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Gunshots by Computer

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posted on Jul, 25 2010 @ 07:05 AM

A young woman sits at a computer, she is highly intelligent, skilled and part of the US Military's UAV Ground Control Station team. Three thousand miles away her target sleeps in his bed. Little does he know a Predator is bearing down on him and his companions, in their camouflaged hideout.

Silent and deadly the remote controlled UAV approaches it's target. A minuscule time delay is followed by the lighting up of the militant hideout.

Target acquired.

Our beautiful and deadly assassin takes another sip of her coffee.

The future of warfare, a terrifying disconnected killing machine.

UAVs are launched at actual combat locations but flight control, and weapons operations are done by a mix of military and contract personnel sitting in the USA, often in communication and coordination with on-the-ground units. Control is fully electronic "real time" via satellite uplink/downlink, including computer controlled loiter mode.

This is the ultimate war by proxy. A proxy that takes the dehumanisation of warfare to a whole new level. The glory and honour of meeting your opponent in battle and looking him the eye is long gone, and has been for some time.

In the future many of our 'soldiers' will have the ability to treat the army as a nine to five. A quick day in the office fighting simulated battles thousands of miles away, then return home to their families.

However these battles are not just simulations, and they do not only affect the bad guys. In war civilians will always pay the highest price, and in this high tech cyber war this truth remains.

How many civilians have been killed in the U.S. drone war in Pakistan? The number could be as high as 320 innocents, according to an analysis released today by the New America Foundation. That’s about a third of the 1,000 or so people slain in the robotic aircraft attacks since 2006.

These figures do not take into account operations since October 2009, as we know drone strikes have been increased considerably since then. See full article below;

It seems we cannot go a few days without hearing of a new drone strike. Sometimes militants are mentioned sometimes civilians. But there is no public outcry against these weapons. It's all good as long as our boys are safe. But how do we know when they are militants and when they are not?..

We don't, we rely on the media for information which only serves to further detach us from this conflict.

Yes the Pakistan government may publicly decry the use of these weapons as an attack on their sovereignty, but behind closed doors I suspect they are heavily involved in the decision making process. Let's face it an attack on a countries civilians by another is normally considered an act of war.

The problem is with every time civilians are killed by mistake in these strikes, militants are then able recruit tenfold, and so a perpetual state of war is created.

Perhaps this has been their intention all along.

Over the next ten years we will most likely see increases in these operations, not just in tribal Pakistan and Afghanistan, but in Northern Yemen and Somalia.

To all ATS members in the states, it is not my intention for this to be an America bashing piece, as I believe that the UK and other Governments would do exactly the same thing if presented with the opportunity.

The US is leading the way in drone technology but this will inevitably be outsourced to the highest bidder in the future, as other countries attempt to develop their very own remote controlled nightmares.

I believe we are devaluing human life with every new tech we launch into the battlefield.

But it is not just about my beliefs, what do you think ATS is this the conflict of the future and rightly so?

Or do I have a unrealistic view of what warfare should be? Worthy of Alfred, Lord Tennyson, one of the most well known armchair generals.

[edit on 25-7-2010 by Big Raging Loner]

posted on Jul, 25 2010 @ 07:35 AM
And now you know why violent video games are so popular. Just wait until AI and Robotics catches up with this. Imagine the day when wars are fought by human controlled machines, with the humans sitting at their computer desks at home in their underwear, sipping coffee and playing proxy soldier.
Then it will just be the nation with the most AI fighters that wins and not the ones with the best trained guerilla soldiers.

posted on Jul, 25 2010 @ 07:48 AM
Sorry for the short reply, but being thousands of miles away wouldnt there be some sort of time delay from the operator to the drone itself ? You know, like you see on tv with news reporters, where they are half way across the world and still takes a few seconds to catch up. Or am i mistaken with todays technology is there no time delay ?

posted on Jul, 25 2010 @ 07:54 AM
reply to post by ThePeaceMaker

There certainly would, in the openening paragraph I suggested only a minuscule time delay but in reality it is probably several seconds. I was trying to convey that in the future this technology will be more advanced and so the time delay will be reduced to the point that it is virtually instantaneous.

These operations can be carried out with the short time delay as the targets are often caught unawares. The element of surpise is crucial in drone strikes. If the target is completely unaware of the surveilling drone, they are unlikely to run for cover, or to be carrying out sharp direction changes and so this makes it easier to get a direct hit. The selection of high calliber weapons ensure a large target area, which would also compensate somewhat for the time delay.

