Saturday, January 30, 2010

"In This War It Looks Like the Flintstones are Beating the Jetsons"

So said a Marine in an Engineering Battalion in Iraq.  And he's right of course.  Now in our ninth year in Afghanistan, and soon to turn the corner of the eighth in Iraq, those companies, congressional districts, universities, and the ever-expanding defense agencies are crowing as loud as they can hoping that you just behave live a herd of lemmings and continue to throw $hundreds of billions at them in some vain hope that one of their discoveries will strike it rich and stop the IED/landmine threat.  All the while ignoring everyone else.

To make matters worse, several other factors contribute to the urgency of the landmine/IED problem:
  • Guerilla groups ignore Landmine Treaties; they are now planting them at a rate 25 times faster than they [mines] are being cleared;
  • High-tech equipment is quickly neutralized by a combination of low cost, rapid research, and network of individuals willing to defend their homeland at any cost,
  • Civilian casualties, particularly those caused by drones, turns the local populace against the US and its allies,
  • US DoD and DARPA agencies, and their hundreds of kin, myopically pursue a high-tech approach.
  • The above agencies, when confronted with low-tech solutions to their high-tech equipment, refuse to acknowledge even the possibility that a low-tech solution exists,
  • And by far the most serious:  the urgency, quantity needed for the footsoldier in the field, weight, complexity, and effectiveness is unaddressed.  No one, it appears, is accountable for the $billions spent.
Reading Press Releases of High-Tech Equipment:

Learn how to the read the "new" equipment announcements that splash across the national press.  Don't be misled by spokespersons who work for either the DoD or the company making them.  Here are some examples:
  1. When a news items splashes the word "Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR)" automatically ask yourself, "How effective is it in wet soil (e.g., the fields along the Tigris or Euphrates)?  Like your morning coffee, water turns microwaves into heat, and does not creat a reflection.
  2. When they tout a new metal detector, ask yourself two questions:  (1)  Why are they relying on metal detectors when most IEDs and landmines are now made out of plastic? and (2) Metal cans litter the highways and streets of Iraq and Afghanistan - detectors cannot see below these surface items.
  3. Ask proponents of bees and plants for IED detection why Insurgents might not use insect or plant killer to keep ground troops off balance.
  4. Ask DARPA why it ignores opportunities to let an armed opponent participate in the robot races.
  5. Taffy Bowen Electromagnetic Research  Society (TBERS) does not sit by and allow these topics to go unchallenged at the level high-tech equipment will meet in the field.
Old and New Threats:

PROBLEM 1:  Trip Wires.  One of the deadliest forms of IED/landmines.  Our preliminary tests are highly successful.  In our "Dowsing Rod Science" series, Part 12 will demonstrate the ease of locating something as thin as fishing line, and as thick as 8 mm tape ribbon.  We urge testing, and have so far been ignored.  Part 12, an enhanced study of trip wires, will go online in a week or so.  A link will appear in this column.

PROBLEM 2:  Drones. The current favorite.  Proponents crow at every available opportunity.  The US is no longer the only user of these weapons, and must be ready to defend its own troops against this growing threat.  TBERS's challenge is to foil the drone's intention.  Only in the planning stage, TBERS is developing methods to identify flight patterns, then launch environmentally-friendly ways to cause abortion of the mission.

PROBLEM 3Chemical Sniffers of all types, combing the battlefields, looking for just the right nitrate compound to identify IEDs, landmines or UXOs.  We're keeping out of that one.  Too high-tech for us, we're leaving that one alone.

PROBLEM 4:  Robots.  TBERS personnel are willing to act as a counterbalance to a test of Robots in the field.  Email us for details.

We'd be happy to work with any and all, but save any insults for someone else.


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