Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Air Force Drones Hit 1 Million Combat Hours

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the when-can-I-go-on-break? dept.

The Military 113

coondoggie writes "If you needed any more evidence as to how important unmanned aircraft have become to the US military operations, the US Air Force today said drones have amassed over one million combat hours flown. While that number is impressive, it took the planes known as Global Hawk, Predator and Reaper, almost 14 years to do it, but it could take only a little over another two years to cross the two million mark according to Air Force officials."

cancel ×

113 comments

Glenn Greenwald Tweeted This One Well (4, Interesting)

darien.train (1752510) | more than 3 years ago | (#36533952)

"A moment of silence, please, to honor the brave robot we lost today in Libya: http://is.gd/e1Oyyj [is.gd] "- Original Link [twitter.com]

Re:Glenn Greenwald Tweeted This One Well (5, Insightful)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 3 years ago | (#36535230)

Given that each drone costs almost as much as a primary school building, I think we should all pause to reflect.

zombie eisenhower disappointed (1)

decora (1710862) | more than 3 years ago | (#36537750)

zombie nixon, pleased

Re:Glenn Greenwald Tweeted This One Well (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539128)

I'd be happier if the fighters were replaced with drones, they cost a lot less. Skynet here we come!:D

Re:Glenn Greenwald Tweeted This One Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36539172)

Especially given that we haven't been in a war that we actually needed to fight in... 70 years.

Re:Glenn Greenwald Tweeted This One Well (1)

WNight (23683) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539408)

Given that each drone can remotely and without consequence for the wielders destroy an entire primary school, I think we should all pause to reflect.

Or were you just bitching about taxes?

I wonder what that works out to in murders (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36533984)

of innocent civilians.

U.S. military / CIA seems to like bombing wedding parties and funerals, then label the dead as "combatants"

Bet its at least several thousand young children, alone. But, those are brown children, so not murder, but collateral damage-- right?

So proud.

Re:I wonder what that works out to in murders (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36534064)

Civilians who go and get themselves killed in American airstrikes are combatants in the propaganda campaign against the World's Greatest Nation(tm).

Re:I wonder what that works out to in murders (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36534328)

Why can't we figure out that we aren't wanted in that part of the world and just fuck off? They don't want us, they don't need us. Just fuck off before we pick up more bad karma and blowback.

It's rather sad that I have to post this as an AC.

Loyalty keeps people in line when the troops are in the field even if the war is a lie. So keep the troops in the field and the sheeple stays in line all the time...

Re:I wonder what that works out to in murders (3, Interesting)

butalearner (1235200) | more than 3 years ago | (#36534902)

Why can't we figure out that we aren't wanted in that part of the world and just fuck off? They don't want us, they don't need us. Just fuck off before we pick up more bad karma and blowback.

If you know your neighbor beats his wife and threatens to kill her, and she doesn't say anything, do you stay silent? What if you heard the story from a coworker, or from your brother across the country?

I don't necessarily disagree with you, but I think most people would agree that they have a moral obligation to interfere in someone's life in some situations. There's a line somewhere, but it's probably different for everybody. Now what happens when the oppressor runs an entire country, committing what you consider morally reprehensible acts that are not illegal in that country? Who should have the authority to do something? Nobody? Can we really leave it up to the people when opposing viewpoints are quashed violently?

Sam Harris gave this interesting TED talk [ted.com] that argues that science can answer moral questions like these, though he doesn't really address how we (as in the people of the world) should deal with it. I don't think there is an objective answer to these things...that's what makes international politics so difficult. To some people, removing Gaddafi (when he made clear he wouldn't listen to dissent) is worth it.

Re:I wonder what that works out to in murders (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#36538882)

To some people, removing Gaddafi (when he made clear he wouldn't listen to dissent) is worth it.

In which case, you say in advance "we are going to remove Gaddafi by military force" not "we will just bomb military installations to protect innocent civilian lives, oopsie we accidentally killed his family by bombing his uncle's house".
Also, you get fucking international agreement for your police/military intervention, including that of Libya's neighbours.

Re:I wonder what that works out to in murders (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539314)

Our mistake was to think we could make Afghanistan and Iraq into functioning democracies just by fighting the bad guys. Democracy has to come from the people, you can't just set one up and expect it to work. You also can't easily defeat a group like the Taliban, as we have discovered.

The Arab Spring is a good example of how it should work. The people rise up, and maybe we help a bit with technology or military assistance as in Libya, but it is very much their revolution and their victory.

We need a version of the Prime Directive. As you say there is a feeling of duty to help, but you have to recognise that you can easily make things worse.

Because they will come here (2)

Quila (201335) | more than 3 years ago | (#36535498)

They want us dead. It's really quite that simple. It is much more effective to reach out to where they are and kill them before they get here.

Re:Because they will come here (1)

RobertinXinyang (1001181) | more than 3 years ago | (#36538176)

I do not see what post you are commenting on; or, if you statement is an independent statement. Because I can not see the context, I am left with a question about your statement.

When you sat "they" do you mean Americans, the people who attacked the WTC, or the people who just happen to live near the people who attacked the WTC?

Similarly, when you say "here" do you mean the US, or the nations that the US is occupying, or engaging in military activities in?

Your context (1)

Quila (201335) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541092)

"They" is the people who attacked WTC twice, some embassies, and other places, and those allied with them.

"Us" is Americans, and in fact Western society in general.

"Here" is the US, or in general Western or non-Muslim countries.

I guess you haven't heard about the jihad going on that aims to make the entire world Muslim, all others must convert, be subservient or die.

Re:I wonder what that works out to in murders (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539112)

As much as I hate to admit it, since on just about everything else he is a total nutjob, but I have to agree with Glen beck when it comes to the ME: It is long past time for us to "Be Switzerland". it is time to pack up our shit and go home, to quit having a bazillion bases and spending money we don't have, it is long past time for us to be Switzerland. We have been stirring up shit since the end of WWII, causing nothing but misery and propping up "el presidente" thugs and scum, it is time to call it and just be Switzerland.

