African Americans also referred to as Black Americans or Afro-Americans are an ethnic group of Americans with total or partial ancestry from any of the black racial groups of Africa. Major party African American candidates for President of the United States could not run in primaries until nearly the third quarter of the 20th century, after the passage of the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act opened up political participation to blacks in the South. Before and after the election of Barack Obama as the first African American President of the United States in , the idea of a black president has been explored by various writers in novels including science fiction , movies and television, as well as other media.
After Hours is a American black comedy film directed by Martin Scorsese, written by Joseph Minion, and starring Griffin Dunne with an ensemble cast. Afterlife with Archie is a comic book published by Archie Comics beginning in , depicting a zombie apocalypse that begins in the town of Riverdale in an alternative reality. The fourth season of the American television series Agents of S. In the United States, age of consent laws regarding sexual activity are made at the state level. Marlowe, and directed and co-produced by Wolfgang Petersen. Aircraft in fiction covers the various real-world aircraft that have made significant appearances in fiction over the decades, including in books, films, toys, TV programs, video games, and other media.
AirSea Battle is an integrated battle doctrine that formed a key component of the military strategy of the United States. Alan Stuart Franken born May 21, is an American comedian, writer, producer, author, and politician who served as a United States Senator from Minnesota from to Albert Arnold Gore Jr. Alan Furst born February 20, is an American author of historical spy novels.
Alan H. Weisman born March 24, is an American author, professor, and journalist. Albert Arthur Allen May 8, — January 25, was an American photographer and film director known for nude portraiture. Alec Nevala-Lee is an American novelist, biographer, and science fiction writer. Alejandro "Alex" Castellanos born is a Cuban American political consultant. Alexander Emric or Emerick Jones born February 11, is an American radio show host and conspiracy theorist. Alexandra "Alex" Parrish is a fictional character and the protagonist of the American television drama thriller series Quantico on ABC.
According to US diplomats, Litvinenko coined the phrase Mafia state. In November , Litvinenko and several other FSB officers publicly accused their superiors of ordering the assassination of the Russian tycoon and oligarch Boris Berezovsky. Litvinenko was arrested the following March on charges of exceeding the authority of his position. He was acquitted in November but re-arrested before the charges were again dismissed in He fled with his family to London and was granted asylum in the United Kingdom, where he worked as a journalist, writer and consultant for the British intelligence services.
During his time in London, Litvinenko wrote two books, Blowing Up Russia: Terror from Within and Lubyanka Criminal Group, wherein he accused the Russian secret services of staging the Russian apartment bombings and other terrorism acts in an effort to bring Vladimir Putin to power. He also accused Putin of ordering the murder in October of the Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya. On 1 November , Litvinenko suddenly fell ill and was hospitalised in what was established as a case of poisoning by radioactive polonium; he died from the poisoning on 23 November.
He became the first known victim of lethal polonium induced acute radiation syndrome. The events leading up to this are a matter of controversy, spawning numerous theories relating to his poisoning and death. A British murder investigation pointed to Andrey Lugovoy, a former member of Russia's Federal Protective Service, as the prime suspect. Britain demanded that Lugovoy be extradited, which is against the Constitution of Russia, which directly prohibits extradition of Russian citizens.
Russia denied the extradition, leading to the cooling of relations between Russia and the United Kingdom. After Litvinenko's death, his widow, Marina, pursued a vigorous campaign on behalf of her husband through the Litvinenko Justice Foundation. In October , she won the right for an inquest into her husband's death to be conducted by a coroner in London; the inquest was repeatedly set back by issues relating to examinable evidence. A public inquiry began on 27 January , and concluded in January that Litvinenko's murder was an FSB operation, that was probably personally approved by Vladimir Putin.
President Ronald Reagan and a member of the Academy of Morocco. Alice Domurat Dreger is a historian, bioethicist, author, and former professor of clinical medical humanities and bioethics at the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois. Alissa Quart born is an American nonfiction writer, critic, journalist, editor, and poet. All for You is the seventh studio album by American recording artist Janet Jackson. All Tomorrow's Parties is a science fiction novel by American-Canadian writer William Gibson, the third and final book in his Bridge trilogy.
Allegations of war crimes in the Lebanon War refer to claims of various groups and individuals, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and United Nations officials, who accused both Hezbollah and Israel of violating international humanitarian law during the Lebanon War, and warned of possible war crimes. Allegra Coleman was a fictional celebrity invented by writer Martha Sherrill for the purposes of a hoax magazine article. The character of Superman, also known as Kal-El from Krypton, who adopts the identity of Clark Kent when not fulfilling his superhero role, was created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, and has been continually published in a variety of DC Comics book titles since its premiere in Alvin D.
Amanda Davis February 28, March 14, was an American writer and teacher who died in a plane accident. Amanda Marie Marcotte born September 2, is a liberal American blogger who writes on feminism and politics. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard born 7 December is the international business editor of the Daily Telegraph. America America British title The Anatolian Smile—a reference to an ongoing acknowledgment of the character Stavros' captivating smile is a American dramatic film directed, produced and written by Elia Kazan, adapted from his own book, published in The American Century is a characterization of the period since the middle of the 20th century as being largely dominated by the United States in political, economic, and cultural terms.
American Civil Liberties Union v. National Security Agency, F. American exceptionalism is an ideology holding the United States as unique among nations in positive or negative connotations, with respect to its ideas of democracy and personal freedom. The second season of American Idol premiered on January 21, , and continued until May 21, American Research Group, Incorporated is a U.
Koch and Charles Koch. Americentrism is the tendency among some Americans to assume the culture of the United States is more important than those of other countries or to judge foreign cultures based on the standards within their own. Amish Mafia is an American reality television series that debuted on December 12, , on the Discovery Channel. Amish romance is a literary subgenre of Christian fiction featuring Amish characters, but written and read mostly by evangelical Christian women.
Navy retired cryptology analyst Malcolm Nance. An End to Evil: How to Win the War on Terror is a book about the "War on Terror", analyzing Islamic terrorist networks and proposing policies the United States government should adopt to defeat them. Ana Castillo born June 15, is a Mexican-American Chicana novelist, poet, short story writer, essayist, editor, playwright, translator and independent scholar.
Andrea Rita Dworkin September 26, — April 9, was an American radical feminist and writer best known for her criticism of pornography, which she argued was linked to rape and other forms of violence against women. Andrew Essex born is an American business executive, journalist and author based in New York City.
