More robots, fewer people. That’s where the US military is headed in the future. But what kind of robots?

Army Gen. Robert Cone, four-star commander of the powerful Training and Doctrine Command (aka TRADOC), said that the service is studying how robots could help replace 25 percent of the soldiers in each of its 4,000-strong combat brigades. That’s because the current budget crunch is pushing the military to replace expensive human beings – and the expensive hardware required to keep them alive — with cheaper and expendable robots. The Army is under particular pressure because it has the most people, spending almost half its budget on pay and benefits, and those people take the heaviest casualties.

What’s hotly debated, however, is what jobs robots should do, under what level of human control. Should do they the drudge work of war, sparing humans the “dirty, dull, and dangerous” jobs like clearing roadside bombs? Or should we trust robots to kill on their own initiative?

The Army basically wants R2-D2s and mechanized mules, helpful bots that haul supplies, scout ahead, and provide technical support to the human heroes who do the actual fighting. They want small robots that trundle alongside the foot troops, loaded with sophisticated sensors so they can point out potential dangers, “robots that respond, if you will, like a bird dog,” said TRADOC’s Maj. Gen. William Hix in a conference call with journalists this morning. They want mid-size robots that carry extra supplies for infantrymen on long patrols, a concept once officially called MULE. They want big trucks that drive themselves, entire supply convoys where a long line of robots plays “follow the leader” behind a single human-driven vehicle at the front. They want scout drones that fly ahead of manned helicopters and report back what they find.

But, as TRADOC Col. Kevin Felix once told me, “No Terminators.”

Not so outside the Army. In a thinktank report released today, 20YY: Preparing for War in the Robotic Age, former Navy Under Secretary Robert Work and co-author Shawn Brimley call for developing “autonomous attack systems” cheap and numerous enough to form “reconnaissance-strike swarms.” Think big, robotic killer bees that attack with smart bombs instead of stingers and that coordinate their maneuvers using wi-fi instead of pheromones.

[Click here to read Brimley's response to this article]

Both sides agree there’ll be more robots in the future military — and not just our military. In fact, when you put together cuts to military research and development, the spread of high technology worldwide, and our unease about letting computers decide when to pull the trigger, there’s a real fear that more agile and less ethical enemies may field killer robots first.

These are questions of life, death, and taxes — that is, the tens of billions of your taxpayer dollars that the military will have to invest in whatever it decides to do.

The Army is already experimenting with armed robots like the MADDS prototype pictured above, but they always have a human being pulling the trigger, albeit by remote control. TRADOC doesn’t anticipate the actual fielding an of “unmanned combat platform” until around 2035 — and the military programs its unmanned systems not to fire without direct orders from a human. That’s not a restriction Army leaders are eager to release.

 

 

Work and Brimley, by contrast, are much more confident that robots can make the call themselves already — at least in some circumstances. “For some types of target sets in relatively uncluttered environments, it is already possible to build systems that can identify, target and engage enemy forces,” they write, “although current DOD guidelines direct that a human be in the loop for offensive lethal force decisions.”

The defensive value of robotics is equally important: Work and Brimley argue that if you replace human beings with robots wherever possible, you don’t have to worry about bringing your troops back alive, because they were never living beings in the first place. Currently, the US invests in a small number of very expensive, very capable, and very well-protected systems — stealth fighters, Navy destroyers, Army tanks — that have human beings inside them. Take the humans out and you can take out the air supply, armor protection, food, and a host of other systems that humans need to survive. Then you replace a few precious, large, manned vehicles with a swarm of expendable, small, unmanned ones.

“Human controllers, safely removed from harm’s way, would provide mission-level control over the swarm,” Work and Brimley write, “but the leading edge of the battlefront across all domains” — that is, air, land, sea, outer space, and cyberspace — “would be unmanned, networked, intelligent and autonomous.”

Killer robots aren’t the only things Work and Brimley are unsettlingly sanguine about. How are the “human controllers” who are “safely removed” going to “control” anything? The answer involves even more reliance on the kind of long-range wireless networks that the military has invested in massively since the 1990s.

Computer networks transmit orders and reports far faster and in far more detail than human voices, and they give  GPS-precise coordinates to both lost soldiers and smart bombs, but they are vulnerable to enemies more technologically sophisticated than the Taliban. Work and Brimley do briefly discuss “the need for robust and reliable communications” to link robots and humans, and they acknowledge that “cyber is likely to be the new ‘high ground’ in future warfare.” (“Cyber” is, by the way, a vague and debated term that boils down to “stuff that has to do with computers”). But on the whole they seem to just assume we can buy new technologies to stop enemy radio jamming and computer hacking: “many of today’s concerns about being able to communicate reliably with unmanned systems over long ranges seem likely to be ameliorated,” they write.