Frankly no truer words have been spoken, and actually getting to talk with some of the neocons that actually make policy (I live next to a conservative college that a friend does the rocketry and robotics clubs for so I get to tag along) frankly the reason why we have killed so many people in the ME and wasted so much money and caused so much hatred will make your jaw drop. Ready? Here goes....Jesus won't come back. I swear no matter what logic you throw at them their ONLY real answer is "When the Jews return to Zion".

I mean how fucking sad is it we are bankrolling Israel to the tune of 8 million plus PER DAY 24/7/365, no matter what they do, and are willing to prop up scum like Mubarak, all because of some words some goat herder wrote 1800 years ago about how some 2000 year dead guy had to have a certain race in a certain spot so he'd have a place to park his fluffy cloud. Sadly I felt like the Shat in Undiscovered Country going "What does God need with a starship?" because the only real answer they could come up with that is the Sky bully would give us a spanking if we didn't.

All those lives, all that suffering and misery, because of some words written on a goat skin, hell it wouldn't even surprise me if it turned out to be a mistranslation. Glenn Beck is right, its time to be Switzerland.

Re:I wonder what that works out to in murders (1)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 3 years ago | (#36534330)

Why does skin color come into it? The US killed far, far more civilians during the Second World War than in Afghanistan. Get off your leftist high horse.

Re:I wonder what that works out to in murders (1)

That Guy From Mrktng (2274712) | more than 3 years ago | (#36535324)

Skin color is uncalled for but in the WWII you didn't have "intelligent" weapons so civilian casualties were unavoidable. If the video of the Apache from wikileaks showed something to the world is that intelligent only applies to the form or the actual weapon, still the people behind the weapon fails, get confused or simply think everything is a video game.

Also I didn't knew that you had to be affiliated to any particular political party to criticize unlawful killing of civilians be it from USA, North Korea, Mexico or from Syria. And if you ask me, politics is even more uncalled for in this discussion than skin color.

Re:I wonder what that works out to in murders (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#36538930)

Why does skin color come into it? The US killed far, far more civilians during the Second World War than in Afghanistan. Get off your leftist high horse.

Touchy.

Combat hours for tools (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36534010)

I wonder how many Combat hours boots had in the last 14 years.

A relevant advertisement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36534034)

Heh. The slashdot advertisement I got was for "RC Airplanes" :-)

Extreme dishonor. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36534098)

Murdering goat herders from 50000 feet by remote control is the most extreme form of cowardice I have ever seen or heard of.

Re:Extreme dishonor. (4, Insightful)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 3 years ago | (#36534884)

Murdering goat herders from 50000 feet by remote control is the most extreme form of cowardice I have ever seen or heard of.

Engaging the Taliban with robots is not a fair fight. It's not honorable. But the point of combat isn't a fair fight, it's not to gain honor, it's to win. And winning means making the fight as unfair as possible- fighting him on your terms, not his, using tactics and terrain where you can use your strengths and your equipment to your advantage. So instead of engaging the Taliban on foot, you engage him in such a way that he can't hit you back. That means engaging masses of Taliban with AK-47 assault rifles with A-10s tankbusters armed with 30 mm gatling guns designed to take out Soviet armor. Chasing down footsoldiers with Apache gunships. Obliterating Taliban headquarters with GPS guided artillery rockets which allow you to put 200 pounds of high explosive within a meter of where you're aiming, from 25 miles away. Or having some guy in Nevada shoot at a truck carrying Taliban leaders with a Reaper drone.

Fighting unfairly is nothing new. That's why armies try to take the high ground, and have better weapons and armor than their enemies, and to attack with superior numbers, and better discipline. Because it makes the fight unfair. Fighting unfairly is how the Battle of Agincourt was won. The English used a weapon- the longbow- that allowed them to take out the French knights before the French could get them. It was unfair, it was dishonorable, and it delivered the French a crushing defeat. And fighting unfairly and dishonorably is also how the Taliban fight. The Taliban have trouble beating the U.S. in a firefight so they have increasingly used improvised explosive devices that allow them to attack U.S. troops without exposing themselves. They pretend they're civilians so the U.S. doesn't know who to hit. They hide in the middle of civilians so that it's impossible to attack them without hitting civilians. They use suicide bombers. Is it fair? Is that honorable? Of course not. But their goal is to win, not to be honorable, or to fight fair.

There are limits to what's acceptable. Killing civilians deliberately, or with reckless disregard, is one of these, and sometimes the U.S. military has done this. And whether the U.S. really should be in Afghanistan at this point is debatable. But fighting unfairly is the whole point and it's naive to argue otherwise.

considering nobody knows what victory is (1)

decora (1710862) | more than 3 years ago | (#36537778)

in these 'contingency operations', then its kind of hard to understand what 'winning' means. nobody can tell us. can you?

i read somewhere that you can't win a counter-insurgency by pissing off the entire population.

and i read another thing about this place called vietnam, where we killed hundreds of thousands of them, someting like 10-2o times more than they killed of us. and they still won.

Re:Extreme dishonor. (2)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#36538962)

Engaging the Taliban with robots is not a fair fight. It's not honorable. But the point of combat isn't a fair fight, it's not to gain honor, it's to win.

It's not killing armed Taliban fighters that is the problem, genius, it's flattening entire villages because someone told you that the Taliban might be there, and, oh dear, looks like we were wrong, there's another nail in the coffin of winning hearts and minds.
We are not fighting against the whole of Afghanistan, we are fighting against the Taliban - that's the difference from WWII.

Re:Extreme dishonor. (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539138)

The English used a weapon- the longbow- that allowed them to take out the French knights before the French could get them.

Technically the French tried to charge across a muddy bog in heavy armour, they were sitting ducks once the horses got stuck, so it had less to do with longbows and more to do with a really bad tactical decision.

I'll play along, I've been itching for a fight (1)

Xaedalus (1192463) | more than 3 years ago | (#36534892)

Them's some mighty selective notions of "honor" and "cowardice" you got there, skippy! Care to explain your reasoning further (mostly so I can dissect your straw men, sneer at your ad hominems, Godwin you relentlessly, and generally mock your pathetic attempts at antidisestablishmentarianistic trolling).

