The United States spends more money on its military than the next ten biggest-spending nations combined. So why, oh why, has the brave American taxpayer not yet been rewarded with squads of killer walking robots, like in the movies?
Sure, we have flying killer robots out the wazoo. In parts of Pakistan they are more numerous than birds. But where are the walking killer robots—the ones that could delight the imagination of the least imaginative armchair warrior back home? Air power seems strategic and remote. If the wavering taxpayer could be treated to a Youtube video of a US Army-branded Terminator robot decimating a battlefield full of people from strange, foreign cultures, well, that's the sort of popular hit that could really do wonders for the next Defense budget hearings.
How close are we to that? Not close. The New York Times reports today on the shocking and unAmerican lack of progress towards killer military robots. I mean, literally, the closest thing we have now is a walking robot cow that carries bags. Ridiculous. If the US military wants something they can treat carelessly as it carries their bags, it has Halliburton contractors from Bangladesh, okay? The American people want machine-gun-wielding merchants of robo-death, not mechanized bellhops. What is the major malfunction?
The imbalance between air and land systems can be seen in Pentagon spending. The budget ending Sept. 30 allocated $6.04 billion for autonomous aircraft and just $261 million for unmanned ground vehicles.
Aha. Drones are funded to the tune of the entire defense budget of Iraq, while walking killer robots are not even funded better than the entire defense budget of Latvia. We must up the Army's Killer Robot budget to at least the level of the entire defense budget of Iran if we hope to be competitive in the 21st century "Battlefield of Ideas," and Killer Robots.
[Photo: Dick Johnson/ Flickr]