• Unmanned Warfare

    Weapons that create and shape perceptions

    Modern war is fought over strategic influence more than territory. Win the first and the second is gained easily. In this struggle, we are battling over perceptions and in the hyper-communications environment today, facts do not matter. We risk tactical and strategic success as we rely on a lawyerly conduct in war resting on finely tuned arguments of why and why not. Human nature in a crisis doesn’t care about the finer points that exist further up Maslow’s pyramid, human nature falls back on the quick response of emotions and are vulnerable to rumor and simple distortions, especially those reinforced over time. Sharon Weinberger at Danger Room noted the government’s concern over the potential for…

  • Unmanned Warfare

    Better tech isn’t always the answer

    See Noah’s post earlier this month on NavSec Winter’s comments at the DARPATech: …he just informed the 3,000 geeks gathered at the DARPATech conference in Anaheim that all their gee-whiz gadgetry may not help at all in the war on terror.  There’s a tendency to view Islamists as backwards barbarians, Winter said.  This image is “misleading and very dangerous.”  The terrorist enemy is more likely to be a “engineer in a lab” than an “evildoer in a cave.” Growth in commercial computing power has “eroded” America’s Cold War “technical edge,” Winter said.  The same – or even better – gear gets out to kids worldwide, before soldiers ever see it. …

  • Unmanned Warfare

    Two surveys on robots and war

    The first survey is mine, and to those who filled out my short — less than 60s — survey on robots in a COIN/SASO environment, thank you. This survey is intentionally brief and focused on a few points. It is not meant to be comprehensive, which have noted. The survey is still open, so please take it if you haven’t already. The results will be compiled this weekend for a presentation next week. I will post the results here in the next 10 days. The second survey is what happens when you have a sponsor. Money makes for a bigger survey with more depth. As part of a research project under…

  • Unmanned Warfare

    Agent-Based Modeling of Irregular Warfare (ABMIW)

    At Danger Room, Sharon Weinberger posted this morning about sims in predicting cause and effect, notably in insurgencies. Can modeling tools help predict (or forecast) the future? Well, that’s not quite what the Pentagon wants to do, but it’s similar. The goal of “Agent-Based Modeling of Irregular Warfare (ABMIW)” is to use computer models to forecast the consequences of specific actions on, for example, insurgency: If you’re interested in previous versions of an “Artificial-Life Laboratory for Exploring Self-Organized Emergent Behavior in Land Combat” that doesn’t include sociological variables, you might enjoy EINSTein, the Enhanced ISAAC Neural Simulation Tooklit (ISAAC standing for “Irreducible Semi-Autonomous Adaptive Combat”), available here. (Note: this is a “very” old…

  • Public Diplomacy,  Unmanned Warfare

    Perception management by the insurgency

    This is a video of an EOD robot taking one for the team filmed and posted by an Iraqi Sunni insurgents & supporters. More interesting is the back and forth comments on YouTube about its place in the larger media campaign. silence34342000 (video poster): can you imagine how many resistance videos are released daily each showing at least 4 marines dying(not considering flying rockets on american bases and operations which didnt get videod)? do you know how many Jihadi groups are in Iraq?you dont know the size of resistance and its abilities.plz ark get me one video showing the Mujahidin killing innocent ppl arkgunslinger: Here’s a fewv=PpOHYdMQOkE “There has been a surge…

  • Unmanned Warfare

    The Future of Warfare?

    True, robots possess the ultimate in courage, but in the Information Age, when perception management is key, what do robots represent and convey? How do they fit into counterinsurgency and reconstruction? How does the availability of robots affect policy makers’ choices? Update: video may be downloaded here.

  • Unmanned Warfare

    Thinking robots

    My mind is on robots right now (it is actually directly on target of the core mission of this blog… more to be revealed later)… follow me there and watch this clip. The beginning is ok, but my favorite is the last third when they start the “Pacific Islander” dancing.