New world disorder

By: ARNAUD DE BORCHGRAVE, UPI Editor at Large

From a record-breaking drought that has devastated much of the U.S. South and keeps getting worse, to the U.S. economy and what Time magazine’s cover story calls “The Decline and Fall of Europe (and maybe the West)”; civil wars in Libya and Syria; renewed terrorism in Iraq and endless fighting in Afghanistan, the good news was hard to detect.

The sudden uprising of jobless youth from poor families in what is arguably the most unequal society in Europe left London ablaze, shook the British establishment to its foundations and spotlighted the widening gap between rich and poor all over Europe.

The 27-nation European Union and its 17-nation common euro currency appear to be unraveling. Some 20 percent of European youth are jobless.

Income disparities throughout the European Union and in the United States show roughly 1 percent of the population controlling 42 percent of a nation’s wealth and taking in a quarter of the country’s income.

When the rising tide lifted all boats, the wealthiest could take credit for building bigger and better boats. But the current global receding tide has beached 14 million in the United States (excluding those who no longer qualify for compensation), while in the European Union the number, currently at 10 percent, is expected to crest at 16 million by 2013.

Worldwide, the current labor stats indicate 180 million looking for work. In Israel, normally a highly disciplined country of 6 million, 250,000 echoed the British underclass with popular anger against a government unable to deliver the goods. And in the Arab world, from Libya to Egypt to Syria, the Arab Spring is now a distant memory.

After 42 years in power in Libya, Moammar Gadhafi’s regime is history but unmentioned during NATO’s five-month bombing campaign is that the victorious rebel regime of Benghazi is heavily infiltrated by Islamist extremists.

In Cairo, the Muslim Brotherhood is consolidating its dominant position, albeit with the army still in charge.

For the British media, U.S. President Barack Obama’s two-week vacation in Martha’s Vineyard symbolized a declining superpower adrift between two warring parties that threw caution to the wind, accumulating irresponsible — and inaccurate — statements.

The 2012 election campaign is already under way. Reasonable ideas are shot down before they make the evening news.

Presidential hopefuls are flip-flopping from one interview to the next. A proposal for an immediate 40 percent cut in federal spending is quickly escalated to accuse Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke of treason if he prints more money between now and Election Day.

It is hardly surprising that there is high anxiety on both sides of the Atlantic; that banks are shaky and some even on the edge of the precipice.

The United States has clearly been living beyond its means, funding the Iraqi and Afghan wars ($1.5 trillion and counting) by growing the federal deficit to pay for them.

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta notwithstanding, defense spending is clearly overdue for a proper haircut, not a trim.

The current plan is for a $400 billion cut in defense spending over the next 10 years after it almost doubled over the past 10 years.

The Pentagon’s war planners say that such a cut — only $40 billion per year for a decade — will make it impossible to fight two wars at the same time. But that kind of strategic planning was based on a Cold War turning hot with the Soviet Union while retaining the ability to fight a lesser war in another part of the globe.

Time to think forward to the age of robotic warfare where the United States already has a decisive edge. The U.S. Air Force Academy is graduating more drone pilots than fighter and bomber pilots.

The Predator unmanned aerial vehicle program is adding three more active duty squadrons over the next two budget cycles. In 2001, the United States had 167 UAVs; in 2011, more than 5,500. Almost half of UAV squadrons are manned by fighter pilots.

Robotic warfare has reached cruising altitude and by 2015, one-third of the U.S. Army’s ground systems will be unmanned.

Robots are already being planned in the role of suicide bombers. They have no substitute for surprise attacks and recon.

They have tripled flight time and are cheaper than conventional fighters and bombers.

An F-18 fighter bomber costs $70 million and a couple of million for pilot training. An equivalent drone runs $4.5 million plus $70,000 per guided missile.

The tab to deploy one soldier for a year in Afghanistan is $400,000.

For robotic warfare, chaplains and psychologists have been assigned to help fighters cope with the daily stress of killing remotely and then returning home in time for dinner with their families.

Air-to-air combat drones will soon join the robotic arsenal. Boeing is also testing a drone submarine that will be capable of torpedoing an enemy ship anywhere in the world.

Robotic warfare detractors fear that we will create a race of beings more capable than ourselves who will kill us and take over the world — known as the “Singularity.”

Ray Kurzweil, who wrote “The Singularity is Near,” posits that moment in history, 25 years hence, when the human brain will have reached 60 percent of its capacity (up from today’s anemic 25 percent usage) and potential parity with the supercomputer that is capable of several quadrillion operations per second.

