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Current Topic: Military Technology

Abizaid: US military has failed to embrace cyberspace in terror war
Topic: Military Technology 11:29 am EDT, Jul  9, 2007

Here is retired Army Gen. John Abizaid, former CENTCOM commander, on June 20, at Transformation Warfare '07:

“The enemy is in fact more networked, more decentralized, and operates within a broader commander’s intent than any 20th century foe we’ve ever met,” he said. “In fact, this enemy is better networked than we are.”

Tapping information is particularly vital to empower lower-level American soldiers in theater, but the “architectures and the switches” are now being pulled by generals and politicians, he said.

He said because too many stovepipes and bureaucrats hamper the effective use of technology in the field, it may be time for a national dialogue after the 2008 elections about reforming the defense establishment to fight future wars.

Abizaid scolded reporters for not telling enough stories about the enemy.

Audio for sale here.

See also the on-scene report:

"It does take a network to beat a network, and our network must be better."

"It's more about people; it's more about taking risks," General Keys said. "It's more about changing the rules and (getting) a clean sheet of paper."

Abizaid: US military has failed to embrace cyberspace in terror war

The TRUTH About Black Helicopters!
Topic: Military Technology 7:32 pm EDT, May 15, 2007
Black Helicopter Lifecycle

Black Helicopters (BH) are not just helicopters with a black paint-job as you may have been told. They are, in fact, autonomous agents -- lifeforms -- created by New World Order (NWO) agencies via nanobiotechnology. Their primary purpose is to spy on the activities of average citizens in order to gather tactical information and discover "subversives" who are not bowing to the will of the Liberati's UN-backed Federal Government. Furthermore, when the NWO Invasion takes place in the not-too-distant future, they will round up citizens for internment in concentration camps or carry out the elimination of the more vocally anti-Liberati.

This page tickles my conspiracy theory funny-bone in almost every conceivable way. This page will arm you with all the information you need to know about Black Helicopters in order to convince anyone that you are completely nuts.

It's even got posters you can print out and hang up: "The Nanobiotechnological Menace of Black Helicopters (PDF)"

The TRUTH About Black Helicopters!

Danger Room - Flipper Fires Lasers in Air Force Brief
Topic: Military Technology 4:31 am EDT, Apr 20, 2007

Noah's recent posts on the Airborne Laser and reflected laser beams reminded me of a spoof on a Pentagon PowerPoint briefing that was making the rounds in the Defense Department a couple fiscal years ago. Better than any article, this briefing captures everything that is wrong, funny and horrifying about outrageous Pentagon weapons that sound too good to be true. I'm posting the briefing, called Directed Energy Sea Mammals, for those who weren't on the e-mail chain when it first came out. The author of the original Air Force PowerPoint is a mystery (I've also seen a Navy variant of it).

The presentation is question is quite amusing.

Danger Room - Flipper Fires Lasers in Air Force Brief

War in the Third Domain
Topic: Military Technology 8:36 pm EDT, Apr 14, 2007

When the Air Force formed Air Force Space Command in 1982, it marked formal recognition that space was a distinct operating arena. The first commander, Gen. James V. Hartinger, said, “Space is a place. ... It is a theater of operations, and it was just a matter of time until we treated it as such.”

Meanwhile, around that same time, sci-fi author William Gibson published a novel entitled Neuromancer, a work that gave the world a strange new term—“cyberspace.” The book didn’t call cyberspace “a place” but a “consensual hallucination” of billions of humans. Few military men gave it much thought.

Nearly a quarter of a century later, though, it’s deja vu all over again. The Air Force has come to recognize cyberspace, like “regular” space, as an arena of human activity—including armed activity. It is, to reprise Hartinger, a theater of operations.

“This is probably the only warfighting domain in which we have peer competitors,” said Keys of ACC. “We have to stay ahead of them.”

Whenever I say that we are riding on the crazy train to the world envisioned by William Gibson, people usually chuckle, thinking that I am making a joke of some sort...

War in the Third Domain

Music as torture/Music as weapon
Topic: Military Technology 9:10 am EDT, Mar 22, 2007

And now, for your morning dose of strange..

One of the most startling aspects of musical culture in the post-Cold War United States is the systematic use of music as a weapon of war. First coming to mainstream attention in 1989, when US troops blared loud music in an effort to induce Panamanian president Manuel Norriega’s surrender, the use of “acoustic bombardment” has become standard practice on the battlefields of Iraq, and specifically musical bombardment has joined sensory deprivation and sexual humiliation as among the non-lethal means by which prisoners from Abu Ghraib to Guantanamo may be coerced to yield their secrets without violating US law.

The very idea that music could be an instrument of torture confronts us with a novel—and disturbing—perspective on contemporary musicality in the United States. What is it that we in the United States might know about ourselves by contemplating this perspective? What does our government’s use of music in the “war on terror” tell us (and our antagonists) about ourselves?

