Blogs > Liberty and Power > The New Face of War: Bringing (Most of) the Troops Home!

Jun 12, 2005 6:35 pm


The New Face of War: Bringing (Most of) the Troops Home!



“Revolutionary advances in technology are transforming war in our favor. And in the decades ahead, the changes will be even more dramatic. . . . We can now strike our enemies with greater effectiveness, at greater range, with fewer civilian casualties.” George W. Bush, Commencement Speech, Annapolis, 2005

Rumsfeld is having trouble getting recruits, even with perks including $40,000. What needs to be done is to make the pitch to all of the guys, and some gals, who have been playing video games and manipulating joy sticks since they were toddlers.

"Become a War Hero, While Never Leaving the USA," might be a typical ad, to some of these kids, even high school dropouts. Given the skills needed, do they really even need to be 18 to join up? Maybe all that should be required is a skill certificate from Sony or Nintendo.

After the bonus and a tour of duty(?) at regular combat pay (?), a "Drone Jockey" can then sign up with some private contractor such as Halliburton for the really big bucks, until time to retire before the age of 40. This will give a new definition to "Combat!"

If we had had such a force in the Vietnam years perhaps even George and Dick might have gone into"Combat."

Hey, they need a suitable anthem for the Joy Stick Air Force. How about, "Take to the Air Junior Joy Stickers?" sung to the old Air Force song music? Boy, what Gilbert & Sullivan could do with this theme!"When I was a lad, I used to work, as a Joy Stick Flyer in the Drone Air Force . . ."

To read more about our Drone Force, and its growing effectiveness, check out these links:
http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/13.06/drones_pr.html
http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/13.06/drones.html?pg=4
http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,67655,00.html

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William Marina - 6/15/2005

Yes, Ken, & the same holds true with respect to pilots actually bombing above a site.
I recall a CBC film during the Vietnam War which was withdrawn because the American pilot, banking around to observe his naplaming a village, was virtually having an orgasm in the cockpit admiring the beautiful orange flames surging upward.


Kenneth R Gregg - 6/14/2005

I think you may be right about this point, Bill. The process leaves a person desensitized to the consequences.

The great power that Ghandi had in India was that the Indians faced the Brits with the consequences of their brutality. They saw the women, children, old and young men die with courage and and honor right before their eyes.

How a person viewing from a monitor thousands of miles away smell the blood and feel the emotion from their victims is something that I can't imagine. Just chalk a few points on their score. End of game.

Just a thought.
Just Ken
kgregglv@cox.net


William Marina - 6/14/2005

A very good point, Ken, about the direction of technology.
I didn't mention it, but I suspect that at the end of a shift, if a joy stick jockey hasn't already shot off his missiles "creatively," there is a tendency to shot at something rather than return home without having shot off the stuff!


Kenneth R Gregg - 6/14/2005

I'm becoming pretty convinced that this is the direction which the military is going. Just listen to the liberventionist defense of invasion into another country. It's as though war is some video game where we add up the points on the screen--and We Win! There is no consideration of the inherent immorality of war, there is no recognition that war evolves and changes with each battle, of the incommensurable losses that come with war, or even the consequences that come with war.

War is Not a Video Game! It has no relation to X-Boxes. It isn't done on a sofa or chair in front of a monitor. It is far messier than this, and there are real people killed. Too bad newspapers don't publish the body bags coming home daily. Perhaps it would get kids off of their joysticks and wake them up as to what is going on here.

I realize that this is all part of an evolution, both on a social level and a political level and stretches out to many areas of life.

Another example is the consequence from continued restrictions of public lands. More and more acreage is taken up by national parks, federal protected lands with less and less access. There are now websites that allow you to visit your favorite parks and natural resources which you cannot visit or experience in person. Already there are many areas that you cannot travel to because the roads are no longer maintained and/or eliminated to prevent travel through these areas.

Now the justification for this comes from conservationists and environmentalists, and I understand their rationality for this. But the consequence is that permission to visit these wonders of nature is politicised. Within another generation, the natural result of mission creep in this area will become quite clear: 1) only the politically-connected (i.e., political elites) will be able to visit and experience natural sites and 2) the rest of us will only be able to glimpse them on our computers!

Just a thought.
Just Ken
kgregglv@cox.net

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