasion. This way ‘targets’ deemed to be resistant can be automatically identified and destroyed:"

Quote

Robotic systems push deeper into the urban area [...]. Behind the fighters, military police and intelligence personnel process the inhabitants, electronically reading their attitudes toward the intervention and cataloguing them into a database immediately recoverable by every fire team in the city (even individual weapons might be able to read personal signatures, firing immediately upon cueing [...]. Smart munitions track enemy systems and profiled individuals [...] Satellites monitor the city for any air defense fires, curing immediate responses from near-space orbiting 'guns'. Drones track inhabitants who have been 'read' as potentially hostile and btagged'. (Defense Watch 2004)"


And here is the article where they reference that:

Technologies of exception. Urban warfare and US military technoscience
Stephen Graham, 2005

http://www.publicspace.org/en/text-library/eng/b022-technologies-of-exception-urban-warfare-and-us-military-technoscience

Notice how social sciences, adversarial threat inference systems and the like are all converging to create a 'knowledge base' that will tell the automated/autonomous robots/drones what to do and who to kill. Command and control is being dehumanized - just like 'surveillance' and humanity before it.

Take Humans Out Of The Loop
Quote
"Such dreams of continuous, automated, and robotised urban targeting and killing are far from being limited to the realms of such futuristic speculation, however. Rather, as with the CTS programme, they are fuelling very real multimillion dollar research and weapons development programmes aimed at developing ground and aerial vehicles which not only navigate and move robotically but select and destroy targets without 'humans in the loop', based on algorithmically-driven 'decisions'


Read here another article where it states the Army War College's own thoughts on removing humans from the decision-making loops. Essentially, this will be cybernetics perfected as it was always intended to be - a self-organised, totally automated decision-making loop. (Also look up the OODA Loop)

Future Warfare and the Decline of Human Decisionmaking (by THOMAS K. ADAMS, Parameters, Winter 2001-02)
http://www.carlisle.army.mil/USAWC/Parameters/Articles/01winter/adams.htm

The kill/value chain

Quote
"Lawlor (2003), for example, discusses the development of 'autonomous mechanized combatant' air and ground vehicles or 'tactical autonomous combatants' for the US Air Force. These are being designed, he notes, to use 'pattern recognition' software for what he calls 'time-critical targeting', i.e. linking sensors very quickly to automated weapons so that fleeting 'targets' both within and outside cities can be continually destroyed. Such doctrine is widely termed ¿compressing the kill chain or 'sensor to shooter warfare' in US military parlance (Hebert 2003)."

The 'kill chain'.... lends a whole new definition to the 'value chain' talked about in Enterprise Architecture, doesn't it? This is like a very sick perverted version of Report From Iron Mountain - war being the governing structure of society at large, so killing would indeed create 'value' in a sense - and it would also be a check against this dreaded 'overpopulation' thing...

Quote
"In addition, unmanned aerial vehicles armed with ¿intelligent munitions¿ are already being designed that will, eventually, be programmed to fire on, and kill, 'targets' detected by US Force's real-time surveillance grids, in a completely autonomous way. Such munitions will loiter over targets for days at a time, linked into the data links, until 'targets' are detected for destruction (Kenyon 2004)."

Quote

The ultimate goals, according to Pinney, an engineer at Raytheon, is a 'kill chain solution' based on '1st look, 1st feed, 1st kill' where each armed unmanned vehicle continuously 'seeks out targets on its own' (2003 16)."


'Kill chain solution', this is indeed bordering on enterprise architecture terminology. Think 'supply chain management', 'supply chain solutions'...

ED-209

Quote

Col. Terry Griffin, head of joint US Army and Marine Corps robot program, and tasked with deploying the next armed machine known as ‘Gladiator’, argues that the machines first job will be to disband groups of ‘undesirables’. He cites three stages of escalation: “First the robot issues warnings through a loudspeaker. It fires rubber bullets. Finally, the robot starts firing its machine gun”


Enforcement Droid 209: Please put down your weapons. You have twenty seconds to comply."

Quote

 “Before SWORDS fires its first salvo at terrorists in Iraq,” writes Jörg Blech (2007) in Der Spiegel, “it needs the permission of two human operators.[...] However, it is only logical that decisions over life and death will increasingly be transferred to the machine – just as soon as engineers have figured out how to overcome the problem of distinguishing between friends and foes.”


They have already overcome this problem a long time ago - Blue Force Tracking was tested back in 1997 as part of the Force XXI trails. In addition, they have manufactured the 'asymmetric threat' that can be applied onto anybody that the military has deemed a 'foe' for whatever reason.

Inspection/Tracking of cars/traffic on highways

Quote

"Dr. John Kerekes, head of one such programme, labelled RASER, at MIT, explains that, rather than developing software that automatically identifies the signatures of military vehicles, the focus now is on tracking and identifying civilian cars and trucks in urban contexts"

See - and this battlelab is now being moved to the domestic Western countries - beginning with Holland in 2012 when the Pentagon will be overseeing approximately 18 million Dutch people riding on the highways with mandatory GPS trackerboxes that will tax them by the mile/kilometer/whatever.

That will be the first real stress test for 'sense and respond' applied onto society at large.

Quote

"A large-scale military research and development programme is currently underway in the
United States to tailor the ‘Revolution in Military Affairs’ to the specific micro-geographies
of the global south cities that many US military theorists envisage to be their main
‘battlespaces’ on the 21st century"

Planet Earth a 'unitary, ageographical battlespace'

Quote

Here the cutting-edge techno-scientific efforts and priorities of the world’s dominant military power are being shifted dramatically from an emphasis on globe-spanning control, networking and vertical targeting – treating planet Earth as some unitary, ageographical ‘battlespace’ – to one aimed at bringing maximum control, surveillance and killing power to the detailed micro-geographies of the burgeoning urban environments of the global south."

Dehumanization of responsibility

Quote

In such a scenario, the philosopher Robert Sparrow (2007: 62) worries that it will become increasingly impossible to attribute war crimes to humans at all. “It is a necessary condition for fighting a just war, under the principle of jus in bellum [or just war], that someone can be justly held responsible for deaths that occur in the course of the war,” he writes. However, “as this condition cannot be met in relation to deaths caused by an autonomous weapon system it would therefore be unethical to deploy such systems in warfare.

A similar 'dehumanization' of responsibility is already occurring in the surveillance/dataveillance sector:

Public Intimacy and the New Face (Book) of Surveillance: The Role of Social Media in Shaping Contemporary Dataveillance

http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=171979.10

A highlight from that specific article:

Quote

Third, data mining rationalizes surveillance by removing humans from the interpretation process. The dehumanization of the analyses is important: Because it removes the so-called human bias from the interpretation process. As such, when combined with the fact that contemporary data mining relies on quantification of information (a seemingly dispassionate and objective method of interpreting the social world), this dehumanization projects an aura of objectivity, consequently making it even more difficult to challenge its premise (and the findings it provides).

See what they did there?

This - combined with IT Governance - is the dehumanization of all checks and balances, period.

System Of Systems - Network-Centric Warfare

Quote
Central to the RMA is the notion that “military operations are now aimed at defined effects rather than attrition of enemy forces or occupation of ground” (Cohen 2004: 395). Through the interlinkage of the ‘system of systems’ of U.S. military technologies, RMA theorists argue that a truly ‘network-centric warfare’ is now possible through which US forces can continually dominate societies deemed to be their adversaries through their increasingly omnipotent surveillance and ‘situational awareness’, devastating and precisely-targeted aerial firepower, and the suppression and degradation of the communications and fighting ability of any opposing forces"

Civilian RMA as applied to Western urban environments - outsourced to Iraq battle lab first

Quote
"It is now widely argued within US military strategic organisations and think-tanks that the RMA needs to be reconfigured to address the challenges of tightly built global south cities; that new bodies of ‘urban’ research need to be built up to understand how to use military violence to deliver precise ‘effects’ in such cities; and that the doctrine, weaponry, training and equipment of US forces need to be comprehensively redesigned so that urban military operations are their de facto function"

This is why the War in Iraq did not end with the 2003 Iraq invasion and subsequent 'Mission Accomplished' declaration about 6 months into the war. That was done because the legislation of the War Powers Act enabled Bush legal authority to declare war in that fashion, get away with it, and then escalate/egg on the 'insurgency' so the Pentagon could get round to applying the second stress test for the RMA: counter-insurgency and this whole marriage of cognitive science and COINTEL ops.

The RMA Enables President To Start Wars Without Congress' Approval - RMA Exposed
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=172727.0

Quote
"A large output of conceptual, techno-scientific and Research and Development material has been created by the ‘urban turn’ of the RMA, especially since the Iraq invasion (see Grubbs 2003; Houlgate 2004)"

Also tying into that - Alexander H. Levis bringing his CAESAR/TEMPER/Pythia adversarial intent inference body of work to the Iraq battlelab.

Alexander Levis: Pentagon Asks Academics for Help in Understanding Its Enemies
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=158847.msg944258#msg944258

One way to tell if you're in an 'occupied city'
Quote

 "One major example of such a development is the tellingly title ‘Combat Zones That See’ (CTS) project led by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Launched at the start of the Iraq insurgency in 2003, CTS “explores concepts, develops algorithms, and delivers systems for utilising large numbers (1000s) of algorithmic video cameras to provide the close-in sensing demanded for military operations in urban terrain.”

Through installing computerised CCTV across whole occupied cities, the project organisers envisage that, when deployed, CTS will sustain “motion-pattern analysis across whole city scales”, linked to the tracking of massive populations of individualised cars and people through intelligent computer algorithms linked to the recognition of number plates and scanned in human facial photos"

See people - this is why they want your fingerprints - this is why they want your iris scan - this is why they want to give you a biometric RFID card that you will have to carry at all times - because you are living in an 'occupied city' - that's what those CCTV cameras were about - as if you needed this document to help you figure that out, huh?

What happened when civil libertarians (read: controlled opposition ACLU) got bitchy about it?

Quote

 "The central challenge of CTS, according to DARPA, will be to build up fully representative data profiles on the ‘normal’ time-space movement patterns of entire subject cities so that algorithms could then use statistical modelling to “determine what is normal and what is not” (quoted in Sniffen 2003). This will be a purported aid to identifying insurgents’ activities and real or potential attacks, as well as warning of the presence or movement of target or suspect vehicles or individuals"


Quote
After a stream of protests from US civil liberties groups, DARPA stressed that, whilst the initial test of mass, urban tracking will take place at a US Army base within the United States (Fort Belvoir, Virginia), the deployment of CTS will only take place in “Foreign urban battlefields” (Defense Watch 2004).

Ahahahaa - they transported all that tech to Iraq to serve as a BATTLELAB for this kind of cognitive science STRAITJACKET to be implemented at home.
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Offline Letsbereal

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Quote
“Before SWORDS fires its first salvo at terrorists in Iraq,” writes Jörg Blech (2007) in Der Spiegel, “it needs the permission of two human operators.[...] However, it is only logical that decisions over life and death will increasingly be transferred to the machine – just as soon as engineers have figured out how to overcome the problem of distinguishing between friends and foes.”

They allready have overcome that, they call it "Collateral Damage"

Look what they do with the drones.
->>>|:-) THE CITY INDIANS (-:|<<<-

Offline Satyagraha

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They want to take soldiers out of the equation. Soldiers are problematic: they might have a conscience and be reluctant to kill unless they've been adequately brainwashed into believing in the 'mission'. They may become mentally ill - PTSD has been rampant among returning vets. That's a cost that they're trying to prevent with bs diagnoses of "personality disorders", but it's complicated, time-consuming, and ultimately never 100% effective.

