In the telling it has the contours of a creation myth: At a time of great evil and great terror, a small group of scientists, among the world’s greatest minds, secluded themselves in the desert. In secrecy and silence they toiled at their Promethean task. They sought the ultimate weapon, one of such great power as to end not just their war, but all war. They hoped their work would salvage the future. They feared it could end everything.
- Prometheus in the desert: from atom bombs to radio astronomy, New Mexico's scientific legacy
posted by Artw
on Nov 24, 2012 -
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
posted by kliuless
on Mar 21, 2011 -
The first armed robots
have hit the streets of Iraq and are now hunting evil-doers with high-powered M249 machine guns. The robots are called SWORDS, which stands for "Special Weapons Observation Reconnaissance Detection System". Army focus groups apparently preferred this acronym over the more obvious PUBE (Predatory Unmanned Battle Engine). The robots are currently being piloted through the streets of Bagdad using remote control. According to an interview on CNET
with Chief Army Scientist Thomas Killion however, the army soon plans to make the killing machines fully automatic.
posted by infini
on Aug 3, 2007 -
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.
posted by dsquid
on Jul 12, 2005 -
"Weapons of Mass Destruction", you say?
Question: If Iraq is the vicious rat and North Korea the
furious pygmy of WMD threats, where is the 800 pound gorilla? Answer -
"...law enforcement officials worldwide have seized 40 kilograms of Russian-origin uranium
and plutonium since 1991. Stanford researchers have also estimated that only 30 to 40 percent of
the nuclear material stolen from facilities in Russia and other territories in the former Soviet
Union are ever recovered by authorities."
the collapse of the Soviet Union left vast stores
of Nuclear weapons and weapons grade plutonium and uranium, and stocks of chemical and
biological warfare agents lying about at dangerously underfunded facillities scattered through
the vast expanse of the ex-Soviet realm. "Russian stockpiles of weapons and materials are
the most likely source for terrorists attempting to acquire weapons of mass destruction"
said US Senator Richard Lugar, Republican chairman of the Senate's Foreign Relations Committee. An international effort to destroy these stores of ex-Soviet WMD's
is currently funded at a tiny fraction of the estimated cost of a possible US invasion and occupation of Iraq. (more inside)
posted by troutfishing
on Mar 16, 2003 -
Iraq: How Saddam hides the smoke and the guns
This account is from an Italian paper and appears in an Israeli site that sums up materials pertaining to the Middle East. Of course I am not able to verify its authenticity, nor would anyone, given the "hidden" nature of the man being interviewed. But it does suggest what the Bush administration and many pundits have been saying or implying for some time now.
posted by Postroad
on Jan 24, 2003 -
"The old doctrine was that nuclear weapons were far too big and nasty to use, and now they've moved towards developing nuclear weapons they can actually use".
On the aniversaries of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, does the development of 'low-yield nukes'
threaten to blur the distinction between conventional and nuclear warfare.
posted by gravelshoes
on Aug 7, 2002 -
J. Robert Oppenheimer, watching the first mushroom cloud rise above the American nuclear test heartbreakingly codenamed Trinity, said: "Now I am become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds." Today, a half century after the first use of atomic weapons, in the birthland of the sacred text Oppenheimer quoted, 12 million people could die at once in a nuclear exchange.
Ah, Shiva as each of us...one hand on The Button, the other writing:
"The only way to live humanly - still - is in resistance to war. The prevention of war, in the nuclear age, must be a central purpose of every person's life."
posted by fold_and_mutilate
on May 28, 2002 -
for the "U.S. brought it on themselves" crowd, courtesy of the New York Times.
"One report obtained by Dr. Zilinskas from the government is "Development of `N' for Offensive Use in Biological Warfare." `N' was the code letter for Bacillus anthracis, the germ that causes anthrax. Another is "The Stability of Botulinum Toxin in Common Beverages." The germ-derived substance is the most poisonous known to science."
Seems that the United States has been selling instructions for the creation of bio-weapons.
posted by Yelling At Nothing
on Jan 12, 2002 -
in the house
"We explained our situation and the guy [in the gunship] said, 'Where are you?' and we showed him, and he said, 'Where are the bad guys?' and we showed him that. There was a pregnant pause for a couple of seconds, and then he said, 'You need to move back 18 feet.' " -dragon's breath
cone of fire
posted by roboto
on Oct 18, 2001 -
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 > >
posted by rschram
on Oct 3, 2001 -
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...
posted by y2karl
on Sep 29, 2001 -
A Scourge of Small Arms
"The root causes of ethnic, religious and sectarian conflicts around the world are of course complex and varied, typically involving historical grievances, economic deprivation, demagogic leadership and an absence of democratic process. Although small arms and light weapons are not themselves a cause of conflict, their ready accessibility and low cost can prolong combat, encourage a violent rather than a peaceful resolution of differences, and generate greater insecurity throughout society--which in turn leads to a spiraling demand for, and use of, such weapons."
posted by Calebos
on May 31, 2000 -