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Smaller And Higher Precision


Whenever I read things like this, I have to laugh at the idiots who accuse us of "mass murdering civilians," and "blowing up countries" and being "indifferent to collateral damage."

And the new de-vices are just in time for this:

"American commanders seem convinced that it is only a matter of time before the Iraqi prime minister, Ayad Allawi, gives the order for them to retake the city," the Times notes. "For many marines here, that order cannot come too soon. After a long summer of cat-and-mouse games with shadowy insurgents, they are hungry for a decisive battle."
Posted by Rand Simberg at November 05, 2004 08:57 AM
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Don't Supersize My Indiscriminate Slaughter, Thank You
Excerpt: The US Air Force is bringing a new smart bomb into play in Iraq, and it's the smallest one yet. Designed especially for urban warfare, the emphasis on maximum accuracy and effect with minimal collateral damage (that's mil-speak for civilian...
Weblog: Rocket Jones
Tracked: November 8, 2004 04:32 AM

I don't appreciate the term "idiot". I understand that these weapons are better targeted than the ones used during bombing runs in the second world war but . . .
Why do some people refuse to accept collateral damage and that any war kills civilians. 14,000 civilians killed by the US (and cojoined forces) actions is alot of murders. If it isn't, how do you define "mass"? (100,000 or 1 million)

Posted by Easterndesert at November 5, 2004 10:00 AM

"14,000 civilians killed by the US (and cojoined forces) actions is alot of murders."

It is ZERO murders actually.

The defiition of Murder does not include unintentional or accidental. It is regrettable in the extreme but proabally far fewer that the number of Iraqis who would have been honestly and actually MURDERED by Saddam's regime in the past 18 months had we not have removed him from power. Not to mention the hundreds of thousands had he been allowed to continue.

Posted by Mike Puckett at November 5, 2004 10:53 AM

These types of precision weapon systems will usher in a new era of arms limitation. Up until now, large area affect nuclear systems were viewed as the ultimate in stand off capability. As we move from the era of megadeath to microdeath a doctrine of limitation once previously viewed as mutually assured destruction will transform into a doctrine of mutually assured decapitation. The question only remains, when will the next nation demonstrate they have the capability to strike with great precision at individuals and individual targets?

Posted by Josh "Hefty" Reiter at November 5, 2004 01:01 PM

The question only remains, when will the next nation demonstrate they have the capability to strike with great precision at individuals and individual targets?

The Washington-area strikes on 9/11 were an attempt, admittedly crude, to do exactly that. IIRC, wasn't the plane that went down in Pennsylvania supposed to hit the White House?

Guess they didn't plan on Bush being in a classroom reading My Pet Goat. No wonder Michael Moore and Osama bin Laden both resent that part.

Posted by McGehee at November 6, 2004 07:13 AM

The Washington-area strikes on 9/11 were an attempt, admittedly crude, to do exactly that.

I disagree. The idea of precise targeting or "decapitation" is to avoid the death of bystanders by aiming precisely at leaders. The message to bystanders is: it is only your leaders we are after, if you stand aside and do nothing your lives are not in danger.

If this had been al Qaeda's goal, then they would have tried to sneak into the Pentagon parking lot and shoot some top generals or something, or fly the airplanes into Camp David, a Governor's mansion or Federal Court house, et cetera.

But that was not their goal. Their goal was to maximize the death of bystanders. The message they wanted to send to bystanders was: it is no longer just your leaders we are after, if you stand aside and do nothing to replace or restrain your leaders, then your lives are in danger too.

For the goal of al Qaeda, clearly the largest possible weaponry causing the most widespread destruction is desired. Hence, when they flew airplanes into buildings, they chose buildings containing the largest number of ordinary citizens. (If it was just a question of symbolism, they would have chosen to fly into the Statue of Liberty or Washington Monument, symbols far more irreplaceable than the World Trade Center.)

