Blindspot #010 – 22.9.21
—>> Phase 3 of World War III <<—
Posthuman Geopolitics & Drone Killshots
Blindspot wants you to see the world others don’t.
Blindspot zooms in on the the extraordinary changes unmanned weapons technologies have brought to public discourse, perception of war, the conduct of war, associated acts of gruesome murderous violence, as well as the extent to which unmanned weapons change geopolitical, strategic, military, intelligence, and security policy action-horizons of state actors. Blindspot argues that the implications of the latter can only be fully comprehended if underlying assumptions of posthumanism are exposed.
In order to eat a rather huge thematic elephant, edition #010 of Blindspot will take eyeballs close to you to see a world unhidden by any veil. Yet, while it lives out in the open – unmanned weapon system strikes emanate from an evolving global digital dictatorship that can dispatch death with the press of a convenient joystick button.
Blindspot argues that it is impossible to continue understanding contemporary conflicts, and implicitly geopolitics, without the introduction of the concept of the posthman into new lines of questioning on the Frankenstein machines proliferating on war fronts, and in countries close to eyeballs close to you. Technologies of unmanned destruction are not just new ‘toys’ in the hands of armed forces. Note as well that the unmanned weapons race is not likely to be won by a rabbit, a tortoise, nor meat-instantiated humans.
Some quick facts. The 9/11 terror attack was evidently the watershed moment for unmanned weapons. In 2011, livescience.com argued that:
“The September 11, 2001 attacks initiated a flurry of advances in military technology over the past decade that has helped the U.S. and its allies redefine modern warfare. None of these advancements have had a greater impact on America’s missions in the Middle East than the maturation of remotely piloted aircraft (RPA), also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or, more generically, drones. The U.S. Army’s drone armada alone has expanded from 54 drones in October 2001, when U.S. combat operations began in Afghanistan, to more than 4,000 drones performing surveillance, reconnaissance and attack missions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan. There are more than 6,000 of them throughout the U.S. military as a whole, and continued developments promise to make these controversial aircraft—blamed for the deaths of militants as well as citizens—far more intelligent and nimble.”
By 2013, Foreign Policy magazine reported, “All told, there are over 8,000 unmanned aircraft in the U.S. military inventory and another 12,000 plus unmanned ground vehicles… Depending on which source you want to cite, there are currently between 75 and 87 countries that have used unmanned aircraft in their militaries.”
The above articles from the years 2011 and 2013 respectively, mean that in the decade between 2001 and 2011, unmanned aerial vehicles procreated exponentially. It stands to reason that by the year 2021 the proliferation of unmanned systems have proliferated further.
Blindspot investigates how the unmanned weapons race (and war at a distance) is also the staging grounds for processes of dehumanisation (the reduction of civilian casualties to ‘collateral damage’), the evolution of consciousness, or at least what humans think they are, and the impact such technologies have on geopolitical, military, and strategic policy actions.
It also shows how political policy and technology merge to become judge, jury, and executioner of anyone deemed an ‘enemy.’ Thus the shameless gruesome assassinations of high profile leaders, such as General Soleimani – Iranian Revolutionary Guard leader, in Baghdad, on the orders of Mr MAGA-man himself, Donald Trump (January 2020). In the world of digitospheric dictatorships (and AI censored platforms such as Fleisbook, Twittering Birdfart farms) no further interrogation is needed in this newspeak world, because the act of techno-empowered assassination, and media-cast images of the event, serve as visual justification of a ‘forever wars’ policy act. It is truly an assassin’s creed world!
The manner in which media, the general public, and even ‘informed analysts’ receive such news shows the extent to which the technology is more than an extension of policy. The technological means set the operational parameters, and ‘policy possibilities’ open to those controlling the joysticks and buttons of an ever proliferating universe of weapons systems from which the ‘meat’ (meaning the fallible human factor) has been deleted.
Much more is at stake than ‘the bravery of being out of range…,’ to paraphrase Roger Waters.
Blindspot looks into investigations by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, and Airwars, to the numbers of civilians apparently killed via drone strike in the past two decades. These numbers alone shed light on a major blindspot.
The unmanned weapons arms race is but a runway accelerating processes of fundamental change pertaining to how humans view themselves, their geopolitical relationships, their (meat) bodies, and most importantly – the future of consciousness.
For this reason Blindspot #010 contends that in the turbulent twenties it is necessary to expand analyses of a geopolitical- and geo-strategic nature to deliver better predictions, analyses, and directed private- or public policy action. This can be done by introducing, and incorporating, the implications of the posthuman turn, as expressed by remotely controlled robotic death machines as critical component of contemporary geopolitical asymmetry.