Tag Archive: Drone Warfare


DARPA Unveils Unmanned Drones To Assist War Zone Troops

 

 

” The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) unveiled Tuesday an update to its initiative to equip the US military with unmanned, modular drones that would conduct supply runs, reconnaissance and rescue missions, casualty evacuations and other essential services in hard-to-reach areas.

“ US military experience has shown that rugged terrain and threats such as ambushes and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) can make ground-based transportation to and from the front lines a dangerous challenge,” DARPA said in its announcement, noting that combat outposts require on average 100,000 pounds of material each week.”

 

 

 

 

” High elevation and impassable mountain roads often restrict access to remote war zones. Although helicopters are a possible solution, DARPA said the supply can’t meet the demand for their services, which cover diverse operational needs such as resupply, tactical insertion and extraction, and casualty evacuation.

  To address these challenges, DARPA unveiled its Transformer (TX) program in 2009, which sought to develop and demonstrate a prototype system that would provide “flexible, terrain-independent transportation for logistics, personnel transport and tactical support missions for small ground units.”

  Last year, the agency selected the Aerial Reconfigurable Embedded System (ARES) design concept with which to move forward.”

Red Orbit has much more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drones And Robotic Warfare You Just Can’t Imagine

 

 

 

 

” Drones can essentially conduct perch and stare missions nearly endlessly. The technology is developing even more rapidly than the military can grasp, says the director of MIT’s Humans and Automation Laboratory.

  In just the past two years, it seems as if drones are everywhere in the news. This technology has been around for more than 60 years, but has only recently captured both national and international attention. This is primarily because of the increasing use in the military, but also because of concerns that such technology will be turned on a country’s own citizens.

  The average person thinks of a drone as a flying spy camera, loitering overhead waiting to spot a target and then possibly launching a weapon when that target is labeled as a threat. To be sure, this is indeed one mission of drones, typically of organizations like the CIA.

  However, this is by far the least common mission. The vast majority of military drone missions today are data and image collection. Their ability to provide “situational awareness” to decision makers on the ground is unparalleled in military operations since drones can essentially conduct perch and stare missions nearly endlessly.

  This is why their use and demand from the trenches has been so high – they provide an ability to watch as events unfold, providing some clarity to the fog of war, which is the Achilles Heel for military leaders.

  However, in the very near future, these intelligence surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions will be dwarfed by other uses of drones in operations inconceivable to most military personnel today.

  They will be used to enhance communications, patrol the skies, intercept incoming ballistic and short range missiles, dog fight with other aircraft in the sky, and deliver supplies. Indeed, currently the US Marine Corps has two robotic helicopters that have moved millions of pounds of goods and have been critical in current drawdown efforts.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shades Of Vietnam: Spike In U.S. Troop Deaths Tied To Stricter Rules Of Engagement

 

 

 

” The number of U.S. battlefield fatalities exceeded the rate at which troop strength surged in 2009 and 2010, prompting national security analysts to assert that coinciding stricter rules of engagement led to more deaths.

  A connection between the sharp increase in American deaths and restrictive rules of engagement is difficult to confirm. More deaths surely stemmed from ramped-up counterterrorism raids and the Taliban’s response with more homemade bombs, the No. 1 killer of NATO forces in Afghanistan.

  But it is clear that the rules of engagement, which restrain troops from firing in order to spare civilian casualties, cut back on airstrikes and artillery strikes — the types of support that protect troops during raids and ambushes.

In Afghanistan, the [rules of engagement] that were put in place in 2009 and 2010 have created hesitation and confusion for our war fighters,” said Wayne Simmons, a retired U.S. intelligence officer who worked in NATO headquarters in Kabul as the rules took effect, first under Army Gen. Stanley M. McChrystal, then Army Gen. David H. Petraeus.

It is no accident nor a coincidence that from January 2009 to August of 2010, coinciding with the Obama/McChrystal radical change of the [rules of engagement], casualties more than doubled,” Mr. Simmons said. “The carnage will certainly continue as the already fragile and ineffective [rules] have been further weakened by the Obama administration as if they were playground rules.” “

 

 

    The two graphs below offer a stark picture of the Obama administration’s record in Afghanistan . While President “Peace Prize” immediately instituted a troop surge and over the course of his first two years in office more than doubled the amount of boots on the ground , he simultaneously tied the troops hands with prohibitive rules of engagement thus insuring a huge increase in troop deaths

    It’s the same old Democratic story that we witnessed with the Clinton presidency … the desire to seem tough and responsive in the defense of our country without taking the political risk of losing troops . Think Mogadishu ROE and the cruise missile strikes against aspirin factories in Sudan and empty mountaintops in Afghanistan .