Andrew Johnson December 29, July 31, was the 17th President of the United States, serving from to Andrew Leonard born is an American journalist who writes feature articles for San Francisco and contributes to Medium. Andrew Lih born is an American new media researcher, consultant and writer, as well as an authority on both Wikipedia and internet censorship in the People's Republic of China.
Andrew David Morton is an English journalist and writer who has published biographies of royal figures such as Diana, Princess of Wales, and celebrity subjects including Tom Cruise, Madonna, Angelina Jolie and Monica Lewinsky; several of his books have been unauthorised and contain contested assertions.
Andrew Gregory Sega born May 20, , also known as Necros, is an American musician best known for tracking modules in the s demoscene as well as for composing music for several well-known video games. Andy Cowan born Andrew Glenn Cowan is an American writer and script consultant for television and other media, including two of the five best television series of all time, as compiled in by ABC News and People magazine, and the number two and number eight best written series as voted on by the Writers Guild of America in Best Written TV Series.
Andy Dehnart born August 26, is an American journalist and television critic. Animal Collective is an American experimental pop band formed in Baltimore, Maryland in Animal Rights is the fourth studio album by American musician Moby, released on September 23, Anjem Choudary Urdu:; born 18 January is a British Islamist social and political activist convicted of inviting support for a proscribed organisation, namely the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, under the Terrorism Act Ann Hart Coulter born December 8, is an American conservative social and political commentator, writer, syndicated columnist, and lawyer.
Ann Magnuson born January 4, is an American actress, performance artist, and nightclub performer. Anna Benjamin David is an American author, journalist, coach, podcast host and television personality who specializes in showing people how to share their darkest experiences in order to find their spiritual light and humor. Anna North is a writer, editor and reporter who is currently a senior reporter at Vox specializing in covering gender-related issues. Annalee Newitz born is an American journalist, editor, and author of both fiction and nonfiction.
Anne Elise Kornblut born February 25, is a Pulitzer Prize—winning American journalist who is currently serving as director of strategic communications for Facebook. Anne P. Annie M. Sprinkle born Ellen F. Steinberg on July 23, is an American sex educator, former sex worker, Also available as: feminist stripper, pornographic actress, cable television host, porn magazine editor, writer, sex film producer, and sex-positive feminist. Anti-abortion violence is violence committed against individuals and organizations that provide abortion.
Anti-Arabism, Anti-Arab sentiment or Arabophobia is opposition to, or dislike, fear, hatred, and advocacy of genocide of Arab people. Anti-Catholicism in the United States is historically deeply rooted in the anti-Catholic attitudes brought by British Protestant to the American colonies.
Anti-pedophile activism encompasses opposition to pedophiles, pedophile advocacy groups, child pornography and child sexual abuse. The Antifa movement is a conglomeration of autonomous, self-styled anti-fascist militant groups in the United States. Anton Johannes Gerrit Corbijn van Willenswaard born 20 May is a Dutch photographer, music video director and film director. Apocalypto is a American epic adventure film directed and produced by Mel Gibson and written by Gibson and Farhad Safinia. Appropriation in art is the use of pre-existing objects or images with little or no transformation applied to them.
Bush, from January to July The Arkansas Project was a series of investigative press reports, funded primarily by conservative businessman Richard Mellon Scaife, that focused on criticism of then-President Bill Clinton and his administration. The Arlington National Cemetery mismanagement controversy is an ongoing investigation by the United States Department of Defense into mismanagement, poor record-keeping, and other issues involving the burial and identification of U.
Armenia—Turkey relations are officially non-existent and have historically been hostile. Armistead Jones Maupin, Jr. An art film is typically a serious, independent film, aimed at a niche market rather than a mass market audience. Art rock is a subgenre of rock music that generally reflects a challenging or avant-garde approach to rock, or which makes use of modernist, experimental, or unconventional elements.
Arthur Chu born January 30, is an American columnist and former contestant on the syndicated US game show Jeopardy!. Asa Akira born January 3, is an American pornographic actress and adult film director. Asra Quratulain Nomani born is an American writer, and professor who taught journalism at Georgetown University. On May 31, , George Tiller, a physician from Wichita, Kansas who was nationally known for being one of the few doctors in the United States to perform late-term abortions, was murdered by Scott Roeder, an anti-abortion extremist.
The word asshole in North American English or arsehole in all other major varieties of the English language , is a vulgarism to describe the anus, and often used pejoratively as a type of synecdoche to refer to people. The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now ACORN was a collection of community-based organizations in the United States and internationally that advocated for low- and moderate-income families by working on neighborhood safety, voter registration, health care, affordable housing, and other social issues. Astra Taylor born is a Canadian-American documentary filmmaker, writer, activist and musician.
At the Mountains of Madness is a science fiction-horror novella by American author H. Atala Riffo and Daughters v. Chile was an LGBT rights child custody case in the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, which reviewed a Chilean court ruling that in awarded custody to a father because of the mother's sexual orientation.
Atheism in the African Diaspora is atheism as it is experienced by black people outside of Africa. Atlantis: The Lost Empire is a American animated science fantasy action adventure film created by Walt Disney Feature Animation—the first science fiction film in Disney's animated features canon and the 41st overall.
Attack of the Mutant Artificial Christmas Trees is a free online video game developed as part of a marketing campaign by the National Christmas Tree Association in A paracusia, or auditory hallucination, is a form of hallucination that involves perceiving sounds without auditory stimulus. Awakenings is a American drama film based on Oliver Sacks's memoir of the same title. Awal Gul July 1, — February 2, was a citizen of Afghanistan who died in the United States's Guantanamo Bay detention camps in Cuba after nine years of imprisonment without charge. JusticeForFlint was a charity event held on February 28, , addressing the ongoing Flint water crisis in the U.
Back in the U. A backup dancer also known as background dancer is a performer who dances with or behind the lead performers in a live musical act or in a music video. Bacon mania refers to passionate bacon enthusiasm in the United States and Canada. The Bahraini uprising of was a series of anti-government protests in Bahrain led by the Shia-dominant Bahraini Opposition from until Bain Capital is a global alternative investment firm based in Boston, Massachusetts. Bandy X. Lee born is an American psychiatrist with Yale University and a specialist in violence prevention programs in prisons and in the community who initiated reforms at New York's Rikers Island prison.