So they need machines to do the killing. Ultimately one objective of this "Revolution in Military Affairs" is to remove humans, remove conscience - make every mission 100% effective - a 100% eradication of all who oppose a one world government.


And  the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, 
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,  ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 25:40

Offline trailhound

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*facepalm*

They can stop using troops and still keep war just as expensive.  This type of technology will give something somewhere WAY too much power.  The terminator movie gets more prophetic by the day..

Well we can hope that there will be more than one mechanical army and they will just suck us dry funding machine wars...looking for the bright side. :-\

"Do not let your hatred of a people incite you to aggression." Qur'an 5:2
At the heart of that Western freedom and democracy is the belief that the individual man, the child of God, is the touchstone of value..." -RFK

Offline Dig

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No wonder why there are biometric data wharehouses everywhere and biometric sensors.

And the assassination lists are growing and growing for the "first kills"...



How many Americans are targeted for assassination?
http://www.infowars.com/how-many-americans-are-targeted-for-assassination/
Glenn Greenwald  Salon June 26, 2010

When The Washington Post’s Dana Priest first revealed (in passing) back in January that the Obama administration had compiled a hit list of American citizens targeted for assassination, she wrote that “as of several months ago, the CIA list included three U.S. citizens.”  In April, both the Post and the NYT confirmed that the administration had specifically authorized the assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki.  Today, The Washington Times‘ Eli Lake has an interview with Obama’s top Terrorism adviser John Brennan in which Brennan strongly suggests that the number of U.S. citizens targeted for assassination could actually be “dozens”:

Dozens of Americans have joined terrorist groups and are posing a threat to the United States and its interests abroad, the president’s most senior adviser on counterterrorism and homeland security said Thursday. . . . “There are, in my mind, dozens of U.S. persons who are in different parts of the world, and they are very concerning to us,” said John O. Brennan, deputy White House national security adviser for homeland security and counterterrorism. . . .

“If a person is a U.S. citizen, and he is on the battlefield in Afghanistan or Iraq trying to attack our troops, he will face the full brunt of the U.S. military response,” Mr. Brennan said. “If an American person or citizen is in a Yemen or in a Pakistan or in Somalia or another place, and they are trying to carry out attacks against U.S. interests, they also will face the full brunt of a U.S. response. And it can take many forms.”

Nobody — or at least not me — disputes the right of the U.S. or any other country to kill someone on an actual battlefield during war without due process.  That’s just obvious, but that’s not remotely what Brennan is talking about, and it’s not remotely what this assassination program is about.  Indeed, Brennan explicitly identified two indistinguishable groups of American citizens who “will face the full brunt of a U.S. response”:  (1) those “on the battlefield in Afghanistan or Iraq”; and (2) those “in a Yemen or in a Pakistan or in Somalia or another place.”  In other words, the entire world is a “battlefield” — countries where there is a war and countries where there isn’t — and the President’s “battlefield” powers, which are unlimited, extend everywhere.  That theory — the whole world is a battlefield, even the U.S. — was the core premise that spawned 8 years of Bush/Cheney radicalism, and it has been adopted in full by the Obama administration (indeed, it was that “whole-world-is-a-battlefield” theory which Elena Kagan explicitly endorsed during her confirmation hearing for Solicitor General).
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IMHO the title of the thread says it all...


Offline Overcast

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And if true - do they think they will be immune to the circumstances they create?


Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.

    Friedrich Nietzsche
And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willin' to trade ALL the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they'll never take... OUR FREEDOM!

Anti_Illuminati

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Re: The ENTIRE PLANET is being turned into an AUTONOMOUS ASSASSINATION GRID
« Reply #18 on: November 09, 2010, 10:26:54 AM »
http://www.iwar.org.uk/iwar/resources/call/mootw.htm

"A Graduated Response"
in Military Operations Other Than War

by SFC John Williams, SETAF Lion Bde Fire Support NCO


Situation: The country of Coriland has been going through civil unrest for the past four months. Guerrilla forces have taken three major cities and are now attacking the seat of government. An Airborne Infantry company has been deployed to conduct a noncombatant evacuation operation in a possible hostile environment at the request of the U.S. Ambassador. The company has just landed on the landing zone (LZ) and has begun movement toward the U.S. Embassy. Along the route, the lead platoon encounters a crowd of demonstrators numbering well over 300.

The platoon leader immediately directs his attached tactical psychological operations (PSYOP) team (TPT) to broadcast the U.S. intent and approved psychological message to the crowd. The crowd begins to yell louder and move toward the platoon. Realizing that the situation is beginning to escalate and that the crowd now has become a threat to his mission, the platoon leader directs his men to place their weapons at the ready and has the lead squad chamber a round.

The TPT immediately escalates its message to warnings. The warnings inform the crowd that U.S. forces will use whatever force necessary to accomplish their mission and defend themselves. An attached interpreter is finally able to start a conversation with the apparent leader of the crowd. The leader makes it clear that his people will not clear the way. They have no intention of letting the U.S. force pass. They fear that if the Americans are evacuated, their government will collapse and they will be left fearing for their lives from the guerillas.

Twenty or so demonstrators from the crowd form a line in front of the U.S. force. They are carrying axes, machetes, and clubs. The platoon leader has been constantly reporting to his higher headquarters. Higher headquarters dispatches a UH60 with an airborne loud speaker (ALS) to the scene. The UH60 hovers over the crowd. The ALS broadcasts a warning to the crowd. It is specifically directed at the armed civilians. The crowd wavers, but does not disperse.

By this time, the company commander is on site. In conjunction with the interpreter and TPT, he decides to demonstrate his company's capability. He uses a non-infrared (ir) laser pointer to place a spot on a vehicle away from civilians.

He has the interpreter direct the crowd's attention toward the vehicle and orders his sniper to shoot at the laser spot. The crowd immediately relents. The commander directs his force to move forward in "crowd control" wedge formation. The force eventually makes it to the objective with no loss of life or hostile situation.

The increase in conducting operations other than war (OOTW), such as stability operations in Bosnia, noncombatant evacuation operations (NEO) in Africa, and humanitarian assistance in Haiti, has identified a need to establish procedures for graduating military responses to situations which threaten mission accomplishment. Numerous graduated response matrices (GRMs) and other products exist throughout the military community. These products graphically portray available responses in a graduated manner. Their intent is to give "on-site" commanders a list of options to diffuse a situation before it gets out of hand. There are numerous hostile and non-hostile threats in the military operations other than war (MOOTW) environment. Most can be eliminated without loss of life or collateral damage by effectively applying the resources available.

The Southern European Task Force's Lion Brigade (SLB) has developed a graduated response matrix (GRM) that could be very beneficial to other military units facing OOTW missions. It is unique because it effectively integrates non-lethal and lethal responses in a graduated manner, all in accordance with the rules of engagement. This article will show the requirements for a GRM, how the SLB developed its GRM, a discussion of each category and response, and how to use the GRM to conduct graduated response training.

TACTICS, TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES (TTP)

PLANNING A GRM

Step 1. Identify the need for a GRM. This is done during the mission analysis portion of the military decisionmaking process (MDMP). Missions that require soldiers and units to enforce treaties or accords, protect the lives of civilians in uncertain to hostile environments (such as NEO), or provide large-scale humanitarian assistance will probably require some sort of graduated response to maintain order and prevent uncertain environments from becoming hostile. Not all missions will require a GRM. The decision to use a GRM requires careful consideration. Once the staff has agreed that a GRM will be necessary, it requires guidance from the commander regarding response options available. The appropriate responses are determined based on the facts, assumptions, and constraints or limitations identified during mission analysis.

Planners (staff) must clearly agree on the intent of the GRM. The GRM can be used as a training and rehearsal tool. It provides leaders with "most likely" vignettes that can be incorporated into course-of-action analyses, pre-deployment training, and rehearsals. The GRM is also an important reference during situations which require graduated or escalated responses.

Step 2. Establish a team to develop the GRM. In a recent Joint Task Force training exercise, the SLB established a team. It was headed by the Fire Support Element (FSE). It included the Brigade Legal Officer, a PSYOP representative, and a Land Information Warfare or Information Operations Officer. This team composition allows for target selection, application of the rules of engagement, and attack using both lethal and non-lethal means.

Step 3. Develop Targets. The FSE, in conjunction with the S2 section, develops targets for both lethal and non-lethal attack. In the case of stability operations, these targets are usually not the conventional specific point or piece of equipment on the ground. They are more situational than specific. The GRM team must identify situations or acts that subordinate elements could face during the mission. The example GRM (Figure 1, page 6) shows three possible situations or "acts" that on-site commanders could expect to encounter. From the targeting standpoint, these are groups of more specific targets.

During mission analysis, the fire support officer (FSO) identifies both non-lethal and lethal assets available to his unit. A TPT attached to the unit is an example of a non-lethal attack asset which is often overlooked. Some examples of what the FSO should be looking for are:

    * Riot control agents (RCAs)
    * TPTs
    * EW assets
    * Civil Affairs (CA) Team
    * Information Operations (IO) Team
    * Artillery smoke rounds
    * Aircraft (AH-64s, OH-58Ds, AC130)
    * Mortars

The lethal assets described could very well execute a non-lethal show of force or demonstration and diffuse a situation before it requires a lethal attack. The critical element of this mission analysis by the FSO is not to focus solely on lethal attack assets. In stability operations, it is to prevent acts of hostility first, and then to be prepared to execute a lethal attack if the situation arises.

The FSO will then use the planning guidance given at the end of the mission analysis brief and list his responses at the top of the form (Figure 1). Responses can graduate from command presence through show of force, demonstration, and the use of RCA agents and techniques to lethal attack using snipers, small arms, AC130, and indirect fires.

Step 4. Staff Coordination. This is the point where the rest of the GRM team comes together to complete the escalation sequence for each response. PSYOP and legal representatives are critical attendees during the escalation sequencing process. In the area of PSYOP, the TPT must exploit the effects of all responses.

EXAMPLE: A crowd gathers in front of U.S. forces conducting an operation. The on-site commander, in conjunction with the TPT, sends a message to the crowd that is consistent with the IO campaign. This does not work. The unit then distributes information handbills or leaflets in the native language. The TPT then exploits those messages and reinforces with another pre-planned message. (Task Force Eagle (TFE) applied this type of non-lethal response to the riot at Lukavak during Operation JOINT ENDEAVOR.) The TFE leadership on the ground became involved in a situation where approximately 100 personnel, many holding sticks and rocks, were blocking a convoy route. By effectively using a Civil Affairs Team, an interpreter, and the local police, the TFE leadership was able to prevent escalated violence and, above all, accomplish their mission. The tactics, techniques, and procedures of face-to-face communication, use of a loud speaker system, and clear message content are clearly the first steps in preventing situations from turning hostile and endangering the mission.

The legal officer evaluates each escalation option and response to ensure it is consistent with the ROE. The GRM must be designed to recommend applications of force consistent with the ROE, yet not limit the leader or individual soldier's right to self-defense. The SLB graduated response matrix shows clearly that if hostile intent or a hostile act occurs, lethal options will be first and foremost.

In the case of lethal responses, the commander's guidance must again be applied. In the example, lethal responses were only allowed in self-defense. Additionally, there were five conditions that had to be met for release of lethal AC130 or indirect fires. In all lethal responses the use of the TPT and PSYOP message to exploit the effects of the lethal attack was critical in trying to get the situation back to the non-lethal or less threatening side.