By contrast, the Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Jonathan Greenert, thinks protecting our networks is going to be a major battle. Or as TRADOC Col. Christopher Cross said this morning: “All of our technologies [today] rely on a reliable, redundant, and secure network….If we lose that, we lose all the advantages.”

Where the Army and the thinktankers agree, however, is that we cannot take our current technological superiority for granted. Work and Brimley don’t give an exact date for this vision — that’s why their title begins with 20YY — but they say we need to get started now. As advanced technology spreads around the world, they write, “the dominance enjoyed by the United States in the late 1990s/early 2000s in the areas of high-end sensors, guided weaponry, battle networking, space and cyberspace systems, and stealth technology has started to erode. Moreover, this erosion is now occurring at an accelerated rate.”

The Army’s own analysis showed the US was already losing its lead in areas such as long-range artillery, that our dominance in unmanned aircraft (drones) would be in danger by the mid-2020s, but our advantage in robotics and other key areas would remain secure until the 2030s.

“We thought we were too pessimistic,” said Col. Cross. “We thought we’d given the enemy too much credit. But when the Army shared its analysis with a conclave of academics and engineers held recently at the College of William and Mary, Cross said, their response was that, if anything, “we’ve been too optimistic.”

The issue isn’t just technological: It’s ethical. How smart does a robot have to be before we let it make its own decision whether to shoot? American standards for distinguishing combatants from civilians are higher than those of organizations that regularly blow up combatants and civilians alike with roadside bombs, like the Taliban, or inaccurate rockets, like Hamas and Hezbollah.

“Adversaries won’t play by the rules we play by in terms of the law of war,” warned Col Felix.

We may not deploy autonomous lethal robots ourselves any time soon, Col. Cross added. But, he warned, “we will fight against robotic platforms in the future.”

Comments

  • Gary Church

    The Church Doctrine:
    Drones and Missiles will be the dominant weapons in the near future and the hundreds of billions being spent on everything else is the easiest and greatest victory any enemy could wish for. The advantage has passed overwhelmingly to the offense. The Kessler effect will be the first act of any conflict between major powers and any surface vessels or vehicles will be massacred in the first hours by swarms of missiles. Even submarines will not last long against schools of autonomous sea gliders infesting the oceans. Welcome to the 21st century.

    Only a few years ago I was skeptical about robots, drones, and unmanned systems. The technology is accelerating and there is no longer any doubt what is going to happen. But it is very bad defense business to say their is no defense so that victory we are handing to our future enemy seems assured.

  • macfire113

    Couldn’t get past the ignorance of the editor who used a picture of Air force Airmen for a story about the Army.

    • rtjones427

      I was hoping I wasnt the only one who noticed :P

    • Gary Church

      Don’t be an ass and insult your host.

  • TGrade1

    Cyberdine is calling.

  • John

    There is coming a time when the armed forces of the United States will regret relying on drones and robots.
    Iran is working on a nuclear bomb dispite whatever our political leaders claim. There is no way to verify how much they have already accomplished and the country is so large that they could move any radioactive material to another location, continue building their bombs and we would not know any better.
    EMP or electro magnetic pulse is an atomic weapon detonated outside the atmosphere which knocks out all electrical divices and especially communication ability.
    If we rely solely on drones, robots and so forth and reduce our ability of boots on the ground, this would be a foolish thing.
    Our armies could be poised for a strike with all this technology, they could detonate a small weapon above the atmosphere. There would be no damage due to heat or explosion but all electronic gear, robots and drones would fall to the ground, utterly useless and the superiority of the US war machine would be vulnerble to complete destruction.
    That is how EMP works and there is no way to be sure there is shielding capable of working especially if radio waves must get in to operate them.
    The enemies know this and in fact, could be a reality which we should expect.

    • RC Far

      This is closer to reality than those outside the world of industrial technology realize. It has been a topic of discussion of those in the wireless fields for years. Known method of reducing enemy technology to a useless level and is well refined but little discussed. It goes beyond the technical and into the social and humanities areas of thinking. What is most concerning is that those utilizing little to no tech will be affected the least. Rifles will still fire whereas missiles may not or go errant on their mission failing to operate totally or by lack of control and command. Think of power grid failures, lack of communication and many of today’s computers becoming door stops.

      • Gary Church

        EMP can be shielded against. This nonsense is just naysaying. Communications and power networks are vulnerable but faraday cage type shielding is built into the black boxes. This is probably going to be the big lie to try and keep all those expensive cold war toys in production. If EMP was the magic wand some are claiming it would have been fielded long ago in the 70′s when EMP weapons were first tested secretly by both the U.S. and the U.S.S.R.

