The changes in warfare

video-games-hd-gears-of-war-horde-267715According to a statistic about the US military, “more active-duty soldiers killed themselves than died in combat“. This is an interesting article to read, all the more interesting for me as it makes me think of the significant changes in the conduct of warfare that took place more specifically since the age of technological innovations.

Just like peace, war practices, were part of ways human came to understand their selves and their relation with other humans. Just like peace had rules, war too. And just like peace permitted the construction of ethics to develop forms of human dignity, war was a mean through which humans could learn about themselves, about their representation of an enemy, how to deal with that enemy through certain form of ethical conduct, and by ethical, I mean some form of human excellence at perfecting skills that benefit everyone. So in this sense, the skills of a Hitler can’t really count.

But today, with war being practiced more and more from a distance, protagonists don’t come to really “face” an enemy. Technology has permitted the creation of an abstract field were combat techniques take place. In this sense, video games are actually the real way in which war take place because soldier are living that fantasy situation all throughout, unless a severe disruption contradicts the familiar story and threatens to disrupt their mental, spiritual and physical stability.

I don’t want to extend on all the implications of what that mean in the way war is conducted (there is a lot written on that), but I just want to point out how pointless the “war experience” has become for these soldiers who are not only unprepared to face conflict situations, as they increasingly live in a fantasy of what war could be, as a game, but do not use war as a transcendental or spiritual experience for developing ethical excellence.

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Make Love, Not War …

The Pentagon considered a proposal to create a hormone bomb that could turn enemy soldiers into homosexuals and make them more interested in sex than fighting.

Along those lines, US contractors may want to rethink the wisdom of sending former SLA and LF guys into Iraq as security guards. Lebanon’s gentler sex might, perhaps, serve as a more effective deterrent against evil-doers.

For Reasons That Are (Not Yet) Clear…

For reasons that are not yet clear, America’s general officer corps underestimated the strength of the enemy, overestimated the capabilities of Iraq’s government and security forces, and failed to provide Congress with an accurate assessment of security conditions in Iraq,” Lt. Col. Paul Yingling said in the article published Friday in the Armed Forces Journal.

Those stateside like me have had to endure an endless amount of blather — legal and otherwise — about what role the US Congress should play in the government’s war-making powers. Those who argue for an expansive reading of Article II’s CinC powers often suggest that the legislature should not be involved in battlefield decisions, lest the military be compromised by vissicitudes of politics. This is utter bullshit. Having abandoned its constitutional role in matters of war and peace by deferring to the Executive, the US Congress has only futher politicized the ranks of the US military leadership. Instead of our elected representatives making such decisions, we have generals deciding whether we are at war or peace. One can witness this phenomenon in the fetish over the Pentagon’s IED presentation or in the revolving door of the Iraq command structure.

I will edit and elaborate when I get the chance.

Sublime …

Another crowd-control device is known by the typically opaque Pentagon moniker “active denial.”

Abu Ghraib: The Movie …

Watch the HBO documentary. It is well-done and has a very “banality of evil” feel to it.

Lost in Translation …

The new force was a low priority to Rumsfeld, he says; it was called “the New Iraqi Corps,” or NIC, until a linguist on Eaton’s staff noted that nic meant “fuck” in Arabic.