Re:I'll play along, I've been itching for a fight (1)

wickedskaman (1105337) | more than 3 years ago | (#36535900)

Main Entry: antidisestablishmentarianism
Definition: originally, opposition to the disestablishment of the Church of England, now opposition to the belief that there should no longer be an official church in a country

Re:I'll play along, I've been itching for a fight (1)

Xaedalus (1192463) | more than 3 years ago | (#36536344)

Damn it, wickedskaman! You've undermined my mojo!!!! I must cry now.

Re:I'll play along, I've been itching for a fight (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#36538976)

Damn it, wickedskaman! You've undermined my mojo!!!! I must cry now.

Try not showing off with long words you don't understand next time you post, or else buy a dictionary.

Re:I'll play along, I've been itching for a fight (1)

Xaedalus (1192463) | more than 3 years ago | (#36542248)

I'll be sure and do that just as soon as you develop an appreciation for self-depreciating humor in the revelation of one's personal error. Now go be a douche to someone else, your work is done here.

Re:Extreme dishonor. (2)

couchslug (175151) | more than 3 years ago | (#36537216)

War is not sportsmanship. It is never supposed to BE sportsmanship.

When war is resorted to, the enemy is either to submit, or die.

if its not 'hostile' then how is it war? (1)

decora (1710862) | more than 3 years ago | (#36537810)

i believe our executive branch just told us that the UAVs in libya are not a 'hostile act',
so i am trying to figure out how you can be in a 'war' if its not 'hostile'.

or is it 'contingency operation' ? i get them confused.

Re:Extreme dishonor. (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#36538988)

War is not sportsmanship. It is never supposed to BE sportsmanship.

When war is resorted to, the enemy is either to submit, or die.

We are not at war with Afghanistan, you utter clown.

Re:Extreme dishonor. (1)

calzakk (1455889) | more than 3 years ago | (#36540178)

Murdering goat herders from 50000 feet by remote control is the most extreme form of cowardice I have ever seen or heard of.

This is Earth, not Kronos. Cowardice is irrelevant, winning is everything.

A good thing... (4, Insightful)

steve buttgereit (644315) | more than 3 years ago | (#36534260)

...that these things, by today's definitions, are neither hostile nor a part of war. It would be a much less peaceful world otherwise.

Reminds of an episode of sci fi. Name the show? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36534286)

This old Sci Fi show I once watched, where the captain and crew entered a gateway to another world and
upon arriving they basically intervene between what appeared to be an imbalanced fight two quarreling cultures.

The weaker was protected, embraced, and they were invited to their subterranean living quarters. Complete with cryogenic chambers, there were thousands more "sleeping" people in large tubes just waiting to awaken as soon as it was safer for them. They noticed how small the active culture apparently was, that they used drones to fight the throngs of stronger adversaries, and asked for an exchange of technology that would return balance to their war so they can harmonize with the environment. The technology exchanage was about to occur, until one of the crew inspected the cryogenic chamber records more critically outside of the watchful eyes of the alien leader, and discovered that all the remaining thousands if not MILLIONS of cryogenically "sleeping" people were actually clones! The population variance was 5 castes of people that were cloned to untold more.

Going back to the alien drone combat, a man of the captain's crew was given control to manually engauge an adversarial attack ship and upon destruction he noticed that there were living people aboard the attacking ship. They began questioning the motives of the alien hosts whom they were invited to inspect and trade with, and that they were being deceived on the nature of their culture.

The nature of that alien culture was no different than the US armed forces: personell interacted in a caste system no different than communism, everyone was groomed to be the same visual attire, all trained to the same style of conduct and all in order to their superiors. It's no wonder US can't get any volunteers when no war was declared by Congress, unless they can gain young volunteers on the auspice of an exciting moment of automated warefare, but if you asked the recruiter if he knew your cousin "Jeremy" whom you know entered that "service" through the same office then the recruiter would ask "who's Jeremy?" That's right: once you are in the US armed forces, you all get the same haircut and the same living quarters and attire: you all look the same once you are in, and you will be working for a "competitive wage" so-long as it's the same as your fellow recruits (a communist wage). Who is Jeremy? There are like 500 Jeremies? Can you be more specific which one or what he looks like?

Stargate SG-1 (1)

dawgs72 (1025358) | more than 3 years ago | (#36534960)

Sounds a like an episode of Stargate SG-1. Can't remember the exact episode though.

Re:Stargate SG-1 (2)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 3 years ago | (#36535318)

Yes, it was indeed an episode of Stargate SG-1. That episode was The Other Side [wikia.com] , featuring Rene Auberjonois as Space Hitler.

"Close the iris." *thud*

All you detractors are racist! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36534342)

It's GOOD to be a war criminal [huffingtonpost.com] like Barack Hoover Obama.

Disagree? Then you are racist.

Obligatory Compared to a Human Post (Viet Nam era) (1)

geekzealot1982 (1996172) | more than 3 years ago | (#36534344)

When my dad was in Viet Nam he flew C-130s in combat situations, and while he was there he led the entire Air Force in combat hours. I remember he had 1,142 combat missions, I don't remember the number of combat hours, but I think his career total including C-141s and non-combat hours was maybe 10-11,000. So he probably had what, 1-2,000 combat hours? It probably cost a million dollars to train him. I realize humans are controlling these things, but still, the efficiency of the whole thing is pretty staggering when you thing about it.

Another reason to question buying the F35 (4, Insightful)

schwit1 (797399) | more than 3 years ago | (#36534350)

UAVs are smaller, more versatile, cheaper to buy and maintain, stealthier, don't get tired(in the traditional sense) and can loiter for greater periods. The Canadians estimate each F35 at $150M. I don't see an advantage for the F35 that UAVs won't meet or exceed in a few more years. The F35 is a plane looking for a mission, like the Comanche attack helicopter was.

