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Part 6

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  1. Part 6 War, Politics, and Technology

  2. Objectives • 1. Identify the impact of technology on society in time of war. • 2. Formulate opinions of the role of technology in warfare. • 3. Assess the relationship between technology and society in times of war and peace.

  3. Tanks: The Evolution of Mechanized Warfare • In 1899, a British engineer F. R. Simms introduced a motorcycle with a machine gun mounted behind an armor shield. • A year later, Simms showed off a deluxe version of the “War Car” encased in armor, with a canon and machine guns mounted on four steel tired wheels. • In September 1916, British M-1 tanks went into battle – steel tracks on each side – 28 tons and a crew of 8. • The M-1 Abrams were delivered in the 1980’s – 41 mph – under 10 feet tall – 70 tons - 4 person crew – used thermal imaging system to find their targets - $4 million each.

  4. The New U.S. Army • The Interim Armored Vehicle (IAV) weighs 20 tons which makes it easier to fit in a C-130 cargo plane – can be crippled by a rocket propelled grenade. • The F-22 will be the first agile supersonic fighter that will (to be completed in 2012) have stealth and lethal weapons systems – AMRAAM (Advanced Medium Range Air to Air Missiles), space for two crew members – at a cost of $100 million each. • The CBO (congressional Budget Office) recommended the project be scrapped and existing fighter aircraft be upgraded to meet America’s future security needs. • The Gulf War proved that given the weakness of third world states, low tech weapons might still be adequate in handling missions on the modern battlefield.

  5. The New U.S. Army • The Army has been the driving force behind the Land Warrior Project, which wants to use technology to: • 1. To make them more lethal. • 2. To improve their chances of survival. • The M-16 rifle will be retrofitted with a thermal imaging system and a video camera. The video camera will send live pictures to headquarters (with the aid of a communications system) – information wins wars – battery power is a major concern, also weight, and cost - $70,000 each.

  6. Case Study 1 – Agent Orange • Agent Orange was a herbicide used by the U.S. during the Vietnam War to deprive the North Vietnamese troops of food, shelter and camouflage. • Between 1961 and 1971 over 100 million pounds of Agent Orange was sprayed over South Vietnam. • The haphazard and indiscriminate application also destroyed crops of South Vietnamese peasants . • In June 1969, a South Vietnamese paper reported that women exposed to agent orange were giving birth to deformed babies. • In 1971, the Defense Department stopped the use of Agent Orange. • In 1985, veterans affected by Agent Orange filed a class action lawsuit against the Veterans Administration – a $180 million fund was established to assist veterans and their families.

  7. Conclusion • War, whether it is long or short, is nasty business, and someone always ends up getting hurt. • Some military technologies, such as the Global Positioning System (GPS) have transitioned from military to civilian use, and have paid for themselves. Most military technologies are expensive and unfit for civilian consumption. • Wars always involve humans, supported by technology.

  8. Home Work • 1. When were the first tanks produced? • 2. What is the advantage and disadvantage of an IAV? • 3 What is the advantage and disadvantage of the F-22? • 4. What is the advantage and disadvantage of the new M-16 rifle? • 5. What is Agent Orange, and why and where was it used?