        • Gary Church

          And since most aircraft are fly by wire now it would actually be better to have the drones die like flies than human crewed aircraft- if EMP worked as well as the science fiction depicts.

      • RC Far

        By the way, if it was shielded beyond question our anti-missile systems would lose much of their capability.

    • AmericanPoliceState .

      Most if not all military equipment is hardened against EMP attacks. The only sector that would be affected is the civilian sector and many companies also have taken the time to harden their own networks and machinery against such a thing. Also the government has worked with the private sector to harden vital services such as water and power against any emp attack.

  • kmac444

    To have rules of engagement when your enemy doesn’t is a stupid way to fight a war – robots or not.

    • sfga180a

      very true especially when the enemy dresses like civilians and you cant fire till fired upon almost..Lost some brothers to this bullshit

    • Gary Church

      It is not a war, it is an insurgency. Very different and the classic insurgency happened over a century ago between Europeans in Africa; it was called the Boer War. The Brits finally won by rounding up the entire population and putting them in concentration camps. Every single man woman and child. When they all started dying the Commandos gave up. That is the only way to win. I am disgusted with the entire military establishment for ignoring the lessons of history and throwing our soldiers lives away in this whole stupid adventure.

      Very few Americans know that Osama died happy; all he wanted was the infidels off holy ground and yes, we did leave our bases in Saudi Arabia. He won. The rest of this whole fiasco has been about money. Filthy lucre.

      • Gary Church

        I forgot to mention the reason it is the Boer “war” is that when those commandoes came in from the bush they did so as a group and accepted terms of surrender. It was a war after the fact. Very doubtful this would work with Islamic fundamentalists able to infiltrate and terrorize a population. Am I saying this is something we cannot win? Depends on your definition of victory. We could kill the entire population instead of random wedding parties and that would work. Or we could just leave them the hell alone like everyone else in history has (except Alexander the great who seems to have introduced boy rape and won their hearts and minds). The ancient Greeks were ultra-violent killers who would have been more than willing to put them all to the sword and maybe this and a lack of faith swayed them.

        • AmericanPoliceState .

          It can be done. Institute a new policy. Every American lost from here on forth from a terrorist attack will result in the execution of three islamic civilians of our choosing. if you bomb a church, we bomb three mosques.

          • paulrevere01

            yeh, smart thinkin’…lessee, a billion three of ‘them’, and how much slaughter do you speculate it would take?

            These people are pissed off…the west has been enslaving them and their nation’s natural resources for pushing two centuries…don’t ya have a better solution than doing the Einstein conundrum?

          • NJHuguenot

            Yeah, that was definitely a popular when the Gestapo did it. They stopped when they started running out of people to enslave.

          • Gary Church

            How about we just leave? That is why I voted for Obama. I thought there was a small chance the helicopters would go in and bring everyone out like the fall of Saigon. Game over. But it did not happen. I am ready for Hillary!

          • NJHuguenot

            Hilary’s service in State doesn’t show much of an aptitude for foreign relations. Lots of miles flown but no achievemnets to speak of. Benghazi and her “What does it matter now” statement will be difficult for her to overcome.
            It would be interesting to see the dynamics of Bill living there again or staying in NY. I get the impression that right now they are living in different parts of the house and having “hallway sex” when passing.

          • Gary Church

            Gosh, I had no idea. Astounding. Your “impression” has changed my entire world view H. I guess it is all over; why should I even bother to vote if it is so completely hopeless?
            Puh-leez.

          • NJHuguenot

            Had you entered an opposing view ie: a list of her foreign service achievements I’d engage you but since you seem to have nothing of import to say I’ll ignore you. .

          • Gary Church

            Nothing I would have said would have mattered to you. If you are posting an “impression” about her sex life as something of “import” then your mind is made up. Benghazi is not going to keep her out of the White House. Sorry but you need to get ready for Hillary. I would just as soon not discuss these right-left distractions and stick with defense but the conservatives here make that impossible.

          • NJHuguenot

            You’re obviously unaware of what “hallway sex” is. As for “mind is made up” you obviously can’t define that either. I advocated for no candidate while you declared three years out and damn the accussations and proofs.

        • NJHuguenot

          Right on. The Boers (farmers) are Dutch and French descendants with common sense, something sorely lacking in fanatics. They have enough sense to stay way out in the boonies far from Johanisberg where they are fairly safe from the crime overrunning the city. The ANC is smart to leave them alone because they still produce most of the food unlike what happened to Rhodesia which went from being an exporting country to having to import food because the government conficated Whites farms. They redistributed them to party members who don’t farm and the land is lying fallow today.

