The Washington Post reports a breakthrough in America's remote-controlled war-fighting technology, a $17.5 million airborne camera array called
The system, made up of nine video cameras mounted on a remotely piloted aircraft, can transmit live images to soldiers on the ground or to analysts tracking enemy movements. It can send up to 65 different images to different users; by contrast, Air Force drones today shoot video from a single camera over a "soda straw" area the size of a building or two.
"Today an analyst sits there and stares at Death TV for hours on end, trying to find the single target or see something move," Gen. James E. Cartwright, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at a conference in New Orleans in November. "It's just a waste of manpower."
Meanwhile, despite the lack of Gorgon Stare technology—to say nothing of a declaration of war—attacks by C.I.A. drones in Pakistan killed
on New Year's Day, depending on who was counting. In North Waziristan, by one report, a drone killed nine people, destroying a vehicle and damaging an adjacent house; later, a second drone killed five more people who had gathered to attend to the dead bodies. Officially, the United States is not at war in Pakistan. As the
The US does not routinely confirm that it has launched drone operations, but analysts say only American forces have deployed such aircraft in the region.
TODAY IN SLATE
The Irritating Confidante
John Dickerson on Ben Bradlee’s fascinating relationship with John F. Kennedy.
My Father Invented Social Networking at a Girls’ Reform School in the 1930s
Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band
Can it be again?
The All The President’s Men Scene That Captured Ben Bradlee
Is It Better to Be a Hero Like Batman?
Or an altruist like Bruce Wayne?
Driving in Circles
The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.