Showing posts with label warfare. Show all posts
Showing posts with label warfare. Show all posts

Microsatellites in the sky

Friday, July 20, 2007

Nanotechnology enabled the creation of cheaper and smaller satellites: microsatellites. These satellites weighed less than 100kg, GPS-nav, weather predictions, and Earth observation just like normal satellites, it cost as little as 10 million and so far around 400 have been launched for various purposes.

But because they are small, they can be use to spy on other spacecraft or other space structure:

"If someone interferes with another satellite, or even if the interference is caused accidentally by a piece of debris, this kind of event is likely to start a war, because this can be confused for a satellite attack."

"We really would like to see is a law against satellite destruction, any testing and usable weapon that does that. It is really time to regulate what is going on in space, the regulation that we have is pretty rusty."

The legal principles regulating peaceful uses of outer-space is actually already in place. Take for example, Article III of the Space Treaty:
States Parties to the Treaty shall carry on activities in the exploration and use of outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, in accordance with international law, including the Charter of the United Nations, in the interest of maintaining international peace and security and promoting international co-operation and understanding.
The treaty does not mention anything about satellites or space structures. Nuclear weaponry and other form of WMD is strictly prohibited in space. Howbout nano-weapon? Well, as long as they are not categorized as WMD, it can be OK. There could be a loophole here.

A Nanotechnology Arms Control Treaty?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Mike Treder's idea for an International Nanotechnology Arms Control Treaty (INTACT) is intriguing:
Existing arms treaties may not apply to nanotechnology-based weapons, and there are important intellectual property, commercial confidentiality, and national security issues involved in addressing this challenge. One option is to brief and consult with relevant organizations for the next draft of the White Paper, with the goal of encouraging the eventual creation of an International Nanotechnology Arms Control Treaty (INTACT).
History recorded that a revolution on general purpose manufacturing capabilities tends to end in arms race. That's what happened in WWI. Arms limitation would be one interesting alternative for preventing a future nano-war.

But there is a difference: nano is small, conventional weaponries are big. How are we supposed to watch non proliferation of small things such as that? Well, I suppose the future sensors would develop.

There is a second difference. If a weapon is big, it would take a group of people to operate. This is the function of army groups. But if the weapon is small, and its destruction capability is as big as conventional weapons, then it can be operated in small groups. This is likely to be the function of terrorist cells. What I am trying to say is this: smaller weapons makes wars easier. Large scale wars will be obsolete, small scale "terrorism" would be likely. Terrorism requires effective intelligence and policing. Policing is the keyword for future non proliferation treaty.

What is the implication? The INTACT, if it is later designed, should be formed both as an inter-state treaty and as a "policing treaty". The current Nuclear nPT is an inter state treaty, because state is an actor of every nuclear policy. But what about nanotech weaponries? The actors are not only states, but also corporations and individual people. That is why I said above that INTACT should be a "policing treaty". A treaty that lies its emphasis on individual people, as well as the state.

Click here on my previous posts on "Unrestricted Warfare" and "Lawfare".

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Israeli's nano weapon plan

Saturday, November 18, 2006

A new development in Unrestricted Warfare: the use of BionicHornet. Bionic Hornet is a kind of smart(er) UAV. CRN Blog hosted this discussion months ago. Here's a taste on what the press told us bout this so called "Bionic Hornet":


Israel is using nanotechnology in a bid to create a robot, almost of a size of a hornet (a kind of wasp), which would have the ability to chase, photograph and kill its targets. An Israeli newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth, reported on Friday that the robot, which is nicknamed the "bionic hornet", is made in such a way that it can travel down narrow alleyways to target small and unreachable enemies such as rocket launchers.

Of all those news bout Israeli's nano weapon plan, this one interest me most:
The report in the mass circulation daily Yedhiot Ahronot said that the emerging technology would allow weapons, based on "building blocks" the size of a millionth of a millimetre, and of the sort that "one sees today only in science fiction films."
Has the reporter mis-quoted or, is that guy actually talking about nanoblocks?


The "bionic hornet," writes Israel's daily Yedioth Ahronoth, could chase, photograph and kill, say, a terrorist hiding with a rocket launcher in a civilian neighborhood -- as an alternative to bombing the neighborhood. "The war in Lebanon proved that we need smaller weaponry," said Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres. "It's illogical to send a plane worth $100 million against a suicidal terrorist. So we are building futuristic weapons."

Dont get happy too quickly Mr. Peres. Maybe in the future there won't be any more suicide bombers. It's illogical to send suicide bombers if they can send cheap Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to spread germs, drop grenades or hit a plane! War is cheaper and easier, for everyone...!