  • zekemire

    This is almost, ALMOST, ridiculous! Give robots the initiative to kill on their own? How stupid can any supposedly smart, brilliant people be? IF WE WOULD SIMPLY GIVE THE MILITARY AN OBJECTIVE, SAY ELIMINATE THE TALIBAN, THEN GET THE HELL OUT OF THE WAY INSTEAD OF DICTATING RULES OF ENGAGEMENT, THE WAR WOULD HAVE BEEN OVER IN 6 MONTHS TO A YEAR OR LESS! SAME IN VIET NAM AND KOREA! YOU CANNOT FIGHT A WAR LIMITED BY RULES OF ENGAGEMENT THAT MAKE THEM NO MORE THAN A POLICE ACTION!@!!!!!!

    • Frank

      You got that right. However it is too much to ask politicians to step back and let the military do it’s job.

      • Gary Church

        Actually, the military’s job is to do what the politicians say. That’s America. If you do not like it than move to North Korea.

      • NJHuguenot

        Military force is a part of diplomacy. It is the force behind an argument and the carrot of support for a treaty. Bismark said “diplomacy without arms is like music without instruments:.

    • Richard

      The biggest problem we have is allowing the news media access to military operations . In a life and death situation you do not want some reporter second guessing your actions. That was one of the things that tied our hands in Vietnam and Afghanastan. The enemies do not have that problem and are much more effective because of it.

      • Gary Church

        No….the biggest problem is a thing called basic human rights. The dirty secret of insurgencies it that the only way to deal with dedicated freedom fighters or religious fanatics is the way the British dealt with the Boers over a century ago. I am not going to do your homework for you but I will give you a hint; the nazis did not invent the concentration camp.

        • AmericanPoliceState .

          I would go one step further. Round up the villagers, and announce that they will begin executing them one a day until the insurgents surrender. If they fail to do so they will keep going, village by village until they either turn themselves in, or there is no one left. Either way, it solves a problem.

          • NJHuguenot

            In most cases the villagers are as afraid of the fanatics as we are. In Viet Nam most of the people couldn’t have cared less who ruled the country as long as they were left alone to live their lives. They knew they would get the short end of the stick no matter but could live under domination by both. They’d lived like this for centuries and were very fatalistic about it.

          • Gary Church

            If we rounded up everyone like you and started executing them that would solve the problem also.

    • sfga180a

      that’s the way it should be but too many armchair politicians .. that’s the problem damn politicians…

      • Gary Church

        The politicians actually get excellent briefs by the military and make their decisions on that basis- and what jobs (votes) it provides for their district.

    • Al Schrader

      I graduated from Electro Mechanical Technology (3 years) in 1974.
      I built my first working hand armature in 1984. What I have now you wouldn’t believe including magnetic silicone. What is it ? It’s a moldable silicone that contains tiny electromagnets that can be shaped like articulate human muscles. Oh ya

    • Gary Church

      No……you cannot kill everyone else on Earth. There is term for depopulating a geographic region; genocide.

      • AmericanPoliceState .

        Wiping out a destructive pack of animals isnt genocide.

        • Gary Church

          Yeh you jack-ass, they are all animals. The women and children and the husbands and fathers just trying to feed their families and survive; all deserve death. What an idiot. Slap yourself.

    • jgelt

      Your interpretation is incorrect. Our failure in Afghanistan had nothing to do with rules of engagement. The Bush administration either wasn’t interested in winning or choose other objectives they considered more important. Special Forces discovered very quickly that there was a huge rift in the Taliban. The majority of the Taliban did not like al Qaida in their country. They were willing to turn on the Pro- al Qaida Taliban faction if they were allowed to run things after the dust up. Rumsfeld decided that being for part of the Taliban and and against the rest would be too ambiguous for the American population to understand and that our offensive against Afghanistan wouldn’t be splashy enough in the wake of 9/11. So instead of a quick neat victory, we had no insider aid in the Taliban controlled areas, and they fled to the hills. Then after months of painstakingly pushing the bad guys into the corner, and on the cusp of victory, the bulk of special forces were pulled and sent to prep the battlefield in Iraq. The troops that were left behind didn’t have the skill set to complete the operation and the bad guys got away. Then to compound these errors, our leadership foolishly believed they could impose secular representative democracy upon a country that hasn’t advanced beyond feudalism. There’s no change to rules of engagement that could have overcome those choices.

