How an Air Force’s Data on its Strikes Can Save Lives After the Fight.
Let’s say you’re a bomb-disposal expert, and you have been assigned to clear a country of the many unexploded ordnance items that litter the battlefields and cities after a war. (Every war results in such lethal refuse; people are still finding all manner of unexploded ordnance in Europe — from land-mines to rockets to air-dropped bombs — almost seventy years after World War Two.)
So you have a dangerous job on your hands.
Now let’s say one of the combatants, which presents itself as modern, responsible and concerned for your well-being and the well-being of civilians, knew exactly what it had fired, and had a solid set of evidence about where the duds were. Would you want that combatant to give you its list? Put another way, would you want to know where the known duds were, and what each dud was, so that you might go find them, approach them, and destroy or disable them with minimal risk to you and to anyone else?
Of course you would.
Now let’s say that a few months after you asked for this information, the combatant gave you a partial list, telling you the locations and rough weight of each item but not telling you what each dud was, what fuze (and fuze setting) it employed, and how best to render it safe. With this information you could make a useful map. After that you would have figure out by yourself what each dud was and what to do about it.
How would you feel about that?
On The New York Times, a report on the possibilities for post-conflict accountability inherent to the West’s now widespread use of sophisticated targeting sensors in attack aircraft, and the slow advance toward sharing this information with the people who could use it to safeguard lives, including their own.
ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPH
An unexploded 500-pound bomb, apparently of the MK series used by many Western air forces, on the desert floor in eastern Libya at the scene of a series of NATO airstrikes last year. Found by the author. 2011.
a.) Problem—My flowers aren’t growing. b.) well, I water them every day, they have good soil, and they’re in the shade. c.) “I think my flowers will grow better if they’re in the sun, than in the shade. d.) I put one pot of flowers in the shade, and one in the sun, making sure to keep everything else (amount of water, type of soil) the same. e.) My flowers in the sun grew better than my flowers in the shade. f.) Flowers grow better in the sun. g.) From now on, I will plant my flowers in the sun.
SUPER DUPER. R_R