Step 5. Wargame. Once the escalations for each response are determined and annotated, the GRM must then be wargamed. The staff must walk through each act or situation from the on-site commander's standpoint.

EXAMPLE: In the opening vignette, the SLB team ran across an issue with the use of riot control (RC) agents against armed groups with firearms. During the wargame, the SLB team decided that using RC agents against a well-armed threat could incite precisely the escalation in the situation it was trying to avoid, thereby violating the commander's guidance.

EXAMPLE: TFE soldiers reported that approximately 300 Muslims had gathered at a bridge near the town of Doboj. Several hundred Serbs, many armed with axes and knives, were also gathering. The Serbs intended to prevent the Muslims from entering the town. The crowds became hostile, particularly the Serbs. TFE soldiers were ordered to fire warning shots into the air. These shots had little to no effect. Previous or past tactics, techniques and procedures (TTP) indicated that civilians in Bosnia were accustomed to weapons being fired in the air during celebrations. Shots fired safely on the ground in front of the hostile crowd (a demonstration of force) proved much more effective. Subsequently, TFE employed helicopters (rotor wash) to separate the crowds. This was a clear example of escalating non-lethal force to diffuse a potentially hostile situation.

Using the SLB method of wargaming the GRM, it is possible that the use of warning shots in the air would have been deemed ineffective and an alternative response could have been created (warning shots on the ground in front of crowds). This is only an example and is not intended to critique the TFE responses, but rather to build on previous TTP.

Step 6. Command Approval. Once the GRM is wargamed, it must be submitted to the commander for approval. This is the final check to ensure the GRM team has applied the commander's guidance correctly and met his intent.

Step 7. Distribution. The SOP dictates how the GRM is issued. The SLB issues the GRM as an appendix to the FS annex. The FSO briefs it during the operations order. The final product is also issued as a 5x8" (or smaller) card. The GRM is printed on one side and the ROE on the other. This provides leaders at all levels a pocket-sized reference. Use caution when producing the GRM cards to ensure that they are readable day and night (not too small).

PREPARATION

GRM Training. Units should develop a GRM that covers any number of situations. It should include various responses and escalations for each response. The finished product should drive graduated response training at least down to squad level.

TECHNIQUE: Develop situational training exercises (STXs). STX lanes give leaders at all levels an opportunity to deal with OOTW situations. STX lanes teach leaders how to react to different situations in a graduated, or escalated, manner.

EXAMPLE: One platoon (or squad for platoon training) can serve as a hostile or non-hostile crowd, while the other two platoons deal with the situation IAW the GRM. This training should be integrated into the RAMP (Return fire, Anticipate attack, Measure your force, Protect only lives with deadly force) ROE training model (CALL Newsletter No. 96-6, May 96, ROE Training). The GRM becomes the tool to rehearse each of the RAMP rules.

This training also reduces reliance on the reference card. This, in turn, allows for more rapid responses IAW the commander's guidance. The fact is that if you do not train as you will be required to fight, you will suffer the consequences when "The Real Situation" occurs. For the infantry company or platoon, this type of training should be included as battle drill training. It is truly a battle drill that they will be required to execute in the OOTW environment.

EXECUTION

Proper planning and preparation lead to successful execution. But staffs at all levels must not only understand the GRM. They must also anticipate requirements within the escalated response. For example, in the opening vignette, the UH60 airborne loudspeaker system (ALS) would have to be launched by the SLB during different periods of the operation. Anticipating this response by making sure the aircraft and crew are ready saves time for the on-site commander.

CONCLUSION

The graduated response matrix is clearly a valuable tool in stability and support operations. Units operating in OOTW environments must be able to employ effective non-lethal and lethal responses to control situations, maintain tactical initiative, and eliminate both hostile and non-hostile threats to the mission. Unit commanders should view this as a way to prevent unwanted hostile situations, save lives, and ultimately contribute to successful mission accomplishment.

Definitions:

Threat: Any person, group, action, or event that would cause a commander to fail to achieve the specified end state and, therefore, mission.

Show of Force: An operation, designed to demonstrate U.S. resolve, that involves increased visibility of U.S. deployed forces in an attempt to diffuse a specific situation which, if allowed to continue, may be detrimental to U.S. interests or national objectives.

Demonstration of Force: Stability and Support Operations ((SASO). An operation by military forces in sight of an actual or potential enemy to show military capabilities.


Figure 1

Heh Digler you reminded me, all the new CAC cards in the mil have biometric and pinging tech in the chip; if/when you leave they go apeshit if you "lose" or "destroy" one, hehe.

Those assholes, were they worried that people would care about the precedent or is it really a security issue?

Rumsfeld couldn't hold onto his own ID though... some "senseless beast" had to turn it in for him when his lily white hand dropped it a few years back

Offline birther truther tenther

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Re: The ENTIRE PLANET is being turned into an AUTONOMOUS ASSASSINATION GRID
« Reply #19 on: November 09, 2010, 07:31:49 PM »
bump

Offline Dig

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Re: The ENTIRE PLANET is being turned into an AUTONOMOUS ASSASSINATION GRID
« Reply #20 on: December 07, 2010, 05:34:14 PM »
bump
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

Offline Satyagraha

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Re: The ENTIRE PLANET is being turned into an AUTONOMOUS ASSASSINATION GRID
« Reply #21 on: December 17, 2010, 08:57:55 AM »

The increase in conducting operations other than war (OOTW), ...

has identified a need to establish procedures for graduating military responses to situations which threaten mission accomplishment....

Their intent is to give "on-site" commanders a list of options to diffuse a situation before it gets out of hand. There are numerous hostile and non-hostile threats in the military operations other than war (MOOTW) environment. Most can be eliminated without loss of life or collateral damage by effectively applying the resources available.


It's expensive to get the 'resources' in place to prevent threats to "mission accomplishment'.

9 TRILLION Dollars Missing from Federal Reserve

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYNVNhB-m0o


  Video

  The sad thing is that there is much more than 9 trillion missing!!!!!  Remember the 23.7 trillion that AJ has been talking about for a couple of years?  The Fed is made up of thieves in $3000 suits.

  The woman in the video is a complete incompetent by design.

What 'mission accomplishment' is the military being deployed for in an "other than war" environment?
The anticipation of revolt when people start to realize they've been raped.
As people freeze this winter because their unemployment benefits have run dry, and they can't afford to heat their homes (if they still have homes), they're going to be "awakened and staring" at the rapists.

And  the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, 
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,  ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 25:40

Offline Dig

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Re: The ENTIRE PLANET is being turned into an AUTONOMOUS ASSASSINATION GRID
« Reply #22 on: December 22, 2010, 08:01:58 AM »
All new data mining systems must comply with the "Self-Organizing" principals of the Universe (A philisophical idea run amuck). These data mining systems require protocol to comply with the following principals:

Strong dynamical non-linearity, often though not necessarily involving Positive feedback and Negative feedback
Pavolovian dog training, nudging, behavioral modification, mind control

Balance of exploitation and exploration
Very interesting to find the phrase "exploitation and exploration" here. This is an arbitrary balance which is impossible to control as there become less and less elites in control of they system. Undoubtably, it will always "evolve" into 100% exploitation.

Multiple interactions
This seems to be why there is no limit to the billions of cameras being distributed in every product we buy, the RFID explosion, and nanotech sensoring systems.

All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

Offline trailhound

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Re: The ENTIRE PLANET is being turned into an AUTONOMOUS ASSASSINATION GRID
« Reply #23 on: December 29, 2010, 12:08:57 AM »
http://lifeboat.com/ex/nano.shield

The risk that the NanoShield would malfunction and accidentally destroy property or life on this planet can be made as close to zero as desired by increasing the reliability and redundancy of control systems. The greater and true risk of NanoShield implementation is that it might be purposely abused by people. For example, a NanoShield in malevolent hands could be used to oppress individuals, groups, or entire countries.
 
To minimize this risk, authority to activate the NanoShield should be distributed among as many responsible but competing interests as is practical, consistent with the need for potentially rapid decision making by parties who have demonstrated by past practice that they are ready and willing to take decisive action if the need arises.
 
One good solution might be to have the NanoShield controlled by a coalition of democracies, perhaps NATO. Less ideal would be to vest control of the NanoShield in the hands of a single strong democracy such as the United States or Australia. A more dangerous outcome may occur if all democracies ignore this vital issue and allow, by default, a dictatorship such as China, or a small private group, or even a lone individual, to control the NanoShield.
 
It is unlikely that the UN can effectively administer the NanoShield due to structural problems including its inability to make rapid decisions, the veto power of non-democratic nations having permanent seats on the Security Council, and the large number of dictatorships represented among the UN membership.
 

"Do not let your hatred of a people incite you to aggression." Qur'an 5:2
At the heart of that Western freedom and democracy is the belief that the individual man, the child of God, is the touchstone of value..." -RFK

Offline Okinawa

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Re: The ENTIRE PLANET is being turned into an AUTONOMOUS ASSASSINATION GRID
« Reply #24 on: January 30, 2011, 06:30:06 AM »
Project Metropolis
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6760530260633420235#
Basic Urban Skills Training - Concealment does NOT equal Cover

This video was created for the Marine Corps' Project Metropolis, to help illustrate the effects of various USMC weapons against the kind of urban structures one can expect to find on the modern MOUT battlefield. If you've ever wondered what various military weapons are capable of doing to your standard house, this is the video for you. As a bonus, the Mk44 30mm chain gun is featured towards the end, as well as the SMAW.
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Unspeakable Things www.personal.psu.edu/gjs4

Offline ghost hacked

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Re: The ENTIRE PLANET is being turned into an AUTONOMOUS ASSASSINATION GRID
« Reply #25 on: February 01, 2011, 10:48:12 AM »
Project Metropolis
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6760530260633420235#
Basic Urban Skills Training - Concealment does NOT equal Cover

This video was created for the Marine Corps' Project Metropolis, to help illustrate the effects of various USMC weapons against the kind of urban structures one can expect to find on the modern MOUT battlefield. If you've ever wondered what various military weapons are capable of doing to your standard house, this is the video for you. As a bonus, the Mk44 30mm chain gun is featured towards the end, as well as the SMAW.

I watched this last night, and these are old weapons compared to the stuff the military has now. But the result is the same, concealment is not cover. It was amazing what that .50 cal did to that mock up house. Steel plates embedded in the wall would not even stop those rounds.
'We play the game with the bravery of being out of range.' - Roger Waters

Anti_Illuminati

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Re: The ENTIRE PLANET is being turned into an AUTONOMOUS ASSASSINATION GRID
« Reply #26 on: March 07, 2011, 10:02:48 PM »
http://www.carlisle.army.mil/USAWC/parameters/Articles/96autumn/bunker.htm

Advanced Battlespace and Cybermaneuver Concepts: Implications for Force XXI
ROBERT J. BUNKER
© 1996 Robert J. Bunker

From Parameters, Autumn 1996, pp. 108-120. .

Force XXI has proven to be an ambitious and farsighted Army vision of future warfighting and a tribute to nowretired Chief of Staff General Gordon R. Sullivan. Because it is an institutional attempt at US Army reform, however, the changes being promoted are at times more evolutionary than revolutionary. Force XXI organizations-at brigade, division, and ultimately corps levels-will represent a synthesis of conventional military hardware with integrated digital communications. This experimental force will exist within and dominate the battlefield defined by the range of human senses; it is essentially the force and the concept of the battlefield with which the United States defeated Iraq in 1991.