    • NJHuguenot

      Rules of engagement have more to do with currying a good image with the world than anything. The UN is a useless operation that ignores the big problems (Rwanda?) and waits until they have a festering sore to clean up. The UN fancies itself the future world government and is mostly involved in telling nations what to use for fuel, power and what kinds of guns citizens should be allowed to own. (ATT) The Obama administration has been more complicit in turning over US sovereignty to it than any other administration in our post WW2 history.

      • Gary Church

        No….Bush was the bad guy. Everyone knows it and Hillary is up next. This UN conspiracy baloney has been going on since Bush senior’s new world order comment. Puh-leez; I am sooooo tired of this stupidity. If you are looking for conspiracies I recommend Coast to Coast AM. This is supposed to be a defense website.

  • tony corn

    can’t think of a dumber move species wide than war robots.. May as well just drink some plague juice and wait for a gamma ray burst then on the count of three jump out of a speeding jet at 30,000 feet with a gun gun in our collective mouths and pull the trigger on the count of 0!

    Dumbasses!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • george pignataro

    Bad idea, didn’t they watch Will Smith in “I Robot?”

  • davide463

    And if the targets could move and drop? Oh and fire back with bigger stuff?

    • Gary Church

      You could not win against these things. People have to eat, sleep, cannot fight when damaged, a certain percentage are cowards, etc. A soldier is good for about 100 days total of being under fire- then they are no good anymore-ever. Robots do not have those psychological limits. We would have to outnumber them and factories make that impossible. Wake up.

      • Mitchell Fuller

        1. All this technology requires a source of power, if it runs out of power and cannot be recharged then you have only useless manufactured components.

        2. All this technology requires communication, knock out the communication you have only useless manufactured components or the enemy captures technology and re programs it…….. (It is easier to steal technology and or program technology then it is to develop, design, and manufacture technology and a lot cheaper).

        3. All this technology requires maintenance and repair and expensive units will require recovery if damaged in battle. All of this requires large amounts of personnel and equipment to perform these tasks.

        • Gary Church

          1. It is called fuel and that goes for everything else to. Sorry, not a valid point.
          2. It is called autonomy and they are crossing oceans and deserts by themselves now. Sorry, not a valid point.
          3. The rovers on Mars are not getting any maintenance. Sorry, not a valid point.

          Keep trying though Mitch, I will give you any point you can come up with if it is valid.

  • Jesus Sola

    This is total bull shit our arm force are one of the small army in the country these company Northrop is selling us the American soldier bullspit they know for a fact that you can not replace the human element and the general taking under table .?

  • Norm

    It’s about time. They have the technology, might bas well use it. It will be cheaper and save American lives.

  • Petra421

    The future: human workers = expenses; technology = cost-saving investment. Then what? The 80% of human workers become obsolete. Then what? Do we really think that those replacing humans with technology are going to spread the wealth amongst those who are deemed obsolete? It won’t matter how much education one has, a human being will not be needed for that job. What we call creation, intuition, etc is mostly only an ability to use our memories in what we think are unique ways. What happens when technology can crunch all human knowledge in a matter of minutes & can then make use of it… not in the haphazard way people do, but in a technological way that emulates what the human mind does? It’s coming. Already computers are making medical diagnoses on tests that can be digitized, images, lab work, etc… & those diagnoses are being tested against the diagnoses made by human doctors. What happens when the computers are as good or better than the doctors? Bye, bye doctors.

    • kmcc

      i am more concerned that the whole Terminator scenerio may become reality. All it would take is one A I to go rogue.

  • Dpsasso

    Rules of engagement are made by Generals who have never been on the ground and live in a foolish futuristic world. O! wait those are Liberals.

    • ycplum

      That hasn’t been true since the Vietnam War. Go google or wiki the general officers today. If anything, most of the over restrictive rules of engagements can be attributed to the cilian side of the military.

      And you are deluded if you think our military officers are all liberal. Military personnel tends to be over whelmingly conservative.

      • Gary Church

        Not overwhelmingly but the majority. I was in for 20 and I would maybe one out of then would be called liberal and four out of those ten neocon and the other half various flavors in between. I did not become liberal until they stuck me in an electronic shop for six months with a bunch dittohead idiots and the radio turned up full blast. The brain washing had the opposite effect on me.

        • ycplum

          Actually, the mix nowadays of the junior officers is just right of center. I think they represent the future mix.
          Those that make the rules of engagement are not so much liberal or conservative, but rather “political” and they tend to wear suits rather than class A. LOL

          • Gary Church

            Well, yes; they all wear suits when they leave and go work for the companies that promised them those big paychecks if they supported whatever cold war toy was being peddled at the time. The Marine Corps, which prides itself on honor, is the best example with the V-22 Osprey program. How many of those officers that lied about maintenance are now collecting on it? Disgraceful. I read somewhere they have to take that one year vacation after separating before putting on the suit- to keep it legal.