Like it or not, robotic warfare will soon assume a dominant role in warfare.

There is also the fear of robots carrying nuclear weapons to a distant enemy. Robotic “soldiers” already guard stockpiles of nuclear materials and other nuclear secrets. They can cover more ground and are radiation proof.

The transition to robotic warfare requires a high degree of bipartisanship in Congress, now sadly lacking. Obama has demonstrated that this is beyond his capability.

Meanwhile, he has lost the mantle of leader of the free world. What he says has little impact on either side of the Atlantic — or the Pacific.

THIS IS A CROSS POST FROM UPI.COM

 

 

 

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Comments

  • Parvez Amin  On August 23, 2011 at 2:05 am

    Robotic warfare and conventional, are premised on the view that one nation has a right to impose its will on another and also to take its wealth by force. Both grounds are absurd. Building hardware and committing it to support these wicked thoughts promises no comfort. Mr Borchgrave has not said a word about this and I request that he share his advice on how we, the residents of this planet can turn towards the path to peace and prosperity for all. That must be made the ultimate goal and it is sad to see persuasive powers that Mr Borchgrave has wasted.

    Finally, all this reminds of the warning given about 50 years ago, by the then President of the USA, Dwight Eisenhower, regarding the Frankenstien, the Military Industrial Complex America built to help win WWII. It appears the monster is well, alive and growing. An America with robot armies – what a nightmare.

    • S U Turkman  On August 24, 2011 at 2:28 am

      Yeah the Ancient Extinct Animal Eggs have been hatched by CIA and they are called Islamic JehaaDis. Pakistan is Jurassic Park. The Monster is alive and growing and its called Punjabi Pak Army.

  • Admiral Sirohey  On August 23, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    An enlightened discourse. The power of knowledge is on display. Pakistan and like countries will see the life passing by them. What a shame. It is not the destiny of the followers of the final Book of Allah and the His final Prophet. It is however subject to their conduct and Jehad in the widest sense, education in particular. If they fail to do so they will replaced by those who shall. The developed world seems to be candidate in waiting. They only have to revert to the true belief. Reading the article carefully it seems to be conveying the failure of Capitalistic Corporate system. The only alternative is the Islam.

    In 1971 I was doing the the course at the RN Staff College at BRNC Greenwich when European Unuion was in the formative stage. I made a statement in a discussion that the EU is an unnatural Union and will not last more than 50 years.

    IAS

    • S U Turkman  On August 24, 2011 at 2:32 am

      Yes Admiral, Pakistan is also an un-natural union of Ethnic Groups and it will not last forever. Proof is there 56% of its 1971 population is now called Bangladesh thanks to our Punjabi Army’s hegemony, love of power and greed of money.

  • Soo Bavelas  On September 6, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    When all is said and done Qaddafi had 40 years to unify the Libyan peope behind him and ultimately did not succeed. All that remains now is to hope that the kind of regime that is developed by the rebel movement does a better job and ultimately brings greater peace and growth to the Libyans! Soo Bavelas in the Cocos Islands

    • S U Turkman  On September 7, 2011 at 5:17 am

      You can never keep backwards Tribal Brain people united even in a thousand years because all they listen to is Long Stick only. All People on this Planet living between 31 and 40 degrees parallel are like Wolves. When they feel their Ruler is weak, they attack just like Pack of Wolves attacks its aging leader. You would find my this statement true if you read History of people living in these degrees in countries all around the world.
      You would never find any real Democracy in countries, where majority of population lives within those 2 lines. They would always remain a Police State because even we keep all our Domestic Animals are in control by a little bit spanking, not by nice talking to them.
      Western Kind of Democracy can only exist in countries, where majority of the people live on higher than 39 degrees parallel.
      You think, China can have a Western Style Democracy one day?
      Keep on dreaming. Its free.
      No Arab country was providing so much Public Welfare to its people than Libya and they were not poor either. They had no Economic Reason to revolt. It was all Tribal Jealousy aided by Religious Anti USA, Anti West and Anti Non Moslim Zealots.
      US Policy Makers do not know understand Psychology of people living below 40 degrees parallel and this is why I can see, they can not find one sane candidate in Republican Party that is made up of people south of 40. As soon as USA’s population south of 40 increases, it would be all over and end of Democracy as it exists in USA. Write this down lest, you forget if you live long enough …!

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