Monday, 23 April 2018

By Hook or By Crook

 By Hook or By Crook….

by Marcel Duchamp Oxman

“Each chapter I read made me more and more angry.” – Dr. Helen Caldicott, international leader of anti-nuclear and environmental movements, making reference to a book recommended below
The new Cold War is different from the original one. Ideological conflict no longer pits Moscow against today’s enlarged “West”… since Russia’s elite unashamedly embraced capitalism after 1991. The Kremlin has ceased to  stand at the head of a rival economic and social system that challenges the U.S. false promise of individual freedom and global prosperity for one and all.
Today’s struggle between Moscow and Washington — corporate agendas and corrupt individuals on both sides blended into the mix — involves traditional nation-state competition for political and economic influence. The scope is no longer truly global: it is pretty much limited to areas bordering Russia — in Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia — and since 2015 to parts of the Middle East. The struggle is asymmetrical: NATO and the EU have extended their political and military alliances to areas that used to be aligned with Moscow; Russia’s response has been to sustain proxy armed groups in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine — ensuring that all three are stuck in frozen conflicts which reduce their chances of NATO membership.
Another difference from the latter half of the Cold War is that Russia is allied with China again, but their relationship is now pragmatic, not ideological. They see themselves as forming an axis of resistance to U.S. efforts at promoting regime change in foreign countries. While the U.S. has marginalized or ignored the UN in recent years, Russia and China have increasingly used the Security Council to defend state sovereignty and non-interference as indispensable principles of international law. This doesn’t mean that they haven’t violated or wouldn’t violate other countries’ sovereignty themselves on occasion — but neither state approved the U.S-led invasions of Serbia, Iraq and Libya, the last two of which produced catastrophes that are still unfolding.
The take away for readers must be that because the U.S. broke its promise to Russia to not expand into Eastern Europe, and because increasing tensions over the territories cited above are not slated to be reduced… activists must — because the nuclear stakes are so very high and the nuclear weapons dynamic so unpredictable on several scores — attempt to — post haste — waste no time securing influence on the gubernatorial level in the U.S. …to attempt to change attitudes and policies. The federal level in the U.S. is closed to that, will NEVER alter its long-standing suicidal stance vis-a-vis Russia or China. And what is still possible via the electoral arena and through open public discussion in the U.S. is not an option in either Russia or China.
We need concerned citizens to adopt a cold-hearted view toward U.S. nationhood. The dangers and the momentum being driven by U.S. hegemonic madness must be countered ASAP… without letting the equally nefarious and abominable Russian and Chinese policies off the hook.
By hook or by crook… as long as violence isn’t embraced as the means.
Marcel Duchamp Oxman can be reached at aptosnews@gmail.com. The author recommends William Blum’s Killing Hope, if anyone doubts the thrust of the message about U.S. policies in this article; its excellent respecting documentation concerning the original Cold War, and Noam Chomsky calls it “far and away the best book on the topic.”

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Robot Ground Vehicles

 U.S. Military Working To Deploy

 Robot Ground Vehicles For Urban Combat By 2020

By Nicholas West

“Every year, more and more of the world’s population moves into cities. The number of megacities is growing exponentially. Both of these global patterns and their inevitable consequences for military operations are well documented. Yet we still do not have units that are even remotely prepared to operate in megacities. If we want to find success on the urban battlefields the US Army will inevitably find itself fighting on in the future, that needs to change.” — John Spencer, West Point scholar and former Ranger Instructor
The change referred to above by John Spencer appears to be rushing in upon us. There has been increasing urgency coming from the military in recent years about how to field troops in the unconventional terrain of where they expect future warfare to take place.
Last year The Intercept released a shocking video of how the Pentagon views this time of transition; it perfectly puts into context the announcement that follows:
Following the trend of ever-increasing complexity — whether it be due to social chaos in economically collapsed cities, or tightly controlled high-tech smart cities — the U.S. military is ramping-up its development of autonomous and semi-autonomous ground vehicles that they believe will offer more flexibility in congested urban terrain.
Mind you, this has been a trend long in the making, as Activist Post reported back in 2011 about a project called MUSIC that was part of the Future Combat Systems architecture that was later “canceled.”
Yet, now in 2018 we see many of the components of that system coming together and readying for deployment as the U.S. Army is making new announcements for its plan to modernize their war machines. Some of this is set to be showcased at the AUSA conference in Huntsville, Ala. March 26th-28, according to Breaking Defense “where the Army will formally unveil the org chart for its new Futures Command, to which the CFTs will belong, along with other Army entities as yet unspecified.”
    After 20 years of cancelled programs, the Army now wants prototypes of all-new robotic and “optionally manned” combat vehicles by 2019 so soldiers can begin field-testing them in 2020. Compared to current vehicles, they’ll be lighter, smaller and optimized for urban combat, said Brig. Gen. David Lesperance, head of the armor school at Fort Benning, Ga. and the hand-picked head of the service’s Cross-Functional Team on future ground vehicles.
    …Gen. Milley promised the Army would seek “radical,” ten-fold improvements in technology on a tight timeline. Lesperance’s proposal would definitely deliver on that promise — if it works.
    Milley has said specifically his Big Six modernization program won’t repeat the mistakes of FCS, and there are grounds for hope. First, technology is just better. The private sector has made dramatic advances in computing power, artificial intelligence and ground robots since FCS was cancelled in 2009, when the iPhone was in its infancy and self-driving cars were a fantasy.
As I’ve mentioned many times before (and as decades of canceled initiatives prove), the military is always scheming for ways to extract more money from its citizens by promising the latest in high-tech security. It is up to each of us to remain fearless and not give in to the continuous threat propaganda that ultimately funds their war systems. By remaining vigilant about these plans and spreading the word, we can help thwart the very worst of these developments.

Nicholas West writes for Activist Post. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Steemit, and BitChute. Ready for solutions? Subscribe to our premium newsletter Counter Markets.