In these programs, we continue our discussion of Nick Turse’s 2008 tome The Complex: How the Military Invades Our Everyday Lives.
Writing in his novel Tropic of Cancer, Henry Miller wrote: ” . . . . America is the very incarnation of Doom. And she will lead the rest of the world into the Bottomless Pit. . . .” (The quote was included in his Forgive My Grief books by pioneering JFK assassination researcher Penn Jones.
Epitomizing Miller’s observation is what Mr. Emory terms the resonant synthesis of video games and military training and training technology:
“. . . . Certainly, the day is not far off when most potential U.S. troops will have grown up playing commercial video games that were created by the military as training simulators; will be recruited, at least in part, through video games; will be tested, post-enlistment, on advanced video game systems; will be trained using simulators, which will later be turned into video games, or on reconfigured versions of the very same games used to recruit them or that they played kids; will be taught to pilot vehicles using devices resembling commercial video game controllers; and then, after a long day of real-life war-gaming head back to their quarters to kick back and play the latest PlayStation or Xbox games created with or sponsored by their own, or another, branch of the armed forces.
More and more toys are now poised to become clandestine combat teaching tools, and more and more simulators are destined to be tomorrow’s toys. And what of America’s children and young adults in all this? How will they be affected by the dazzling set of military training devices now landing in their living rooms and on their PCs, produced by video game giants under the watchful eyes of the Pentagon? After all, what these games offer is less a matter of simple military indoctrination and more like a near immersion in a virtual world of war, where armed conflict is not the last, but the first—and indeed the only—resort. . . .”
A concrete example of that “resonant synthesis” is the battle of 73 Easting:
“. . . . Just days into the ground combat portion of the Gulf War, the Battle of 73 Easting pitted American armored vehicles against a much larger Iraqi tank force. The U.S. troops, who had trained using the SIMNET system, routed the Iraqis. Within days, the military began turning the actual battle into a digital simulation for use with SIMNET. Intensive debriefing sessions with 150 veterans of the battle were undertaken. Then DARPA personnel went out onto the battlefield with the veterans, surveying tank tracks and burned-out Iraqi vehicles, as the veterans walked them through each individual segment of the clash. Additionally, radio communications, satellite photos, and ‘black boxes’ from U.S. tanks were used to gather even more details. Nine months after the actual combat took place, a digital recreation of the Battle of 73 Easting was premiered for high-ranking military personnel. Here was the culmination of Thorpe’s efforts to create a networked system that would allow troops to train for future wars using the new technology combined with accurate historical data. . . .”
Placing Henry Miller’s quote into an ironically-relevant context, a popular video game “Doom” quickly was adapted to Martine Corps training purposes:
“. . . . In late 1993, with the green glow of Gulf War victory already fading, id Software introduced the video game Doom. Gamers soon began modifying shareware copies of this ultraviolent, ultrapopular first person shooter, prompting id to release editing software the next year. The ability to customize Doom caught the attention of members of the Marine Corps Modeling and Simulation Management Office who had been tasked by the corps’ Commandant Charles Krulak with utilizing “’computer (PC)-based war games”’to help the marines ‘develop decision making skills, particularly when live training time and opportunities are limited.’
“Acting on Krulak’s directive, the marines’ modeling crew nixed Doom’s fantasy weapons and labyrinthine locale and, in three months’ time, developed Marine Doom, a game that included only actual Marine Corps weaponry and realistic environments. Krulak liked what he saw and, in 1997, approved the game. . . .”
Next, Turse discusses Pentagon plans to operate in urban slums in the Third World. Mr. Emory notes that many combat veterans of this country’s long counter-insurgency wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are joining the increasingly militarized police forces in this country.
Pentagon strategy as discussed here by Turse may, eventually be realized, to an extent, in the U.S., particularly in the event of an economic collapse.
More about Pentagon plans for urban warfare in slums, ostensibly in the developing world:
” . . . . As both the high-tech programs and the proliferating training facilities suggest, the foreign slum city is slated to become the bloody battlespace of the future. . . . For example, the U.S. Navy/Marine Corps launched a program seeking to develop algorithms to predict the criminality of a given building or neighborhood. The project titled Finding Repetitive Crime Supporting Structures, defines cities as nothing more than a collection of ‘urban clutter [that] affords considerable concealment for the actors that we must capture.’ The ‘hostile behavior bad actors,’ as the program terms them, are defined not just as ‘terrorists,’ today’s favorite catch-all bogeymen, but as a panoply of nightmare archetypes: ‘insurgents, serial killers, drug dealers, etc.’. . .”
Program Highlights Include: Discussion of Colonel Dave Grossman’s book On Killing against the background of the resonant synthesis of video games and military training; analysis of the use of gaming apps by Nazi elements to celebrate school shootings and encourage them; discussion of school shooter Nikolas Cruz of Parkland high and his Nazi, white supremacist and Trumpian influence; discussion of alt-right use of websites catering to people suffering from depression for recruiting purposes.