Synopses & Reviews
A military expert reveals how science fiction is fast becoming reality on the battlefield, changing not just how wars are fought, but also the politics, economics, laws, and ethics that surround war itself
P. W. Singeras previous two books foretold the rise of private military contractors and the advent of child soldiersa predictions that proved all too accurate. Now, he explores the greatest revolution in military affairs since the atom bombathe advent of robotic warfare.
We are just beginning to see a massive shift in military technology that threatens to make the stuff of I, Robot and the Terminator all too real. More than seven- thousand robotic systems are now in Iraq. Pilots in Nevada are remotely killing terrorists in Afghanistan. Scientists are debating just how smartaand how lethalato make their current robotic prototypes. And many of the most renowned science fiction authors are secretly consulting for the Pentagon on the next generation.
Blending historic evidence with interviews from the field, Singer vividly shows that as these technologies multiply, they will have profound effects on the front lines as well as on the politics back home. Moving humans off the battlefield makes wars easier to start, but more complex to fight. Replacing men with machines may save some lives, but will lower the morale and psychological barriers to killing. The awarrior ethos, a which has long defined soldiersa identity, will erode, as will the laws of war that have governed military conflict for generations.
Paradoxically, these new technologies will also bring war to our doorstep. As other nations and even terrorist organizations start to build or buy their own robotic weapons, the robot revolution could undermine Americaas military preeminence. While his analysis is unnerving, thereas an irresistible gee-whiz quality to the innovations Singer uncovers. Wired for War travels from Iraq to see these robots in combat to the latter-day askunk worksa in Americaas suburbia, where tomorrowas technologies of war are quietly being designed. In Singeras hands, the future of war is as fascinating as it is frightening.
and#8220;While the peak of drone usage may have passed, we will be evaluating and reevaluating the legality, justice, and utility of the drone war for decades. Cortright, Fairhurst, and Wall provide an important contribution to the broader discussion on drone warfare. Readers with an interest in political affairs and the use of force will find this book fascinating, and those studying international relations and international law will also find much to like."
"[Mead] has clearly immersed himself in the subject and written the definitive account of gaming in the U.S. military." --Slate and#160; "A surprisingly profound little book about the rise of the 'military-entertainment complex' in the wake of Americaand#8217;s wars in Afghanistan and Iraq... Mead's approach is straightforward and no-nonsense. Readers will learn something they didnand#8217;t realize it was important to know." --Kirkus Reviews and#160; "Meadand#8217;s account is insightful, and though heand#8217;s hopeful that military innovations will continue to benefit more humanitarian fields (such as medicine), he also recognizes its potential repercussions, as evidenced by a prescient closing image..." --Publishers Weekly
andldquo;Drones and the Future of Armed Conflict is a welcome addition to the growing literature on drone warfare, bringing together specialists on strategy, human rights, ethics, and law to discuss the implications of drone use for each of these areas. In particular, Cortright and Fairhurst make a forceful and convincing case for why drones or a militarized strategy more generally should not be central to our counterterrorism policy.andrdquo;
"riveting and comprehensive, encompassing every aspect of the rise of military robotics." --Financial Times
In Wired for War, P. W. Singer explores the greatand#173;est revolution in military affairs since the atom bomb: the dawn of robotic warfare. We are on the cusp of a massive shift in military technology that threatens to make real the stuff of I, Robot and The Terminator. Blending historical evidence with interviews of an amazand#173;ing cast of characters, Singer shows how technology is changing not just how wars are fought, but also the politics, economics, laws, and the ethics that surround war itself. Traveling from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan to modern-day "skunk works" in the midst of suburbia, Wired for War will tantalize a wide readership, from military buffs to policy wonks to gearheads.
During the past decade, armed drones have entered the American military arsenal as a core tactic for countering terrorism. When coupled with access to reliable information, they make it possible to deploy lethal force accurately across borders while keeping oneandrsquo;s own soldiers out of harmandrsquo;s way. The potential to direct force with great precision also offers the possibility of reducing harm to civilians. At the same time, because drones eliminate some of the traditional constraints on the use of forceandmdash;like the need to gain political support for full mobilizationandmdash;they lower the threshold for launching military strikes. The development of drone use capacity across dozens of countries increases the need for global standards on the use of these weapons to assure that their deployment is strategically wise and ethically and legally sound.
Presenting a robust conversation among leading scholars in the areas of international legal standards, counterterrorism strategy, humanitarian law, and the ethics of force, Drones and the Future of Armed Conflict takes account of current American drone campaigns and the developing legal, ethical, and strategic implications of this new way of warfare. Among the contributions to this volume are a thorough examination of the American governmentandrsquo;s legal justifications for the targeting of enemies using drones, an analysis of American drone campaignsandrsquo; notable successes and failures, and a discussion of the linked issues of human rights, freedom of information, and government accountability.