 

 

 

   After doubling the troop deployment from 2008 to 2010 and then instituting the very restrictive ROE for the coalition troops it is no wonder that troop fatalities rose dramatically .

 

 

 

 

   The above graph shows that while US troop deaths are finally declining that is more a result of less aggressive soldiering and less patrolling than it is due to more effective rules of engagement .

    While the Obama administration makes a great showing of being sensitive to “collateral damage” in Afghanistan as a reason for the more dangerous , to our troops anyway , rules of engagement it shows no such concern for the deaths of innocents when it comes to the use of drones to do it’s killing

    While increasing amounts of American soldiers were dying in order to spare the lives of non-combatants in Afghanistan Obama had no problem with the killing in indiscriminate fashion of civilians across Africa and the near east through it’s use of drones as the below table ably demonstrates .

 

 

 

 

 

   Peace loving” Obama has taken the strikes and targeted killings to astronomical heights as compared to that “war mongering” ex-president Bush killing nearly five times as many victims in less time .

 

 

 

 

 

    For more on Obama’s drone strike policy and to see where and when the strikes are taking place you can go here and here and here . This is not a record the “Land Of The Free And The Home Of The Brave” should be proud of .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remote Control Warfare. Some Sixty US Drone Bases Around The World

 

 

 

” In 2000, the Pentagon had less than 50 drones. Ten years later, that number is 7,500–an increase of 15,000 percent. In 2003, the U.S. Air Force was flying a handful of round-the-clock drone patrols every day. By 2010, that number had reached 40.

“By 2011, the Air Force was training more remote pilots than fighter and bomber pilots combined,” explains Medea Benjamin in her book Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control. Benjamin cites Mark Maybury, chief scientist for the Air Force, who said in 2011, “Our number one manning problem in the Air Force is manning our unmanned platform.”

But more important is that the use of drones to carry out missions in far-flung countries has enabled the Obama administration to avoid any formal declaration of war while raining down lethal force from the skies–a clear attempt to skirt both U.S. and international law regarding war. As Nick Turse writes in The Changing Face of Empire: Special Ops, Drones, Spies, Proxy Fighters, Secret Bases and Cyberwarfare:

Take the American war in Pakistan–a poster child for what might now be called the Obama formula, if not doctrine. Beginning as a highly circumscribed drone assassination campaign backed by limited cross-border commando raids under the Bush administration, U.S. operations in Pakistan into something close to a full-scale robotic air war, complemented by cross-border helicopter attacks, CIA-funded “kill teams” of Afghan proxy forces, as well as boots-on-the-ground missions by elite special operations forces.

The U.S. has now deployed drones armed with lethal force in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia and Libya. Some 60 bases throughout the world are directly connected to the drone program–from Florida to Nevada in the U.S., from Ethiopia and Djibouti in Africa, to Qatar in the Middle East and the Seychelles Islands in the Indian Ocean.

According to Turse, for the last three years, Xe Services, the company formerly known as Blackwater, has been in charge of arming the fleet of Predator drones at CIA clandestine sites in Pakistan and Afghanistan.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Wonderfully Crafted Piece From Our Friends At Two Heads Are Better Than One

Two Heads are Better Than One

Abu Ghraib.

NSA wire-tapping.

Guantanamo Bay.

Water-boarding.

Remember all these golden hits from not that long ago (plus a host of others) which the Left carped about DAILY? Remember the claims that Bush was a tyrant/dictator/fascist/Nazi? That he was a war-mongering war criminal who really, really loved war? That the United States should be the world’s buddy, and shouldn’t do things like forcibly extracting information from terrorists, or listen in on conversations between terrorists, ’cause THAT would be an egregious governmental overreach?

That is sooooo yesterday.

Lap dog media

In light of the news which we just touched on earlier, the media’s reaction has been somewhat of a mixed bag. Certainly there’s been surprise from some on the Left, and it can’t be ignored that the leaked 16-page ‘White Paper‘ was brought to light via NBCnews.com. But it remains to be seen if this will engender…

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When it comes to national security, the frightening truth is that we have to trust our public officials.

 

 

  Which is exactly the crisis we the people face today . At exactly the period when we most need to be able to have faith in the authorities we find ourselves at a place that precludes granting the government that needed  trust . 

 

 

 

 

” Right now, the United States and the larger international community is caught in a difficult debate over the use of drones against enemy combatants. Domestically, there is an odd confluence of views. The Obama administration’s policy on drones has been congenial to the conservatives, who oppose him on domestic issues; but his liberal allies, like the American Civil Liberties Union, are dismayed by what they perceive as his administration’s overuse of drones in Pakistan from 2004 to 2012. Has the United States pushed its drone attacks too far or not far enough? Have too many potential targets escaped attack because of an undue fear of excessive “incidental” or collateral damage to the lives and property of innocent non-combatants? “