The Barack Obama "Joker" poster is a digitally manipulated image of United States President Barack Obama, designed by Firas Alkhateeb in January , that was adopted by some critics of the Obama administration and described as the most famous anti-Obama image. During Barack Obama's campaign for president in , throughout his presidency, and afterwards, a number of conspiracy theories falsely asserted Obama was ineligible to be President of the United States because he was not a natural-born citizen of the United States as required by Article Two of the U.
Numerous lawsuits and ballot challenges, based on conspiracy theories related to Barack Obama's eligibility for the United States presidency, have been filed since Barbara Ehrenreich born August 26, is an American author and political activist who describes herself as "a myth buster by trade" and has been called "a veteran muckraker" by The New Yorker.
Barbara Jill Walters born September 25, is an American broadcast journalist, author, and television personality. Barnett Abba Slepian April 23, — October 23, was an American physician and abortion provider who was murdered in his home by James Charles Kopp. Barry Morris Goldwater January 2, — May 29, was an American politician, businessman, and author who was a five-term United States Senator from Arizona —65, —87 and the Republican Party's nominee for President of the United States in Barry Richard McCaffrey born November 17, is a former United States Army officer and current news commentator, professor and business consultant who served on U.
Bart Denton Ehrman born October 5, is an American New Testament scholar focusing on textual criticism of the New Testament, the historical Jesus, and the development of early Christianity. Coppage September 12, - March 5, was a liberal blogger from Tulsa, Oklahoma, active on the web since who produced his own internet radio show beginning in Baseball has a long history in Canada, where it is one of the most popular sports.
BASIC an acronym for Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code is a family of general-purpose, high-level programming languages whose design philosophy emphasizes ease of use. Battlestar Galactica BSG is an American military science fiction television series, and part of the ''Battlestar Galactica'' franchise.
Battlestar Galactica: Razor is a television film of the re-imagined ''Battlestar Galactica'' television series. Beck Hansen born Bek David Campbell; July 8, , known professionally as Beck, is an American singer, songwriter, rapper, record producer, and multi-instrumentalist. Beeswax is a American mumblecore film written and directed by Andrew Bujalski. Before Sunset is a American romantic drama film, the sequel to Before Sunrise Being John Malkovich is a American fantasy comedy-drama film directed by Spike Jonze and written by Charlie Kaufman, both making their feature film debut.
Ben Cooper, Inc. Ben Going born June 15, , username boh3m3 pronounced bo-heem on YouTube, is a video blog personality based in Torrance, California. Benjamin "Ben" Norton is an American journalist, writer, and musician. Benjamin Jeremy Stein born November 25, is an American writer, lawyer, actor, and commentator on political and economic issues. Ben-Zion Gopstein also Bentzi Gophstein, or Bentzi Gophstain born 10 September is a political activist affiliated with the radical right in Israel, a student of Rabbi Meir Kahane, and founder and director of Lehava, an Israeli Jewish anti-assimilation organization.
Beta male, or simply beta, is a pejorative term derived from the designation for beta animals in ethology. Beth Kephart is an American author of non-fiction, poetry and young adult fiction for adults and teens. Betty Harper Fussell born July 28, is an American writer and is the author of 12 books, ranging from biography to cookbooks, food history and memoir. This bibliography of Donald Trump is a list of written and published works, by and about Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States.
Big Brother 1 was the debut season of the American reality television series Big Brother. The modern bikini made its debut in , and since then it has caught the popular imagination becoming probably the most popular women's swimsuit, and not necessarily for swimming.
Bikini waxing is the removal of pubic hair using a special wax, which can be hot or cold, that adheres to hairs and pulls them out when the wax is removed quickly from the skin, usually with a cloth strip. William Warren Bradley born July 28, is an American former professional basketball player and politician. William Jefferson Clinton born August 19, is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from to Former U.
President Bill Clinton was criticized for some of his pardons and acts of executive clemency. American comedian Bill Cosby has been the subject of publicized sexual assault allegations, with the earliest incidents allegedly taking place in the mids. William R. William Maher born January 20, is an American comedian, political commentator, and television host. William James O'Reilly Jr. Bill Sammon is Fox News Washington managing editor and a vice president for the network, as well as a published author and newspaper columnist.
Biopreparat p, "Biological substance preparation" was the Soviet Union's major biological warfare agency from the s on. Birds of America is a collection of short stories by American writer Lorrie Moore. A black sitcom is a sitcom in American culture that features a primarily or entirely African American cast or in the lead role.
Black theology, or Black liberation theology, refers to a theological perspective which originated among African American seminarians and scholars, and in some black churches in the United States and later in other parts of the world. Black Twitter is a cultural identity consisting of "Black" Twitter users from around the world on the Twitter social network focused on issues of interest to the black community, particularly in the United States.
Blaze of Glory is the debut album by Game Theory, a California power pop band fronted by guitarist and singer-songwriter Scott Miller. Blood Defense is a legal thriller by Marcia Clark, an attorney and former prosecutor. Blood on the Tracks is the 15th studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released on January 20, by Columbia Records.
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Blue Valentine is a American romantic drama film written and directed by Derek Cianfrance. Blue Velvet is a American neo-noir mystery film, written and directed by David Lynch. Boardwalk Empire is an American period crime drama television series created by Terence Winter and broadcast on premium cable channel HBO. The first season of the HBO television series Boardwalk Empire premiered on September 19, and concluded on December 5, , consisting of 12 episodes. Bob Cesca born July 12, is an American director, producer, writer, actor, blogger and political commentator.
Bob Dylan born Robert Allen Zimmerman, May 24, is an American singer-songwriter, author, and painter who has been an influential figure in popular music and culture for more than five decades. Daniel Robert Graham born November 9, is an American politician and author. Bob Harris born October 15, is an American radio commentator, writer, comedian, and former Jeopardy!
Robert Durden Inglis Sr. Representative for from to and again from to Robert D. Robert Clinton Smith born March 30, is an American politician who served as a member of the United States House of Representatives for New Hampshire's 1st congressional district from to and the state of New Hampshire in the United States Senate from to Bonsai Kitten was a satirical website that claimed to provide instructions on how to grow a kitten in a jar, so as to mold the bones of the kitten into the shape of the jar as the cat grows, much like how a bonsai plant is shaped.
Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan or simply Borat is a British-American mockumentary comedy film written and produced by British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen who also plays the title character, Borat Sagdiyev, a fictitious Kazakh journalist travelling through the United States recording real-life interactions with Americans. The music video for English recording artist M. The Bradley effect less commonly the Wilder effect is a theory concerning observed discrepancies between voter opinion polls and election outcomes in some United States government elections where a white candidate and a non-white candidate run against each other.
