Saturday, May 21, 2005

Mission Accomplished

Uncle Sam's Robot Army

I was reading the paper a few weeks back and read that the United States Army will have robot soldiers within ten years. I looked around a bit and found out that these ‘robots’ are not in fact like R2D2 or Astro Boy. The ‘robots’ currently being used are for bomb-disposal. These bomb-disposal robot are still capable of firing 1,000 rounds a minute and have been used in Iraq since April. This is only the tip of iceberg as the Army believes they will have fully operational robot soldiers within ten years. On the downside it does look like it may take 35 years to have robot soldiers with the capabilities of Kurt Russell in Soldier. This got me to thinking about what the American Army will look like when it has Robot Soldiers.

I am sure that Americans would love to be able to read about the Afghanistan’s and Iraq’s of the world without any casualty rates. No more controversies over whether or not body counts should be published, there won’t be any. No more flags draped over coffins, no more military funerals or Defense Department defensiveness. Who wouldn’t support a war if the casualties were guaranteed to be so low? How hard would this be for Madison Avenue to sell? It could be Operation Everybody Gets Out Alive. This war would be fully interactive where contest winners could buy the rights to control a robot in any field of operation. They could then join battles with real life adversaries, Counterstrike style. It would be a war where very few good guys die and where good destroys evil. Kind of like Star Wars with the roles reversed.

This Robot army could be deployed to kill any real or imagined foe, anytime, anywhere. They would be able to fund and man simultaneous missions into Iran, Cuba and Venezuela. Anywhere American style democracy is threatened the US Robot core would be there. These Robot soldiers would also make an excellent occupying army. They could be programmed with cultural sensitivity that is apparently so difficult to train into human soldiers. Just think of the capabilities of Robot interrogators? They never get tired, and would be able to always follow official rules, so there would be no more bad apples. Robots wouldn’t try to flush a Koran down the toilet unless specifically ordered by Newsweek. The days of scandal at Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib and Bagram would be long gone. We would also be spared picture of Saddam in his tighty whities. The overseas American Gulag would no longer be modeled on Solzhenitsyn but would better resemble correctional facilities back in the States. This should finally put any talk of conscription well back on the back burner.


Sean Reilly said...

A tour de force! Ell,
I never knew Astro Boy had it in him, but I've always had my suspicions about '3P0.

Maoman said...

Nice blog!

Brian David Phillips said...

Technically, Kurt Russell's character from Soldier is not a robot. Rather, he is the result of a eugenics and bioengineering program but still quite human. Even Van Damme's Universal Soldier isn't a robot . . . although the acting is certainly mechanical. Terminator is a robot soldier . . . well, cyborg but the bio parts are pretty much just the skin so robot seems more approprieat. Just a nit. Personally, I think they're going to buy a bunch of Aibo's and strap rocket launchers on their backs. Enjoyed the post.

- Brian