Re:Another reason to question buying the F35 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36534926)

UAVs are smaller, more versatile, cheaper to buy and maintain, stealthier, don't get tired(in the traditional sense) and can loiter for greater periods. The Canadians estimate each F35 at $150M. I don't see an advantage for the F35 that UAVs won't meet or exceed in a few more years. The F35 is a plane looking for a mission, like the Comanche attack helicopter was.

Actually, the Harper Government (official name of the Government of Canada) is buying F-35's at $70M each. Honest! (That's what they budget the purchase of new jets at). The fact that the real cost is around $150M (and rising) is kinda irrelevant for the purposes of the purchasing side. Oh yeah, we also budgeted $13B for it. Though it's $29B now and probably more now that the election's over and the real price can be revealed.

But yes, the problem with the F-35, or hell, the last generation of fighters before it, is that it's performance limited by the little piece of meat that also reqiures very heavy equipment to support. Performance limited because it means it can't really exceed 9Gs for too long (you can bet these jets can easily do it), plus the extra weight for life-support equipment and the like just takes away from payload (more fuel, more bombs, more missiles, etc) that could take that weight and space instead.

The F-35 will really be the last of the traditional fighter jets as we know it.

Though, it won't be the end - weapons of war rapidly turn into tools for recreation soon enough - many old activities (horseback riding, archery, etc) end up being sports. We'll have to add aerial dogfighting as yet another sport.

Re:Another reason to question buying the F35 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36535002)

The F35 can also carry a heavier payload, has longer range, can fly faster and doesn't require a remote connection.

Both have their advantages and disadvantages, the only real reason to drop the F35 program is for budgetary reasons and even thats iffy. We wouldn't be fielding M1 Abrams battle tanks if the military hadn't fought for it so much at the end of the Cold War.

Re:Another reason to question buying the F35 (2)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 3 years ago | (#36535346)

Well, UAVs are still pretty new militarily. Originally they were just surveillance devices until someone figured out how to strap some Hellfire missiles onto the thing.

The thing we've yet to see is UAV to UAV combat. Most UAVs have air-to-ground missiles. What happens when someone starts building air-to-air UAVs to target the Predators and the like?

Re:Another reason to question buying the F35 (3, Interesting)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 3 years ago | (#36535386)

Derp, I forgot to add - I think we're seriously going to see what basically amount to Protoss Carriers in the next 10-20 years. A C-130 or AC-130 that can launch and retrieve fighter-style drones from its bays, and not have any latency or signal loss issues over long distances.

Re:Another reason to question buying the F35 (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#36535784)

Latency may not matter much, since UAV-on-UAV combat will be handled at long ranges, by smaller single-use UAVs called missiles :)

Re:Another reason to question buying the F35 (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 3 years ago | (#36537572)

There is nothing useful about that idea. One needs to refuel and reload and maintain combat systems, and a flying platform is a terrible place to do it.

Re:Another reason to question buying the F35 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36538444)

A C-130 does not have bays.

Re:Another reason to question buying the F35 (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539154)

Not yet anyway.

Re:Another reason to question buying the F35 (1)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 3 years ago | (#36538556)

Carriers? That's just silly.

The latency for a radio link of 250 miles is in the order of a few milliseconds, and 250 miles is enough range to make finding a semi-mobile "home base" somewhere between tough and impossible.

As a pilot, I routinely hear radio calls 250 miles away when flying 10,000 feet; having a radio-relay essentially circling near the home base at 10,000 feet to support drone activity for a 500 mile circumference is a small price to pay. And the cost of having two such relays circling at 10,000 every 250 miles to get another 250 miles radius is also rather small.

Do you think pilots are going to notice a 5 ms latency at 500 miles? (me neither)

Re:Another reason to question buying the F35 (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 3 years ago | (#36542394)

I'm pretty sure someone thought it was silly to launch airplanes off of boats a hundred or so years ago.

You're missing a crucial bit here. The whole thing is about mobility. Let's say that we need to deploy a whole butt-ton of UAVs somewhere and fast. There really isn't a rapid deployment system for a fleet of UAVs as far as we know.

A carrier plane would allow more than a few possibilities. First, you can resupply and re-arm closer to the actual deployment zone. Broken UAVs can make it back to "base" before they run out of fuel and have to be scuttled. The base is "mobile" and better able to defend itself than a stationary trailer sitting in the middle of the desert somewhere. Got a target that you need to blow up with firepower a UAV doesn't have? Launch more UAVs, or use bigger caliber weapons on the mothership.

It might be a bit silly, but I think it has potential. Even if it's not used as home base and they're still controlled from halfway around the world, something like this would still need to be used to deploy UAVs en masse rapidly until they figure out how to stick one in a missile (like a sabot) and just shoot it in the general direction of where they want to deploy it.

Re:Another reason to question buying the F35 (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#36538940)

I could have sworn i have recently read about a UAV that could be dropped out of a cargo plane in flight.

Re:Another reason to question buying the F35 (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539268)

Speaking of signal loss why don't the enemy jam these things? I know they are not RC planes and won't just drop out of the sky if the radio link is cut, but they still need orders to attack and use GPS for navigation.

Hang on there... (1)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 3 years ago | (#36535964)

UAVs are smaller, more versatile, cheaper to buy and maintain, stealthier, don't get tired(in the traditional sense) and can loiter for greater periods. The Canadians estimate each F35 at $150M. I don't see an advantage for the F35 that UAVs won't meet or exceed in a few more years. The F35 is a plane looking for a mission, like the Comanche attack helicopter was.

You will be hard pressed to find a more strident critic of the F-35 than myself. I think it's an overpriced, under-performing, designed-by-committee farce. That said, it's still a fighter. UAV's, thus far, are not. I keep hearing people say "we should get rid of manned planes because UAV's do the job better and cheaper". Well, in many cases, yes. UAV's are pitch-perfect for things like long range maritime surveillance. But we're still going to need manned aircraft for many, many decades. We're nowhere near a manned UAV fighter. Not even close. What are you going to do when a squadron of MiG-29's enter your airspace?

