Religion

http://www.idfblog.com/hezbollah/
The Hezbollah terrorist organization never ceases in its efforts to plan and execute deadly attacks against civilians around the world. It is sponsored, armed and funded by Iran – a state who uses the organization to spread terror in the hearts of the civilians of the West.

 

Lethal Autonomous Robot: Why America Wants Drones That Can Kill Without Humans

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Scientists, engineers and policymakers are all figuring out ways drones can be used better and more smartly, more precise and less damaging to civilians, with longer range and better staying power. One method under development is by increasing autonomy on the drone itself.

FCS-MULE-ARV-2007Eventually, drones may have the technical ability to make even lethal decisions autonomously: to respond to a programmed set of inputs, select a target and fire their weapons without a human reviewing or checking the result. Yet the idea of the U.S. military deploying a lethal autonomous robot, or LAR, is sparking controversy. Though autonomy might address some of the current downsides of how drones are used, they introduce new downsides policymakers are only just learning to grapple with.

The basic conceit behind a LAR is that it can outperform and outthink a human operator. “If a drone’s system is sophisticated enough, it could be less emotional, more selective and able to provide force in a way that achieves a tactical objective with the least harm,” said Purdue University Professor Samuel Liles. “A lethal autonomous robot can aim better, target better, select better, and in general be a better asset with the linked ISR [intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance] packages it can run.”

Though the pace for drone strikes has slowed down — only 21 have struck Pakistan in 2013, versus 122 in 2010 according to the New America Foundation — unmanned vehicles remain a staple of the American counterinsurgency toolkit. But drones have built-in vulnerabilities that military planners still have not yet grappled with. Last year, for example, an aerospace engineer told the House Homeland Security Committee that with some inexpensive equipment he could hack into a drone and hijack it to perform some rogue purpose.

Boeing_X-45A_UCAVDrones have been hackable for years. In 2009, defense officials told reporters that Iranian-backed militias used $26 of off-the-shelf software to intercept the video feeds of drones flying over Iraq. And in 2011, it was reported that a virus had infected some drone control systems at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada, leading to security concerns about the security of unmanned aircraft.

It may be that the only way to make a drone truly secure is to allow it to make its own decisions without a human controller: if it receives no outside commands, then it cannot be hacked (at least as easily). And that’s where LARs, might be the most attractive.

Though they do not yet exist, and are not possible with current technology, LARs are the subject of fierce debate in academia, the military and policy circles. Still, many treat their development as inevitability. But how practical would LARs be on the battlefield?

Heather Roff, a visiting professor at the University of Denver, said many conflicts, such as the civil war in Syria, are too complex for LARs. “It’s one thing to use them in a conventional conflict,” where large militaries fight away from cities, “but we tend to fight asymmetric battles. And interventions are only military campaigns — the civilian effects matter.”

Roff says that because LARs are not sophisticated enough to meaningfully distinguish between civilians and militants in a complex, urban environment, they probably would not be effective at achieving a constructive military end– if only because of how a civilian population would likely react to self-governing machines firing weapons at their city. “The idea that you could solve that crisis with a robotic weapon is naïve and dangerous,” she said.

SWORDSAny autonomous weapons system is unlikely to be used by the military, except in extraordinary circumstances, argued Will McCants, a fellow at the Brookings Saban Center and director of its project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World. “You could imagine a scenario,” he says, “in which LAR planes hunted surface-to-air missiles as part of a campaign to destroy Syria’s air defenses.” It would remove the risk to U.S. pilots while exclusively targeting war equipment that has no civilian purpose.

But such a campaign is unlikely to ever happen. “Ultimately, the national security staff,” he said, referring to personnel that make up the officials and advisers of the National Security Council, “does not want to give up control of the conflict.” The politics of the decision to deploy any kind of autonomous weaponry matters as much as the capability of the technology itself. “With an autonomous system, the consequences of failure are worse in the public’s mind. There’s something about human error that makes people more comfortable with collateral damage if a person does it,” McCants said.

That’s not to say anyone is truly comfortable with collateral damage. “They’d rather own these kinds of decisions themselves and be able to chalk it up to human error,” McCants said. Political issues aside, B.J. Strawser, assistant professor at the Naval Postgraduate School, says that LARs simply could not be used effectively in a place like Syria. “You’d need exceedingly careful and restrictive ROEs [rules of engagement], and I worry that anyone could carry that out effective, autonomous weapon or not,” he said.

“I don’t think any actor, human or not, is capable of carrying out the refined, precise ROEs that would enable an armed intervention to be helpful in Syria.”