[edit on 25-7-2010 by Big Raging Loner]

posted on Jul, 25 2010 @ 07:58 AM
Aaaaaah i see sorry for missing that in your post. But say for example .. you got a guy in nevada flying his drone watching maybe .. a suspect suicide bomber or high level al queda (spelling) suspect, pilot given the all clear to shoot and then due to the time delay the suspect goes into a busy market or even a school or mosque. Or is what im saying completely irrelevant as the time delay would not be that much .. If you see the point im getting at. Im no expert just being a bit nosey and asking too many questions

posted on Jul, 25 2010 @ 08:03 AM
reply to post by wheresthetruth

Unfortunately you're not wrong there, this is the future of warfare, for the West at least. I suspect conflicts in the future will continue to be quite one sided in terms of technology, but as we have seen in Afghanistan over the past decade, the high tech weapons do not gurantee victory.

Your comment also reminds me of that Robin Williams movie Toys where the military comes in and takes over the factory and they begin conditioning children to fight in simulated battles, of course all the while the machines they are controlling can actually be active in conflict zones.

posted on Jul, 25 2010 @ 08:09 AM
reply to post by ThePeaceMaker

I totally get what your saying, in a situation such as a suicide bombing where every second counts, would the drone be that effective?

The answer I suspect is no, unless the operations control was close to the actual war theatre reducing any time delay. I'm no expert myself but I do find the whole subject facinating, and terrifying in equal measure.

Currently drones appear to be used in situations where intelligence has located a base or hideout in relatively sparsely populated areas. Using a drone in a densely packed neighbourhood would most likely be a logistical nightmare, with the potential civilian risks as high as would be caused by the suicide bombing they were trying to prevent.

posted on Jul, 25 2010 @ 08:10 AM

Originally posted by Big Raging Loner
reply to post by wheresthetruth

Your comment also reminds me of that Robin Williams movie Toys where the military comes in and takes over the factory and they begin conditioning children to fight in simulated battles, of course all the while the machines they are controlling can actually be active in conflict zones.

Haha thats a bit weird you saying that i actually watched that film on friday night and when the two army guys were talkin about having computer controlled planes and tanks, i thought to myself .. well we already have ..

posted on Jul, 25 2010 @ 08:13 AM
reply to post by Big Raging Loner

I see a fellow NIN/Saul Williams fan.

On Topic: This is exactly what the world didn't need, a way to make killing easier. "Hey you don't like being shot at? Here aim and shoot through this computer, they can't see you." Is this the type of technology going to be implemented in America? If it is, I could imagine the backlash that would follow when the first innocent is killed with it. These kinds of things need not be used. I'm sorry, but if you're going to fight a battle, at least have the decency to fight on the battlefield, not in some AC'd bunker somewhere.

posted on Jul, 25 2010 @ 08:15 AM
These machines are truly awesome pieces of technology. I hope they become commonplace in the real world soon. I could see it now, "KTVU Channel 2 Traffic and Weather Drone." Of course, I'm looking at it as a positive instead of a negative.

posted on Jul, 25 2010 @ 08:23 AM
reply to post by ThePeaceMaker

That is freaky I tried to get a youtube video up for that post but could only find the trailor.

Games like Call of Duty are great examples of conditioning. Obviously the game is a work of fiction, but there are elements of truth in it. What I also find interesting is that some remotely operated drones have Xbox 360 controllers. There are plenty of children playing these games, who when they get to the age if military service, will be incredibly adept at using these weapons.

posted on Jul, 25 2010 @ 08:30 AM
reply to post by mistafaz

You are correct there is always a positive aspect, although the eye in the sky reporter will be out of a job.

As for the domestic use of these drones they are already underway in the UK. Contracts with BAE Systems to produce CCTV drones for police use in England are already in motion.

Police in the UK are planning to use unmanned spy drones, controversially deployed in Afghanistan, for the ­"routine" monitoring of antisocial motorists, ­protesters, agricultural thieves and fly-tippers, in a significant expansion of covert state surveillance.

Fly tippers? Come on, I think George Orwell would have a nervous breakdown if he saw the present day Britain.

The ones below are already in active service, very basic but apparently effective.

posted on Jul, 25 2010 @ 08:43 AM
reply to post by Big Raging Loner

I don't seem to understand the concern people show when it comes to how video games are possibly conditioning children for the military.
Conditioning future generations throughout history have been taught by the elder generation on how to prepare one's self for armed conflict be it playing with sticks for swords in medieval times to playing cowboys and Indians and playing soldier of yesterday's generation. I can't recall a time in history where in some way or another children weren't being conditioned for conflict, aside when the children were actually fighting in the battles.

Maybe it's because of the technologies used and how those technologies create a disconnect between the combatants. I don't see this seen as negative, while war is negative in itself, since the purpose of war is to kill as many on the other side while sustaining as little casualties on your own. Again, children throughout history have been conditioned to kill the enemy and dehumanize them. What we're are seeing right now is a growing revolution in how war is to be fought over the next several decades.

This topic certainly does warrant discussion on the repercussions of fighting such warfare.

[edit on 7/25/2010 by mistafaz]

posted on Jul, 25 2010 @ 08:55 AM
reply to post by mistafaz

I absolutely agree with you on the conditioning of children through time. Most societies and civilisations throughout history began their military training quite young.