UAV's will probably never completely replace manned aircraft, even in the future. What they will replace are "boring" jobs that require long stints in the air that could just as easily be handled at a desk back in the states. But we're going to need manned fighters for a long time. I would argue that we don't need F-35's, and that's debatable, but we've got to have some kind of fast jet with missiles and guns and a man in it.

Re:Hang on there... (1)

cavreader (1903280) | more than 3 years ago | (#36536760)

The current generation jets like the F-22 and F-35 are already capable of supplying more performance than the human pilot can use by a wide margin. Unless inertial compensator's are invented the current generation will most likely be the last. What would be the point of re-designing for more performance when the current models already exceed the human ability to fly? UAVs might be vulnerable to jet attacks but the question is could a jet destroy 50 UAVs before being targeted and destroyed. The Constellation program is all about deploying 100''s UAVS at a time in an integrated tactical group in number large enough to overwhelm any target.

Re:Hang on there... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36538746)

We're nowhere near "a manned UAV fighter"?

I think making it manned cancels out the U part...

Re:Another reason to question buying the F35 (1)

Graymalkin (13732) | more than 3 years ago | (#36536050)

Drones can currently only operate in theaters where we have complete air superiority. In a theater where the opposing ground forces had effective surface-to-air or air-to-air defenses drones wouldn't be very practical.

There is a push for the development of UCAVs that would be able to carry air-to-air weapons as well as more directly engage surface-to-air targets but there's still limitations like communication lag or communications in general. A stealthy fighter can operate as long as it has fuel and it doesn't really matter if it loses its data link for some portion of a mission. UCAVs don't yet have that ability and any major communication disruption would be a mission or drone ending problem.

That's not to say these problems can't be surmounted or that UCAVs are useless in two-way firefights but it will still be a while until they're as effective as piloted aircraft. So until UCAVs are capable of gaining total air superiority all by themselves (which is difficult but doable) some piloted craft will still be needed. Whether those craft should be F-35s is a totally separate issue.

jets will not help you (1)

decora (1710862) | more than 3 years ago | (#36537860)

if you are bankrupt.

ask Adolf Hitler.

Re:jets will not help you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36539434)

Actually, bankruptcy is NOT a problem in active warfare. At that point you do not pay for items - you take them.

The problem with Hitler's jets (and other V weapons) was that the Allies were pursuing a strategic bombing offensive and interdicting critical supply lines. The jets could have made quite a difference if there had been enough fuel for them.

V2s launched from La Cupola could have made sustaining an invasion impossible if we had not invented the earthquake bomb. In warfare money is not as important as being able to counter the enemy's technology. That is why the US will do well with drones so long as it attacks third-world countries. Note that, in terms of debt, Libya is richer than the US, but is unable to maintain air dominance over its own airspace.....

Re:Another reason to question buying the F35 (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#36538932)

A UCAV with a proper sensor setup may have better situation awareness then a pilot. Nor do they get stressed or tired. Main problem would be IFF and target selection, and liability in case of a civilian or blue on blue incident.

Re:Another reason to question buying the F35 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36539522)

"A UCAV with a proper sensor setup may have better situation awareness then a pilot...."

Granted. But the next requirement is to be able to out-think the opponent, and this is a human brain specialty. Computers aren't so good at predicting possible tactical moves in real-time...

Unless, of course, we can link the UAVs to a big chess-playing system like Deep Blue. This would not need to be a dedicated link - just called in for the duration of an engagement. I can imagine that such a computer might actually be playing in a tournament and be asked to provide a bit of dogfight consultancy in between moves.....

Re:Another reason to question buying the F35 (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539754)

Or find a way to cram one hell of a multi-core computer into a small package and cram it in there.

Wish there were more. (2, Funny)

kamapuaa (555446) | more than 3 years ago | (#36534490)

I like the program and hope to see it expanded. I think the US should have these continually flying sortees all over the world. So if a bad guy shows up in Europe, the US can easily take him out with a Tomahawk missile or two.

Re:Wish there were more. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36534614)

No, I wish the countries using these things would buy from the US to keep the profits and have a leaner, more efficient, military. 300 million people don't need $900,000 million spent annually on defense. Imagine how much cheaper it would be to issue everyone a box of bullets and a gun to all upstanding citizens who could pass a standardized test on safety.

Re:Wish there were more. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36534682)

Oh great. And every time someone gets depressed they can go on a shooting rampage.

I wish those 900.000 million were spend on education and healthcare rather than violence in one form or the other.

your number is... (1)

decora (1710862) | more than 3 years ago | (#36537868)

a little low i think.

Re:Wish there were more. (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539014)

No, I wish the countries using these things would buy from the US to keep the profits and have a leaner, more efficient, military. 300 million people don't need $900,000 million spent annually on defense. Imagine how much cheaper it would be to issue everyone a box of bullets and a gun to all upstanding citizens who could pass a standardized test on safety.

Why not just give everyone a sword? Oh, that's right, because the other side might have muskets.
Unless you somehow uninvent all weapons more powerful than a handheld gun with bullets, you're going to lose any future war very quickly.

Re:Wish there were more. (4, Funny)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 3 years ago | (#36534650)

I like the program and hope to see it expanded. I think the US should have these continually flying sorties all over the world. So if a bad guy shows up in Europe, the US can easily take him out with a Tomahawk missile or two.

I'd prefer if they started by doing this in Manhattan.
I heard there are some non-patriots actually inside the Beltway in D.C.

Re:Wish there were more. (2)

shoehornjob (1632387) | more than 3 years ago | (#36534834)

Tomahawk missiles are not currently launched from UAV's. You mean Hellfire missiles. They are small enough and still keep the stealth profile to a minimum.

Re:Wish there were more. (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 3 years ago | (#36534850)

Gross. Why the hell should my country be policing the world? Why should my tax dollars go towards funding anything other than an investment in my own country. Let the other countries find the bad guys within their borders. I, for one, am sick and tired of funding the unofficial, undeclared world police.

