Antiwar.com, August 14, 2019
Pentagon Looks to Use Afghanistan as Proving Ground for New Tech
Officials hype use of new AI systems, cloud computing
By Jason Ditz
A paratrooper from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, prepares to launch a Black Hornet personal drone Friday, Aug. 9, 2019, in Kandahar, Afghanistan in support of a foot patrol. The 3rd Brigade is the first Army brigade to use the personal drones. (Photo: Thomas Cieslak/U.S. Army)
Hopes for peace in Afghanistan continue to get delayed, but with a deal seemly always just on the horizon, the Pentagon is finding new things to do in Afghanistan. Not trying to win the war, because that ship sailed long ago.
But 18 years into the war, the Pentagon has found Afghanistan as a nice proving ground for a lot of different new military technology, hoping to show that new artificial intelligence efforts and cloud computing can make information-sharing in an occupation more efficient.
The Afghan War has gone really badly, of course, and better than what they had isn’t a tall order. In addition to the computer upgrades they’re getting, US Army forces are also being given pocket-sized drones to deploy for the first time.
The drones, like the AI, aren’t meant as a serious bid to turn around the long lost and almost-over war. Rather, they’re to allow the Pentagon to say these things have been tested in war conditions, for their funding going forward and use in America’s presumptive future wars.
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