Do the American people have a right to know what weapons are being developed and deployed in their name?
No. Obviously not. Weapons, like information and intelligence, are classified. They are only outted when used, like the atom bomb, or when spotted in photos, like the “Beast of Kandahar.”
With a budget of $680 billion and an industrial complex that pervades every aspect of US corporate life, developing new ways to kill is one of the few remaining growth industries in the US, as David Patreaus has pointed out.
And weapons development feeds into America’s last remaining near-monopoly: international weapons sales, of which the US has cornered almost 70%.
Increasingly, weapons are taking the place of humans with the obvious advantage that fewer US bodies are flown home to Dover.
And they are cost-efficient. Even if a drone or bot costs a $1 million, that’s no more than a soldier costs for a year in Afghanistan … and there isn’t the hassle of feeding and housing it.
So the military loves the unmanned robotic troops, no muss, no fuss — no conscience, no morality.
Increasingly, lethal robotic machines are being developed in labs all over the US and used by the American military, not only in their theatres of war, but covertly in countries throughout the world.
And this is being done in the name of the American people who have neither a clue nor a say in what the military does on their behalf.
The move towards the bloodless war will remove the last reason to avoid force.
But, inevitably, just like with nukes, the bots and drones will come back to bite the builder. What the US can send out, the US can receive and when they do, Americans will again be shouting ‘cowards,’ just as they did with the 9/11 suicide attackers.
Funding an overwhelming force of bots and drones: short-term gain, long-term pain.