However as we have all seen the impact of war many times over we should be learning from history, and trying to condition our children for a greater purpose, and nurturing other talents. As wars are often fought to keep certain people wealthy and in power, the children are not really defending themselves or their country.

It is the detachment that is the real problem here. If you are not willing to get yourself dirty, doing the dirty work, then maybe the war isn't worth it in the first place.

As I have mentioned above the conflicts fought with these weapons, have so far been futile, in particular my belief is that a system of perpetual war has been set up. One accidental civilian death justifies the 'enemies' war against the West and recruits new soldiers to the cause.

[edit on 25-7-2010 by Big Raging Loner]

posted on Jul, 25 2010 @ 09:00 AM

Unfortunately, the days of hand to hand combat or even army to army combat have gone. The introduction of technology into warfare (though steel v bronze could also be interpretted this way) meant that more civilians were hit - World War II being the prime example with bombs being dropped from a great height on cities on both sides (coventry, London, Dresden, Nurnberg....and with V1s and V2s almost randomly hitting whatever they hit.

Then add the two Japanese cities...

That said, recent wars aren't being fought against established armies but against terrorists who don't' necessarily target the establishment but civilians (The IRA bombs in pubs, and to-day, markets, religious festivals, weddings...)

In a way, I think using technology to target and eliminate is better although, ideally, I'd prefer it if there were no wars.


posted on Jul, 25 2010 @ 09:41 AM

Originally posted by Big Raging Loner
The glory and honour of meeting your opponent in battle and looking him the eye is long gone, and has been for some time.

LOL! Glory and Honor? Oh no, killing will now just be pressing a button and your enemies vanish from the screen.

This is terrible! Bring back the days of crouching in a trench in pools of your own blood, sweat, and urine while being terrified and insane from lack of sleep.

Bring back seeing your friends and commanding officers torn into pieces before your very eyes!

This cold, safe warfare is bullsh*t! Bring back the "glory and honor" of looking into your enemies eyes, watching the life drain from them as you shoot them or rip out their internal organs with your knife and bayonet, feel their lifesblood run over your hands and hear their death rattle.

This new remote-controlled warfare is way too safe and spartan. How can we be bloodthirsty murdering machines that rip the very souls from our enemies if we are just clicking a mouse while snacking on potato chips and delaying checking on twitter and facebook or seeing what Lindsay Lohan is doing this week?


Disclaimer: For those who cannot tell, this was a sarcastic post. I personally would prefer there were no wars and every disagreement could be decided by a jello-wrestling match. That being said, I wish my friends that are in the military were safely piloting UAV's instead of being human bullet-catchers on the front lines. All war sucks. War sadly usually involves killing the enemy. If you can find a way to do it safer and smarter with technology, is that such a bad thing?

posted on Jul, 25 2010 @ 12:35 PM

Regards the time delay mentioned.


How long does it take for your computer when online, to respond to a click which brings up data strings from servers the other side of the planet?

That is on very congested public networked Internet platforms with a lot of cyber crap among it all.

Now consider the closed systems the military uses, which are not congested by billions of users and are all very high speed data transfer on dedicated links.

Now consider if advancements are actually needed for almost instantaneous commands.

Think about it!!!


posted on Jul, 25 2010 @ 12:43 PM

Originally posted by ThePeaceMaker
Sorry for the short reply, but being thousands of miles away wouldnt there be some sort of time delay from the operator to the drone itself ? You know, like you see on tv with news reporters, where they are half way across the world and still takes a few seconds to catch up. Or am i mistaken with todays technology is there no time delay ?

Latency's a real issue, that's why drones more or less fly themselves - the operator's giving them comparatively high level instructions instead of flying it directly, unless they're really nearby.

You have a real time delay issue involved in just the signal time-of-flight which you won't be overcoming, not to mention the additional latencies involved with relaying the signal. You can pare some of that down but propagation delay won't go away.

posted on Jul, 25 2010 @ 01:22 PM
reply to post by Big Raging Loner

In the last video they mention PTSD... and how even pilots of drones can experience this disorder even though they sit behind computers thousands of miles away. Like in a video game... if you aren't able to remain totally focused... eventually you're gonna screw up and miss your mark. So it sounds more like the PTSD being the direct result of performance anxiety... yes/no???

All this reminds me of my favorite book series about ENDER by Orson Scott Card.

[edit on 25/7/2010 by Hedera Helix]

posted on Jul, 25 2010 @ 01:44 PM
reply to post by DeltaPan

Very true, but they have only recently obtained real time visuals for the operators of these drones.

So what you have is the image being sent to a satelite from the war zone and realyed down into your control room in Nevada or where ever it may be. The operator then makes their decision, and the reverse process is applied.

I don't care how good your closed military communications are. You are talking at least more than 1 second all round.

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