Re:Wish there were more. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36534962)

Well for example if Greece is going to default on its debt, it will have financial implications to the US as well. So the US could just let them know that they have a Hellfire missile within range of the Greek parliament.

Re:Wish there were more. (1)

That Guy From Mrktng (2274712) | more than 3 years ago | (#36535536)

I guess Greece is not about to default for the lulz but because the economy is really fucked up there. Do you point your gun to a homeless person to oblige him to be a normal prosper citizen? Does it work?

I hope you're joking AC, but I have less faith in society than in your particular bit of nonsense.

As for the world police enthusiast, no, you can create havoc in underdeveloped countries but you can't just start to roam the world skies as "the finger of God" ready to kill anyone anywhere anytime.

You probably can "because We can" but that sort of things backfire awfully and USA know better, one hopes.

Military robots like drones are ironic... (3, Insightful)

Paul Fernhout (109597) | more than 3 years ago | (#36534534)

http://www.pdfernhout.net/recognizing-irony-is-a-key-to-transcending-militarism.html [pdfernhout.net] ... because they are created essentially to force humans to work like robots in an industrialized social order. Why not just create industrial robots to do the work instead? ... There is a fundamental mismatch between 21st century reality and 20th century security thinking. Those "security" agencies are using those tools of abundance, cooperation, and sharing mainly from a mindset of scarcity, competition, and secrecy. Given the power of 21st century technology as an amplifier (including as weapons of mass destruction), a scarcity-based approach to using such technology ultimately is just making us all insecure. Such powerful technologies of abundance, designed, organized, and used from a mindset of scarcity could well ironically doom us all whether through military robots, nukes, plagues, propaganda, or whatever else... Or alternatively, as Bucky Fuller and others have suggested, we could use such technologies to build a world that is abundant and secure for all.

(I know, I'm like a broken record on this -- for those who remember broken scratched records...)

Re:Military robots like drones are ironic... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36535260)

What the fuck did I just read.

Re:Military robots like drones are ironic... (3, Interesting)

Paul Fernhout (109597) | more than 3 years ago | (#36535504)

Maybe you would prefer to read this, by John Taylor Gatto, about the socioeconomic system the US drones are defending?
    http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/chapters/16a.htm [johntaylorgatto.com]
"I'll bring this down to earth. Try to see that an intricately subordinated industrial/commercial system has only limited use for hundreds of millions of self-reliant, resourceful readers and critical thinkers. In an egalitarian, entrepreneurially based economy of confederated families like the one the Amish have or the Mondragon folk in the Basque region of Spain, any number of self-reliant people can be accommodated usefully, but not in a concentrated command-type economy like our own. Where on earth would they fit? In a great fanfare of moral fervor some years back, the Ford Motor Company opened the world's most productive auto engine plant in Chihuahua, Mexico. It insisted on hiring employees with 50 percent more school training than the Mexican norm of six years, but as time passed Ford removed its requirements and began to hire school dropouts, training them quite well in four to twelve weeks. The hype that education is essential to robot-like work was quietly abandoned. Our economy has no adequate outlet of expression for its artists, dancers, poets, painters, farmers, filmmakers, wildcat business people, handcraft workers, whiskey makers, intellectuals, or a thousand other useful human enterprise -- no outlet except corporate work or fringe slots on the periphery of things. Unless you do "creative" work the company way, you run afoul of a host of laws and regulations put on the books to control the dangerous products of imagination which can never be safely tolerated by a centralized command system."

Why not just get the robot drones to do the work instead of using them against opponents of a rapacious short-term-empire-minded social system based around the USA? And maybe get more people to accept that the answer to "Why do they hate us?" is not so much "Because we are free" but rather more of "Because we support their oppressors"?

See also, for something written by Two-Time Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient Major General Smedley D. Butler, USMC:
    http://www.lexrex.com/enlightened/articles/warisaracket.htm [lexrex.com]
"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. ..."

Re:Military robots like drones are ironic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36535482)

Because one military robot can force millions of people to work. So much cheaper and easier to maintain than millions of robots.

Re:Military robots like drones are ironic... (2)

Paul Fernhout (109597) | more than 3 years ago | (#36535636)

I have to admit you have a point as to up-front costs, but if the robots can build and maintain other robots, which they can do to a limited extent already, the operating cost is less of an issue (although the robots can more easily get out of control like in James P. Hogan' s "Two Faces of Tomorrow").

Plus, in general, robots are becoming cheaper than human labor for more and more jobs anyway. See Marshall Brain's presentations, like this one:
    "Marshall Brain - Automation & Unemployment"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0Z8TR4ToNs [youtube.com]

Ot Martin Ford's writings:
    http://econfuture.wordpress.com/2010/10/19/robots-jobs-and-our-assumptions/ [wordpress.com]

Or this from 1964:
    http://www.educationanddemocracy.org/FSCfiles/C_CC2a_TripleRevolution.htm [educationa...ocracy.org]
"The fundamental problem posed by the cybernation revolution in the U.S. is that it invalidates the general mechanism so far employed to undergird people's rights as consumers. Up to this time economic resources have been distributed on the basis of contributions to production, with machines and men competing for employment on somewhat equal terms. In the developing cybernated system, potentially unlimited output can be achieved by systems of machines which will require little cooperation from human beings. As machines take over production from men, they absorb an increasing proportion of resources while the men who are displaced become dependent on minimal and unrelated government measures -- unemployment insurance, social security, welfare payments. These measures are less and less able to disguise a historic paradox: That a substantial proportion of the population is subsisting on minimal incomes, often below the poverty line, at a time when sufficient productive potential is available to supply the needs of everyone in the U.S.
    The existence of this paradox is denied or ignored by conventional economic analysis. The general economic approach argues that potential demand, which if filled would raise the number of jobs and provide incomes to those holding them, is underestimated. Most contemporary economic analysis states that all of the available labor force and industrial capacity is required to meet the needs of consumers and industry and to provide adequate public services: Schools, parks, roads, homes, decent cities, and clean water and air. It is further argued that demand could be increased, by a variety of standard techniques, to any desired extent by providing money and machines to improve the conditions of the billions of impoverished people elsewhere in the world, who need food and shelter, clothes and machinery and everything else the industrial nations take for granted.
    There is no question that cybernation does increase the potential for the provision of funds to neglected public sectors. Nor is there any question that cybernation would make possible the abolition of poverty at home and abroad. But the industrial system does not possess any adequate mechanisms to permit these potentials to become realities. The industrial system was designed to produce an ever-increasing quantity of goods as efficiently as possible, and it was assumed that the distribution of the power to purchase these goods would occur almost automatically. The continuance of the income-through-jobs link as the only major mechanism for distributing effective demand -- for granting the right to consume -- now acts as the main brake on the almost unlimited capacity of a cybernated productive system."

