"Ideally suited to mobilization on the shifting terrain of asymmetrical conflict
, inherently covert, insidiously plastic, politically potent, irony offers rogue elements a volatile if often overlooked means by which to demoralize opponents and destabilize regimes. And yet, while major research resources have for forty years poured into the human sciences from the defense and intelligence community in an effort to gain control over the human capacity to lie (investments that led to the polygraph, sodium pentothal and its successor compounds, “brain fingerprinting” and associated neuro-physiological imaging techniques, etc.), we have no comparable tradition of sustained, empirical, applied investigation into irony."
Over a thousand
scientists and public intellectuals, including Stephen Hawking, Daniel Dennett, Steve Wozniak, Noam Chomsky, and Elon Musk, have signed an open letter
calling for a ban on the development and deployment of "offensive autonomous weapons beyond meaningful human control”, i.e., the coupling of autonomous Artificial Intelligence to weapons systems.
: an interactive visualization of the international trade in small arms (generally defined as lethal weapons for use by individuals) from 1992 to 2011. Click on an individual country or type its name into the search box to examine it separately. Uncheck the boxes in the lower right corner to narrow down by category. Drag the slider at the bottom or click the graph button to view change over time. May take a while to load on slower connections. [more inside]
has three Youtube channels: The eponymous AIRBOYD features 2000+ videos for "aviation and aerospace enthusiasts
. Then there's the Nuclear Vault
: Vintage Military, War and News Videos, with 1200+ full-length documentaries, news reels and other assorted footage, including 200 episodes of "The Big Picture (Army Signal Corps)
" and a variety of Atomic and Nuclear energy films
. Last but not least is US Auto Industry
, an archive of over 450 vintage automobile films
, including commercials from Buick
. [more inside]
How two American kids became big-time weapons traders
- "Working with nothing but an Internet connection, a couple of cellphones and a steady supply of weed, the two friends — one with a few college credits, the other a high school dropout — had beaten out Fortune 500 giants like General Dynamics to score the huge arms contract. With a single deal, two stoners from Miami Beach had turned themselves into the least likely merchants of death in history." (via
; previously on arms contractors
“In all honesty, we don’t know when it’s coming back for sure”
- The US Air Force's first launch of the X-37b
reusable space vehicle has provoked much speculation, with some even wondering if the Pentagon is reviving Nazi space-bomber plans
. But was the launch of spaceplane an attempt to mask the launch of another secret weapon
The Physics of Space Battles
"I had a discussion recently with friends about the various depictions of space combat in science fiction movies, TV shows, and books. We have the fighter-plane engagements of Star Wars, the subdued, two-dimensional naval combat in Star Trek, the Newtonian planes of Battlestar Galactica, the staggeringly furious energy exchanges of the combat wasps in Peter Hamilton's books, and the use of antimatter rocket engines themselves as weapons in other sci-fi. But suppose we get out there, go terraform Mars, and the Martian colonists actually revolt. Or suppose we encounter hostile aliens. How would space combat actually go?"
Presented in a way that is familiar to gimmicky kitchen appliances, this frightening weapon
can fire 120,000 rounds per minute without a human operator. It makes no noise or flash, and can be mounted anywhere and is operated remotely. [more inside]
Make love not war? The Pentagon confirms that it was researching the possibility of a "gay bomb"
that could "turn enemy soldiers into homosexuals and make them more interested in sex than fighting." BBC discusses this and other unorthodox U.S. weapons proposals
The two kiloton hand-grenade and the dental x-ray machine.
For several years, the military spent well over $30 million on a new kind of bomb, based on an isomer of hafnium
that would have an explosive power just shy of a nuclear weapon, despite the fact that physicists said it was impossible. Sharon Weinberger (the author of the article in the main link) wrote a book about this project, with a related website
. In response, the scientist behind the isomer bomb effort created an oddly childish parody website to mock her book
. And, if that isn't strange enough, people have been arrested in the UK for attempting to obtain an imaginary substance
, that may or may not be
linked to the concept of the isomer bomb.
Scary Sci-fi inspired
riot control being discussed in the New Scientist.
I did check to see if this had been posted before...
It sounds a lot like science fiction.
It moves at the speed of light and it can penetrate walls. The U.S. military has firepower that uses electromagnetic energy to blind, stun or kill targets. Defense contractors are eager, but the weapons
are not yet being deployed.
Tomahawk® Brand Cruise Missiles
Because not all Block II Nuclear Variant cruise missles are alike... Look for the name you can trust!
You got your Outkast in my Sun Tzu
Weaponry, military, and war footage set to music. Although the author believes
Enya did the song Adiemus, the target practice
video is kind of interesting. I couldn't find any videos set to Peace Train, however.
Weapons that can incapacitate crowds
of people by sweeping a lightning-like beam of electricity across them are being readied for sale to military and police forces in the US and Europe. From guns that shoot streams of conductive fibers to plasma that will stop a truck, the military and the police are getting whole new ways
to deal with protestors.
Gamma-ray weapons could trigger next arms race
"The hafnium explosive could be extremely powerful. One gram of fully charged hafnium isomer could store more energy than 50 kilograms of TNT. Miniature missiles could be made with warheads that are far more powerful than existing conventional weapons, giving massively enhanced firepower to the armed forces using them."
Half of me thinks: "WOW! Cool!"