        • Gary Church

          I am sorry for the typos; I would say maybe one out of ten. The fat drug addicted damaged my brain and I cannot spell right when I am recalling that trauma….ugh.

      • NJHuguenot

        The percentage of Flag officers who are Liberals has been increasing. Obama has been relieving the Conservatives of command where possible. General officers must be approved by the Senate which is run by the Democrats. A higher percenage of Conservatives were Marine officers.

    • Gary Church

      Read up on the boer war and you will learn something. Generals are not liberals. Plenty of liberals have put their lives on the line- including me.

  • Jack

    how can robots be cheaper, i don’;t beleive it, and its a scary though

    • ycplum

      Their maintenece cost is cheaper. You have to pay a soldier a salary, cloth and feed him, constant training (over $1 million to train a pilot and then he need constant maintenence training), pension, cover medical expenses, insurance and cover his medical if he is injured/disabled. Also, a person in the military is a person not being directly productive economically.
      Most people do not realize it, but one ofthe main incentives to spend money on a nuclear arsenal was thatit was not economically feasible to maintain a large standing army to counter the USSR in Europe.

      • PVW

        Nevermind China who has a much larger and cheaper manpower pool.

        • ycplum

          China has plans to downsize their Army. They had previous used the military to soak up excess unemployed manpower (idle hands has always been as a ctalyst for revolution). With their improved economy, they want to release the manpower back to the economy. I suspect they will do it gradually as not to unbalance the econmy with too a rapid downsize.
          Besides, the primary threat is no longer over land from Russia, but overseas.

  • Marcus

    You may scoff at prophesy, both secular and religious, but this has been predicted since the beginnings of recorded civilization. Do some research of the future of humankind as predicted through countless types of prophecy. I am old now, but I remember as a youngster reading various bibical and secular prophetic sources concerning the future of both the Earth and it’s inhabitants. As the years and decades went by, what seemed impossible and difficult to understand has now begun to come to pass. I will not live to see the future that I believe will evolve… and I am grateful. Scoff if you will, but we have not begun to see the horrors yet to come.

  • Robert Stewart

    We will not have a sufficient military but everyone will have birth control insurance. How does that make you feel Safe or stuid

    • Gary Church

      I would bet you do not have several hundred thousand dollars in medical bills forcing you to declare bankruptcy like several million Americans have had to do. The health care industry has fought Obamacare tooth and nail and done everything they can to make it fail. And you are helping them. Stupid.

  • ArmyWife

    I would have read the article if the picture on AOL had actually been of the Army uniform and not AIR FORCE.

  • Michael Smith

    Sadly, most people have not learned what Americans 200 years ago KNEW as a matter of common sense and THAT is the concept of “standing armies”. Did you NEVER read in the Dec. of Ind. where it says “he kept standing armies in times of peace”. The fact is, there is NO war, we are at peace and we should DISBAND all of our military forces because they are not here to protect us because we are at war, they are here so bankers can make lots of money loaning the govt to fund the armies. See Huff article about debt ceiling:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/22/us-debt-ceiling_n_4646696.html?icid=maing-grid7|main5|dl29|sec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D433358

    But historically people of the US and in the world did not HAVE standing armies in times of peace. If you allow that, it becomes not only a tyranny to OTHER people but the armies eventually get used against the people INSIDE the country as well. Put THESE words in Google and study: “who warned us not to have standing armies”
    Watch Eisenhower’s speech about the “military industrial complex”: EISENHOWER Speech: BEWARE the Military
    Industrial Complex

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWiIYW_fBfY
    Read Declaration of Independence:
    http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html
    [[ ”
    He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.” FINALLY – if you are unhappy about all this: support
    http://www.the-last-amendment.org (under construction 2 weeks)

    • NJHuguenot

      The militray was a small force until WW1. There was an officer corps and some enlisted force to act as the trainers in the event of a draft. Primary forces came from the states much more so then than now. The idea was to allow the states to check the Feds. The system of checks and balances gave the states a lot of of power. There are no checks and balances anymore. The states govern by consent of the Feds thanks to the Income Tax and the 17th Amendment. Federal agencies control the states with the carrot and stick of grants. The 10th Amendemnt has been practically nullified thanks to Lincoln and the Civil War. The Navy was always a larger force becuase of our need to maintain the sea lanes for commerce Remember those “Shores of Tripoli” and the Barbary Pirates?
      Jefferson and others believed a standing Federal army was an excuse for the Federal government to enage in foreign wars and to enslave the people. In his last speech before retiring Washington warned us about getting into foreign entanglemants.
      The Founders would be outraged to see the Federal dictatorship we live under today.