This article argues that the traditional perception of the battlefield reveals the limiting assumptions upon which Force XXI is built, that it is constrained by its three dimensions, and that it is most likely outmoded. Paradoxically, it is the rise of nonWestern warfare and the proliferation of advanced weaponry that together have made current "spatial concepts" of the modern battlefield obsolete.[1] To be an effective military force into the 21st century, the US Army should start now to redefine the battlefield so that new operational concepts can evolve and produce the doctrine and materiel requirements that will lead to meaningful restructuring of all components of the land force. Without a new conceptual model, Force XXI will fail to take full advantage of the potential inherent in new and emerging technology, no matter how successful it is in developing technology appliqués for its existing fleets of tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, artillery systems, and aircraft.

Modern Battlespace

The Army's Field Manual (FM) 1005, Operations (June 1993), defines the modern battlefield, or battlespace as it is called, as follows:

    Battle space is a physical volume that expands or contracts in relation to the ability to acquire and engage the enemy.[2]

    Components [are] determined by the maximum capabilities of a unit to acquire and dominate the enemy; [it] includes areas beyond the AO [area of operations]; it varies over time according to how the commander positions his assets.[3]

The above passages share a common liability: they ignore the electromagnetic spectrum.[4] Department of the Army Pamphlet (DA Pam) 5255, Force XXI Operations, a visionary document published in 1994 by the Army's Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), better defines battlespace:

    Components of this space are determined by the maximum capabilities of friendly and enemy forces to acquire and dominate each other by fires and maneuver and in the electromagnetic spectrum.[5]

Current Army thought holds that battlespace is composed of separate, discrete physical and electromagnetic dimensions, each of which must be controlled if friendly operations are to be successful. Recent naval doctrinal publications share that perception.[6] Military forces are said to operate in the physical dimension, which represents the world in which humans and their machines move and fight. The boundaries of this specific "threedimensional battlespace" are, for the purposes of this article, defined by the limitations of humansensing capabilities. Conversely, information warfare is said to be conducted within the electromagnetic realm where there are no physical military forces.[7]

The Army's outmoded definition of battlespace has proven adequate for maneuver warfare in the threedimensional physical battlespace. Armored spearheads and amphibious thrusts seek to defeat opposing forces by exploiting weaknesses and vulnerabilities. Maneuver warfare with its encirclements, flanking operations, and disruption of the enemy's command and control processes works well within the constraints of a physical dimension where military forces and the human senses operate. It has, in fact, come to represent the dominant Western mode of warfare.

The concept of extended battlespace developed in Force XXI operations enlarges this concept of the physical threedimensional battlefield with an increase in depth, breadth, and height, but in no way fundamentally alters it. In fact, the attribute of extended battlespace that comes closest to challenging the linear assumptions that underpin current doctrine is the concept of the "empty battlefield." This concept, loosely described as the dispersal of forces for survival purposes, is significant because it most clearly depicts the breakdown of some of the fundamental assumptions-and hence principles-of warfare dominated for several centuries by Western philosophies.[8]

Future Battlespace

The reason for this breakdown of our Western mode of warfare is twofold. First, nontraditional adversaries and forms of conflict have evolved in the recent past that challenge the assumptions that underpin maneuver warfare. Various "grayarea phenomena," including terrorists, narcocartels, and forces based on clan and ethnic affiliations bring to conflict characteristics that are asymmetrical to conventional Western forms of warfare.[9] And since safety for such forces may be achieved by staying off of the conventional battlefield, they have no option but to leave the threedimensional battlespace acknowledged in US doctrine and disappear in accord with the maxim "if you can't see a force you can't kill it."

Examples of this form of disappearance include the use of underground tunnel networks at Cu Chi and the integration of the Vietcong among the populace in Vietnam, the civilian clothing of a terrorist, and the blending of snipers into unarmed Somali mobs. Since these forces have left the humansensing dimension in which maneuver warfare dominates, maneuverbased doctrine is insufficient when applied against them.

Second, the breakdown in maneuver warfare can also be seen in the advent of advanced target detection and precision guided munitions.[10] Any military force, even those fielded by the West, which exists within the dimension of the human senses can now be acquired and killed. Since maneuver warfare doctrine was based on a synthesis of decadesold technology and ideas, it is not surprising that the advanced technologies now emerging negate the presumed benefits that justified this earlier synthesis. The only solution to this dilemma again requires leaving the humansensing dimension and disappearing-or seeming to do so. The stealth fighter and the submarine both rely on this tactic as their primary form of defense.

Stealth capability has not yet been an applicable technical option for landbased and amphibious forces, so tactical and operational innovations have been developed by way of compensation. This has resulted in Western military forces increasingly turning their attention toward the development of advanced maneuver warfare concepts. Nonlinear operational concepts based on the absence of front lines or any recognizable rear area have been developing in Russia for a number of years and are extensively described in various publications.[11] Similar concepts existed in the midtolate 1980s in TRADOC's Army 21 Interim Operational Concept, with its references to islands of conflict and deliberate noncontiguity on the battlefield.[12]

The value of stealth capability has, however, been recognized; it was given a priority one requirement in the May 1994 ARPA Report of the Senior Working Group on Military Operations Other Than War (OOTW). Termed "Invisible Soldier Image Avoidance and Signature Reduction," it called for a capability that would "make the individual soldier invisible, day or night, to the whole range of battlefield sensors across the electromagnetic spectrum."[13] As one outcome of this recognized need we may expect the United States to develop and use either active or metamorphic camouflage systems for defensive purposes.

Advanced Battlespace Concepts

As noted earlier, the implementation of Force XXI will likely be severely compromised unless an advanced definition of battlespace is created to support it. I propose that it should be based upon two spatial concepts--humanspace and cyberspace--and two spatial transcendents--stealth and data fusion (see Figure 1).[14]



Humanspace represents the traditional physical dimension of the human senses within which military forces operate. This spatial concept has already been defined in Force XXI Operations, omitting the electromagnetic aspect. Cyberspace, on the other hand, represents not only the electromagnetic spectrum, but also that dimension in which military forces seek refuge for defensive purposes. Forces that enter this dimension are removed from the humansensingbased battlefield and are thus invulnerable to attack; at the same time, they retain the capacity to attack military forces that exist in humanspace. Any military force that has the capability of entering this nonhumansensing dimension, be it Western or nonWestern, must now be considered, respectively, either a highly advanced asset or a direct threat. Since emerging forms of nonWestern warfare and advanced technology applications appear to possess many of the same operational characteristics, this is not an unreasonable characterization.[15]

As an outcome of the development of the concepts of humanspace and cyberspace, a more precise definition of battlespace dominance in the 21st century may also be required. Cyberspace may be considered dominant over humanspace. For this reason, the goal of the Army in future war, beyond that of securing assigned politicomilitary objectives, will be that of total cyberspace dominance-not just digital battlespace dominance.[16] Army forces may ultimately look toward cyberspace as a place of refuge from attack while denying that refuge and capability to opposing forces.

The means of entering this refuge will be based upon the application of stealth technology and processes.[17] In hindsight, it can be said that when Mao Zedong referred to guerrillas as fish in a sea of surrounding population he was inadvertently stating early principles of what we would now term stealth and cyberspace.[18] Advanced weaponry, beyond that of the submarine, bomber (B2), and fighter (F117), is now being configured for the very purpose of exploiting the recognized defensive potential stealth offers. Followon programs to the 21st Century Land Warrior project seek to incorporate chameleonlike camouflage composed of biomaterials into the modular Soldier Integrated Protection Ensemble (SIPE) system.[19] Cruise missile successors to the canceled AGM137A TriService Standoff Attack Missile (TSSAM), as well as the recently unveiled Army RAH66 Comanche scout/light attack helicopter, are also now stealthbased.

The counter to stealthmasked forces will be based upon the spatial transcendent of data fusion.[20] Just as stealth allows a military force to leave humanspace and enter cyberspace, data fusion will negate the protection stealth provides. Data fusion describes the concept of using information gathered across the electromagnetic spectrum to locate stealthmasked military forces in space and time.[21] In future operations, opposing forces that appear invisible to conventional means of detection and identification will be identifiable via superior data fusion systems and procedures so that they can be immediately neutralized or destroyed. The urgency here acknowledges that each of the opposing forces will be operating within its own data acquisition and informationprocessing cycles.[22] Differences in response times measured in seconds will separate the quick and the dead.

Based upon this tension between stealth and data fusion, the "humansensing dimensional barrier" separating humanspace and cyberspace will represent a dynamic and contested frontier, a transdimensional forward edge of the battle area (FEBA) between opposing forces.[23] As a result, new spatial premises of offense and defense may develop based on two basic formulas. Whenever individuals, organizations, and materiel can avoid or counter efforts at data fusion, those entities can be said to be operating in cyberspace. Conversely, when efforts to counter data fusion fail, the entities will be considered to be operating within humanspace, vulnerable to attacks by an adversary, whether a stealthy cruise missile or a sniper heretofore concealed in the midst of a crowd. The two concepts can be expressed as follows:



These spatial premises of advanced battlespace can be viewed in Figure 2, which portrays a threedimensional volume of battlespace bisected by a humansensing fourth dimensional barrier. (Were time to be included in this concept of battlespace, it would represent a fifth dimensional attribute.) The figure is misleading-humanspace and cyberspace actually coexist in a given volume of battlespace-but it will have to suffice until conventions for expressing these concepts have become commonplace. Because stealth masked forces are inherently "invisible" to normal military forces, they can maneuver with relative impunity in cyberspace. Hence, the "battlefield" addressed in this essay, and portrayed crudely in Figure 2, appears to have twice the potential volume of the battlespace currently defined in FM 1005 and being applied to develop Force XXI theory.



Army forces will rely upon the "maneuver force protection" envisioned in Force XXI Operations to extend their ability to conduct operations.[24] Within a few decades, however, nonstealthmasked Army forces will have become highly vulnerable-even with the development of high technology proactive armor and point defense systems.[25] For this reason, the initial digitalization of Army mechanized and armor forces which rely upon maneuver as the basis of their operational art, while a bold move, can still only be viewed as an incremental step into future warfare.

This redefinition of battlespace suggests that our traditional concepts of maneuver warfare may be made obsolete because forces that conduct maneuver warfare operate in humanspace, and humanspace represents the killing ground of future war. One can only speculate when-or if-this style of warfighting might be replaced by dispersed land forces engaging in cybermaneuver as a complement to precisionstrike operations conducted by stealthcloaked missiles and aircraft.[26]

Cybermaneuver Concepts

With this redefinition of the battlefield based upon principles of dualdimensional space, early concepts of cybermaneuver may now find their way into future editions of Force XXI Operations. The potential need for the development of such a new form of doctrine was recognized in 1992 by John Arquilla and David Ronfeldt in a RAND paper entitled Cyberwar is Coming![27]

For an example of what cybermaneuver warfare may look like, consider two opposing helicopters in a meeting engagement. Initially, each helicopter will rely upon stealth technologies to keep itself off the other's battlefield. Both will be using data fusion and informationcycle processing technologies in an effort to acquire, identify, and engage the other. One belligerent will momentarily gain the initiative by using data fusion to force the other out of cyberspace and into humanspace. Finally, the "uncloaked" helicopter will be engaged by the other, whose intent will be to neutralize or destroy it before it can take offensive action itself or escape back into a "cyberspace" mode of operation by using countermeasures to defeat data fusion activities. Early, primitive applications of this concept include the firing of flares by aircraft to confuse heatseeking missiles, or technology applied to helicopters to mask their infrared signature for the same purpose.