The other 1% thinks: "We've really had it now"
Military use of Gas Top US military planners are preparing for the US to use incapacitating biochemical weapons in an invasion of Iraq. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Gen. Richard Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, revealed the plans in February 5th testimony before the US House Armed Services Committee. This is the first official US acknowledgement that it may use (bio)chemical weapons in its crusade to rid other countries of such weapons.
Would someone explain to me again why we're attacking Iraq? Was it something about use and/or possession of chemical weapons?
"All this costs money. It costs more than we have."
One year ago today, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld warned of a "subtle and implacable" adversary whose "brutal consistency...stifles free thought...and places the lives of men and women in uniform at risk." It wasn't freedom's obvious foes
; he was referring to waste in the Pentagon. The DOD uses so many different financial systems and interfaces it won't have auditable books for another five to 10 years
. It still manually enters purchases
made with electronic purchase cards. It fires whistleblowers
who call attention to shady missile defense deals. And every year, it completely loses track
of a quarter of the world's biggest military budget
Welcome to the Boomtown.
'Fast Company' magazine profiles the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant -- a rural Oklahoma factory that is the source of nearly every nonnuclear bomb in the United States' arsenal. Man
like in Real Genius, but for real! Combine them with GPS and you get Death Rays!! The technology
is there, but how will it change warfare?
"Civil War, Revolutionary War and Pirate cannons
could not harm tanks, half tracks, armored cars or self-propelled guns." Army Men
, my friends, Army Men.
How to buy military weapons banned for civilians, with the help of the police
- In a small Missouri town, a 72-year old man and 3 buddies bought weapons and accessories banned for private ownership claiming they were part of a "volunteer deputy" SWAT team. The police chief at the time agreed, although only one of them was a police deputy doing 4 hours a week of police work. The new police chief, a person with real experience in SWAT teams, freaked out when he heard of the agreement, which lets the "fantasy" deputies keep the weapons locked in the trunk of their cars. City officials aren't happy either, perhaps be because they were not informed at the time of the deal ("we wanted to keep it low key, you don't want the bad guys to know our tactics"). Many neighbors of the single-stop-light-type of town praise the good intentions of the men, but members of professional SWAT deny in several ways their ability to deal with any high-intensity situation. A very entertaining read picked up at obscurestore.com
"Real" Deal about Nuclear, Bio, and Chem Attacks.
I've also seen this in the newsgroups, but it hasn't come to my various email accounts yet. While the article seems pretty reasonable, there doesn't seem to be any info on who this SFC Red Thomas is, nor is there any scientific backup (no links to further reading
The G-Rated War: Blowing Smoke, Pipe Dream, or The Real Hashish?
I want to spin antiwar arguments a slightly different way. Previous threads have been quite dim. This Cnn chat transcript focuses on the use of non-lethal weapons, the need to separate innocents from terrorists and separate terrorist networks from Islamic states, and the interviewee is as much as suit as they come. You could cut a diamond on that crew cut. I have several questions: 1) Is the US military actually going to use non-lethal weapons, or is this the new "smart bomb?" 2) Do the 'pacificists' among us consider this to be pacificist? 3) If you do favor peace over war, do you think this is a good compromise between peace and war, or is the issue by definition binary? More > >
21st Century Warfare
I've been waiting for the new issue of G2mil The Magazine of Future Warfare
to be posted to get Carlton Meyers' line on all things post September 11th and it's an all-you-can-eat buffet chock full o'links from a former Marine Corps officer--an anti-imperialist, anti-military/industrialist contrarian extraordinaire. Check out the special war supplement and assess the military options in Afghanistan
before you launch into a by jingo paean to what he refers to as Tom Clancy fantasies
about the Rangers. Do some extensive research in the magazine's back issues to read articles like Demobilize The US Army
, 21st Century Battleships - the U.S. Navy's greatest need
, why China can't invade Taiwan
--not to mention the $$$ saving concepts like the B-747 bomber
...& his line on National Missile Defense
The irony is that, if a workable NMD system is ever fielded, it only guarantees that a better method of delivery would be used, like a civilian airplane, ship, or truck. Tons of drugs are smuggled into the USA each year, can NMD stop that dangerous cargo? Almost two million people illegally cross America's borders each year with un-inspected luggage, can NMD stop them? Why spend billions of dollars each year on NMD while ignoring the real dangers?
That was from July...
The Trial of Unit 731
"is the forgotten war-crimes prosecution of the 20th century." In 1949, Soviet courts tried a unit of the Japanese Imperial Army for wartime biological weapons experimentation on human subjects.
This article contains some gruesome descriptions.
Critical review of the U.S. military.
As someone with an interest in the military (my brother is a fire-controlman on the guided missile cruiser Vella Gulf
), I like to see someone taking a serious look at what the future will bring on the warfare front. Maybe it'll help us avoid things like this(1)
(1): Mogadishu, Somalia
(2): Sinking of H.M.S. Prince of Wales and Repulse
USA's Depleted Uranium Weapons
1 in 7 Gulf War veterans suffer from Gulf War Syndrome, including a high incidence of birth defects, respiratory, kidney and liver problems. There are outrageously high rates of leukemia and severe birth defects among Iraqi civilians. Now Israel uses DU weapons against Palestinians. After DU weapons were used in Kosovo,
Italy wants to know why Kosovo veterans are getting cancer.
Still the pentagon insists that "... we do not believe it poses any significant health risk." Does anybody in the US give a damn?