Break Through: From the Death of Environmentalism to the Politics of Possibility, first published in October , is a book written by Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, both long-time environmental strategists. Brendan Nyhan born is an American political scientist and professor at Dartmouth College.
Brian Chippendale born is a musician and artist based in Providence, Rhode Island. Bricolage is a content management system CMS written in the Perl programming language. Bridget Moynahan born Kathryn Bridget Moynahan; April 28, is an American actress and model, best known for her role in the police drama Blue Bloods. Brin-Jonathan Butler born is a freelance journalist, Amazon interviewer, and award-winning documentary filmmaker. The Bristol underground scene, referred to in Bristol as Bristol massive, is the culture associated with drum and bass, and graffiti art that has existed in Bristol from the early s to the present.
Brittney Cooper born December 2, is a black feminist scholar, author, and professor. It conducts research and education in the social sciences, primarily in economics, metropolitan policy, governance, foreign policy, and global economy and development. The Brooks Brothers riot was a demonstration at a meeting of election canvassers in Miami-Dade County, Florida, on November 22, , during a recount of votes made during the United States presidential election.
Theodore Bruce Bawer born October 31, , who writes under the name Bruce Bawer, is an American writer who has been a resident of Norway since According to Alexander Zaitchik at Salon. Bruce Martyn Payne born is an English actor, producer, and assistant director. Bruno P. Maddox born is a British literary novelist and journalist who is best known for his novel My Little Blue Dress and for his satirical magazine essays.
Representative of Louisiana began as a movement for the Republican Party nomination for President of the United States shortly following the midterm elections. Buena Vista Social Club is an ensemble of Cuban musicians established in to revive the music of pre-revolutionary Cuba. Jame Gumb known by the nickname Buffalo Bill is a character and the primary antagonist of Thomas Harris's novel The Silence of the Lambs and its film adaptation, in which he is played by Ted Levine.
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Carlos Anibal Vignali had his federal prison sentence commuted by President of the United States Bill Clinton just prior to leaving office, as a part of a group of commutations and pardons. Carol: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is the soundtrack to the film of the same name. Carole Hart April 30, — January 5, was an American writer and television producer who was involved in the inception of Sesame Street and other projects on broadcast television targeted at children.
Caroline Framke is an American writer and critic who is a regular author at Vox and has written or interviewed for several other publications, including The Atlantic, The A. Representative from and a member of the Democratic Party. On February 10, , Carrier Air Conditioner, a division of United Technologies, announced that it was moving its manufacturing operations to Mexico. Casino Royale is a British spy film, the twenty-first in the Eon Productions ''James Bond'' film series, and the third screen adaptation of Ian Fleming's novel of the same name.
Castle Wolfenstein is a stealth-based action-adventure shooter video game developed by Muse Software for the Apple II. Castration also known as gonadectomy is any action, surgical, chemical, or otherwise, by which an individual loses use of the testicles. Estimates of the casualties from the conflict in Iraq beginning with the US invasion of Iraq, and the ensuing occupation and insurgency have come in many forms, and the accuracy of the information available on different types of Iraq War casualties varies greatly.
Charlyn Marie "Chan" Marshall born January 21, , better known by her stage name Cat Power, is an American singer-songwriter, musician, occasional actress, and model. Catacomb 3-D also known as Catacomb 3-D: A New Dimension, Catacomb 3-D: The Descent, and Catacombs 3 is the third in the Catacomb series of video games created by the founders of id Software , and the first of these games to feature 3D computer graphics.
Caterina Fake born 13 June is an American entrepreneur and businesswoman. Catherine Seipp November 17, — March 21, was a Los Angeles freelance writer and media critic. Causes of income inequality in the United States describes why changes in the country's income distribution are occurring. Caylee's Law is the unofficial name for bills proposed or passed in several U. Simpson's post-trial life. Celsius The Center for Investigative Reporting CIR is a nonprofit news organization based in Emeryville, California, and has conducted investigative journalism since The Central Intelligence Agency CIA is a civilian foreign intelligence service of the United States federal government, tasked with gathering, processing, and analyzing national security information from around the world, primarily through the use of human intelligence HUMINT.
Chapter 27 is a biographical drama film depicting the murder of John Lennon by Mark David Chapman. Glee is a musical comedy-drama television series that aired on Fox in the United States for six seasons from to The ''Myst'' series of adventure computer games deal with the events following the player's discovery of a mysterious book describing an island known as Myst. Charles Hernan Carreon born is an American trial attorney best known for his involvement in a legal dispute between The Oatmeal webcomic and content aggregator FunnyJunk. Representative for districts in New York from to Charles Willis Pickering Sr.
Charles' Southern Style Kitchen, a. Charlie Savage is an author and newspaper reporter in Washington, D. Charlotte Anne Laws born May 11, is an American author, talk show host, community activist, animal rights advocate, anti-revenge porn activist, former Los Angeles politician, and actress under the stage name Missy Laws. Chasing Amy is a American romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by Kevin Smith.https://raebuocredatbleed.ml/smile-for-the-camera-a.php
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Cathy opposing same-sex marriage. Chicken Little is a American 3D computer-animated science fiction comedy film, produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and loosely based on the original fable of the same name. However, the SABR Baseball Research Journal for acknowledges that there are discrepancies in records about Bender's birth year, ranging from to Keith Farrelle Cozart born August 15, , better known by his stage name Chief Keef, is an American rapper and record producer. The term China Hand originally referred to 19th-century merchants in the treaty ports of China, but came to be used for anyone with expert knowledge of the language, culture, and people of China.
Earthquake in Columbia. Genoa summit underway. India asylum blaze. Ivanisevic wins Wimbledon. The Ecole Spciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr, founded in by first consul Napoleon Bonaparte just before the Battle of Austerlitz, has trained future officers of the French Army for over two centuries.
The schools graduates include a long line of military figures who distinguished themselves in battlefields around the globe, including Hubert Lyautey, Joseph Gallini, Charles De Gaulle, and Jean de Lattre de Tassigny. The schools mission is to provide French and foreign students with an education on one campus that combines academic excellence, thorough a grounding in military science and demanding physical training.
The schools research work, of which Robots on the Battlefield is one result, aims to understand better the nature and scope of changes in international conflicts in order to enrich the palette of knowledge useful for training cadets so that they are prepared as well as possible to face difficult situations and understand the changing technologies they will have to implement. We offer this work to our English-speaking colleagues in the hope that it will make a modest contribution, by the exchanges it could spark, to better reciprocate knowledge and to reinforce comprehension and cohesion among the allied forces working together in the main theaters of operation.