Similar concepts of battlespace underlay the functional basis of countersniper systems. Snipers, it can be argued, use cyberspace as their principle form of defense. They deftly stalk their intended targets by using disciplined body motions and breathing control to reach a suitable firing position without detection. After neutralizing their intended target, they fade back into cyberspace and either vanish forever or wait minutes, maybe hours, before momentarily letting their presence again be known with another kill. The danger of snipers for Army forces deployed overseas is growing in proportion to increasing urbanization.[28] That insurgents operating in these environments are likely to be dispersed among innocent noncombatants and have access to precisionguided munitions (PGMs) is a more ominous concern.[29]

To deal with the sniper threat, a new defensive system called Lifeguard has been developed at the US Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories. Based on stateoftheart commercial technologies, it can locate the point of origin of a bullet in flight within hundredths of a second. While Lifeguard is unable to return fire, a combat version with this capability, known as Deadeye, is under development.[30] In essence, this countersniper system, like the helicopter used in the first example, takes a cyberspacebased force, in this instance a sniper, and strips it of its invulnerability to attack by bringing it into humanspace by means of data fusion. A sniper faced with this new technology has a range of choices, none of which is particularly appealing: decline to fire his weapon, target the countersniper system initially in hopes of disabling it (first the sniper must locate it, of course), or be equipped with innovative means for circumventing such technology.

These two examples bring up the most significant challenge that will probably face forces operating in cyberspace. Whenever they actively acquire an adversary in cyberspace, thereby moving it into humanspace, even if only for a few seconds, they will likely betray their own position in space and time. At that point, both the attacker and the intended victim can be engaged directly by other killing forces, be engaged by other allied forces via shared informational awareness, or launch strikes against opposing forces in humanspace. This window of vulnerability will likely be one of the primary features of the sort of information dominance that must be readily available to Force XXI and denied to opposition forces.[31]

As a result of technology evolution, future Army commanders may view the battlefield by means of realtime holographic displays. All friendly forces can be made to appear on these displays; technically sophisticated opposition forces will appear and disappear from these displays as they are acquired and escape detection, literally "popping" out of and back into cyberspace. Forces in such a scenario would probably become quickly intermingled, resulting in a blurring of our traditional concepts of front lines and the tactical, operational, and strategic continuum.[32] In fact, older military forces and those forces of less advanced national and nonnational entities which exist and function in humanspace can expect to be engaged simultaneously across the physical continuum by precision fires in the opening stages of a conflict.[33] The concept of safe rear areas would conceivably no longer exist because the entire humansensing dimension would indeed become the battlefield. Within this context, safety would be gained only by means of the "cyberspace shifting" of forces and other national security assets outside the boundaries of traditional humanspace.

Such a perspective on the future battlefield reinforces the need for digital interoperability standards, the seamless tracking and engagement of enemy targets, and a future Army force structure primarily configured around stealthbased forces.[34] Based on these perceptions, a failure to explore cybermaneuver as an emerging warfighting style potentially risks setting up the Force XXI Army for a catastrophe much like that which befell France in the spring of 1940 when it eschewed both the new German operational art which had developed and the expanded concept of the battlefield underlying it.

Conclusion

The concepts developed in this essay represent an initial attempt to give substance to the meaning of "asymmetry" in forceonforce relationships. It has been proposed that advanced forces gain an asymmetrical battlefield advantage over traditional forces by means of techniques and processes such as cloaking, blending into civilian populations, concealment, and deception-all of which allow them to avoid detection by entering a realm which is frequently called cyberspace. At the same time, traditional forces, which remain in humanspace, are subject to detection and attack by these nowstealthy systems. Current and emerging precision strike capabilities support this perception. When one force can attack another force and in the process not be attacked in return, a clear battlefield advantage exists.

Our traditional concepts of threedimensional battlespace are unable to explain such a military revolution because increases in the physical dimensions of a battlefield cannot account for it. Rather, a new concept of range is required, one that is defined by a "humansensing dimensional barrier" which separates humanspace from cyberspace. Given this perceptual lens, a terrorist in civilian garb who is standing five meters from a US soldier and whom the US soldier views as a noncombatant is at a much greater battlefield range from that soldier than a hostile tank that is visible 1000 meters away-and yet is potentially far more dangerous to the soldier than is the tank. To counter such forces, we will most likely be required to rely upon principles of data fusion which can provide us with the capability to bring such cloaked entities out into the open where they can be neutralized or destroyed. A number of implications can be derived from the development of such a technically advanced battlespace that bear directly on the Army's conduct of war in the future:

    * The US Army should explore the development of cybermaneuver doctrine in support of Force XXI. It is proposed that such doctrine could better exploit the advanced battlespace which is developing than more traditionally based warfighting concepts such as maneuver or maneuver force protection as described in FM 1005 and DA Pam 5255 respectively. Cybermaneuver doctrine would be a natural complement to maturing precision strike concepts which are focused upon the neutralization or destruction of opposing humanspaceresiding forces. Implicit in this doctrine would be the development of a capability to defeat opposing stealthmasked forces.

    * Lighter forces may possess more of a defensive advantage than heavier forces because lighter forces can more easily seek the defensive advantages that cyberspace offers. This could mean that defense would no longer be measured by such traditional concepts as heavier armor or even speed, but rather by the ability of a force to make itself "invisible" to detection.

    * A further blurring of the distinction between soldier and civilian may likely result. War in the Western world has been conducted from the time of Frederick the Great by armies wearing distinctive uniforms which have distinguished combatants from noncombatants and one opposing army from another. Our modern camouflaged battledress uniforms are based upon this evolutionary pattern of uniform development. These uniforms are not worn by many soldiers representing nonWestern cultures because behavioral norms and ethical systems to which these soldiers subscribe allow them to discard the symbols of the soldier in order to obtain the defensive benefits that cyberspace provides. We may expect this trend to intensify as American dominance of the humanspace battlefield increases.

    * The perceptual abilities of US soldiers will likely be enhanced to provide them with "extrahumansensing capabilities" which will allow them to peer into cyberspace for the purposes of identifying threat forces. Two methods may be employed. The first is by technical means such as the Land Warrior program, which provides night vision capability. The second is by better exploiting the organic capabilities of our troops by training them to be aware of the different smells, habits, and behaviors of warriors in specific cultures or ethnic groups with which we may find ourselves in conflict.

    * If our traditional concept of front lines-linearity-becomes blurred because of the effects of the "humansensing dimensional barrier" separating cyberspace from humanspace, we may expect that the tactical, operational, and strategic continuum as we now understand it will be reexamined and possibly redefined. The threedimensional quality of that traditional continuum cannot be expected to define the reality of a fourthdimensional battlespace where rear areas and flanks may no longer exist, and where what was in earlier times known as the "Zone of the Interior" (the continental United States) is part of the region of conflict.

Implications such as these could prove difficult for an Army victorious in the Gulf War to consider, much less accept, because they challenge both the core of its doctrinal sensibilities and its traditional force structure preferences. Yet the value of informed challenges was recognized by General Sullivan, writing as Chief of Staff, along with Lieutenant Colonel Anthony M. Coroalles:

    Ideas that have the potential to overturn longestablished, bureaucratically entrenched methods of operation are not welcomed by the average man. When the paradigm shifts, most cannot grasp the full potential of new ideas. New technologies and processes can frighten those who are comfortable with the routines established to accommodate the old technologies. Furthermore, vested interests within the organization and within its bureaucracy-usually for what to them are good and logical reasons-will resist ideas that threaten the status quo. Bureaucracies flourish on procedures instituted to ensure efficiency. Innovation is the enemy of efficiency because it threatens established procedures. This is a mindset that we cannot afford in Force XXI. While military professionals must hold the security of the nation as something with which they dare not gamble, they cannot afford to discourage the kind of imagination and innovation that is needed to meet the varied challenges that will arise in the 21st century.[35]

To be a relevant military force in the next century, the Army must learn to adapt itself like an entrepreneurial organization to the social, political, economic, and military changes which are now upon us. While Army traditions based upon individual integrity, honor, and service to country must be retained, those based on discredited perceptions of the battlefield and of warfighting itself will be left where they belong-in the twilight of the 20th century.

NOTES

The advanced concepts contained within this essay represent an attribute of Fourth Epoch War theory. For dissemination purposes, I have refrained from linking them to the larger theoretical paradigm within which they exist. This essay was initially prepared for US Army TRADOC as NSSP Report 952. National Security Studies program, California State University, San Bernardino, July 1995. It was presented at US Army TECOM "Visions of Future ConflictTest Technology Drivers" TTS '96 Symposium at Johns Hopkins University, Applied Physics Laboratory, 4 June 1996. I wish to thank Professor Douglas C. Lovelace, Jr., Charles F. Swett, Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Begert, USMC, CWO5 Charles "Sid" Heal, USMCR, and Dr. T. Lindsay Moore for their comments on an earlier draft of this paper, and the US Army Command and General Staff College for its research support.

1. For background on the rise of nonWestern and advanced technology warfare, see Robert J. Bunker, "The Transition to Fourth Epoch War," Marine Corps Gazette, September 1994, pp. 2032.

2. US Army, Field Manual 1005, Operations (Washington: Department of the Army, June 1993), p. 612.

3. Ibid., p. Glossary1.

4. Ibid., p. 224. Mention of EW against enemy C2 is as a capability that contributes to the effectiveness of combined arms operations.

5. US Army, Pamphlet 5255, Force XXI Operations (Fort Monroe, Va.: US Army Training and Doctrine Command, 1 August 1994), p. Glossary1. It should be noted that this pamphlet has defined the general tenets upon which the next version of FM 1005 will be based. Of equal interest is the separation of the electromagnetic spectrum from the realm where engagements occur. It is among the premises of this article that engagements will occur with increasing frequency within the electromagnetic sphere, and that the conventional threedimensional battlespace will become a killing ground for those forces that cannot use fourth dimensional assets to conceal themselves from attack.

6. Naval Doctrine Command, NDP1, Naval Warfare (Washington: GPO, 1994), p. 72.

7. Discrete from the "bioelectric realm" of minds where psychological operations are waged. Some question also exists if a "computer virus" shouldn't be considered a new form of military force.

8. DA Pam 5255, Force XXI Operations, p. 29.

9. Concern has been raised over my use of the term "nonWestern warfare" because of its ethnocentric implications and the collapsing together of all forms of warfare other than that waged by the West. I would argue that Western civilization as we define it wages war collectively in a similar manner. Further, this civilization has dominated much of the global system since the 16th century. NonWestern warfare is an attempt by nonWestern cultures to break this monopoly on warfare. Categorizing all forms of nonWestern warfare as one general type is indeed inaccurate since the various forms of nonnation forces, security forces, and armies that exist in the world today will wage war differently. However, until a concept similar to that of "nonWestern warfare" replaces the flawed operations other than war (OOTW) concept, I see little utility in exploring the true variations in nonWestern modes of warfare. See Robert J. Bunker, "Rethinkng OOTW," Military Review, 75 (NovemberDecember 1995), 3441.

10. For a synopsis of ARDEC's smart munitions strategic plan, see Scott R. Gourley. "Smart Munitions," Army, July 1995, pp. 4144. For other articles of interest see Glenn W. Goodman, Jr., "Fire and Forget: Terminally Guided Antitank Submunitions Reach Fruition," Armed Forces Journal, August 1994, pp. 36, 39; Robert Holzer, "U.S. Navy Study Promotes Precision Munitions," Defense News, 27 February 5 March 1995, p. 30; Pat Cooper, "USAF Considers Smaller, More Lethal Bombs," Defense News, 2723 April 1995, p. 6; Glen W. Goodman, Jr., "Fired, Forgotten, and Finished," Armed Forces Journal, December 1995, pp. 36, 3839.

