The Trouble With Buying Soldiers...

 

The US has been continuously outsourcing large segments of its defense, security and intelligence work, including direct on-the-ground war fighting, to for-hire private firms and contractors, known as paramilitary contractors or PMCs.

While many PMCs are ex-military, by offering up their services as a soldier for money outside of the military, they have still crossed a new threshold into a land of marketized contracting: they are now mercenaries working as part of firms and corporations.

Successful firms bestow on their employees a measure of pride and loyalty that functions to provide incentives in the social realm that transcend what money can buy. They make their employees into “insiders.”

The problem is that by taking their skills to the market, PMCs are now more “outsider” rather than “insider” in relation to the nation-state of the United States of America and its government. 

People who are “inside” the system of an organization often need less monetary incentive because they achieve a higher utility by contributing to something which they feel they own a stake in. Those “inside” of an organization are essentially loyal, as they are part of the organizational family. Their orbits around the nourishing sun of the organization’s shared identity give them a social utility that is not easily replicated by simplistic incentives.

Conversely, to those “outside” of an organization, their allegiance to it is much more dependent on monetary and other incentives. People on the outside of the organization are not close to its proverbial sun and need other rewards to nourish themselves.

So where does the loyalty of a PMC lie at the end of the day? 

To the nation that pays him surely! So the US should be able to retain its contractors as long as it has the most capital to spend compared to other groups on Earth. The danger leaps out! A military is the last line of defense of the nation when all other areas are crumbling, but the US government–in a short-sighted desire for efficiency from some and outright corruption from others–is maneuvering itself into a situation where, if the proverbial ship starts to sink, the individuals it currently calls on to fight on its behalf risk being the first to desert. 

Through the 80s to today, the extolled virtue of free-market problem-solving has created an increased marketization of most aspects of life. Now war itself is moving to the market, with money playing a direct role in incentivizing combat activities and actual fighters. This could be disastrous for the security of the United States.

History is filled with examples of mercenaries having flexible loyalty, with Machiavelli arguing against the use of mercenaries for this very reason. As he explained: if mercenaries lose in combat they are useless, and if they win they can become dangerous, since a mercenary force that is stronger than the entity that hired it no longer needs that entity’s financial support, it instead has its own power.

Rome fell because it hired foreign soldiers, but the "mercenaries" were not loyal to Rome. In the year 476 mercenaries under Orestes of Rome revolted under Odoacer and then proceeded to dispose of the last western Roman Emperor Romulus Augustus.

Mercenaries will not a military make. Too many of them is a known liability. If the US government intends to buy itself soldiers on the open market at best price, it will find that some day that market will close; perhaps even might buy them right back at gunpoint. 

If a lawmaker is advocating for excessive use of PMCs and continued privatization of the military they are undermining the stability of the very institution they are trying to serve. Some specialized troops for hire are part of the world, but too many risks unbalancing the power of the nation. 

 

 

Resources: 

Identity Economics http://press.princeton.edu/titles/9108.html

The Prince http://www.constitution.org/mac/prince.pdf

See the World Clearly, Work For Change Beyond One Election

UPDATE: What I wrote here is both valuable and irrelevant. All zits eventually pop. Here we go!

With Trump vs Hillary counting down to the wire it is tempting to look desperately for other options. We find ourselves forced by Trump’s incompetence, brittle psyche, awful lack of empathy and absence of basic cognitive ability to vote for Hillary. Yet we find ourselves increasingly disillusioned and dejected by the Neoliberal status quo that she represents. We wonder: is there another option?

I’m all for a third party candidate in theory but Stein and Johnson are not viable.

Moreover, this election has me going crazy with how people seem to be mis-perceiving the job of the president: in addition to checking the legislature, the president is primarily the commander in chief of the armed forces and an interface with other nations! Our legislature is supposed to handle the domestic policy, the president is supposed to interact with the world and serve as a check domestically if the legislature does something very screwy that doesn’t fit with the context of the wider reality.

I understand the desire for a more peaceful president who cares about domestic policy and is outside of the status quo, but I think it is misguided in light of the options available to us. The president is a warrior job by design, they command the generals and admirals directly, not the legislature!

Both third party candidates inspire no confidence from me that they could handle the pressure of helming the modern apparatus of the cybernetic military. They are attempting to be pure in a world of shadows. Assigning blame for the shadows does not get rid of them!! We still need to live with the shadows that we may heal them.