      • Gary Church

        Centralized power is unavoidable in the modern world; the solution is not to give power back to the states, it is to have citizens participating in the political process. I am an isolationist like the founders and do not like foreign “entanglements” either. Let them sort out their own problems. That said we did not have much of a choice about fighting Hitler- if there was ever an anti-christ Adolf was it. And then there was communism….hmmmm. South Korea knows we saved their culture and will always be our friend no matter what. But in this century if we had not built that air base in Saudi Arabia then 911 never would have happened and we would not have flushed over a trillion dollars or given Bush the chance to lie and start that war– and end so many lives. Tragic.

  • sgrenillo

    As long as those who control our nation can continue to place our nation into conflict without a declaration of war, we will continue to be caught in these never ending “nation building” exercises, as the conflicts come to be called.
    It’s all about the military industrial complx. Remember that according to President George W. Bush, Iraqi oil was going to bear the cost of our adventures there. How much money have we seen from that source? But we sure have spent a ton of cash and our corporations sure have made tons of profit.
    Ever since we did away with the draft, the prospect that one of our loved ones could be killed has continued to lessen, after all less than one percent of us actually serve in the military. Instead, we supplement the armed forces with mercenaries from corporations that are in it soley to make money from the conflicts. The mercenaries make more much than our troops, with a tidy margin going to the corporations. Yet we can still cut the benefits and promises we made with our GIs in an false effort to save cash.
    I hate to say bring back the draft, but at least then I believe that the American people would care more about why we put our boys in harms way. Vietnam proved that. And the more we turn to cyber warfare, the more our leaders will be tempted to jump into more conflicts, making more profits for more corporations. What’s the alternative? Only half of us vote and the Republicans never met a war they didn’t like.
    Dwight Eisenhower warned us about the military industrial complex, the last time we got good advice from the GOP.

    • edwbiker

      That is such pre-9-11 thinking. I can only hope fools like you are at ground zero for the next one. I know you think you mean well and you obviously are a head in the sand liberal but why not read some history? Every time we have done what you want we got attacked. With modern weapons as they are, we may not get a chance to recover before we are wiped out.

      • Gary Church

        Just as many conservatives (if not more) have their head in the sand- and other places. Ike was right.

  • SGMAVR

    A very stupid idea! I see the enemy usin EMP to paralized those robots and any other electronic equipment, then what? I’m sure since we will have a very limit force we will loose the war.

    • ycplum

      You have hit upon a key weakness with regard to remotely controlled assets – secure communications. Why equipment can be hardeneed against EMP (to varying degrees) communications will be affected. However, a crude EMP bomb isn’t the silver bullet defense you might think. The EMP bomb would likely be used over your own territory. You may knock out the first wave of attacking drones (assuming you see them coming), but you would have blinded yourself against the second wave.

      Of course, if you had a directed EMP weapon ….

    • Gary Church

      Not stupid. EMP can be shielded against- it just shuts down communication for awhile. With all the overhead assets gone and comms messed up the drones will be relaying data line of sight with lasers.

  • Brady Keister

    Those targets appear to have wider hips than one would expect on male soldiers. WTF?

  • ycplum

    Slight off topic (and slight on).
    “The Battle” (1954) Short story (six pages) by Robert Sheckley

  • kmcc

    Oh for crying out loud! Give me an RPG or one of those ‘smart’ one man anti-tank rockets and i’ll burn that thing. Better yet a Finnish lahti 20mm. Great for long distance accuracy and just enough punch to kiss it good night!

    • Gary Church

      It is smarter than your smart rocket- you better believe it. Probably smarter than you judging by your arrogance.

  • PVW

    Almost every sci fi story from the last 100 years or so tells us that this will not end well. At least give them human brains.

  • eR

    Well … a cheap solution short time can turns out to be more expensive in the long run. Many of a magic solution really just ends up migrating the problems from one end to other more obscured area.
    Albeit necessary, war is expensive, and thanks God for that. No doubt of the benefit of augmenting the military with automated robotic capabilities, but let’s hope it won’t become too cheap and too convenient to encourage too easy a decision at some point …

    … plus, an automated robotic military capability, married with the emerging cyberhack age … yak! … yak yak yak !!!