11. See principally the writings of Mary C. Fitzgerald: "The Soviet Image of Future War: `Through the Prism of the Persian Gulf,'" Comparative Strategy, 10 (OctoberDecember 1991), 393435; "Russia's New Military Doctrine," Naval War College Review, 46 (Spring 1993), 2444; "The Russian Military's Strategy for `Sixth Generation' Warfare," Orbis, 38 (Summer 1994), 45776; "The Russian Image of Future War," Comparative Strategy, 13 (AprilJune 1994), 16780.

12. US Army, Army 21, A Concept for the Future: Umbrella Concept (Fort Monroe, Va.: US Army Training and Doctrine Command, December 1988).

13. Advanced Research Projects Agency, Report of the Senior Working Group on Military Operations Other Than War (OOTW), May 1994, p. 24. Available on the Internet.

14. This will require a paradigm shift in our view of the battlefield and the military's place in it. For an example of what this type of shift will mean, see Alan G. R. Smith, Science and Society in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (Norwich, Conn.: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1972), pp. 927.

15. Western concepts of information warfare are mimicked by terrorism; hightechnology stealth coatings for our aircraft are mimicked by soldiers wearing civilian clothing or hiding out in mobs of women and children; precision strike weaponry is mimicked by driving a vehicle laden with explosives into a military installation.

16. It is assumed digital battlespace dominance would represent mastery of the electromagnetic spectrum and the physical battlefield. This form of battlespace dominance is inferior to cyberspace dominance because one's military forces would remain within the humansensing battlefield (i.e., humanspace).

17. Stealth has been written about extensively in military publications but no attempt has been made to link it directly to a fundamentally new concept of battlespace. For background on this subject, see James H. Patton, Jr., "Stealth Is a ZeroSum Game: A Submariner's View of the Advanced Tactical Fighter," Airpower Journal, 5 (Spring 1991), 417; and "Stealth, Sea Control, and Air Superiority," Airpower Journal, 7 (Spring 1993), 5262; John W. McGillvray, Jr., "Stealth Technology in Surface Warships," Naval War College Review, 47 (Winter 1994), 2839; James HeitzJackson, "Stealth: Potential vs. the Purse," Defence Yearbook, 1992 (London: Brassey's, 1992), pp. 26169.

18. Not only do fish live in the sea-its great volume protects them from detection. See Mao TseTung, On Guerrilla Warfare, trans. Samuel B. Griffith (New York: Praeger, 1961), pp. 9293.

19. For background on SIPE, refer to the series of articles written over the last six years in Army RD&A. For a current perspective, see John G. Roos, "The 21st Century Land Warrior: The Army Becomes the Dominant Gene in Soldier Evolution," Armed Forces Journal, February 1995, pp. 1823; Mark Hewish and Rupert Pengelley, "New Age Soldiering," International Defense Review, 27 (January 1994), 2633; "Land Warrior program consolidated," Washington Update, AUSA Institute of Land Warfare, Washington, May 1996, p. 2.

20. My use of the term data fusion and the concepts behind it have been simplified. My understanding of data fusion derives from presentations given by Edward Waltz, "Image and Spatial Data Fusion-Combining Data to Understand the Battlefield," and Dr. James Llinas, "Fusion in Information Warfare," at the TMSA Information Warfare Conference held in Los Angeles 56 June 1995. For more on this subject, see SPACECAST 2020, "Leveraging the Infosphere: Surveillance and Reconnaissance in 2020," Airpower Journal, 9 (Summer 1995), 825; Marvin G. Metcalf. "Acoustics on the 21st Century Battlefield," Joint Force Quarterly, No. 10 (Winter 199596), 4447.

21. Facial and subdermal recognition technologies have immense potential in combating insurgency and terrorism as well as in law enforcement. For onthespot identification of known suspects in Haiti, see Gordon R. Sullivan, "A Vision for the Future," Military Review, 75 (MayJune 1995), 8.

22. Better known as the OODA (ObserveOrientDecideAct) loop. See John R. Boyd, Lecture on A Discourse on Winning and Losing (Maxwell AFB, Ala.: August 1987).

23. It is proposed that this informational barrier is composed of either "noise" or "static" to the human senses and to lesser forms of technology. When a military force takes refuge in cyberspace, it becomes lost in the surrounding medium-human, organic, electromagnetic, et al.-and as a result is not subject to detection or target acquisition.

24. DA Pam 5255, Force XXI Operations, p. 310.

25. "Advanced Armor Keeps New Ordnance at Bay," National Defense, 79 (MayJune 1995), 1617; "US Army to Test AFV Selfdefense Suite," International Defense Review, 28 (June 1995), 12.

26. Attrition warfare is also becoming obsolete. See Memorandum for Vice Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Under Secretaries of Defense, Director, Net Assessment, "Terms of Reference for Strategic Studies Group I," Memo from The Deputy Secretary of Defense, 6 September 1995; "Kellogg: We don't play attrition warfare anymore," AUSA News, July 1996, pp. 1112.

27. John Arquilla and David Ronfeldt, Cyberwar is Coming! (Santa Monica: RAND, P7791, 1992), p. 7; see also "The Transition to Fourth Epoch War," p. 29.

28. Jennifer Morrison Taw and Bruce Hoffman, The Urbanization of Insurgency: The Potential Challenge to U.S. Army Operations (Santa Monica: RAND, MR398, 1994), pp. 145.

29. Marvin B. Schaffer, Concerns About Terrorists with PGMs (Santa Monica: RAND, P7774, 1992), pp. 18.

30. Scott R. Gourley, "The sniper's latest nightmare," International Defense Review, 28 (April 1995), 66.

31. The other aspect of cyberspace, that which represents the information infrastructure of our society, represents another feature to be dominated. Robert L. Ayers, Chief, Information Warfare Division, Defense Information Systems Agency, "DISA and Information Warfare," at the TMSA Information Warfare Conference, Los Angeles, 56 June 1995.

32. See the concept of simultaneity. DA Pam 5255, Force XXI Operations, p. 29.

33. For the initial airspace offensive, see the interview with Defense Minister Pavel Grachev, "General Grachev on the Army and on the Soldier," Argumenty i fakty, February 1993, pp. 12, quoted in "The Russian Military's Strategy For `Sixth Generation' Warfare," p. 2.

34. The Composite Armored Vehicle Advanced Technology Demonstrator (CAVATD) which seeks to reduce vehicular weight and active and passive signatures is viewed as a step in the right direction. Rupert Pengelley, "Towards the Plastic Tank," International Defense Review, 28 (July 1995), 61.

35. Gordon R. Sullivan and Anthony M. Coroalles, The Army in the Information Age (Carlisle Barracks, Pa.: US Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute, 31 March 1995), pp. 1819.

Dr. Robert J. Bunker is an adjunct professor with the National Security Studies program, California State University, San Bernardino, and a professor of unconventional warfare, American Military University, Manassas Park, Virginia. He is a graduate of The Claremont Graduate School and California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and holds degrees in political science, government, history, behavioral science, anthropology/geography, and social science. His research focus is on the influence of technology on warfare and political organization and on the national security implications of emerging forms of warfare. His writings have appeared in The Land Warfare Papers, Airpower Journal, Military Review, Marine Corps Gazette, Armed Forces Journal, and Army RD&A.

Offline Overcast

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Re: The ENTIRE PLANET is being turned into an AUTONOMOUS ASSASSINATION GRID
« Reply #27 on: March 22, 2011, 01:20:25 PM »
We're almost to the scene where the Police break into the apartment building and release the spider bots, while our hero, hearing the noise, hides himself in a bathtub of ice in a vain attempt to avoid detection by the intelligent machines. To his demise, they have already taken a head count.

Oh, was I getting Minority Report confused with Real Life again? Silly me! Trix are for the government!

Or more simply put - 'techno feudalism'.

Technology moves forward... politics move backwards.
And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willin' to trade ALL the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they'll never take... OUR FREEDOM!

Offline Amos

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Re: The ENTIRE PLANET is being turned into an AUTONOMOUS ASSASSINATION GRID
« Reply #28 on: March 22, 2011, 01:34:31 PM »
'techno feudalism'.
 great term

Offline Effie Trinket

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Re: The ENTIRE PLANET is being turned into an AUTONOMOUS ASSASSINATION GRID
« Reply #29 on: March 20, 2012, 08:20:44 AM »
http://www.planetarymovement.org/go/science-%26-technology/death-chip-drones-kill-innocent-pakistanis-by-tom-burghardt/

Death Chip Drones kill innocent Pakistanis by Tom Burghardt

What Pentagon theorists describe as a "Revolution in Military Affairs" (RMA) leverages information technology to facilitate (so they allege) command decision-making processes and mission effectiveness, i.e. the waging of aggressive wars of conquest.  It is assumed that U.S. technological preeminence, referred to euphemistically by Airforce Magazine as "compressing the kill chain," will assure American military hegemony well into the 21st century.

Indeed a 2001 study, Understanding Information Age Warfare, brought together analysts from a host of Pentagon agencies as well as defense contractors Boeing, Booz Allen Hamilton and the MITRE Corporation and consultants from ThoughtLink, Toffler Associates and the RAND Corporation who proposed to do just.

As a result of this and other Pentagon-sponsored research, military operations from Afghanistan to Iraq and beyond aim for "defined effects" through "kinetic" and "non-kinetic" means: leadership decapitation through preemptive strikes combined with psychological operations designed to pacify (terrorize) insurgent populations. This deadly combination of high- and low tech tactics is the dark heart of the Pentagon's Unconventional Warfare doctrine.

In this respect, "network-centric warfare" advocates believe U.S. forces can now dominate entire societies through ubiquitous surveillance, an always-on "situational awareness" maintained by cutting edge sensor arrays as well as by devastating aerial attacks by armed drones, warplanes and Special Forces robosoldiers.

Meanwhile on the home front, urbanized RMA in the form of ubiquitous CCTV systems deployed on city streets, driftnet electronic surveillance of private communications and radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips embedded in commodities are all aspects of a control system within securitized societies such as ours.

As Antifascist Calling has written on more than one occasion, contemporary U.S. military operations are conceived as a branch of capitalist management theory, one that shares more than a passing resemblance to the organization of corporate entities such as Wal-Mart.

Similar to RMA, commodity flows are mediated by an ubiquitous surveillance of products--and consumers--electronically. Indeed, Pentagon theorists conceive of "postmodern" warfare as just another manageable network enterprise.

The RFID (Counter) Revolution

Radio-frequency identification tags are small computer chips connected to miniature antennae that can be fixed to or implanted within physical objects, including human beings. The chip itself contains an Electronic Product Code that can be read each time a reader emits a radio signal.

The chips are subdivided into two distinct categories, passive or active. A passive tag doesn't contain a battery and its read range is variable, from less than an inch to twenty or thirty feet. An active tag on the other hand, is self-powered and has a much longer range. The data from an active tag can be sent directly to a computer system involved in inventory control--or weapons targeting.

It is hardly surprising then, that the Pentagon and the CIA have spent "hundreds of millions of dollars researching, developing, and purchasing a slew of 'Tagging tracking and locating' (TTL) gear," Wired reports.