The truth is that the world is on a knife edge because predation is real: predatory impulses and strategies are entirely natural. Arms races and perpetual conflict stances along borders, while stupid intellectually, are the most stable real-world equlibria.

So my unpopular stance comes now: Hillary is the best candidate for the job, even disregarding Trump. She is the status quo candidate and I want the status quo to continue.

We think that sick people should be left to live so that they may be healed, and I urge us to consider our nation-state system as superpersonages: we are diseased, but that disease also brings with it the possibility for our healing as we see our maladies.

Neoliberalism is here to stay as long as we have fiat currency. The military industrial complex is here to stay as long as the legislature is gridlocked. The current power distribution of military arsenals is here to stay and will have to be carefully re-adjusted over a long period of time, unless the desire to ‘shake it up’ is so strong that it leads to war before it can be rolled back.

The United States has 11 aircraft carriers, with 7–8 deployed continuously keeping the status quo alive for international shipping, which allows us all to have these conversations with our computers made in China, Korea & Taiwan.

Trade has created great incentives for peace among the elites and commoners alike, but trade is still an abstraction above the bedrock of threat of violence.

By my analysis the international order is due for a shakeup in the next decades, in many ways it has already begun. The omnipresent power of the US is fading as other actors gain relative power. More than just nations, there are vast criminal networks that would, as animals are want to do, seize on any opportunity to jostle for more power and influence in the world.

We will see more hot offensive conflicts, more proxy wars, more cyberspace incursions. Even space is in the process of being more militarized, with China demonstrating that it can destroy satellites and future technologies of 3D printing allowing new classes of spy satellites to actually physically tamper with existing GPS and intelligence networks. Moreover individual actors have never been more empowered to wreak their violent designs.

I’m sorry but this is not just a “conspiracy theory” to keep us scared, the world is genuinely a very hot place which we as citizens are insulated from. Again, we can assign blame as to why it is so hot, but that does not make it cool!

I write passionately about ending the cybernetic military presence in the middle east. I am these days even thinking that the US Navy should relax its territorial claims in the south china sea to let China police the region rather than US aircraft carriers. But make no mistake the multitrillion dollar weapons & sensor network of the US military is here to stay for the foreseeable future. The US military is still the queen and the bishops and even the rooks on this stupid global artificial chessboard called International Relations. The president must be able to act swiftly and violently if conditions demand. this is the real world and in the real world predators murder their prey. The governments of Putin and Xi Jinpin are jockeying for greater power in the game. Japan is even considering abolishing article 9 of its constitution to allow itself to have an OFFENSIVE military because of the expansionary desires of China.

I have been seriously searching my knowledge, my mind and my soul and cannot even begin to take Stein or Johnson seriously. They are not prepared for the reality of the job of president, which is a brutal thing.

Stein is singing about a gentler world while other actors are becoming harsher.

I know this rings defeatist, but please understand that it is not. What is needed is a grassroots revolution in electing local representatives to the legislature! The legislature can roll back NSA, can curb the use of drones globally, can create standards for computer warfare; the president just uses the tools they have.

It took France two tries to have a successful revolution, and each time was brutal. Our world and its billions cannot afford such a blind charge into “liberty”. We must be much more adult than romantic if we seek to improve the world.

Do I agree with the Neoliberal Clinton / Obama / Bush style of international relations? No. Do I accept that it is reflective of the nature of the international order as it was set up by the VICTORS OF A GLOBAL WAR? Yes.

Hillary understands the designs of neoliberal policies and the military industrial complex better than any one of these third party candidates can ever dream of because she is the shadow that helped build it.

I want our world to become a garden, but that will take intense negotiations backed up with the threat of force. Humans are animals, and our nations reflect our animal nature.

We feel inspired to action by studying the ugliness of the world, but change will take more than just one election cycle. It will take the death of most of the legislators alive today and a conscious effort among us millennials to demand a kinder legislature and step into legislative roles. It will take perhaps the fundamental rattling of the concept of fiat currency. It may even take hot conflict in the south china sea, or continued aggression in the Ukraine and Northern Europe to get us to re-evaluate the design of the international system. It will take hurricanes and millions more emigrants from scorched lands to convince us of the truth and directness of climate change.

