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  • I Robot...Not

    It seems every time you pick up a newspaper, the headline proclaims another military program cancelled. First, it was the F-22. Then it was missile defense. The list goes on and on. The reason given seems always the same too…“We don’t need that.” This mantra gets repeated so often, one suspects one of two truisms must be at the root of it. Perhaps, everyone in the Pentagon before Obama showed up was an idiot and didn’t know what was really needed—or, all these cuts are a budget driven exercise, gutting the military modernization program (the White House’s chief strategy for tamping down defense spending).

    The latest victim is the most advanced robotics program ever attempted by the Army. “Remember that unmanned, pack-mule vehicle the Army was building to carry rucksacks, water, ammo and other heavy gear for combat troops?” asks a recent article in the Army Times, “Forget about seeing it on a battlefield near you. The Multifunction Utility Logistics Equipment vehicle, known as the MULE, was among the unmanned toys that survived from the now-defunct Future Combat Systems program.” No longer. “The Army killed the MULE-Transport and MULE-Countermine vehicles in December because the two concepts were no longer needed in the new Brigade Combat Team Modernization structure, said Paul Mehney, spokesman for Program Executive Office Integration.”

    Oh really?

    Developing robotics is, in fact, one of the great competitive capabilities that the Pentagon should be funding, not cutting according to a Heritage research paper, “Robotics and the Next Steps for National Security” by Jena Baker McNeill and Ethel Machi. When it comes to robotics technology, the future is here. Robots across the world now traverse hazardous terrain, carry out surveillance missions, and perform remote surgery. They are becoming ever more sophisticated and autonomous. Robots easily and safely perform tasks that would otherwise endanger human lives, and do so faster and more efficiently than is possible with conventional methods. Robots are used by private industries and by the federal government. Robots play a vital role in maintaining the competitive edge in national security.

    Every time another cutting-edge capability is cast aside, raises the question again. Why are we cutting funds to rebuild the military? When these capabilities are needed Congress and the American people will curse the Pentagon and spend what ever takes to get our men and women the equipment they need to protect us and come home safe. But by then our soldiers will already be in harm’s way. The mission will be in jeopardy and our sons and daughters on the battlefield and at risk.

    What the military needs today is not “sunshine patriots” but a Congress and an administration willing to meets its obligations to “provide for the common defense,” without cutting corners when its convenient.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    11 Responses to I Robot...Not

    1. Pingback: Obama’s Failing War on Reality; it is antipathy to Socialism, Barack « VotingFemale

    2. SB Owner Springfield says:

      Why would anyone be surprised Obama is cutting our defense spending, making us vulnerable and weak, so he can spend more on entitlements?

      Besides Obama is too busy attacking, and demonizing American companies, banks, businesses, and pick up truck owners to have time for national defense.

    3. Anita, Chandler, TX says:

      I just tried to post a comment on this venue and was told to slow down that I was going too fast. Could it be you didn't like my comment and cut it?

    4. george waddell says:

      Washington D.C. has become an Augean stable. They have all forgotten that when founded, the primary job for the federal government was national defence.

    5. Dennis Social Circle says:

      I do not know why people have such a hard time seeing what the dems and obama are doing. They want us under the controll of the UN and will cut out throats to get us there. Carter, and clint both cut the military, we now have less than when they were in office. The UN is pushing for our forces to be under Un controll, our guns to be under controll, and obama nad hilary are in it together. If this is gained we will be nation ripe for the taking. The liberals are destroying this country,WE MUST VOTE THESE PEOPLE OUT IN 2010.

    6. Louis C Levy Houston says:

      Somehow weary. Somewhat very serious especially in a war time, a war that is far from ending. Moreover it seems that the enemy would actively await the time when all our defense system is not only not renewed but also made obsolete to launch the last part of his attacks.

    7. Pingback: Obama: The Left’s Moribund Hoper and Changer « VotingFemale

    8. Drew Page, IL says:

      If we just strip ourselves of all of our weapons of war, the rest of the world would surely do the same, wouldn't they?

      For those who believe this, I suggest they sit cross-legged around a nice campfire and sing Kumbaya and Where Have All The Flowers Gone.

    9. Kerry Potter, Wichit says:

      A wise man once wrote, "If you wish for peace, prepare for war". Ronald Reagan understood this principle and under his administration not only did the Berlin wall fall – so did the Soviet empire. Come to think of it, I seem to remember him getting us out of a pretty severe financial mess to. Maybe our current President should visit the Reagan Library and open his mind — he might learn something.

    10. Gumps says:

      Most of you who have posted comments have no clue as to what a waste of money and resources Future Combat Systems is/was. To date, billions have been spent and so little functionality has been delivered. The unmanned sensors are of marginal value and the CL-I UAV can be defeated by throwing a rock at it, assuming that guy who is flying it doesn't crash it first.

    11. Rick74 says:

      Investment in defense-related research and development, science and technology has branching benefits for society at large.

      Investments in robotics pay off in applications that span defense and engage entrepreneurs who then move to non-defense/commercial areas.

      But, without this commitment to science and technology, we can still get there.

      We just need to let the Chinese get there first, and then try to buy it at Wal-Mart.

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