 

This is a copy of the full article provided by the Defense One

(Photos: Wikipedia)

Pentagon Sued for Documents of Anti-Christian Activist

Pentagon Sued for Documents of Anti-Christian Activist

I recently wrote about a Judicial Watch lawsuit seeking records from the Obama Defense Department regarding the U.S. Air Force’s decision to remove the words “So help me God” from the oath given to USAF inductees. This shocking departure from history and the U.S. Constitution may seem to be from out of left field for many of you, but it will… Read more →

Gay ‘divorce’ jumps 20pc as ‘seven year itch’ hits civil partnerships

Gay and lesbian ‘divorce’ jumps 20pc as ‘seven year itch’ hits civil partnerships

It comes seven years after the introduction of same-sex civil unions in 2005 and six years after the number of couples forming them peaked.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics also showed that lesbian couples are markedly more likely to dissolve civil partnerships than gay men.

Family lawyers said that the patterns mirrored those for heterosexual couples in which marriages which break down typically do so between four and eight years in, with women are more likely to file for divorce than men.

According to the ONS there were 7,037 new civil partnerships formed in the UK last year, a 3.6 per cent rise on the previous year.

The rise came at a time when the debate about legalising same-sex marriage was at its height.

… Almost six out of 10 dissolutions involved female couples.

 

The Telegraph has the full article

(Photo: GETTY)

'British extremists use Syria as training ground before returning home'

‘British extremists use Syria as training ground before returning home’

British Home Secretary Theresa May has warned that extremists “of a Jihadi mindset” are using the Syrian civil war “as a nursery” before returning to Britain as trained terrorists. “What we have seen for some time now, is that a number of British people traveling out to Somalia, we’re now seeing people travel out to Syria,” May said on BBC 1’s… Read more →

There have been two more fatal attacks in Egypt, a day after bloody clashes left at least 50 people dead.

Gunmen shot dead five soldiers sitting in a car at a checkpoint in the Suez Canal city of Ismailia.

In the southern Sinai town of al Tour, two people were killed by a car bomb next to a government building.

In Cairo, a rocket propelled grenade was fired at a state-owned satellite TV station wounding two people

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned against working with the Iranian government.

In a speech to the UN General Assembly, he described President Hassan Rouhani as a “wolf in sheep’s clothing”.

He said Israel would not allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons, even if it had to stand alone on the issue.

Iran replied that it had no intention of developing nuclear weapons, and called Mr Netanyahu’s comments “extremely inflammatory”.

There has recently been a thaw in relations between the US and Iran, with Mr Rouhani and US President Barack Obama recently speaking on the phone together – the first top-level conversation between the two countries for more than 30 years.

But Mr Obama assured Mr Netanyahu on Monday that the use of force was still on the table in dealing with Tehran’s nuclear programme.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Javed Zarif responded by criticising Mr Obama for what he termed “flip-flopping” on negotiations between the two nations.

Combative words

In his address to the UN, Mr Netanyahu said Israel’s future was threatened by a “nuclear-armed” Iran, and urged other nations to keep up sanctions against the country.

He accused Mr Rouhani of having the same goal as his more hard-line predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

“Ahmadinejad was a wolf in wolf’s clothing. Rouhani is a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” Mr Netanyahu said.

 

BBC has the full article

Survey: 1 in 5 US Jews say they have no religion

Survey: 1 in 5 US Jews say they have no religion

CHICAGO – One out of five Americans who consider themselves culturally or ethnically Jewish say they do not believe in God or they do not follow any particular faith, in a sign of the changing nature of American Jewish identity, according to a study released on Tuesday. The Pew Research Center survey found vast differences among generations – with 93… Read more →

Airplane diplomacy: Iran ‘to study’ possibility of direct flights to US

Iranian President Hossan Rouhani is considering resuming flights between Tehran and the US for the first time in more than three decades, in another gesture of rapprochement between the two countries. “The president issued an order to study how it would be possible to establish direct flights between Iran and the United States to resolve the transportation problems of Iranians… Read more →

Resurgence of the Nazi: Greece is starting to look like Weimar Germany

Resurgence of the Nazi: Greece is starting to look like Weimar Germany

Economic woes have led to the rise of Golden Dawn and provoked a crisis of democracy Economic collapse, mass joblessness, uniformed paramilitaries, street violence, political assassinations and, now, a round-up of opposition MPs. Euro-wracked Greece is beginning to feel eerily like Weimar Germany. The beleaguered Athens government has arrested five deputies and 15 other activists from the fascist party Golden… Read more →