Yet the US DoD, General Martin Dempsey and the joint chiefs, all consider climate change a massive threat to national security. The US military itself has no desire for war and indeed has desires to help create peace, even if its tools are often not well-suited.

The US DoD is the largest employer IN THE WORLD, employing 3.2 million people counting all the various bureaucrats and such. The momentum on the current design of our world is immense. In my striving to be a better futurist I’ve had to accept that my dreams of new designs for our tomorrows will take more than just tomorrow’s time.

But still the reality is that the US military must be, in the continual calculus of global military strategists (of which there is feverish computer-driven analysis like never before), seen as too costly to engage with. Massive strength and targeted violence is the real-world deterrent allowing this version of society to function.

Please, I urge you and anyone reading this to look upon the world as we strive to do ourselves: with honesty and clarity.

You can still pass your personal judgement on the design of the international order, but I only hope that we can all see that the continuation of this status quo is, right now in this real moment, the optimal outcome.

Chaos = war and I do not want to fight in a war with these modern deadly technologies. It would break our spirits perhaps even before it killed us all.

Putin and Jinpin do not share the kind ideals of Stein, or the hands-off desires of Johnson. Each of them seeks to expand the power of their respective nations for the benefit of themselves and their circles. They must keep their citizens placated with continual growth, for the world has not yet awakened beyond the material reality. This can be bemoaned intellectually and spiritually, but with one’s root chakra one can see that there are finite resources and finite territories on the Earth.

Human “civilizations” are only a few thousand years old. We are still very much inside of the ancient designs.

Trust is the least likely outcome of any given interaction. Game theory emerged and flowered in the cold war to try and understand how to get to the trust outcome. We have made strides, but we cannot afford someone whom will turn from violence when it is required.

I suffered depression in my college days in large part due to my studies and the perceived impossibility of de-militarizing the world. I wrote my thesis on the inevitable deadly spiral of drone use two years before I read the first “serious” articles commenting on the problems of the US precedent in line with my analysis. Then Snowden revealed just how deep the rabbit hole has been dug. We are inside of a hostile design and it is not turning quickly away.

It will take the collective consciousness and directed action of millions of people to actually change the nature of the international order. In all real likelihood it will take a few generations of that kind of sustained energy to actually improve the world, as it seems to have always.

I believe it is possible to make a more peaceful world, but my beliefs do not make reality. Even a president’s beliefs are ultimately second-order to the reality of the international community’s desires and the path dependency set up by the history of nations’ choices. It has only been 70 years since Hiroshima was destroyed in nuclear fire.

Hillary is a Hawk, and Stein is a Dove. Unfortunately, Putin is a bear and Jinpin seems some kind of Tiger.

We the people of the US must assert to Hillary that we wish her to minimize violence. We must demand that she foster peace wherever possible.

But we the people of the US also rely on a bedrock of violence to keep the status quo of our way of life. We, with clarity, must accept that we are living in an empire and our comforts & securities are the result of a history of violence and a present of military posturing.

Is the status quo brutal? I think so. Do I want it to change? Yes. Do I want it to disintegrate? Absolutely not, for I would be compelled by duty to fight in the great war that would emerge, and I have no idea what the sides would even be.

I cannot possibly agree that we should entrust the US military to Stein, for I see in her no desire to interact with violence, which makes her unfit for the job. The president is a check not just to the domestic legislature but to the other leaders of the worlds’ nations: it must be believable that the president of the US would deploy violence if the bedrock of insanity is reached.

Mutually assured destruction is still the glue holding the international order together.

There are no clean ways out, the world that has been given to us to live in is filled with death and destruction as it is with love and creation.

It is not time for Stein, not as the commander in chief of the largest military ever constructed. I will welcome her to the legislature, but I am compelled to campaign against her as president.

Peace is a luxury of the affluent, and the world is becoming in many ways poorer.

As we rape our planet the incentives for war grow. Russia has no high technology and its oil is becoming less valuable by the month. China needs to continue its growth lest its population begin to feel unrest. The US put itself in the position of global police force and that is not a job that one simply turns away from, regardless of how terrible it may be.

Path dependency is real: the international order is held together still at its bedrock foundation with the reality of kinetic destructive power. This is not ideal, but the world is not ideal.

I’m sorry to be so blunt and so verbose but I am tormented by this too.