Long regarded as an urban myth, the military's deployment of juiced-up RFID technology along the AfPak border in the form of "tiny homing beacons to guide their drone strikes in Pakistan," has apparently moved out of the laboratory. "Most of these technologies are highly classified" Wired reveals,

But there's enough information in the open literature to get a sense of what the government is pursuing: laser-based reflectors, super-strength RFID tags, and homing beacons so tiny, they can be woven into fabric or into paper.

Some of the gadgets are already commercially available; if you're carrying around a phone or some other mobile gadget, you can be tracked--either through the GPS chip embedded in the gizmo, or by triangulating the cell signal. Defense contractor EWA Government Systems, Inc. makes a radio frequency-based "Bigfoot Remote Tagging System" that's the size of a couple of AA batteries. But the government has been working to make these terrorist tracking tags even smaller. (David Hambling and Noah Shachtman, "Inside the Military's Secret Terror-Tagging Tech," Wired, June 3, 2009)

Electronic Warfare Associates, Inc.n (EWA) is a little-known Herndon, Virginia-based niche company comprised of nine separate operating entities "each with varying areas of expertise," according to the firm's website. Small by industry standards, EWA has annual revenue of some $20 million, Business First reports. According to Washington Technology, the firm provides "information technology, threat analysis, and test and evaluation applications" for the Department of Defense.

The majority of the company's products are designed for signals intelligence and surveillance operations, including the interception of wireless communications. According to EWA, its Bigfoot Remote Tagging System is "ideal" for "high-value target" missions and intelligence operations.

EWA however, isn't the only player in this deadly game. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Pentagon's geek-squad, has been developing "small, environmentally robust, retro reflector-based tags that can be read by both handheld and airborne sensors at significant ranges," according to a presentation produced by the agency's Strategic Technology Office (STO ).

Known as "DOTS," Dynamic Optical Tags, DARPA claims that the system is comprised of a series of "small active retroreflecting optical tags for 2-way data exchange." The tags are small, 25x25x25 mm with a range of some 10 km and a two month shelf-life; far greater than even the most sophisticated RFID tags commercially available today. Sold as a system possessing a "low probability of detection," the devices can be covertly planted around alleged terrorist safehouses--or the home of a political rival or innocent citizen--which can then be targeted at will by Predator or Reaper drones.

The Guardian revealed  May 31 that over the last 18 months more than 50 CIA drone attacks have been launched against "high-value targets." The Pentagon claims to have killed nine of al-Qaeda's top twenty officials in north and south Waziristan. "That success" The Guardian avers, "is reportedly in part thanks to the mysterious electronic devices, dubbed 'chips' or 'pathrai' (the Pashto word for a metal device), which have become a source of fear, intrigue and fascination."

According to multiple reports by Western and South Asian journalists, CIA paramilitary officers or Special Operations commandos pay tribesmen to plant the devices adjacent to farmhouses sheltering alleged terrorists. "Hours or days later" The Guardian narrates, "a drone, guided by the signal from the chip, destroys the building with a salvo of missiles. 'There are body parts everywhere,' said Wazir, who witnessed the aftermath of a strike."

"It is a high-tech assassination operation for one of the world's most remote areas.

"The pilotless aircraft, Predators or more sophisticated Reapers, take off from a base in Baluchistan province.

"But they are guided by a joystick-wielding operator half a world away, at a US air force base 35 miles north of Las Vegas." (Declan Walsh, "Mysterious 'chip' is CIA's latest weapon against al-Qaida targets hiding in Pakistan's tribal belt," The Guardian, May 31, 2009)

But while American operators may get their kicks unloading a salvo of deadly missiles on unsuspecting villagers thousands of miles away, what happens when CIA "cut-outs" get it wrong?

According to investigative journalist Amir Mir, writing in the Lahore-based newspaper The News, "of the sixty cross-border Predator strikes...between January 14, 2006 and April 8, 2009, only 10 were able to hit their actual targets, killing 14 wanted al-Qaeda leaders, besides perishing 687 innocent Pakistani civilians. The success percentage of the US Predator strikes thus comes to not more than six percent."

So much for "precision bombing." But as CIA Director Leon Panetta recently told Congress, continued drone attacks are "the only game in town."

A "game" likely to reap tens of millions of dollars for enterprising corporate grifters. According to Wired, Sandia National Laboratories are developing "Radar Responsive" tags that are "a long-range version of the ubiquitous stick-on RFID tags used to mark items in shops."

A Sandia "Fact Sheet" informs us that "Radar-tag applications include battlefield situational awareness, unattended ground sensors data relay, vehicle tracking, search and recovery, precision targeting, special operations, and drug interdiction." Slap a tag on the car or embed one of the devilish devices in the jacket of a political dissident and bingo! instant "situational awareness" for Pentagon targeting specialists.

As Sandia securocrats aver, Radar Responsive tags can light up and locate themselves from twelve miles away thus providing "precise geolocation of the responding tag independent of GPS." But "what happens in Vegas" certainly won't stay there as inevitably, these technologies silently migrate into the heimat.

Homeland Security: Feeding the RFID Beast

One (among many) firms marketing a spin-off of Sandia's Radar Responsive tags is the Washington, D.C.-based Gentag With offices in The Netherlands, Brazil and (where else!) Sichuan, China, the world capital of state-managed surveillance technologies used to crush political dissent, Gentag's are a civilian variant first developed for the Pentagon.

According to Gentag, "the civilian version (which still needs to be commercialized) is a lower power technology suitable for commercial civilian applications, including use in cell phones and wide area tracking." Conveniently, "Mobile reader infrastructure can be set up anywhere (including aircraft) or can be fixed and overlaid with existing infrastructure (e.g. cell phone towers)."

One member of the "Gentag Team" is Dr. Rita Colwell, the firm's Chief Science Advisor. Headquartered at the University of Maryland, College Park and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, according to a blurb on Gentag's website "Colwell will lead development of detection technologies that can be combined with cell phones for Homeland Security applications."

Another firm specializing in the development and marketing of RFID surveillance technologies is Inkode. The Vienna, Virginia-based company specializes in the development of low power devices "for integration into all types of products." According to a 2003 article in the RFID Journal, the firm has developed a method for "embedding very tiny metal fibers in paper, plastic and other materials that radio frequency waves can penetrate. The fibers reflect radio waves back to the reader, forming what Inkode calls a 'resonant signature.' These can be converted into a unique serial number."

Indeed, the fibers can be embedded in "paper, airline baggage tags, book bindings, clothing and other fabrics, and plastic sheet," Wired reported. "When illuminated with radar, the backscattered fields interact to create a unique interference pattern that enables one tagged object to be identified and differentiated from other tagged objects," the company says.

"For nonmilitary applications, the reader is less than 1 meter from the tag. For military applications, the reader and tag could theoretically be separated by a kilometer or more." The perfect accoutrement for a drone hovering thousands of feet above a target.

More recently, the RFID Journal reports that Queralt , a Wallingford, Connecticut-based start-up, received a Department of Homeland Security grant to design "an intelligent system that learns from data collected via RFID and sensors."

Tellingly, the system under development builds on the firm's "existing RFID technology, as well as an integrated behavioral learning engine that enables the system to, in effect, learn an individual's or asset's habits over time. The DHS grant was awarded based on the system's ability to track and monitor individuals and assets for security purposes," the Journal reveals.

And with a booming Homeland Security-Industrial-Complex as an adjunct to the defense industry's monetary black hole, its no surprise that Michael Queralt, the firm's cofounder and managing director told the publication, "The reason this development is interesting to us is it is very close to our heart in the way we are going with the business. We are developing a system that converges physical and logical, electronic security."

"The core of Queralt's system is the behavioral engine that includes a database, a rules engine and various algorithms. Information acquired by reading a tag on an asset or an individual, as well as those of other objects or individuals with which that asset or person may come into contact, and information from sensors (such as temperature) situated in the area being monitored, are fed into the engine. The engine then logs and processes the data to create baselines, or behavioral patterns. As baselines are created, rules can be programmed into the engine; if a tag read or sensor metric comes in that contradicts the baseline and/or rules, an alert can be issued. Development of the behavioral engine is approximately 85 percent done, Queralt reports, and a prototype should be ready in a few months." (Beth Bacheldor, Queralt Developing Behavior-Monitoring RFID Software," RFID Journal, April 23, 2009)

Creating a "behavior fingerprint," Queralt says the technology will have a beneficial application in monitoring the elderly at home to ensure their safety. Homes are laced with humidity, temperature and motion-sensing tags that can for example, "sense when a medicine cabinet has been opened, or if a microwave oven has been operated." In other words, the Orwellian "behavioral engine" can learn what a person is doing on a regular basis.

But given the interest--and a $100,000 DHS grant, chump change by current Washington standards to be sure--corporate and intelligence agency clients have something far different in mind than monitoring the sick and the elderly!

Indeed, the RFID Journal reports that "a company could use the system, for instance, to monitor the behavior of employees to ensure no security rules are breached."

Want to surveil workers for any tell-tale signs of "antisocial behavior" such as union organizing? Then Queralt may have just the right tool for you! "The workers could be issued RFID-enabled ID badges that are read as they arrive at and leave work, enter and exit various departments, and log onto and off of different computer systems," the RFID Journal informs us. "Over time, the system will establish a pattern that reflects the employee's typical workday."

And if a worker "enters the office much earlier than normal on a particular occasion," or "goes into a department in which he or she does not work," perhaps to "coerce" others into joining "communist" unions opposed let's say, to widespread surveillance, the ubiquitous and creepy spy system "could send an alert."

Queralt is currently designing an application programming interface to "logical security and identity-management systems" from Microsoft and Oracle that will enable corporations to "tie the RFID-enabled behavioral system to their security applications."

The Future Is Now!

This brief survey of the national security state's deployment of a literally murderous, and privacy-killing, surveillance technology is not a grim, dystopian American future but a quintessentially American present.

The technological fetishism of Pentagon war planners and their corporate enablers masks the deadly realities for humanity posed by the dominant world disorder that has reached the end of the line as capitalism's long death-spiral threatens to drag us all into the abyss.

The dehumanizing rhetoric of RMA with its endless array of acronyms and "warfighting tools" that reduce waging aggressive imperialist wars of conquest to the "geek speak" of a video game, must be unmasked for what it actually represents: state killing on a massive scale.

Perhaps then, the victims of America's "war on terror," at home as well as abroad, will cease to be "targets" to be annihilated by automated weapons systems or ground down by panoptic surveillance networks fueled by the deranged fantasies of militarists and the corporations for whom product development is just another deadly (and very profitable) blood sport.

Tom Burghardt is an acclaimed author, incisive investigator and leading scholar of the emerging technology in the defense and security industries.  His book, Police State America: U.S. Military 'Civil Disturbance' Planning published by AK press established him as one of the world's leading authorities on the insidiious encroachment of the national security state into the lives of ordinary people -- everywhere.  Burghardt's writings are archived on Antifascist Calling.