This paper is a first attempt to understand the military and cultural logics on which the contemporary use of music as a weapon in torture and war is based. After briefly tracing the development of acoustic weapons in the late 20th century, and their deployment at the second battle of Falluja in November, 2004, I summarize what can be known about the theory and practice of using music to torture detainees in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo. I contemplate some aspects of late 20th-century musical culture in the civilian US that resonate with the US security community’s conception of music as a weapon, and survey the way musical torture is discussed in the virtual world known as the blogosphere. Finally, I sketch some questions for further research and analysis.

References to some of the unlikely origins of US military PsyOp technique have been mentioned here before:

According to the book The Men Who Stare at Goats by journalist Jon Ronson, Channon spent time in the seventies with many of the people credited with starting the New Age movement and subsequently wrote an operations manual for a First Earth Battalion. Rather than using bullets and munitions, Channon envisaged that this new force would attempt to conquer the hearts and minds of the enemy using positive vibrations, carrying lambs symbolic of peace and employing unconventional but non-lethal weapons to subdue others. Lethal force was to be a last resort. Members would practise meditation, use yogic cat stretches and primal screams to attain battle-readiness, and use shiatsu as battlefield first aid.

Some ideas proposed in the writings of Channon later found their way into military procedures for psychological warfare. Ronson specifically cites the First Earth Battalion manual's proposal to use music to effect "psychic mind-change" as one. However, the American military has adopted loud sound as a psychological weapon, not to win hearts and minds. For example at Waco, Texas, repeating the techniques used four years earlier in an attempt to drive Manuel Noriega from his sanctuary, an earsplitting cacophony of noise was played at the compound 24/7, that included the sound of rabbits being slaughtered, chanting Tibetan monks, roaring jet engines, and the Nancy Sinatra hit, "These Boots Were Made For Walking."

Music as torture/Music as weapon

BREITBART.COM - Global Hawk to Fly 1st Mission Over U.S.
Topic: Military Technology 12:17 am EST, Nov 20, 2006

But the Air Force's Global Hawk has never flown a mission over the United States.

That is set to change Monday, when the first Global Hawk is scheduled to land at Beale Air Force Base in northern California.

"This landmark flight has historic implications since it's the first time a Global Hawk has not only flown from Beale, but anywhere in the United States on an official Air Combat Command mission," base spokesman Capt. Michael Andrews said in a statement.

Beale is to have seven Global Hawks by 2009. It is currently the only U.S. base with the drones. Eventually the Air Force's fleet will include 54 of the Global Hawks, but most will be based overseas.

What do we need surveillance drones in Northern California for?

BREITBART.COM - Global Hawk to Fly 1st Mission Over U.S.

Samsung develops machine gun sentry robot costs $200k -
Topic: Military Technology 4:50 am EST, Nov 14, 2006

Samsung has partnered with Korea university and developed the machine-gun equipped robotic sentry. It is equipped with two cameras with zooming capabilities one for day time and one for infrared night vision. It has a sophisticated pattern recognition which can detect the difference between humans and trees, and a 5.5mm machine-gun.

Yet another milestone on the path toward robots that hunt, kill, and eat people, and use their flesh to generate electric power.

The future is about as bright as a muzzle flash.

Samsung develops machine gun sentry robot costs $200k -

The Top-Secret Warplanes of Area 51 - Popular Science
Topic: Military Technology 2:35 am EDT, Sep 11, 2006

Stealth jets? Hypersonic bombers? What's really being developed at the military's most famous classified base?

There must be a certain amount of giddy enjoyment derived from working at a place many people think houses alien corpses.

The Top-Secret Warplanes of Area 51 - Popular Science

The democratization of cruise missile technology, part II
Topic: Military Technology 3:36 pm EDT, Aug 29, 2006

The barriers to entry have dropped sufficiently so that, as long as anyone has the will to fight, they'll be able to continue fighting. I think that's the strategic picture that's most pertinent to our time."

What if the Iranians could launch swarms of hundreds of missiles simultaneously? All bets might be off. In such a scenario, the Iranians could conceivably devastate an American naval force. Do the Iranians possess enough missiles to do that? The truth is that we don't know. In the longer term, the trend seems clear.

This is the second half of an article recently discussed here.

The democratization of cruise missile technology, part II

The Lebanon War and the democratization of missile technology
Topic: Military Technology 3:22 pm EDT, Aug 16, 2006

Hezbollah's campaign is a clear sign of how the democratization of missile technology -- cruise missile technology, in particular -- is reshaping global realities.

"We are trying to wage war as if it still mattered that our forces are comprised of ‘the few and the large' -- a few large heavy divisions, a few large aircraft carrier battle groups -- when in fact war is migrating into the hands of the many and the small -- little distributed units. We live in an era when technology has expanded the destructive power of a small group and the individual beyond our imaginations."

The Lebanon War and the democratization of missile technology

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