Pentagon to triple the number of drones

Rez O. Lewshun

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* Massacre Caught on Tape: US Military Confirms Authenticity of Their Own Chilling Video Showing Killing of Journalists *

The US military has confirmed the authenticity of newly released video showing US forces indiscriminately firing on Iraqi civilians. On Monday, the website WikiLeaks.org posted footage taken from a US military helicopter in July 2007 as it killed twelve people and wounded two children. The dead included two employees of the Reuters news agency, photographer Namir Noor-Eldeen and driver Saeed Chmagh. We speak with WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange and Salon.com blogger Glenn Greenwald.
 

Rez O. Lewshun

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* After First Denying Involvement, US Forces Admit Killing Two Pregnant Afghan Women & Teenager *

US-led forces have admitted for the first time to killing two pregnant Afghan women and a teenage girl during a nighttime raid in eastern Afghanistan on February 12th. NATO officials initially denied any involvement but were later forced to admit to the killings after the Times of London and other news outlets published accounts of survivors who described how the atrocity was carried out by US-led forces. We speak with Jerome Starkey, the Times of London correspondent in Afghanistan who broke the story.
 

Rez O. Lewshun

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"I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents."
 

Rez O. Lewshun

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"War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small 'inside' group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes."
 

MGlobemaster

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I thought of this thread the moment I saw that video. I believe that the apache drivers are wrong as hell here. Even given the benefit of the doubt that the first guys were carrying weapons, what they did to the people with the van was apalling and a clear violation of the 2007 roe's. But it also has nothing to do with drones so take your anti-war posts to another thread or, even better, off the Internet period. There's already plenty of it on the net as is.
 

waka

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What's with all of the lamenting over an unmanned Air Force? If it can be done with more efficiency and safety, it should be.

Granted, it is a a bit sad. However, the future is now.. Learn it, know it, live it, or it will come back a bite you in the ass!
 

CFI2766

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What's with all of the lamenting over an unmanned Air Force? If it can be done with more efficiency and safety, it should be.

Granted, it is a a bit sad. However, the future is now.. Learn it, know it, live it, or it will come back a bite you in the ass!

Uhhhh...No. An unmanned Air Force is neither more efficient nor more safe. There can be arguments made for certain missions to be handled by unmanned vehicles, but it's grossly naive to think that the overall role of the USAF can be handled by unmanned assets.
 

waka

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Uhhhh...No. An unmanned Air Force is neither more efficient nor more safe. There can be arguments made for certain missions to be handled by unmanned vehicles, but it's grossly naive to think that the overall role of the USAF can be handled by unmanned assets.
Actually, UAV's are far more efficient and UAV's are far safer. It is more naive to live in denial.
 

CrewDawg

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Actually, UAV's are far more efficient and UAV's are far safer. It is more naive to live in denial.

This statement is very naive...

Having a 2-ship of strike eagles in a cap for 4 hours vs. a UAV....dollars and cent, we agree. But, I think we are finding that UAV's are not always the right answer. Have a human in the cockpit, on station, brings a dynamic to the fight that may have been underestimated.
 

Birdstrike

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Have a human in the cockpit, on station, brings a dynamic to the fight that may have been underestimated.
True, but at considerably more risk and cost than unmanned platforms, and that's what's driving the paradigm shift in the five-sided building. And at the rate of technological progression, you're still going to be virtually in that cockpit in every respect, except for pulling those Gs that would kill you if you were actually there. We ain't seen nothing yet.
 

waka

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This statement is very naive...

Having a 2-ship of strike eagles in a cap for 4 hours vs. a UAV....dollars and cent, we agree. But, I think we are finding that UAV's are not always the right answer. Have a human in the cockpit, on station, brings a dynamic to the fight that may have been underestimated.
There sure is much loose throwing of the word "naive" around:rolleyes:.

I didn't think that I'd actually have to do this, but I'll break it down.

They are more efficient as aircraft. They're lighter because they don't have to have the systems necessary to support a meat bag. As for attack efficiency, you probably have a point. HOWEVER, they have already replaced manned aircraft on many missions and that number WILL increase as technology advances.

They ARE safer because there are no pilots to get injured or die.

