View Poll Results: Now, that we have robots to do the fighting, is war more likely?

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Thread: Now, that we have robots to do the fighting, is war more likely?

  1. #11
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    Re: Now, that we have robots to do the fighting, is war more likely?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    You could ask the same question about ground troops.... how much is an infantryman worth in an age of nuclear weapons?

    The answer is: he's worth his weight in silver, at least. We've found that no matter how sophisticated our smart bombs, cruise missles, and drone aircraft are, at some point you have to send in the infantry to secure the ground, quash any remaining opposition, and provide security for the area.

    WMD's are like a sledgehammer: powerful, but not suited to every task. Not suited to hardly any tasks really, except as a last-line deterrent against invasion or someone else's WMD.

    When we located Osama, we didn't send him a 20KT tac nuke via cruise missle... we sent in elite combat troops.

    You need to study up a bit on the differences between Total War and Limited War in the modern era, methinks.

    I expect we'll be seeing more unmanned aircraft, followed by unmanned tanks and then small "infantry robots", in the next few decades, and that they will prove very useful indeed to those who master this technology quickly.
    What Goshin said.
    Nobody who wins a war indulges in a bifurcated definition of victory. War is a political act; victory and defeat have meaning only in political terms. A country incapable of achieving its political objectives at an acceptable cost is losing the war, regardless of battlefield events.

    Bifurcating victory (e.g. winning militarily, losing politically) is a useful salve for defeated armies. The "stab in the back" narrative helped take the sting out of failure for German generals after WWI and their American counterparts after Vietnam.

    All the same, it's nonsense. To paraphrase Vince Lombardi, show me a political loser, and I'll show you a loser.
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  2. #12
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    Re: Now, that we have robots to do the fighting, is war more likely?

    We have Americans fighting and dying in three (strike that, four) wars daily and only four members have the integrity to put their names on a line in this poll. Shameful.
    “Real environmentalists live in cities, and they visit what's left of the wilderness as gently and respectfully as possible.” — Donna Moulton, letter to the editor, Tucson Weekly, published on August 23, 2001

  3. #13
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    Re: Now, that we have robots to do the fighting, is war more likely?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    You could ask the same question about ground troops.... how much is an infantryman worth in an age of nuclear weapons?

    The answer is: he's worth his weight in silver, at least. We've found that no matter how sophisticated our smart bombs, cruise missles, and drone aircraft are, at some point you have to send in the infantry to secure the ground, quash any remaining opposition, and provide security for the area.

    WMD's are like a sledgehammer: powerful, but not suited to every task. Not suited to hardly any tasks really, except as a last-line deterrent against invasion or someone else's WMD.

    When we located Osama, we didn't send him a 20KT tac nuke via cruise missle... we sent in elite combat troops.

    You need to study up a bit on the differences between Total War and Limited War in the modern era, methinks.

    I expect we'll be seeing more unmanned aircraft, followed by unmanned tanks and then small "infantry robots", in the next few decades, and that they will prove very useful indeed to those who master this technology quickly.
    Yes, but will it make war more likely? WMDs aren't suitable for every purpose, but they certainly are a deterrent in almost all situations.

    I don't dispute the general usefulness of such technologies when it actually comes to engagement.
    Last edited by Cameron; 05-07-11 at 09:56 PM.

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    Re: Now, that we have robots to do the fighting, is war more likely?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chappy View Post
    We have Americans fighting and dying in three (strike that, four) wars daily and only four members have the integrity to put their names on a line in this poll. Shameful.
    Four? If you're counting Pakistan, it's part of the Afghan conflict. We are at war IN Pakistan, not WITH Pakistan.
    Last edited by StillBallin75; 05-07-11 at 09:57 PM.
    Nobody who wins a war indulges in a bifurcated definition of victory. War is a political act; victory and defeat have meaning only in political terms. A country incapable of achieving its political objectives at an acceptable cost is losing the war, regardless of battlefield events.

    Bifurcating victory (e.g. winning militarily, losing politically) is a useful salve for defeated armies. The "stab in the back" narrative helped take the sting out of failure for German generals after WWI and their American counterparts after Vietnam.

    All the same, it's nonsense. To paraphrase Vince Lombardi, show me a political loser, and I'll show you a loser.
    - Colonel Paul Yingling

  5. #15
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    Re: Now, that we have robots to do the fighting, is war more likely?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chappy View Post
    We have Americans fighting and dying in three (strike that, four) wars daily and only four members have the integrity to put their names on a line in this poll. Shameful.