    • NJHuguenot

      I read today that the military is getting rid of 13,000 of the Mine Resistant Ambush Protection(MRAP vehicles which were purchased for $500K apiece. Huge heavily armored vehicles 10 feet tall with machine gun mounts. They are being offered to municipal police departments for free. The rest are being destroyed. The companies that produced them were counting on their remaining in service to sell the military repair parts. They are laying off people now. Low balling bids to get the machines in service and make it up later on part sales and improvements is what keeps Grumann, General Dynamics, GE and Northrup in business
      Near the end of Viet Nam SEABEE battallions were being decommissioned. Normally each battallion transported its heavy construction equipment. We left hundreds of bull dozers and backhoes there because making it surplus auctioning it off would have destroyed Caterpillar. The Military-Industrial Complex model works very well.

  • Cindi Lalalala

    Kill all them dam Muslims send all them anoles back to the Filipinos etc and give American jobs back to us

    • Gary Church

      Nothing to do with defense. Go away.

  • Cindi Lalalala

    America was better when we had manners taught in school said the Pledge of Allegiance and spoke English and didn’t have all these Filipinos working in our healthcare and speaking their chicken scratch language

    • Gary Church

      Nothing to do with defense. Go away.

    • NJHuguenot

      A non sequitur. The laguage is Tagalog.

  • ObiRich

    Here come the Cylons! By your command!

  • Gary Church

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boer_Wars

    This is the only way to fight insurgents. If we are not willing to starve women and children to death on a massive scale we should leave. However, I do not think even this would work against religious fundamentalists. The final solution is to kill them all. I wonder how many pygmies are left?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genocides_in_history

    Excerpt: “Democratic Republic of Congo
    During the Congo Civil War (1998–2003), Pygmies were hunted down and eaten by both sides in the conflict, who regarded them as subhuman.[346] Sinafasi Makelo, a representative of Mbuti pygmies, has asked the UN Security Council to recognize cannibalism as a crime against humanity and also as an act of genocide.[347] According to a report by Minority Rights Group International there is evidence of mass killings, cannibalism and rape.”

    Much easier to program robots to kill than to eat people.

  • USAremembered

    WE HAVE PLENTY OF MONEY TO FIND BETTER WAYS FOR OUR GOVERMENT TOO KILL. AND MORE REASONS WHY THE PEOPLE NEED A SINGLE SHOOT BOLT ACTION 22. WONDER WHY?????????????????

    • NJHuguenot

      Non sequitur.

  • USAremembered

    everything the bible has said has come too pass. MAY GOD BLESS YOU ALL.

  • Mav

    It’s “IRONMAN” TIME ! ! !

  • sonny

    talks about the army but yet shows a pic of the airforce

  • DB

    On the positive side, rape, fraggings and the disobeyal of orders should go down.

    However let’s be real, and call it like it is. First, we all know China – thanks to our greedy economic practices and stupid decisions to let them make everything using our technology in the process, has GIVEN China the means – AND THE MONEY – to build the same robotic systems we have – AND MORE OF THEM – we are going to have to resort to some pretty nasty weapon systems that will escalate just like the nukes have.

    And the difference is that besides China being crazy, compared to the Russians, during the COLD WAR, we weren’t BUYING EVERYTHING from the Soviet Union. In fact, the reason the Soviet Union fell was they went financially broke trying to keep up with our military spending.

    WHICH WILL NOW HAPPEN TO US TRYING TO KEEP UP WITH CHINA’S

    ALSO, THIS WILL USHER IN A NEW COLD WAR by virtue of weapon systems so diabolical that it will also result in a MUTUAL ASSURED DESTRUCTION scenario. …..

    And if we are going to do that – AND WE WILL HAVE NO CHOICE – then “Terminators” and other lethal systems are inevitable – and probably should be. In war with them – the gloves are off

    We simply win – or lose – and losing to China (or Russia) is not an option Americans will tolerate. Robotic min nukes, Bio warfare weapons, nano tech assassins and invisible, long-range min missiles, torpedoes and cruise missiles are just the beginning.

    Whatever we imagine will be possible . and humanity will edge closure to extinction, *which should make certain globalist, elite sickos pretty happy)

    And wait until the military “gives” our law enforcement departments 0 and the DHS- their “obsolete surplus.” .

  • dnice88

    Heres an idea. The countries that need help pay for their own defense internal or external. America stops sending tax dollars to infidel countries an sacrificing our children for cowards who can not or wont sacrifice their children for the cause. It sickens me that America can police every country but their own.

  • ted

    Looks like they took a high reach mobile cart from construction site mounted a machine gun on top with a camera and controls. I wonder if it can reach forty feet in the air?.One grenade and its all over baby. Or maybe a well placed bullet?.It just don’t impress me as a viable weapon for the battle field. Maybe not even for civilian use for the bad boys on the street. In my opinion its a waste of tax dollars.