I haven’t given up, I am just seeking to see as clearly as possible that we may make a gentler world rise from the madness of the current. Ultimately I love my friends and family more than I love ideals and I am limited in this way: I want the status quo for that is the way that I know that we will be safe.

I simply do not have confidence in Stein as the commander in chief of the current design of the US. We live in an oligarchy and this is hurtful to see, but also it is the default design of most of human civilization. Changing this is bigger than one election. But the universe is made of change, so I still have hope. I only urge everyone to stay level-headed and clear-eyed!



An Organism At War With Itself Is Doomed

Recently, a question was asked in a class that I am a teaching assistant for, fundamentals of technology in Georgetown's Communication, Culture & Technology graduate program. The student wondered, almost marveled, at the power of war to birth technologies - does war not push humanity forward? All the ingenious inventions as a result of the impetus of warfare. Must warfare not be a key component of human technology? After all, war seems to have been with us for some time and it seems here to stay...

This question touches on many patterns in my mind which correspond to many patterns in the world that I have been studying in my yet young existence. And just now I found a powerful talk by Samar Habib on the macro-history of warfare that inspired me to write this attempt at a response to the student's question and an appeal to you. I hope to create a small space here where you can reconsider what your options really are in this world, for so often the buzz of culture can make us feel that our world is permanent rather than constructed in part by you. 

Technology is a reflection of human agency. It goes where intention demands. It destroys what fear wants gone. The technologies of death are on a trajectory: from the start of warfare the desire has been to distance the death dealer from the consequences of their dealing. To let the user deal death maximally while also staying alive maximally. So we will have iron man suits and robots and such in the future - the modules are lining up nicely these days for both remote piloted and embodied styles of mechanical soldiers to emerge and then get iterated upon in the next decades.

Humans in the war mindset certainly do breed technologies, whole legions of clever solutions to neutralize and kill others. Yet always it is the humans birthing the technologies and humans waging the war. 

Today in our world huge populations of brilliant minds and trillions of dollars are spent to create ever more elaborate technologies of death. Ever more clever ways to find even single humans and neutralize their agency - "because they might one day try to harm us" the logic now goes. 

Fear becomes evil when it drives you to act against a fellow person's agency. The leaders who wage wars on terror are mirror loops with the terror they try to fight. A war fought to end war only breeds universal warfare.

When the Manhattan Project yielded the world's first atomic bomb, Oppenheimer was reminded of a line in Hindu scripture, where Vishnu appears before a human prince and transforms, revealing his godly form proclaiming "now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds."

War is a stance of fear and there is no wisdom in fear. There is much cleverness, but no wisdom. Do you create out of fear? Do you create just to be cleverer than an enemy? Likely you create the things in your life for a much different reason; your reason is perhaps a path to genuine wisdom. Why then do you accept leaders who are so unwise?

War does not breed technologies, humans do. Technology reflects the desires of the humans who craft it, or in this world we live where some humans control the actions of others, the desire of the humans who have the money. Is war worth clever gadgets? Must we suffer technologies of death to keep inventing technologies of communication, creation, and health support? 

I believe that there are other ways. I know that we will need to find them if we are to survive. We are one species, we are one planet. An organism at war with itself is doomed. Are we become death, destroyer of our world? Or can we find a new vision for ourselves where courage triumphs over fear? I believe the journey before us is one of self-healing. Where each of us can realize the beauty in difference and the wonder of discovery.

A world view continues to exist that sees the world as a single body, one which deserves loving health not fearful anxious destruction. You and I and all humans, all life on this earth, are part of one system: a mote of dust floating in a sea of eternity. 

We begin as one, and then learn to segment and divide our minds, while our bodies remain as one with the earth we are made from. A body at war with itself has cancer. Fear of the other is the cancer of the human spirit. Love and tolerance is the antidote.

Come ye fellow creatures, stir from our caves of fear! Look upon the world we are one with and you will know that you and everyone belongs, you and everything is connected. We are a way for the Universe to know itself. We are a way for the universe to express fear and love. We can choose which is expressed most. It is time we took that awesome responsibility seriously.

If a would-be leader is advocating war and segregation as solutions, turn away from them for they are too cowardly to be a true leader. A true leader has the courage to forge new paths. A true leader has the courage to embrace the wisdom of diversity, the immensity of possibilities by which people may express themselves. A true leader knows that respect of others is the key long term survival, since through diversity we find the beneficial adjacent possibles. Through diversity the cosmos dances its long flow of change.

