Via Mike Vanderboegh, this:
Defense Secretary Ashton Carter would like to stop buying and launching navigation satellites—at least as a military project. Sure, Lockheed is testing GPS III, and a team at the University of Texas is working on centimetric accuracy without differential. Through the MEOSAR project, the Canadian military will even use the new satellites to update the Cospas-SARSat system for geolocating search-and-rescue beacons. But GPS is looking more vulnerable to spoofing than we previously figured. So during a podcast hosted by venture firm Andreesen Horowitz in April, Carter argued that future forces would want their navigation on micro-electromechanical chips with inertials and precision clocks. Even just by reducing the need for constant updates from above, that sort of technology could improve the systemic defensibility of satellite navigation.
At the same time, Carter pretty much wants to wrap electronics around everything, proliferating precision and combat-networking down to every Iron Man suit in the force.
Wheeee … look at me! I’m a cyborg!
Well, it looks like Ash Carter has bought whole hog into the concept of fifth generation warfare. Magical suits that enable anyone to do anything, meaning that it doesn’t really matter that the women who passed Ranger school shouldn’t really have passed. And it doesn’t matter that the Navy Secretary wants to see female Marines in combat regardless of the fact that they can’t perform.
Several years ago I was with Daniel in the truck pulling into a parking lot. We had to come to a stop for four fat ass black girls waddling across the road in High School ROTC uniforms (their race is irrelevant except for the fact that it might be a harbinger of turning the armed forces into a gigantic social program of entitlement). I looked at Daniel and said, “There goes the future of the United States armed forces.” He said, “My God. I’m glad I got out.”
Except it isn’t that easy. The Army long ago decided to turn to mechanized warfare, and the concept of marching to battle, carrying a load, and assaulting a position fell to folks in Bradley’s riding from FOBs to the front, piling out of the car, shooting a while, piling back in, and going back to the FOB so they can use their iPads and watch movies.
It didn’t work out so well in Iraq and Afghanistan. The so-called “big dog” robot sounds like a million angry Africanized bees, requires remote power, and won’t function for long away from charging stations or maintenance technicians. Radios require power. Servos and motors can be shot to pieces. And people still bleed red blood and need to be transported back to medical care by being picked up off the field of battle and carried to medics by fellow Soldiers or Marines.
I’m not sure how long it will be before Ashton wants to see those fat ass girls in the Marine Corps infantry officer school at Quantico, but the best plans evaporate in a crisis, and connectivity won’t help when brave men are needed.
The New York Times Magazine has a must-read piece on the Americans fighting ISIS. It’s a mixed bag, but this picture of a 45 year old Texan struck me.
He looks like he could rip your balls off by reaching through your teeth. In any fight between people like this and Ms. cyborg – subject to dust, loss of power, bullets and other deleterious effects – take a wild guess as to who will win?
For those among us who don’t believe we should have a standing Army, the good news is that when Ashton Carter gets finished, we won’t.