Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Listening: Art Pepper Meets The Rhythm Section (1957)

Reading: Mark Mazzetti, The Way of the Knife (2013).  Anyone tempted to think of drone assassination as a bloodless, high-tech solution to conventional ground warfare needs to read this clear-eyed expose of the CIA and Department of Defense's adventures in Africa, Pakistan, and Afghanistan ASAP.  One logical extrapolation from Mazzetti: "covert" drone warfare appeals to Republicans and Democrats alike because it's asymmetrical; Al-Qaeda doesn't have Predators and Hellfire missiles and likely isn't getting them any time soon.  Thought experiment #1: How likely is this asymmetry to persist?  Thought experiment #2: Will attacking the 2055 version of the USS Cole and/or the US Embassy in Kenya be easier or harder with, a/ a boat or truckload of explosives, or, b/ a 3D-fabbed and printed homebrew drone and missiles?
Bonus Round: Thought experiment #3: Once again, it's 2055.  Some clean-cut young fellows, maybe Saudi engineering students in the US on a visa, unloading a black object the size of a river raft from the back of a rental van on Lakeshore Drive. Soon their strange buzzy machine wobbles into the air. Is this handbuilt technological marvel headed for, a/ a sightseeing flight over Lake Michigan?  Or, b/ the Sears Tower?

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