Look, I know this is an emotional issue for many. This steps on the toes of the knighthood and the "glory" of manned combat aircraft. FACE REALITY FOLKS. The era of manned combat aircraft will not go on forever. This has been stated ad nauseum by folks at the Pentagon. If you don't like it, go talk to them.

This pains me to say as this will eventually happen with cargo aircraft and ultimately passenger aircraft. It probably won't start for two or three generations or more, but it will happen.

To deny this is like people being in denial about the idea of powered flight before the days of the Wright brothers or those that rolled their eyes at the idea of man traveling to the moon before the Apollo program.
 
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CrewDawg

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There sure is much loose throwing of the word "naive" around:rolleyes:.
Just replying in kind.

They are more efficient as aircraft. They're lighter because they don't have to have the systems necessary to support a meat bag. As for attack efficiency, you probably have a point. HOWEVER, they have already replaced manned aircraft on many missions and that number WILL increase as technology advances.
I agree that they do good work and have a good mission. But take a look at the increase in ISR assets that the AF has bought since the UAV's have been around. If the UAV(UAS/RPV/whatever bull$hit buzz word they are using this month) was the end all, be all...why are we investing in so many of these aircraft.

Just take a look at the pilot training drops. There are a good amount of dudes heading to U-28s/MC-12s/NSA aircraft...and we are only buying more. Why are they looking for a light attack aircraft as well. These are all missions the reaper could do....but for some reason we are counting more and more on these aircraft.

They ARE safer because there are no pilots to get injured or die.
Dang, I crashed again.....coffee break anyone?

Look, I know this is an emotional issue for many. This steps on the toes of the knighthood and the "glory" of manned combat aircraft. FACE REALITY FOLKS.
We are way past that point...there is no "glory" in any combat! There are dudes out there asking for UAVs to take a break from the long deployments.

The era of manned combat aircraft will not go on forever. This has been stated ad nauseum by folks at the Pentagon.
Ya, there was also a time when the fat cats at the Pentagon said the era of dogfighting was over. So we are not longer going to put guns in our fighter aircraft....we are even going to make it illegal to practice BFM (dogfighting). Then a little war call Vietnam came along and we quickly learned the sidewinder wasn't all it was touted to be. We learned a lesson the hard way on that one. Our kill ratio was terrible, then we hung a gun on the F-4 and started teaching BFM and our kill ratio significantly improved.

Let's not forget this little incident. Terrorists hacked a UAV feed! If these people hacked a feed, I don't even want to know what other countries can do. There is a very real security threat with UAVs. The enemy using our weapons against us....awesome.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/12/17/drone.video.hacked/index.html
 
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Rez O. Lewshun

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One Marine’s ‘Liberty Walk’ for the Rest of Us

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/one_marines_liberty_walk_for_the_rest_of_us_20100411/