It's for this reason that the President is rightly concerned with the acquisition by terrorists of large imprecise weapons, not small precise weapons.

On the other hand, it is most definitely in our interest to acquire and use small, precise weapons. The only real defenses of terrorists are anonymity (e.g. hiding in caves) or using innocents as shields, hiding among the populace. Precise weaponry is perfect for preventing them from being able to hide among the populace. Because the USMC in Falluja can destroy only the house the militants are meeting in, and not the whole block, it is much easier to order the strike.

Secondarily, this use of targeted weaponry reduces the ability of terrorists to be anonymous. They can't ever be in perfect hiding, of course. Someone must know where they are -- the boy who delivers the groceries, the runners who carry videotapes out, et cetera. Our goal is to get these people to betray the terrorists. It is easier to do so if we convince them that the result, our strike, will be both highly targeted (so they won't get hit by the shrapnel) and highly lethal (so there's no danger of their betrayal being avenged by surviving terrorists).

Posted by Carl Pham at November 6, 2004 01:50 PM

Guess they didn't plan on Bush being in a classroom reading My Pet Goat.

I think they probably figured that the response of the United States would be pretty much the same whether or not the President survived the attack.

I figure the same thing. Do you? Or do you feel that the response of the United States to al Qaeda's attack reflected only the wishes of Mr. Bush? If so, I refer you to the results of last Tuesday. Apparently 60 million Americans would also have done more or less just what the President did.

Mr. Bush is an excellent leader in our struggle with terror. But if he were gone, we would simply find another just like him and press forward, doing the same thing. That is the real lesson of last Tuesday, and I doubt our more intelligent enemies are going to be slow to realize it. Our less intelligent enemies will, of course, shortly become our late enemies and be of little further interest.

Posted by Carl Pham at November 6, 2004 02:01 PM

Carl, I was being snarky.

Posted by McGehee at November 7, 2004 07:36 AM

14,000 killings! Try 100,000 civilians killed.

This web site is sickeneningly partisan. You won't be taken seriously by moderates like myself if you keep on distorting the facts like this and just speaking Republican Party talking points in this way.

You are so thoroughly and consistently biased in favor of the Republican elites that a single glance at the web site will drive away anyone who is not already a member of Bush's holy roller soldiers.

Posted by Frank Lawton at November 7, 2004 09:56 AM

Frank Lawton,

My guess is that in your eagerness to believe it, you've made
no effort to check whether the 100,000 civilians killed claim
makes sense. Am I correct?

And if I'm wrong would you please explain what checks you've

Posted by Mark Amerman at November 7, 2004 12:53 PM

Carl, I was being snarky.


[Exit stage right, embarrassed]

Posted by Carl Pham at November 7, 2004 02:10 PM

Frank, if you are sucker-chump enought to swallow that 100,000 Kool-Aid, you are certainly no moderate.

You are most proabally a died in the wool marxist troll.

Posted by Mike Puckett at November 7, 2004 04:33 PM

Well, the url in his sig line is a node of the Moonbat Collective. "Increasingly increasingly"? Jebus.

Posted by Andrea Harris at November 7, 2004 08:53 PM

Precision has such a "range" of meanings, really. I mean, of the first 50 precision bombs dropped on Iraq, all 50 landed precisely in area that they were not intended to, according to the NYT and defense department sources. So if that's the future, I'm all for it.

I mean, it's like those Patriot missles. They precisely aimed themselves at incoming US & British jets in the first Iraq war. How cool is that?

I'll believe it when a non-partisan source reports it.

Posted by at November 9, 2004 02:19 PM

That reminds me, does everyone here know that Apollo 11 never landed on the Moon? NASA faked the pictures with computers and stuff. It was all reported in the newspaper, I forget exactly which one, but by someone reliable who really knows.

Also, the Rosicrucians run the world because Alan Greenspan is their willing tool, and the World Series was rigged. By extraterrestrials.

Posted by Carl Pham at November 9, 2004 06:37 PM

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