Real courage is not taking stances against others, that is always cowardice no matter how much chest-puffing the Putins and Trumps and Hitlers get up to in order to convince you otherwise. Do you consider a person who hurts himself to be strong? Then why do you consider leaders who would hurt humanity to be strong? You and I are part of one global organism. All is dependent upon the other. Real courage, real leadership, comes from those who embrace the changing flow of time, not those who would try to stop it. Real courage is found in love.

We fight because we are scared and we are scared because we fight. Yet we have the gift to see the source. No war will ever end war, only peace will do that. "Human nature" is no excuse, for we are humans and we are nature and thus it is within our power to shape our nature. Just look at the cities and religions all around us. It is time for humanity to own up to our power and embrace loving compassion for ourselves and the world that birthed us. There is another way than fighting, will we have the courage to choose peace? I believe so. I see in us great courage, I hope we can see it in ourselves.

 

Future Warfare: the Most Costly Videogame Ever Played

Some thoughts on the future of warfare and global conflict.

This post is relatively colloquial, more a collection of thoughts than a coherent narrative. I’ve linked to content on a lot of the key points, I’d ask you send the links to background tabs as you go and make it through the whole post, but it’s up to you. Feel free to engage with me about these topics on Twitter or send me an email.

Have you ever played a real time strategy game? If you have I'd like to give you some stars because you could be a future general…

Autonomous robotics are coming, while the UN hems and haws trying to ban the ultimate pinnacle of military technology, the nation states of Earth are busy paying companies around the globe to build them robotics with varying degrees of autonomy. Let’s be clear, I am not advocating for killer robots, it’s just that I seek to be realistic in assessing the world. No one will stop doing this; we are locked in an arms race. Anyone who doesn’t build autonomous military robots will be severely behind (Russia, I’m looking at you).

I see the massive and lightning-fast adoption of remotely piloted aircraft (drones) as a direct reflection of the demands of modern conflict. Modern developed militaries, particularly the US, need to be omnipresent in order to deal with an enemy that conceals itself, and the drone has delivered. They are the ultimate response to terrorism.

Currently they are piloted, but this will change. No human can be omnipresent, always ready to find and counter threats, yet that is the demand of fighting terrorism. Only the machines can be so vigilant. When there are humans in the loop their psyches become tired, and they even suffer PTSD. Our limits of attention are finite, but the machines' attention is eternal. So we seek to develop systems that can act on their own; we tell them where to patrol and they keep that area free of enemies.

Of course we will be “on the loop,” computer vision is still quite stupid. But the stresses on human operators could be greatly reduced if the machine alerted only when something deserved a closer look; and listened for what to do when it came time to act. "Go over there and destroy that target.” Some psychologists even theorize that the humans left on the loop will feel better in this setup, they may be able to shunt blame off to the machine.

Autonomous robotics are coming, they are the ultimate realization of the trajectory of warfare since the advent of the spear: to inflict damage without risk. As Moore’s law marches on, we are entering into an era when it is finally possible to build an autonomous machine capable of weighing options and executing them on its own. The desire for these systems was always there, but now the technology is too.

Now traditionally, authors go into “Terminator” references here and start getting cheeky about robot uprisings. I don’t really fear the robots acting on their own (yet) I fear people acting without accountability.

Already I am concerned that remotely piloted drones are seductive, they make engaging in conflict too easy for democratic officials to engage in. With drones US leaders have discovered the formula for engaging in eternal conflict that works extremely well for United States society, one that lets us engage in eternal combat without risking the political fallout of bodybags coming home. The costs are entirely one sided; the enemy absorbs all the death. As a result 56% of Americans support drone strikes, although to our credit US citizens are concerned about civilian casualties. I’m glad to see that, I hope we can keep the pressure on and demand more transparency, but I won’t hold my breath.

Traditional drones are placing massive strains on the principle of proportionality in Just War theory, and I see autonomous robotics straining it even further, perhaps even to a breaking point. At least the Office of Naval Research is seeking to give autonomous robots a moral framework. So much for Asimov’s laws though, we’ll likely be breaking the first one quite soon: “A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.”

I am concerned that autonomous systems will temp officials even more. Dealing death will become easy and cheap beyond the wildest dreams of today. Autonomous systems give an illusion of cost-free war, because they are cost free for one side. Cost referring to human life, as money is no object when the topic is war. With fewer humans left in the loop the potential for abuse of power goes up, it just does.