Or related stuff on my site.

Re:Military robots like drones are ironic... (2)

churchtech (2028444) | more than 3 years ago | (#36535534)

The one big problem with that theory is that everyone needs to recognize that it's wasteful of resources to fight wars. As long as you have one group that's willing to continue the fight, (Al-quida) your stuck. My biggest complaint about George W. Bush was that he didn't use the war as a chance to break our dependance on foreign oil. Not for environmental reasons, but for basic strategic ones... It's the heights of stupidity to pay for your enemies war.

Re:Military robots like drones are ironic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36535714)

Well it's a good thing that you pointed out the prisoners dilemma, and the need to have enough standing military to defend ourselves from those who would invade us.
But then you went full retarded and were pro-war-for-oil.
First off, if that's your biggest complaint about Bush, you apparently missed quite a lot from the last decade.
Second, unless we made Iraq the 51st state, it'd still be foreign oil, and we'd still be paying out the nose for it.
Third, "al-Qaeda"
Fourth, al-Qaeda isn't a national military force and the amount they spent on military gear for their most successful operation probably summed up to a few box cutters, if that. So they are the WORST example to promote the military gap [wikipedia.org] argument, which itself was old and tired before my father was even born.

And your handle is chruchtech, fantastic...

Re:Military robots like drones are ironic... (1)

churchtech (2028444) | more than 3 years ago | (#36536202)

Okay ... I think you missed my point entirely. I'm not pro war for oil.. But it's stupid to think that it was not in part a war for oil, the expensive, scarce resource that our society relies upon. In fact, the crux of my argument is that if we had spent the money on alternative vehicles/power/etc. instead of in Iraq we would be much better off. If every vehicle made in the past 10 years had a plug in hybrid drive system we would be able to write off the middle east, saving thousands of lives and billions of dollars, and we would never have to buy oil from Iraq, or Saudi Arabia, or wherever... It's my biggest complaint because he missed his "Only Nixon can go to China" moment. Your right about al-Qaeda, and that too is my point. Not only can they run a war on the dirt cheap, but we were paying for it, via oil money what we sent back to Saudi Arabia. As for usernames, seeing as your Anonymous Coward, well.....

Re:Military robots like drones are ironic... (2)

Paul Fernhout (109597) | more than 3 years ago | (#36535932)

Remember, the USA helped create bin Laden by funding and training and arming him to fight against the USSR...

Yes, I agree on the need to switch to alternative energy and energy efficiency. The total US military budget is somewhere around US$1 trillion per year (or more with interest). That's a lot of solar panels and wind turbines and home insulation. Amory Lovins (IIRC) suggested decades ago that just the operating cost for two years of the US Persian Gulf deployment force would be enough to imporve US energy efficiency to the point where we did not need the oil from the Persian Gulf. So, yet more irony. On that, see:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brittle_Power [wikipedia.org]

The state of the art in Germany is now to build houses without furnaces, they are so well-built, well-insulated, and have air-to-air heat exchangers for fresh air without much energy loss.
    http://www.enn.com/lifestyle/article/38940 [enn.com]

Electric cars apparently use less energy per mile then it takes just to refine the oil into gasoline to go the same distance:
    http://www.evnut.com/gasoline_oil.htm [evnut.com]

Another irony is that in the 1940s and 1950s nuclear physcisits realzied the thorium-based nuclear power would be inherently safer and more abundant than uranium and plutonium based nuclear power (you can't easily make bombs from thorium and it can't melt down easily because it is used already in the molten state and can be drained easily into cooling tanks) but thorium power was discarded precisely because it was safer (you could not make bombs from it). So, instead of cheap, abundant, safe thorium power, we got lots of nuclear bombs to fight over middle east oil fields and other resource rich areas we would not need to access if we had cheap power.

I wonder that will come out of this press conference tomorrow (still not sure if it is a scam or confusion or not):
    http://pesn.com/2011/06/17/9501849_Defkalion_Announces_Energy_Catalyzer_Press_Conference/ [pesn.com]
"By now, most people following exotic energy breakthroughs have read about Andrea Rossi's E-Cat (Energy Catalyzer) cold fusion technology. It utilizes nickel powder, hydrogen gas, an undisclosed catalyst, heat, and pressure to produce large amounts of energy. The technology is capable of producing over 4 kilowatts of thermal power from a reactor vessel only fifty cubic centimeters in volume (about he size of your fist). Cold fusion research has been ongoing for two decades, and there have been thousands of successful experiments. However, Andrea Rossi's technology is the most promising cold fusion technology yet to emerge.
    Andrea Rossi's company Leonardo Corporation has licensed the technology to the Greek company Defkalion Green Technologies Inc., with sole purpose to sell, license, and manufacture industrialized commercially applicable products using the Andrea Rossi Energy Catalyzer with global exclusivity rights; except the Americas. Defkalion has recently sent out invitations to certain individuals to attend a press conference about the technology on June 23, 2011. The invitation is self explanatory, and is posted below. "

But in any case, we'll probably have dirt-cheap solar panels in twenty years through nanotechnology or similar improvements in materials. We'd have had cheaper solar a lot sooner if either we had more government-funded R&D on them or if US consumers had to pay the true cost of fossil fuels up front (including defense expenditures and health costs and pollution costs and war risk).
    http://www.iags.org/costofoil.html [iags.org]
    http://www.energyandcapital.com/articles/oil-gas-crude/461 [energyandcapital.com]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Externality [wikipedia.org]

