Friday, February 3, 2012

No-fault war

America has been at war in the Middle East for over a decade. That’s a long time. If I’m not mistaken, it’s longer than any war the U.S has been in. Yes, we are out of Iraq, more or less, but we’re still in Afghanistan, and I’m not seeing any quick, easy exit coming up.

I think a big part of why this war has dragged on is that it’s not real. That’s right - not real. For many of us, it is a video game. There is no draft, and most people don’t know anyone fighting. I don’t. This is in contrast to the Vietnam War, when everyone knew someone who was fighting - and probably dying - and was protesting.

What’s more, we now have drones. These unmanned planes, which drop bombs in Afghanistan, are controlled by a guy working a shift in a room somewhere in America. Talk about a video game!

And now there’s a plane coming out, the X-47B, which can not only land itself on an aircraft carrier but also will know what kind of weapons it’s carrying, when and where it needs to refuel with an aerial tanker and whether there’s a nearby threat. As Carl Johnson, Northrop’s X-47B program manager, was recently quoted in the Los Angeles Times, “It will do its own math and decide what to do next.”

So, as the Times article brings up, who is responsible for the bombs dropped and the deaths they cause? The commander who used the plane? The politician who authorized it? The military’s acquisition process? The programmer? The manufacturer?

And what if, dear God, there’s a glitch?

1 comment:

  1. When the Iraq war started I admit it was an emotional time for all who were confused and a little irritated as to why, when the truth is we know the reasons, at least I think some of us do by now with the revelation of lies cast down by the previous administration.
    The oil, right, not the democracy we were so flag waving our cars with? But then there came smart bombs where project 90 perceng accuracy? or so they told us...
    Then there were the casualties, mostly civilians, the enormous body count of innocent so called collateral damage.

    I wonder if we have a really smart grasp on these smarter dropping of weapons now that we need to step into another war like Syria. But after all is said we still have our democracy to protect as the polititians play politics grasping for there positions of power.

    A smart bomb was never dumber with 80 percent inaccuracies accounted for...

    Now it seems we are all distracted with our I pods, Kindles and smart phones...

    And before that, smart TV

    I wonder how smart we are
    when we continue to fight
    in wars we were neve suppose
    to be invoved in the first place
    Like Iraq and then the military has
    not been very forth coming when it
    comes to recruiting young adults in the
    fray of not knowing what to do with there
    lives other than unemployment and school debt.