It will be up to us the citizens to demand our leaders do not abuse their power to wage robotic warfare, this of course being a herculean feat given how intent they are to keep secrets from us. As more and more military systems become autonomous, the potential for secrecy grows; now the details about strikes can be kept very high up the chain of command. “Go there and destroy things based on these parameters” and the drone can execute. The chain of command could be shortened considerably, although there will likely be support staff; but how much will they know and how much of the actual machine’s mission will be secret?

Beyond Nation-States: A great time to be a would-be super villain

In the new age, money can buy an army directly. This excellent article by Noah Smith has proposed that the age of the gun may be over, and I largely agree with his assessment, and share his fears. It’s a hell of a time to be a would-be super villain sitting on a mountain of cash…

Just as it is in the broader civilian labor market, the career path of “soldier” is under threat from automation. The appeals of automation are universal across all sectors. Predictable, upfront costs buy you the labor you need with minimal down the line cost. Like so many other previously human endeavors on Earth, we are outsourcing warfare to our automations.

No job is safe...

No job is safe...

Imagine two technological powers going to "war" in the future.

Already power dynamics between nation states in the global system revolve primarily around economics, sanctions and the like.

Future warfare is shaping up to be the perfect distillation of capitalism. With autonomous robotics, you buy your soldiers directly and upfront. Warfare becomes whoever has the most money, in a more direct way than it ever has before. Sophisticated robots hunting and destroying each other, the most expensive video game ever played. A future "war" would amount to money blowing itself up directly. It would be comical if it weren’t so tragic. Let’s hope it stays relegated to machines killing machines...

But of course such a farce will likely never happen, at least not on a grand scale…hopefully. Large-scale land, air and sea combat is far too clunky an affair for the modern day, the global system is too tightly knit for anyone to engage in such a monstrosity offensively. Instead everyone will increasingly turn to assassinations, special operations, black ops and of course cyber incursions. We will likely see (well, those with clearance will see) remotely piloted and autonomous robots from various nations battling each other in limited skirmishes. Maybe even NGOs will get into the fray…

A troublesome foreign leader dies over here, an inflammatory mullah dies over there, an expat on the run carrying troves of government secrets collapses in the shower. Each scene might have something in common: something small landed on them and “bit” them. Maybe it’s a bee-sized robot, maybe it’s an actual bee that’s been given the cyborg treatment. With the continual advances in synthetic biology, I would not be surprised if eventually we forgo electronics entirely and create new forms of life capable of dealing death. If that sounds ridiculously dangerous, remember the motto of humanity, “if something can be done, we must do it!” Think of all the other madness we’ve unleashed on ourselves and the world. 

Beyond robotics, there’s even the growing field of custom viruses targeted specifically at an individual’s DNA. Assassination will be a flourishing art in the near future.

Walking back from slick futuristic assassinations, as drones become a commodity item we will see them used in terrorism.

It’s only a matter of time before someone straps some explosives and ball bearings to a quad copter and flies it into a crowd. There is no real defense against such a scenario, it could happen tomorrow.

Through all the security at an event with German Chancellor Angela Merkel an off-the-shelf quadcopter got through. This was a prank, imagine if it was something else…

Through all the security at an event with German Chancellor Angela Merkel an off-the-shelf quadcopter got through. This was a prank, imagine if it was something else…

Ok, winding this down now. I have a story to tell you about a potential future for ground robotics, but let’s save that for another time…

There is a grand wave of exponential change sweeping our world, across everything that we do, warfare included. Now that the tools of war are being enveloped in digital computing, they are gaining the exponential characteristics of that technology. The world we are entering into is one where individuals are increasingly empowered to kill one another with ever more precise means at ever-decreasing costs. It will be quite a feat keeping a semblance of global peace with the ever-growing numbers of empowered actors. I hope that we don’t fall prey to the seductive potential of autonomous death, but I think unfortunately we will have to learn the lesson for ourselves first hand, as we usually do. Pandora’s box is already opened, now we have to figure out how to live in a world where madness has been unleashed. So far we’ve been doing pretty well, what with biological and nuclear weapons, but the future tools of warfare are more precise, much more seductive in their “accuracy.” This will be a challenging future to say the least…

- JH