Captain USN Ret. Mark R. Dominique Lambert Ph. D in Philosophy. Colonel Eric Ozanne Plan and future capabilities office, officer in charge of dismounted combat , French Army Staff. Powers Ph. Colonel Eugene K. Colonel Barry L. Antonin Tisseron Ph. Lucas, Jr Figure 1. Technology Employment Curve Complete Spectrum of Operations Across Realms Robotization: Incentives and Obstacles Robot Acquisition Costs OODA Loop Revolution: Developments Drive Processes The Three Levels of Empathy Empathy for Human and Non-Human Entities Robots Extend the Unit Control Area Deployment of Robots Lieutenant OKills Scenario Lieutenant Safetowns Scenario in an Urban Area Final Assault Using Robots Natural Obstacles Cooperating Ants Cooperating Wolves Canus Lupus Army Unit on Patrol Relations in Applications.
Shared Computing Environment Code 1: Runtime Compilation Decision at Node Equation Figure Cooperative SensingSharing the Sensor Information Such is, in substance, the message conveyed in the book Wired for War written by Brookings Institution researcher, Peter Singer. Robotization is an inevitable and irreversible process; it is already underway and is as yet only in its infancy; 2. Robotization poses radical new questions that need to be addressed today in order to construct the intellectual framework required for mastering all this technological innovation.
First of all, does the deployment of these Predators, Packbots and the like really constitute such a radical technological game-changer, so exceptional in the history of warfare to the point that we may talk categorically in terms of a technical, scientific and military revolution? It seems to us that the theory of a radical gamechanger, with robots at its center, needs to be put into perspective, for two reasons.
On the one hand, robotics is less a scientific revolution than a cross between discixiii.
According to Kuhn, military robotics is clearly about normal science and not revolutionary science. In no way does it call into question paradigms commonly assumed by the scientific community, this being a precondition of a genuine scientific revolution, but rather it comes across as a combination or synthesis of the respective advances of these paradigms.
Secondly, even if robots do constitute a revolution in terms of their media visibility, the robotization of the battlefield is already a long-established military reality. When taking a step back in order to contemplate whether or not robotization is genuinely revolutionary, it is no doubt possible to conclude, as does Robert Ranquet, that the history of weaponry has known phases of innovation more radical than those at the end of the 20th Century.
Rightly denounced by General Vincent Desportes, the technologist temptation serves to express the rationality specific to the US military-industrial complex, inciting it to pursue the profitable channels of high-tech weaponry and lobbying in favor of incessantly growing budgets so as to finance ever more expensive equipment. Conversely, it would also be wrong to ignore the fact that the robotization of the battlefield represents a major economic and financial issue that serves as a focus for specific visions and interests which are not entirely compatible and which presuppose a series of arbitrations, the challenges and consequences of which are decisive for the activity and for the profits of manufacturers in the sector.
The massive use of drones therefore appears to be broadly inseparable from the movement towards defense privatization initiated in the United States. Private stake-holders control part of this, in a way that is without precedent in the history of armament. Whether it is a matter, in the traditional way, of the design, production and maintenance of weapons systems or, in more original fashion, of their deployment and all services arising from or associated with xiv.
What is on offer is so comprehensive that, if the political leaders were so to decide, the US Army might no longer own the equipment deployed by the military but could be a consumer of services entirely produced and controlled by external service providers: time spent on observation and surveillance, analysis of data and production of information, even the capacity to intervene and destroy. Presenting the general robotization of the Armed Forces as their only possible means of development in order to ensure their efficiency tends to echo rather too much the discourse regarding outsourcing not to appear as a troubling sign of a conception of defense activities largely anchored to military industry.
Blindly adhering to this view means first, exposing oneself to the observation so often made in history that technological superiority is by no means synonymous with assured victory, and that all progress engenders its own contradictions and is bound up within its own limits Augustine Law, limits of total technology,10 reaction of inventive adversaries,11 etc. It means also going down the political, strategic, economic and budgetary dead ends of contractual commitment, so clearly illustrated today by the lessons learned from Iraq and Afghanistan.
The use of robots in Iraq and Afghanistan is grist for the mill of a discourse that is powerfully conditioned by SF literature, science fiction films and video games, thereby opening the path to questioning the very essence of warfare and the dehumanization of the use of force. The robot, particularly the ground robot, constitutes far more an appendix to the soldiers eye and arm than it does an autonomous decision-making and attack system.
Operations recently conducted in Afghanistan clearly demonstrate that, despite the growing number of robots deployed by military forces, the fundamental characteristics of warfare continue to prevail despite the growing use of remote-control devices. It is commonplace in military history or, indeed, in industrial history more generally, for the inventor of a technology not to be necessarily the best placed to explore it or exploit all its possibilities with a view to making best use of it.
To take just the commonly cited example of the battle tank, the Germans showed themselves to be far superior to the French and the British in the use that could be made of a military tool which they had not themselves invented. By focusing on approaches formatted by models that are very largely imitative imitating man, imitating nature or else strongly inspired by the literature of science-fiction, military thought revolves around the terms of the problem and ignores the strategic or tactical data which could drive the design and deployment of robots on the battlefield.
By dint of these lines of enquiry, the question arising is that of the agenda of thoughts on military robots. Robotization incontestably deserves to be included in this agenda, as has already been the case for a long time now with regard to the engineering sciences. As far as the human, social and political sciences are concerned, the frequent tendency of scientists to focus their attention on a very advanced type of robot, equipped with artificial intelligence that endows it with extensive autonomy of action, makes the most spectacular and most futuristic form of robotization the center of gravity for reflections in this regard.
This gives rise to widespread ignorance of the factors likely to call into question, limit or hold back the development of robots in military forces, along with basic questions relating to their end purpose, their use or their expected characteristics. The purpose of the argument that follows is to propose a framework for the problems that robotization will throw up tomorrow, along with the questions that it raises today, particularly in terms of the change management that would be required in the event of any generalized use of this particular technical asset: the military robot.
Naturally, there is no contradiction inherent in this twin line of questioning, nor does it call into greater question the relevance of validity of the studies carried out previously. With regard to the debates regarding the theories presented, the problems highlighted may seem here to be transient or secondary. The scant interest that they have generated among specialists may then be explained by the traditional adage: De minimis non curat praetor. Authority does not concern itself with trifles Nevertheless, outside of the United States, where the volume of the budgets dedicated to defense is such that the risk of investment errors is not prohibitive, the size of the challenges and the weight of budgetary constraints impose extra levels of prudence and increased attention with regard to the management of the envisaged change.