Offline Dig

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Re: The ENTIRE PLANET is being turned into an AUTONOMOUS ASSASSINATION GRID
« Reply #30 on: March 20, 2012, 10:03:14 AM »
DARPA's SWORDS
[Special Weapons Observation Remote Reconnaissance Direct Action System]
=
Philip K. Dick's Autonomous Mobile Sword

First Armed Robots on Patrol in Iraq
http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2007/08/httpwwwnational/
By Noah Shachtman Email Author August 2, 2007 |  3:56 pm |  Categories: Uncategorized

Robots have been roaming the streets of Iraq, since shortly after the war began.  Now, for the first time — the first time in any warzone — the machines are carrying guns.   After years of development, three "special weapons observation remote reconnaissance direct action system" (SWORDS) robots have deployed to Iraq, armed with M249 machine guns.  The ‘bots "haven’t fired their weapons yet," Michael Zecca, the SWORDS program manager, tells DANGER ROOM.  "But that’ll be happening soon." The SWORDS — modified versions of bomb-disposal robots used throughout Iraq — were first declared ready for duty back in 2004. But concerns about safety kept the robots from being sent over the the battlefield.  The machines had a tendency to spin out of control from time to time.  That was an annoyance during ordnance-handling missions; no one wanted to contemplate the consequences during a firefight.   So the radio-controlled robots were retooled, for greater safety.   In the past, weak signals would keep the robots from getting orders for as much as eight seconds — a significant lag during combat.  Now, the SWORDS won’t act on a command, unless it’s received right away.  A three-part arming process — with both physical and electronic safeties — is required before firing.   Most importantly, the machines now come with kill switches, in case there’s any odd behavior.  "So now we can kill the unit if it goes crazy," Zecca says. As initially reported in National Defense magazine, only three of the robots are currently in Iraq.  Zecca says he’s ready to send more, "but we don’t have the money.  It’s not a priority for the Army, yet."  He believes that’ll change, once the robots begin getting into firefights.
Screamers (1995 film based on short stor by Philip K. Dick)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Screamers_(1995_film)

Screamers is set in 2078 on Sirius 6B, a once thriving commercial and mining hub planet, now reduced to a wasteland by a civil war between the Alliance, a resistance group composed of the colony's former mining and science personnel, and their employers, the New Economic Bloc. Five years later, Alliance scientists created a new weapon system called the 'Autonomous Mobile Sword', an artificially intelligent self-replicating machine. Due to the noise emitted by the machines, the Alliance nicknamed them 'Screamers'. ... screamers ... track their targets via their heartbeats...
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

Offline Effie Trinket

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Re: The ENTIRE PLANET is being turned into an AUTONOMOUS ASSASSINATION GRID
« Reply #31 on: December 04, 2016, 10:27:13 PM »
http://defensesystems.1105cms01.com/articles/2016/10/10/future-drones.aspx

Quote
Unmanned Systems
Air Force chief scientist: future drones stealthier -more autonomous

By Kris Osborn
Oct 10, 2016


“The ISR (intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance) side will get a lot smarter. With the next generation, you will see UAVs that are faster, more maneuverable and maybe stealthy. You will see them accompanying fighters with extra weapons, EW (electronic warfare), countermeasures and even lasers on board,” Air Force Chief Scientist Greg Zacharias said in an interview.
Some of these anticipated developments were forecasted in a 2014 Air Force report called RPA (Remotely Piloted Aircraft) Vector designed to anticipate and prepare for future drone developments over the coming 25 years. However, the rapid pace of technological change has sped up and, to some extent, changed the timeline and mission scope for drones outlined in the report.

Artificial Intelligence and Autonomy

The processing speeds of computers and algorithms aimed at increasing autonomous activities have continued to evolve at an alarming rate, creating a fast-moving circumstance wherein drones will increasingly take on more and more functions by themselves, Zacharias explained.

Computer algorithms will enable drones to conduct a much wider range of functions without needing human intervention, such as sensing, targeting, weapons adjustments and sensor payload movements, ranges and capabilities, he added.

Developments with “artificial intelligence,” (AI) will better enable unmanned platforms to organize, interpret and integrate functions independently such as ISR filtering, sensor manipulation, maneuvering, navigation and targeting adjustments.  In essence, emerging computer technology will better enable drones to make more decisions and perform more functions by themselves.

The beginning of this phenomenon is evidenced in the computers and sensor technologies of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter; the aircraft uses a technique known as “sensor fusion” wherein information from multiple sensors is organized, interpreted and presented to pilots on a single screen.

Digital mapping, ISR information from the F-35’s Distributed Aperture System and targeting data from its Electro-Optical Targeting System are not dispersed across multiple screens which pilots try to view simultaneously. Fast evolving sensor technology, which allows for an ability to more closely view targets and tactically relevant information from increasingly farther distances, will continue to enable and improve this trending phenomenon.

One of the largest consequences of AI will likely lead to a scenario wherein multiple humans will no longer need to control a single drone – rather multiple drones will be controlled by a single human performing command and control functions.

“People will function as air-traffic controllers rather than pilots, using smart, independent platforms. A person does command and control and drones execute functions. The resource allocation will be done by humans as higher level systems managers,” Zacharias explained.

As a result, drones will increasingly be capable of working more closely with nearby manned aircraft, almost functioning like a co-pilot in the cockpit and massively expanding the mission scope of a fighter jet or other aircraft able to control targeting, sensors and weapons functions from the air nearby.

“Decision aides will be in the cockpit (of a nearby fighter jet or aircraft) and platform oriented autonomous systems will function like a wing man, for instance, that might be carrying extra weapons, helping to defend or performing ISR tasks,” Zacharias said. “We will get beyond simple guidance and control and will get into tactics and execution.”

Drones could lead the way into higher-risk areas in order to reduce risks for manned aircraft, test and challenged next-generation enemy air defenses and greatly increase the ISR and weapons ability of any given mission.

In addition, drones will become more capable of air-to-air maneuvers and attacks and no longer be primarily engineered for air-to-ground attacks. In fact, early conceptual renderings of 6th generation fighter jets and the Air Force’s in-development Long Range Strike-Bomber are being engineered for unmanned flight as well as piloted flight. 

Nevertheless, although drones and unmanned fighters will rapidly become faster and more manueverable, algorithms may not soon progress to the point where unmanned systems can respond or react to unanticipated developments in a dynamic, fast-changing environment the way a human brain could. At the same time, advances in long-range sensor technology will continue to enable aircraft to see enemies at much longer distances, massively decreasing the need for drones or unmanned systems to be able to dogfight in mid-air.

During the last decade and a half of ground wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, where U.S. forces experienced uncontested air superiority, drones were used almost exclusively for air-to-ground attacks against insurgent fighters on the run, compounds, weapons caches, bunkers and other strategically vital targets. As the Air Force looks to the future, it aims to be capable of using drones as a key part of successfully engaging near-peer competitors and potential adversaries with technological ability able to rival the U.S. edge.

Russia and China, for example, both operate 5th generation stealth fighters (the latest and greatest technology) – and Russia is known to operate some of the most sophisticated enemy air defenses in the world.  Russian-built air defenses, such as the S-300 and S-400, are now better networked to one another, have faster processing speeds and are able to detect fighter aircraft on a wider range of frequencies, making it much more difficult for even stealthy fighters and bombers to operate. Russia is even reported to be developing a more-advanced S-500 able to hit ranges greater than 125 miles.

These potential scenarios, now being studied by Pentagon analysts, involve developing an ability to operate in what is called a “contested environment,” where enemies operate advanced air defenses, 5th generation fighter jets and long-range precision-guided weapons.

“You need to increasingly be able to react more to your environment in the air, addressing unanticipated failures and threats coming after you,” Zacharias added. 

Zacharias explained that many of these developments will come to fruition more fully through ongoing training, simulations and live virtual constructions designed to assess various expected scenarios.

Faster computer processing power will also better enable an ability to organize and streamline the massive amount of collected ISR data. If a drone loiters over strategically important areas for hours upon hours, computer algorithms will increasingly allow the platform to identify important tactical information by itself.

“Right now we are using lots of bandwidth to send our real-time video. One of the things that we have is smarter on-board processors. An RPA (drone) can orbit around a given target and have it look, for instance, for a relevant white pick-up truck, instead of having human operators do that,” he said. “This requires image processing, pattern recognition. Then you could just send a signal instead of using up all this bandwidth saying ‘hey I just saw something 30 seconds ago you might want to take a look at the video feed which I am sending right now.’”

The ability for a single human to control multiple drones could bring a number of implications, such as an ability to effectively use a swarm of small drones. Air Force scientists have explained that emerging algorithms are increasingly able to allow large numbers of small, mini-drones to operate in unison without hitting one another. For instance, they could collectively work to jam or overwhelm an enemy radar system, act themselves as weapons or munitions, or cover an expansive area with ISR video feeds.

More Lethal Drones

A wider arsenal of weapons will also be integrated onto drone platforms, including high-tech guided weapons able to discern and destroy enemy targets by themselves to a much greater degree. This will likely include laser weapons as well, Zacharias added.

These weapons will naturally include laser-guided AGM-114 Hellfire missiles which are the primary weapon used by today’s platforms such as the Predator, Reaper and Army Gray Eagle.  At the same time, drones or unmanned platforms are expected to fire a wider range of guided air-dropped munitions and air-to-air weapons such as the AIM-9 Sidewinder, AIM-120 AMRAAM.

Also, the Air Force is now developing an air-dropped guided weapon called the Small Diameter Bomb II. This weapon uses an emerging technology called a tri-mode seeker, which draws upon infrared, laser and millimeter wave radar technology to detect, track and destroy targets in any kind of weather environment.

At the same time, Pentagon doctrine stipulates that a human needs to be in-the-loop when it comes to the possible use of lethal force, except potentially in some rare circumstance where immediate defensive weapons are needing in milliseconds due to an incoming attack, Zacharias explained.  As a result, nearly all weapons will help distinguish, track and destroy targets under the guidance and supervision of human command and control.

Given the pace of technological change, future Air Force drones will also need to be modular, meaning they will be engineered such that they can readily exchange sensor payloads when mission requirements change or new technology emerges, Air Force officials said.

Future drones will also be much faster than the 200 to 300 miles per hour most current drones are able to travel at. Hypersonic speeds greater than Mach 5.5 may be in the very distant future; the Air Force Research Laboratory and Boeing have worked together on an emerging hypersonic test platform called the X-51A Waverider. The test vehicle has had both failed and successful test trying to launch from an aircraft and travel at hypersonic speeds. While this super-high speed technology may hold promise for possible drone applications in the distant future, it is currently regarded as a long way off and in need of much further development.

Nevertheless, there have been some successfull flights of hypersonic technology, including on in May of 2013 wherein the X-51A Waverider flew over the Pacific Ocean reaching speeds of Mach 5.1.

This May 1 test flight wound up being the longest air-breathing hypersonic flight ever, wrapping up a $300 million technology demonstration program beginning in 2004, according to an Air Force statement.

 

“The X-51A took off from the Air Force Test Center at Edwards AFB, Calif., under the wing of B-52H Stratofortress. It was released at approximately 50,000 feet and accelerated to Mach 4.8 in about 26 seconds powered by a solid rocket booster. After separating from the booster, the cruiser’s supersonic combustion ramjet, or scramjet, engine then lit and accelerated the aircraft to Mach 5.1 at 60,000 feet,” a previous Air Force Statement explaining the test stated.

Naturally, massively increased speed could give drones an ability to urgently reach and potentially deliver weapons and sensors to crucial time-sensitive combat situations exponentially faster.

Stealthy Drones

Future drones will also be quite stealthy, as a technique for having more success against high-tech air defenses. There are already a number of stealthy drones in various stages of development.

One such example is Lockheed Martin's RQ-170 Sentinel stealth UAV which, according to a 2011 report in The Atlantic, helped track Bin Laden’s compound prior to his death.

Boeing has unveiled its Phantom Ray, a fighter-sized unmanned combat air vehicle which first flew in 2011. The aircraft has a 50-foot wingspan, can climb to 40,000 feet and reach speeds of Mach .85.