The first-ever inside look at the US militaryand#8217;s secretive Remotely Piloted Aircraft programand#151;equal parts techno-thriller, historical account, and war memoir
Remotely piloted aircraft (RPA), commonly referred to by the media as drones, are a mysterious and headline-making tool in the militaryand#8217;s counterterrorism arsenal. Their story has been pieced together by technology reporters, major newspapers, and on-the-ground accounts from the Middle East, but it has never been fully told by an insider.
In Hunter Killer, Air Force Lt. Col. T. Mark McCurley provides an unprecedented look at the aviators and aircraft that forever changed modern warfare. This is the first account by an RPA pilot, told from his unique-in-history vantage point supporting and executing Tier One counterterrorism missions. Only a handful of people know what itand#8217;s like to hunt terrorists from the sky, watching through the electronic eye of aircraft that can stay aloft for a day at a time, waiting to deploy their cutting-edge technology to neutralize threats to Americaand#8217;s national security.
Hunter Killer is the counterpoint to the stories from the battlefront told in books like No Easy Day and American Sniper: While special operators such as SEALs and Delta Force have received a lot of attention in recent years, no book has ever told the story of the unmanned air war. Until now.
An expert on military innovation reveals how video games are revolutionizing warfare from the battlefield to the highest echelons of the Pentagon.
A behind-the-scenes look at how the military uses video game technology to train soldiers, treat veterans, and entice new recruits
How does the U.S. military train its soldiers for new forms of armed conflict, all within the constraints of diminished defense budgets? Increasingly, the answer is cutting-edge video game technology. Corey Mead shows us training sessions where soldiers undertake multiplayer andldquo;missionsandrdquo; that test combat skills, develop unit cohesion, and teach cultural awareness. He immerses himself in 3-D battle simulations so convincing that they leave his heart racing. And he shows how the military, which has shaped American education more than any other force over the last century, fuels the adoption of games as learning toolsandmdash;and recruitment come-ons. Mead also details how the military uses games to prepare soldiers for their return to the home front and to treat PTSD.
Military-funded researchers were closely involved with the computing advances that led to the invention of the Internet. Now, as Mead proves, we are poised at the brink of a similar explosion in game technology. War Play reveals that many of tomorrowandrsquo;s teaching tools, therapies, and entertainments can be found in todayandrsquo;s military.
From drones to Mars roversan exploration of the most innovative use of robots today and a provocative argument for the crucial role of humans in our increasingly technological future
In Our Robots, Ourselves, David Mindell offers a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the cutting edge of robotics today, debunking commonly held myths and exploring the rapidly changing relationships between humans and machines.
Drawing on firsthand experience, extensive interviews, and the latest research from MIT and elsewhere, Mindell takes us to extreme environmentshigh atmosphere, deep ocean, and outer spaceto reveal where the most advanced robotics already exist. In these environments, scientists use robots to discover new information about ancient civilizations, to map some of the worlds largest geological features, and even to commute” to Mars to conduct daily experiments. But these tools of air, sea, and space also forecast the dangers, ethical quandaries, and unintended consequences of a future in which robotics and automation suffuse our everyday lives.
Mindell argues that the stark lines weve drawn between human and not human, manual and automated, arent helpful for understanding our relationship with robotics. Brilliantly researched and accessibly written, Our Robots, Ourselves clarifies misconceptions about the autonomous robot, offering instead a hopeful message about what he calls rich human presence” at the center of the technological landscape we are now creating.
About the Author
David A. Mindell is the Dibner Professor of the History of Engineering and Manufacturing and Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT. He has twenty-five years of experience as an engineer in the field of undersea robotic exploration, as a veteran of more than thirty oceanographic expeditions, and more recently as an airplane pilot and engineer of autonomous aircraft. He is the award-winning author of Iron Coffin: War Technology and Experience Aboard the USS Monitor and Digital Apollo: Human and Machine in Spaceflight.
Table of Contents
1.and#160;The Rise of the Military-Entertainment Complexand#8195;and#8195;11
2.and#160;Building the Classroom Arsenal: The Militaryand#8217;s Influence on American Educationand#8195;and#8195;34
3.and#160;and#8220;Everybody Must Thinkand#8221;: The Militaryand#8217;sand#160;Post-9/11 Turn to Video Gamesand#8195;and#8195;50
4.and#160;Americaand#8217;s Army: The Gameand#8195;and#8195;72
5.and#160;All but War Is Simulationand#8195;and#8195;103
6.and#160;WILL Interactive and the Militaryand#8217;s Serious Gamesand#8195;and#8195;115
7.and#160;The Aftermath: Medical Virtual Reality and the Treatment of Traumaand#8195;and#8195;129
8.and#160;Conclusion: Americaand#8217;s Army Invades Our Classroomsand#8195;and#8195;154