Questions for Today The questions being asked today about military robots relate globally to the problem of management in an organization faced with substantial technological innovation. Technological developments make it possible to envisage the production of remotely controlled machines, or machines endowed with a certain degree of autonomy for carrying out tasks involved in the realization of the missions of military forces. These machines are extremely diverse with regard to their usages, their capabilities, their technical characteristics, their degree of autonomy and their cost.
Beyond that, if we consider that there is no technological inevitability and that the various military forces are not unavoidably driven to the generalized robotization of their equipment, then the deployment of military robots must be considered to be an investment choice which presupposes a favorable costxvi.
The Uncertain Definition of the Military Robot The term robot is likely to designate a set of individual machines or machine systems that are highly diverse from the point of view of their constituent elements, their capacities, their func-tions, their degree of autonomy or the nature of the missions in which they may be deployed. The field of enquiry is therefore very broad, and research suffers from the fact that there is no conventional definition for robots.
Certain barriers seem at the very least debatable, even arbitrary. The fact, for example, of excluding missiles as a category from the discussion on robots is based far more on an argument of authority with a view to simplifying the handling of the issue than the fruit of indisputable objective classification. Each study is therefore likely to produce its own conceptual framework.
Generally speaking, a military robot is most frequently defined as a system: 1. Possessing capacities of perception, communication, decision-making and action; 2. Supervised by human combatants or acting autonomously according to preset behavioral rules; 3. Capable of improving its own performance through automatic learning.
From a more pragmatic perspective, Lin et al. All of these definitions, the most complex of which are no doubt the least usable, have one point in common, which is the truly distinctive criterion of the robot compared to other machines, i. The categorization of robots is hardly any more precise. There exists no universally accepted typology, and an analysis of the bibliography brings to light multiple classifications of different types: technical classifications in particular, based on the size of the robotic platforms , functional classifications or operational classifications according to the missions or tasks of robots.
All characterizations insist on two of the fundamental dimensions of battlefield robotization: the degree of autonomy of the robot and the more or less imminent prospect of seeing robots act in groups, whether these groups are based on redundancy in order to take account of the possible risk of some of them being destroyed or on complementarity with xvii.
The robot should therefore be envisaged as an autonomous machine or as a system of machines. The Cost-Benefit Analysis The deployment of robots in the Armed Forces can be analyzed as a change in the current balance of the productive combination of the institution, i. The relative proportion of technological capital increases as the proportion of labor capital is reduced; in other words, man is freed from certain tasks which are assigned to the machine. In this regard, the possible deployment of robots involves considering the general logic of any equipment program aiming to substitute one factor with another.
The analysis must enable an assessment to be made from the perspective of the ratio of costs to benefits. Yet the very diversity of the possible applications prevents any global judgement from being made of the robotization phenomenon. Of course, it is possible to identify a general logic at work behind the largescale deployment of many robots that industry proposes for military forces: enabling human resources rare, highly-trained, expensive, etc.
With technological progress enabling the increased substitution of capital for labor, those in charge of the institution are led to query the pertinence of this kind of substitution.
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For it to be justified, the robot must demonstrate, at the very least, its capability to preserve and make best use of the human resources so that the latters potential can be fully leveraged in missions where it is irreplaceable. This may, for example, involve the robot exploring an inaccessible environment or one presenting a significant risk contaminated zones, urban or mountainous zones, for example or keeping specialists away from danger when the intervention can be done from a distance neutralizing an explosive device, driving an exposed vehicle.
The use of a robot is also justified when this prevents the attrition of potential through daily tasks that the machine can carry out better than people could do, since it is not susceptible to fatigue, boredom or distraction surveillance of infrastructure or geographical area, for example. Lastly, the deployment of robots is justified once again when it helps to boost human capacities, such as in terms of mobility, load capacity, perception of the environment, etc.
In this way the robot offers savings to the Armed Forces and partially relieves them of the constraints that the limits arising from human nature or the scarcity of human resources impose on their freedom of action. Beyond this immediate approach, we should envisage the consequences of robotization on the efficiency of action of the military force, a xviii. Faced with these benefits, the principle of which is clearly perceptible even if the modes of assessment are somewhat complex to establish, there are many requirements to be taken into account, in particular those relating to the cost and deployment of the robot in this particular environmentthe battlefield.
Deployed by military personnel in highly stressful situations, it must be possible to use the ground robot without the need for engineers or specialists maintenance, IT, analysts, etc. Likewise, since the robot is meant to be an aid to the soldier, it should not slow down maneuvers on account, for example, of its dimensions, its complex deployment or insufficient mobility. Of a weight such that it can be easily added to the existing equipment and transported by the units on the ground, it must be possible to start it up and forget about it.
The robot must also be robust and sturdy, since it is meant to be used in hostile environments where the precise idea is to save the human resources from being overexposed. The robot must therefore work in extreme conditions heat, dust, humidity, contamination, etc.
The robot that we are talking about today is more of a simple and workmanlike tool, relatively inexpensive, easily transportable and which helps to safeguard combatants by intervening in inaccessible or dangerous areas and relieving them of physical or psychological burdens which diminish the potential of the human resource.
Undeniable progress has been made by the designers and manufacturers of military ground robots. The fact however remains that the devices presented to date do not correspond entirely to the notion of the ideal robot as has been sketched out here. It is therefore not surprising that, with budgets being squeezed, the armed forces of countries other than the United States seem somewhat reluctant to embark on massive battlefield robotization programs if these are to follow the usual logic of weapons programs: long design-manufacturing processes, complex technical specifications, systematic tightening up of procedures, high costs, limited numbers, etc.
The Change Management Process By postulating the inevitable character of battlefield robotization and prioritizing questions predicated on a quasi-science-fiction context, we are led to understand that the robot is the future of the Armed Forces and that any delay in the robotization process may be detrimental to the efficiency of these forces. Yet even if we suppose that technological progress and the innovation capabilities of the designers and manufacturers of robots make it possible to align the properties of these robots with the expectations of military forces, the fact nonetheless remains that the robotization of the battlefield is a process of transformation which presupposes being taken into account and conducted according to the principles, constraints and methods applicable to any strategic change within an organization.