Posted on Apr 12, 2010

[FONT=georgia, times new roman, times, serif]By Chris Hedges
I met Ernest Logan Bell, a 25-year-old Marine Corps veteran, as he walked along Route 12 in upstate New York with a large American flag strapped to the side of his green backpack. There was a light drizzle and he was wearing a green Army poncho. Bell was on a six-day, 90-mile-long self-styled “Liberty Walk” from Binghamton to Utica in a quixotic campaign to challenge Democratic incumbent Rep. Michael Arcuri in the 24th Congressional District. He camped out along the road for three nights and stayed in cheap motels the other nights and was accompanied by Kevin Barlow, an unemployed welder. Bell opposes the health care law, calls for an end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, advocates the abolishment of the Federal Reserve, is against the bailouts for Wall Street and wants to see immediate government relief for workers trapped in prolonged unemployment, including his own. He carried a handwritten sign: “End the Fed.” In his backpack he had a copy of “The U.S. Constitution for Dummies” and a book on the Federal Reserve by Ron Paul that he planned to deliver to Arcuri’s office in Utica.
Bell, who lives in Lansing, N.Y., is the new face of resistance. He is young, at home in the culture of the military, deeply suspicious of the federal government, disgusted by the liberal elite, unable to find work and angry. He swings between right-wing and left-wing populism, expressing admiration for Reps. Paul and Dennis Kucinich and the tea party movement. He started out as a supporter of John McCain in the last presidential election but soured on the Arizona senator and the Republican Party’s ties to Wall Street. He did not vote in that election. He has raised about $1,000 from neighbors and friends for his own campaign. He is adept at martial arts and made it to the semifinals of the 2010 Army National Guard Combative Championship at Fort Benning in Georgia, in which, in his last bout, he suffered a broken nose, bruised his opponent’s ribs and thighs and lost in a split decision.
Bell grew up in Oakwood, Texas, a small town in East Texas between Dallas and Houston. His father was an alcoholic, and his parents frequently separated and reunited. They divorced when he was 13. His mother raised Bell, his younger brother, who is currently in the Army’s 82nd Airborne, and his younger sister in a tiny one-bedroom apartment. There was little money, and his mother worked off and on at odd jobs. There were 18 people in his high school graduating class and, with no real jobs in Oakwood, Bell, along with a few of his classmates, joined the military.
“You couldn’t stay in Oakwood, Texas, and have a job,” he said flatly.
“I got out of the Marine Corps and went back to Texas for 10 months and was involved in the John McCain campaign,” he said. “I really got disillusioned with the neoconservatism. I had never been involved in politics. The idea that we needed all these troops all around the world defending freedom, as they called it, when we were actually engaged in nation-building and supporting special interests that drive these wars, was something I began to understand. As far as foreign and economic policy, I could see there was no difference between the two main political parties. There is a false left-right paradigm which diverts the working class from the real reasons for their hardships.”
“I just walked through the town of Norwich,” he told me as a car passed and the driver honked his support for Bell, “and there is a strong tea party movement there. The tea party movement, for the most part, is just a bunch of disgruntled Americans. They know something is wrong and they are ready to be engaged. A lot of the people in my area who are in the tea party are Democrats. People are confused. They are shellshocked. They don’t know what to think. But acting like these problems started Jan. 20 [the date of the presidential inauguration] is absurd. To single out the current president and not the presidents before him is not productive for trying to figure out what is going on.”
Bell’s own employment struggle mirrors that of many of his neighbors. He moved to upstate New York two years ago after leaving the Marine Corps to be near Shianne, his 3-year-old daughter. He and the girl’s mother are separated. Bell found work as a carpenter with a traveling construction crew. He earned $14.50 an hour and could sometimes make as much as $800 a week. Then the financial meltdown knocked the wind out of the local economy.
“Everybody in my apartment building has had their hours cut, are unemployed or have taken minimum-wage jobs,” he said. “I was laid off last year. I try to find work as an independent carpenter. I don’t have health insurance.”
The dearth of work, which left him attempting to survive at times on $600 a month, saw him enlist last year in the New York National Guard, even though it means almost certain deployment to Afghanistan. The enticement of a $20,000 signing bonus was too lucrative to pass up. The National Guard unit he joined recently returned from a tour in Afghanistan.
“We are training to go back to Afghanistan,” he said. “The fact that they are still using Army National Guard, state-level troops, to police the streets of Afghanistan is not good. These units are really overstretched. We do not get the benefits. We don’t get health insurance like active-duty military. But the guard gets deployed just as much. Some of these guys have been on three and four tours.”
“The winters [in New York state] are really hard,” Bell said. “There are less jobs and the heating costs are high. I pay about $200 a month for electric and gas. I live really cheaply. I don’t have cable. I don’t go out or spend money that is not necessary. It is a struggle. But at least I have not had to devote 40 hours a week to a minimum-wage job that does not pay me a living wage. People here are really hurting. The real underemployment rate must be at least 20 percent. A lot of people are working part-time jobs when they want full-time jobs. There are many people like me, independent contractors and small business owners, who can’t file for unemployment insurance. Unemployment [coverage] is not available to me because I worked as a ‘1099,’ a self-employed contractor, even when I worked for the construction company.”
“People are scared,” he said. “They want to live their lives, raise their children and be happy. This is not possible. They don’t know if they can make their next mortgage payment. They see their standard of living going down.”
Bell said that he and those around him were being pushed off the edge. He said he feared that the social and political repercussions would be unpleasant.
“I hope there is a populist revolution,” he said. “We have to take the corporate bailouts and the money we are sending overseas and use that money in our communities. If this does not happen there will be more anger and eventually violence. When people lose everything they start to ‘lose it.’ When you can’t find a job, even though you look repeatedly, it leads to things like random shootings and suicides. We will see acts of domestic terrorism. The state will erode more of our civil liberties to control mass protests. We are seeing some student protests, but we will see these on a wider scale. I hope the protests will be constructive. I hope people will not resort to extreme measures. But people will do what they have to do to survive. This may mean things like food riots. The political establishment better work very fast to take the pressure off.”
[/FONT]
 

waka

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Just replying in kind.