    WTF does the one have to do with the other? Or are you just annoyed more people aren't voting in the poll? Seriously, that was a silly statement.

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    Re: Now, that we have robots to do the fighting, is war more likely?

    I dont see the presence of 'robot's' making wars more likely.

  7. #17
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    Re: Now, that we have robots to do the fighting, is war more likely?

    Quote Originally Posted by StillBallin75 View Post
    Four? If you're counting Pakistan, it's part of the Afghan conflict. We are at war IN Pakistan, not WITH Pakistan.
    Agree to disagree.
    “Real environmentalists live in cities, and they visit what's left of the wilderness as gently and respectfully as possible.” — Donna Moulton, letter to the editor, Tucson Weekly, published on August 23, 2001

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    Re: Now, that we have robots to do the fighting, is war more likely?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    WTF does the one have to do with the other? Or are you just annoyed more people aren't voting in the poll? Seriously, that was a silly statement.
    How many wars does America have to conduct before you conclude that the bar to entering a war has become absurdly low?
    “Real environmentalists live in cities, and they visit what's left of the wilderness as gently and respectfully as possible.” — Donna Moulton, letter to the editor, Tucson Weekly, published on August 23, 2001

  9. #19
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    Re: Now, that we have robots to do the fighting, is war more likely?

    Quote Originally Posted by Krhazy View Post
    Yes, but will it make war more likely? WMDs aren't suitable for every purpose, but they certainly are a deterrent in almost all situations.

    I don't dispute the general usefulness of such technologies when it actually comes to engagement.


    Will it make war more likely? Well to be honest I'm not sure.

    I don't think robots will entirely or even largely replace human soldiers and sailors and airmen in the coming century at least. I think that only a few of the most advanced nations will actually deploy this technology in large quantities within the next two or three decades (USA, UK, a few others perhaps). While robots will reduce casualties for our side to a significant degree in the next 15-30 years, as they will be used to do the most dangerous tasks, they won't eliminate casualties entirely... and the media has demonstrated that they are perfectly capable of making modest numbers of casualties sound like genocide.

    Now, in one sense, the use of unmanned combat aircraft could make war more appealing. Taking out an enemy's air force and air defenses is a necessary first step before engaging in major attacks on surface targets. Achieving full air superiority is somewhat dangerous... we do tend to lose a few expensive aircraft and expensively-trained pilots in such an op. When we can do so more cheaply and with less risk to valuable pilots and more-expensive-manned-aircraft, it might increase the temptation a bit.

    On the whole though, I don't see the use of combat drones and "robots" (bit of a misnomer as they're really remote-controlled for the most part) as making a major change in the feasibility or appeal of war any time in the next 30 years.

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  10. #20
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    Re: Now, that we have robots to do the fighting, is war more likely?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chappy View Post
    How many wars does America have to conduct before you conclude that the bar to entering a war has become absurdly low?
    Okay. That's not the question the poll asks... but I can see where you might consider it a related question.

    A full dissertation on all my thoughts about Afganistan and Iraq would take up a lot of bandwidth. Suffice it to say I still hope both wars will prove to be worthwhile in the long run, in terms of stablizing the M.E. to some degree... but the jury will still be out on that for a good many years yet. We'll see. We have a legitmate national security intrest in the region, because we get a lot of oil from the mideast. Therefore it is in our intrests to keep that boiling pot from boiling over. It was also necessary that the world see that when we are hit, as in 9-11, that our response will be devastating to those who hide or harbor or support our enemies (Afganistan).

    Iraq was possibly less necessary, but removing Saddam and his regime removed an ambitious tyrant who would have liked to rule the whole M.E. It will be 10-20 years before we know if this really worked long-term, but at this point I think it looks more like this was a good call, if a difficult one.

    As for Libya, I'm not sure whether we really needed to stick our nose in that one or not. If we ARE, we ought to do it right and go take Mohamar out immediately... if we're going to dick around I'd prefer we leave it alone.

    At various times in our history I think we've been too quick to enter into war... at other times, almost too slow and too late. In recent decades we've maybe been a little quicker than usual to draw the sword, but the results have hardly been catastophic for us so I'm not as concerned about it as you seem to be.

    Did that answer your question?

    Fiddling While Rome Burns
    ISIS: Carthago Delenda Est
    "I used to roll the dice; see the fear in my enemies' eyes... listen as the crowd would sing, 'now the old king is dead, Long Live the King.'.."

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