Its promoters flag it as both radical and urgent. On the one hand, the generalization of the robot is presented as an inevitable process, the rapid speed of which is dictated by the incessant advances in robotics technology. On the other, it involves a profound transformation of the structures of the organization, its modes of operation, its values and its institutional culture. This concerns in particular the place of the soldier on the battlefield, his relation to the enemy, to the other members of his unit and to his commanders, and to the population within which the military operations take place.
Faced with a transformation of such dimensions, many questions remain to be answered. Does the military institution have the budgetary, human and material resources required for the implementation of such a change? Is it ready to take on board the cultural, doctrinal and organizational upheaval that a robotics revolution would be sure to generate?
Are the budgetary implications a prohibitive constraint or a means of excluding a priori questioning? Are the stakeholders all convinced of the pertinence of the change and of the efficiency of robotized solutions for the actions of the terrestrial armed forces?
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Are they structured so as to be able to manage the robotization process in such a way as to maintain a global perspective? Even if certain characteristics of robots are clearly attractive, in particular for preserving the human capital of military forces, the cost-benefit analysis would itself benefit from more profound investigation and, in the event of it making yet xx.
Questions For Tomorrow The questions for tomorrow are those which result from the possible presence on the battlefield of autonomous robots endowed with artificial intelligence allowing them to make decisions on the basis of preset rules and for which recourse to force is part of their assignment. It is in this framework that the debates concerning the human essence of warfare and its legal-ethical corollary are conducted. Robotization and the Essence of Warfare The hypothesis often put forward is that the generalization of robots modifies the nature of warfare by substantially altering the decision-making chain which culminates in the use of force against an enemy.
According to this theory, the introduction of robots onto the battlefield not only alters the modalities of military action HOW war is waged but, more profoundly, the nature of the combatants, and therefore of the combat WHO wages war. According to the Singer theory, technological progress with weaponry from the crossbow to the atom bomb has until now only increased the action capability of the combatant, but has not called into question the combatants place in the decision-making system.
He could move more quickly, strike harder and further, protect himself better from the blows of the adversary, process increasing quantities of data, etc. Yet he remained at all times master and commander of his decisions and his actions. The effect of robotization, if not its object, would be to hand over all or part of this capacity to choose to a machine endowed with a corpus of preset action rules, and which it would implement autono-mously. This would give rise to a profound transformation of the decision and leadership process, of the legal notion of the combatant and of the liability regime applicable in the event of damages caused by the improper actions of one of these robots.
It would therefore be necessary to reconstruct a new set of ethics designed to govern the rules of action covering the behavior of military robots. Contrary to what the Singer theory may postulate, the history of military robots is not that of an increasing exclusion of man from the decisionmaking loop. Weapons development does not follow a linear progression leading from the tool manipulated by man through the remotely controlled machine to the independent robot driven by artificial intelligence. Paradoxically, total machine auxxi.
The missions assigned to the first drones were therefore totally automated due to the lack of sufficiently powerful telecommunication tools to allow those controlling them the possibility of modifying the flight plan as the mission pro-gressed. In the case of a totally automated UAV, the machine cannot overfly a sector whose interest has not been anticipated or, conversely, cut short a mission which proves to be of less interest than was foreseen. Here, progress has consisted precisely in reintroducing the human being into the decision-making loop as soon as the available technology so allowed, thereby reducing the contribution of the artificial intelligence to the running of the mission.
The same applies for ground robots, with the robot becoming autonomous when transmission between operator and machine becomes impossible, on account of physical obstacles for example. Robotization and Conflict Management Even if the extent of the impact of robotization on the essence of warfare is subject to discussion and debate, it is nonetheless incontestable that it changes some of the key ways in which military conflict is conducted. Without going into detail about these modifications, each of which could be subject to a program of research and study, it is possible to observe that robotization exercises an influence both in macroscopic terms with regard to power relations and the types of conflict and in the more microscopic terms of the conditions of terrestrial military action.
If we consider that a robot is defined by its degree of autonomy vis--vis humans, and that it works moreover within a system which itself takes its place within automated scenarios, it is possible to claim that robotization necessarily involves placing the traditional xxii. The collateral damage caused by automated UAV fire in Afghanistan is one of the illustrations of this euphemism. The fact is, moreover, that the moral and political responsibility for them has never been shouldered by national governments.
Technical error has been the sole argument to explain and justify the destruction of civilian populations. Beyond this technical aspect, there is a real interest and therefore a real desire for States to deploy robots on the battlefield inasmuch as this deployment signifies fewer human losses, in particular in countries such as the USA or Israel where these human losses are an essential criterion in the political success of military operations and the vital support likely to be provided in the form of public opinion.
Robotization is envisaged by some as bringing with it a relaxation of the legal constraints born of the contemporary laws governing armed conflicts. According to them, States conducting military operations would no longer bear the same degree of legal responsibility, since all the international principles and rules, both written and unwritten, governing the laws of armed conflicts are said to be intrinsically linked to the essentially human nature of these conflicts and would be inapplicable once operations were being conducted by robots.
We have seen that this extreme position is probably ill-founded. However, be that as it may, questions arising from robotization remain. What, in the future, will be the impact of the use of robots on the fundamental concepts and principles of the laws of armed conflicts?
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Could robots be accredited with a legal personality, and brought under the umbrella of a legal system that recognised the personality of autonomous decision-making objects? Will the robot remain a complex machine involving a chain of responsibility that includes its designers as well as its users? This field of study remains very much open to exploration. Neutralization of Conflicts The robotization of the battlefield will offer a new range of strategic options for the deployment of military power.
These options may be decisive with regard to preventing and neutralising conflicts. The large-scale deployment of robots in potential high risk zones ethnic tensions, deployment of troops in border zones, loss of control of the territory by a State, etc. This organised vigilance system would also make it possible to keep far more efficient track of peace agreements.
Would this result in more significant involvement of the international organizations in low-intensity conflict situations? Would it be possible to deploy more rapidly and at least cost mechanisms designed to control tensions in a given zone? Would the world be safer if the prevention and treatment. Lastly, the deployment of these robots would also carry a far more serious threat for those disrupting the international system insofar as rogue states and the like would logically be subject to forms of robotic prohibition. Their frontiers, their air space and their territorial waters, even certain zones within their territory, would be occupied by robotized phalanxes giving physical form to a permanent threat which completes the spatial inquisition already at work.