No, you're not. My use of the word was directed at CFI2766 and it was a valid use.



I agree that they do good work and have a good mission. But take a look at the increase in ISR assets that the AF has bought since the UAV's have been around. If the UAV(UAS/RPV/whatever bull$hit buzz word they are using this month) was the end all, be all...why are we investing in so many of these aircraft.
Just wait. Just because you can't see it within relative short term doesn't mean that it won't happen. Technological history backs my words.

Just take a look at the pilot training drops. There are a good amount of dudes heading to U-28s/MC-12s/NSA aircraft...and we are only buying more. Why are they looking for a light attack aircraft as well. These are all missions the reaper could do....but for some reason we are counting more and more on these aircraft.
Again, just wait. History is rife examples of two steps forward, one step back.

Dang, I crashed again.....coffee break anyone?
Thanks for proving my point.

We are way past that point...there is no "glory" in any combat! There are
dudes out there asking for UAVs to take a break from the long deployments.
I used quotes around "glory" to indicate sarcasm. I should have been more clear.

Ya, there was also a time when the fat cats at the Pentagon said the era of dogfighting was over. So we are not longer going to put guns in our fighter aircraft....we are even going to make it illegal to practice BFM (dogfighting). Then a little war call Vietnam came along and we quickly learned the sidewinder wasn't all it was touted to be. We learned a lesson the hard way on that one. Our kill ratio was terrible, then we hung a gun on the F-4 and started teaching BFM and our kill ratio significantly improved.
Again, and technology keeps advancing.

Let's not forget this little incident. Terrorists hacked a UAV feed! If these people hacked a feed, I don't even want to know what other countries can do. There is a very real security threat with UAVs. The enemy using our weapons against us....awesome.
Well then, we had just better ditch all digital technology in any application involving national security and go back to analog because it will never get better!:rolleyes:
(NOTICE; THE LAST SENTENCE WAS SARCASM)
 

CrewDawg

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No, you're not. My use of the word was directed at CFI2766 and it was a valid use.
Yes I am, my post was directed at yours...


Thanks for proving my point.
I was actually agreeing with you....in a sarcastic way.


I used quotes around "glory" to indicate sarcasm. I should have been more clear.
No it was quite clear...


Well then, we had just better ditch all digital technology in any application involving national security and go back to analog because it will never get better!:rolleyes:
(NOTICE; THE LAST SENTENCE WAS SARCASM)
See now your putting words in my mouth. I never said, don't move on with technology....just that we have a long way to go.

Look man, I'm not for or against UAVs. I'm just saying that they are not the end all, be all that everyone thinks they are, right now. If you have access to SIPR, check it out...if not, I'm done talking on this subject.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8-kNPKNCtg&feature=player_embedded#!
 

waka

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Yes I am, my post was directed at yours...
Now, I retroactively direct my use of the word "naive" to you too.


No it was quite clear...
That's just plain ol' back-pedaling. So, my use of the quotes were accidental? Oops!:rolleyes:

See now your putting words in my mouth. I never said, don't move on with technology....just that we have a long way to go.
I never said that we don't have a long way to go. However, you didn't at all indicate that you're not ready to move on. In all fairness, perhaps I should have given you the benefit of the doubt....although, kind of hard to do with your clumsy use of the word "naive"!:p

Look man, I'm not for or against UAVs. I'm just saying that they are not the end all, be all that everyone thinks they are, right now. If you have access to SIPR, check it out...if not, I'm done talking on this subject.
Talk about twisting words, I never said that they are the end all be all "right now". All of my posts in this thread are very clearly in the context of the future.
 
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