War is heck.
It is made even more "heckish" by uncertainty. The United States, for the time being, can dominate a battlefield when it comes to robotic drones. We have the engineers to design and build them. We have the technology to make it possible. We have the facilities from which to fly and monitor them. Drones have radically changed America's ability to conduct war.
But what if all that changed? Video clips surfaced of a drone under the control of the terrorist group ISIS. The images depicted a Syrian military base. On August 7th, ISIS attacked the base and gained control of large sections of it. This ISIS drone is not as sophisticated as its American counterparts and it is not weaponized, yet it still became a useful tool for surveilling and gather intelligence on a target. Even more sobering to officials is that this drone technology will soon be ubiquitous, operating out of every major nation in about ten years' time.
Military secrets indeed appear to be the most fleeting of all. What is one to do? Well, I've got an idea.
Sure, sure, the trend in modern warfare is to go smaller and smaller. Tanks and other armored vehicles may one day become things of the past as they are noisy and give off lots of heat, making them easy targets for missiles. Instead, drones the size of insects might seem the way to go...but how does that intimidate your opponent? We're the good ol' U.S. of A. and we've got to show them we gots teeth!
That's what I'm saying. Giant robots. No more messing around with those little robotic drones with propellor engines. Drop a robot that's the same height as a skyscraper on an enemy nation and let the 'bot's weapons run wild and free. Tell me the bad guys wouldn't be soiling themselves. Like many of the drones we already have, the giant robots wouldn't even need human pilots. A basic AI could run the show. We're already testing a missile that severs contact with human control upon launch. Once airborne, it determines its target. Why not pop something like that into my proposed giant robot system?
Yes, yes, I've seen Terminator many times. But what are the odds? Robots can be people too if we give them the chance. Come on, when have you ever known a weapons system to go wrong? We will not tolerate any attempts to gaslight the military-industrial drone complex! There are too damn many contracts and too damn much pork on the line!
I'm telling you the time is right. Giant robots are already big in pop culture (and I do mean big.) We've already seen like ten or twelve Transformers movies, the dawn of a Pacific Rim franchise, and a Voltron flick on the way. The picture I have included is from a proposed film that has languished in development hell since 2010. It's called Gaiking and is based on the successful comic book and toyline, Shogun Warriors. It was the heart-warming story of giant, semi-transformable robots fighting against alien invaders and big, rubbery monsters. The fact that the film was never released is a travesty. The way I figure it, giant combat robots would only heighten public interest in the movie. That way the producers could add the tag line: "Ripped from today's headlines!"
Yeah, sure, I know. Thousands of people will likely die at the alloyed hands of these things and there is the slim chance (hippie pipedream!) that the AI in one of these giant robots could go rogue, but I figure if it gets me my Shogun Warriors movie, it's all good. Right? Shut up and take my money, Hollywood!
So go ahead, ISIS. Have at it, Iran. Fly your cute little dinky things around the Middle East. See what you get when you piss off our versions of Gaiking, Raydeen, and Great Mazinga.
Yes, I'm being satirical.
Follow me on Twitter: @Jntweets