In this regard, there can hardly be any doubt that the robotization process will call into question the current classification and typology of the military powers. Taking account of the diversity of the foreseeable applications and the relatively widespread distribution of the necessary skills, it is possible to anticipate a relative dispersal of the production and use of military robots, with certain countries continuing to manage complex technologies and the most sophisticated robots while others may adopt low-cost robots, the workmanlike nature of which would not be to the detriment of their efficiency, especially if they were used in an innovative fashion in the framework of irregular conflicts.
This new arms age will herald a reshuffling of the pecking order in the technical-industrial world. On the one hand, it will modify the relations between the various branches contributing to the production of weapons systems. On the other, it will lead to a redistribution of the economic power between the traditionally dominant countries USA, Europe, Russia, etc. Internally, the possible redistribution of power between the industrial branches that contribute to the production of weapons systems raises the following questions in particular: 1.
Can we apply to ground robots the notion of generation, such as it is recognized in the high-tech industries; with what effects in terms of capacities and costs; and with what degree of anticipation? What is the reality of the supposed duality between civil robotics technologies and those required for military robotics? Will the production of military robots tend to comply with the economic laws applicable to the corresponding civil sectors IT, telecommunications , characterized by major economies of scale and a rapid fall in production costs, or will it comply with the usual laws of the arms industry?
Will the cost of creating and operating robotized units be necessarily less than for the current units on account of the reduced human losses arising from the assignment to military robots of inherently dangerous tasks? Can the necessary investments in the training of robots drafting operating scenarios, writing behavioral software, developing communication systems within the robotic systems and between robot and man, etc. What governance would it be suitable to implement in order to encourage articulation of the operational needs, political choices and industrial ambitions?
Is a structure such as the DGA French General Directorate for Armament likely to be able to resolve the problems posed by the complex relations that commonly characterize the production of weapons systems? How can the development of new defense robotics companies be encouraged in countries like France?
What role can competitive clusters play in the development of the basic robot technologies and in the constitution of the technical-industrial networks required for the development of military robotics? Internationally, is the robotization of the battlefield likely to substantially modify the hierarchy of the weapons systems producers? We know, for example, that the United States have an unquestionable lead in terms of navigation in open environments, robotics architecture and military robotics applications.
On the other hand, Japan and Korea dominate with regard to issues of mobility and humanoid robots, while Europe for its part has a strong case to state in terms of mobility in structured environments urban networks, for example. Countries such as Israel and Australia also have specific strengths in the field. Many stakeholders, be they State or non-State players, are capable of drawing on the panoply of existing technologies in order to design and deploy low-cost robots that are likely to enhance their action capability in the framework of asymmetric strategies.
These countries are, in certain cases, already involved in traditional arms production; others are likely to take their seat at the table, thereby calling into question the status quo. What is the current map of development of the robotics industry around the world? Who are the stakeholders and what are the major strategies?
What are the needs and the budgets? What are the geopolitical issues? What new alliances are to be set up? Here again, the field of studies to be implemented is vast. The Place of Robots in the General Coercion System Since the s, the international scene has come up with a reshuffling of the main players involved in coercion. Under the effect of the globalization of exchanges, the lack of differentiation between internal security and external security and the emergence of doctrines centered on the control or protection of populations, the main countries of the West have operated a constant diminution of their military forces and, in parallel, increased police and private security forces.
In this regard, the constant reduction of military numbers, alongside the fact that the success of the operations in which they are engaged is increasingly relative, demonstrates that States are looking to find an equation other than the generalized mobilization of military forces. This new equation, which is characterized by the increasing preponderance of police and intelligence systemin Germany, for example: the advent of agencies specialized in organized crime or illegal trafficking controlin the USA in particular, the increasing recourse to private military and security companies, the intervention of legal systems to prop up the root-and-branch changes to the law, has a new player: robots.
The question is now to understand the place of robots within this recomposed field of the stakeholders involved in coercion. A first assumption is that robotic systems are at the interface of two major trends: 1. The trend that puts the emphasis, strategically and politically, on the mass capacity for the protection and surveillance of individuals in a society that is increasingly fluid and where population control involves the control of movements of all types: goods, capital, individuals, information, etc.
The trend which, in the name of general prevention, makes anticipation, speed of reaction and the least cost of intervention in all its dimensions the factors which tend to favor automated information collection and processing systems and the constitution of automated scenarios and profiles. Robotized systems, since they combine all these criteria: collecting and processing information of all types, in particular police and military information, along with autonomy, efficiency and disengagement from the hierarchical structures, should ultimately constitute a preferred player in this search for continuity in the field of coercion.
The question however remains open concerning the distribution of roles, practices and usages, and their impact on the societies concerned and on the system of international relations as a whole. It is this dimension which makes xxvi. Robotization and Conditions of Intervention of Military Forces Lastly, robotization profoundly modifies the conditions of intervention of military forces. Even if the manufacturers of robots make special efforts with regard to the man-machine interface so that the robot is the companion of the soldier, the fact no less remains that the generalized use of robots on the battlefield will necessarily have effects of all kinds on the structures of military forces, the relations within units robotization as a factor in developing the esprit de corps and leadership , the relations between the forces and the enemy robotization as a manifestation of the ethnocentricity of developed countries and the relations between military forces and local populations robotization as a mechanism for the surveillance of areas and populations or as an impersonal weapon of destruction.
The only apparent limits to robotization would seem to pertain to the breadth of imagination of robot designers and the priorities set by those responsible for making the military or industrial choices. Nevertheless, envisaging battlefield robotization according to the sole criterion of technical feasibility and production capacities would mean neglecting, even ignoring, the man-machine interface and all that is most subtle and problematic in that regard.
Three factors therefore appear essential: the degree of autonomy of robots in the phases of combat, the impact of robotization on the population, and the relationship with the enemy. The Degree of Autonomy of Robots in the Phases of Combat As has already been previously pointed out, any definition of a robot or of a system of robots poses the general question of its degree of autonomy vis--vis the combatant and its integration within a human system.
How to define the degree of autonomy assigned to robots? The robotization of the battlefield involves establishing detailed scenarios of combat situations and defining standardised behavior suited to the action to be carried out and respectful of the laws concerning armed conflicts and military ethics. This then gives rise to the question of knowing who is responsible for the doctrine of robot use in the field, for the formulation of the behavioral rules, for the architecture of the decision-making processes, and for the margin of autonomy granted to the robot, ranging from para-human artificial intelligence to hyper-human xxvii.
Does a robot need to be programmed for it to evaluate the received orders and refuse to execute an order when it is illegal? To whom is a robot accountable for its actions? Who can decide to interrupt the action of a robot?