Re:Military robots like drones are ironic... (1)

churchtech (2028444) | more than 3 years ago | (#36536302)

While I'm not holding my breath for cold fusion, and I disagree that the US supported Bin Laden (yes we supported those fighting the USSR, but Bin Laden was to nuts even then for us) I agree with almost everything else your saying. An advanced nuclear power program + Plug in hybrids would slash our oil needs. Spend some of this money on Fusion power, and we may very well have that.

because you cant throw 2 billion people into (1)

decora (1710862) | more than 3 years ago | (#36537880)

the street without any way to feed themselves.

you want to have robots picking the crops and building things . fine.

who decides what the robots pick and what they build?

and how much of it they pick and how much they build?

its going to be the people who own the land and the people who own the raw materials that the robots work with.

everyone else is going to be sent to die.

Solutions to the issues raised by robotics... (1)

Paul Fernhout (109597) | more than 3 years ago | (#36538426)

And conveniently I just made a 12 minute YouTube video with some answers (or at least good questions) about that, talking about a balance between five interwoven economies that shifts with cultural change and technological change:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vK-M_e0JoY [youtube.com]

A PDF file of the presentation is here:
    http://www.pdfernhout.net/media/FiveInterwovenEconomies.pdf [pdfernhout.net]

More related stuff:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basic_income [wikipedia.org]
    http://www.marshallbrain.com/manna1.htm [marshallbrain.com]
    http://peswiki.com/index.php/OS:Economic_Transformation [peswiki.com]
  http://knol.google.com/k/beyond-a-jobless-recovery [google.com]

Still, in general, you raise good questions. Ones that are ultimately political, even as many mainstream economists might imply they are just technical issues...

Re:because you cant throw 2 billion people into (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539054)

its going to be the people who own the land and the people who own the raw materials that the robots work with.

Er, the idea is that everyone owns the land and the raw materials equally. It's called communism.

Hits 1 million (1)

Anomalyst (742352) | more than 3 years ago | (#36534560)

I'll bet that's gonna leave a mark

Is this good or bad for the future? (2)

Kiyooka (738862) | more than 3 years ago | (#36534746)

Robots dehumanize war, but if war shifts away from human casualties, isn't this a good thing?

Will drones ever be cheaper than training a grunt?

Re:Is this good or bad for the future? (2)

idontgno (624372) | more than 3 years ago | (#36534916)

At what point does the dehumanization of combat come full circle and become robots fighting robots, may the side with the last robot standing win?

I can't tell if this would be Heaven or Hell... because a war with no appreciable human cost becomes the war that never ends.

It is well that war is so terrible - otherwise we would grow too fond of it.

-- Robert E. Lee
Battle of Fredericksburg (13th December 1862)

Re:Is this good or bad for the future? (1)

endymion.nz (1093595) | more than 3 years ago | (#36536148)

That will never happen. They will go for the command & control systems instead of seeking robotic attrition.

Re:Is this good or bad for the future? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36536488)

That will never happen. They will go for the command & control systems instead of seeking robotic attrition.

Does it make you feel cool to say "command and control systems"? Because the rest of us known you're just a 7th grade video game wanker.

Re:Is this good or bad for the future? (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 3 years ago | (#36537262)

At what point does the dehumanization of combat come full circle and become robots fighting robots, may the side with the last robot standing win?

When African and the Middle East are finally pulled out of their poverty and can afford robots.
Until then it'll be child soldiers, suicide bombers, and improvised explosive devices.

I can't tell if this would be Heaven or Hell... because a war with no appreciable human cost becomes the war that never ends.

It just becomes a war of financial attrition instead of human attrition.
Once your country can no longer afford the warbots, the opposing force either kills your people, or you surrender.

most deaths in war are civilians (1)

decora (1710862) | more than 3 years ago | (#36537890)

not armed combatants.

if you make the soldiers robotic, then you will have an ever increasing percentage of dead who are civilians.

Re:Is this good or bad for the future? (0)

churchtech (2028444) | more than 3 years ago | (#36535464)

IIRC, an infantry soldier "costs" around a million dollars, all told, if they are deployed. (Recruiting, training, equipping, transporting, feeding, healthcare, etc.) I'm sure a pilot is many times that. I don't see drones displacing all humans in a combat zone for a very long time, but blowing up a drone that's searching for IED's is almost certainly much cheaper the losing a soldier to one.

Re:Is this good or bad for the future? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36538370)

Will drones ever be cheaper than training a grunt?

Comparing drones to grunts isn't a fair question.

Military operations are always going to need boots on the ground. UAVs typically cover missions that other aircraft and recon elements did in the past. I honestly believe they will provide a HUGE cost benefit to the modern military overall, and by a huge margin. They'll never replace the job of a rifleman however. At least not for the foreseeable future.

All hail the US hero (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36535278)

... murdering innocent people with impunity from the comfort of a base in the US.

this isnt (2)

nimbius (983462) | more than 3 years ago | (#36536606)

an accomplishment really, its like gloating about the uptime counter on the
quarter million dollar accounting server with occasional atrocious mathematics.

Less war machines...more science machines.

Combat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36537382)

If drone attacks don't count as hostilities, surely drone hours aren't really "combat" hours.

How do friendly-fire rates compare? (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 3 years ago | (#36538016)

The US is still using the proverbial 1% doctrine, where if there's a remote chance the bad guys are there...well fire away! The President even admitted the hit rate for the OBL raid was about 55%. What no one seems to give a shit about is if you adopt that 1% chest-thumping policy, you're wrong 99% and killing innocent civilians. In fact, wasn't it the current regional commander who admitted we're killing far more civilians than tur'rists?

I'll be more impressed with these drones if we see them performing as well as manned aircraft in a humane war.

Imagine the progress if U.S.A. was on war! (1)

master_p (608214) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539752)

There is so much technological progress now that U.S.A. is not on war with anybody, imagine if U.S.A. was on war!!!!

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...