Virtual wars are getting more and more commonplace. Kids play soldiers in “Call of Duty” and actual soldiers pilot lethal drones from remote trailers in the U.S.
Now the British are taking virtual warfare to a larger scale, with its army staging the largest virtual battle simulation yet, involving 220 soldiers. The BBC reports that
“The experiment was carried out at the Army’s Land Warfare Centre in Warminster, Wiltshire. The two-hour scenario saw soldiers on computers completing virtual missions in a fictional French town. The Army says the simulation will help it to find out which resources it needs to invest in, once it takes control of its own budget in April 2013.
“’The aim is to understand how various changes have an impact on the speed at which command can respond,’ Continue reading “British stage huge virtual war”
As if there was any doubt, official statistics show more deadly drone strikes against Afghanistan in 2012 than the U.S. has ever done anywhere. As Danger Room reports,
“Last month, military stats revealed that the U.S. had launched some 333 drone strikes in Afghanistan thus far in 2012. That made Afghanistan the epicenter of U.S. drone attacks — not Pakistan, not Yemen, not Somalia. But it turns out those stats were off, according to revised ones released by the Air Force on Thursday morning. There have actually been 447 drone strikes in Afghanistan this year. That means drone strikes represent 11.5 percent of the entire air war — up from about 5 percent last year.
“Never before in Afghanistan have there been so many drone strikes. For the past three years, the strikes have never topped 300 annually, even during the height of the surge. Never mind 2014, when U.S. troops are supposed to take a diminished role in the war and focus largely on counterterrorism. Afghanistan’s past year, heavy on insurgent-hunting robots, shows that the war’s future has already been on display.
For more see: http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/12/2012-drones-afghanistan/
Since President Obama took office in 2008, the CIA has killed 2,500 people with robotically controlled drones run by technicians housed in remote trailers. Anticipating a possible new regime in Washington, the administration accelerated work on a set of guidelines to give a new president standards and criteria for future killings. It’s worth noting, that 70 percent of the deaths have been civilian casualties, according to TruthOut (See, “Civilian Deaths From US Drone Attacks Much Higher Than Reported”
The secret drone policy under consideration was discussed in today’s Continue reading “The Obama murder manual”
You might think America isn’t in the war business any more––what with so much recent talk about troop withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan, the Colin Powell endorsement of the peace loving Obama, and Romney’s yammering about U.S military decline. But hang on a second. It’s not that the U.S. isn’t fighting. The combat actually continues, but it’s quite different than what most people conceive as “war,” per se. While official wars involving the U.S. are winding down, all sorts of smaller special operations or war-by-proxy campaigns are being undertaken on America’s behalf.
By some accounts the U.S. is currently conducting secret wars in 75 nations. These are explained in a lengthy article by Nick Turse appearing in Le Monde, entitled “A Failed Formula for Worldwide War: How the Empire Changed its Face, But Not its Nature.”
“In one way or another, the U.S. military is now involved with most of the nations on Earth,” Turse writes. Continue reading “War by any other name”
Half the Sky now is going digital with a new online game. In early 2013, the movement to empower women and girls continues with a new adventure on Facebook. This new game is part of a growing effort on the part of game developers (Zynga, in this instance) to partner with groups working for social change. Half the Sky Movement: The Game is inspired by the book Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide and brings players first to a small village in India to meet Radhika. The press release says that “Over 300 million people play online social games each month, and their demographic profile cuts across gender and age groups. In the game, Radhika will take players on a global journey, from India to Kenya, Vietnam, Afghanistan and the U.S. In her transition from oppression to opportunity, she must find her voice in her own house and gain financial and social independence. Players start with very little, but as they complete quests to help Radhika and other girls and women, Radhika becomes a community leader. Whether helping a girl in the village to buy a bicycle that will take her to school, or fighting off an international gang of sex traffickers, Radhika becomes a force within her world. Continue reading “Half the Sky to launch online game”