April 3, 2013 § Leave a comment
Why is the military so keen on cutting war game programs and institutions, whose total budget amounts to less than the cost of a few Predator drones? Here we need to examine the nature of war as conceived through the use of war games and compare that to the one espoused by drone ideology. And the best way to do that is to consider how each attempts to create their own ‘Borges Map’, a 1:1 representation of reality placed on top of lived reality.
Consider the war game. Philip von Hilgers, in his history of ‘Kriegspiel’ in Germany, notes that war games allow one to play with various military hypotheses without being bound by the constraints of time.
“The war games and map exercises did not simply dissolve temporal references through a symbolic system, but allowed a temporal extension to occur that seemed to correspond to the hypothetical situation. It was precisely because war games granted time unlimited space that what was not planned could occur.”
Essentially, war games facilitate construction of a Borges Map through unlimited extension of time. Running various scenarios and potentials, the military mind can better map out all possible outcomes and create appropriate responses that will minimize casualties while inflicting maximum possible damage to the enemy. Compared to other military technologies, the war game allowed planners to layer multiple representations of reality on top of the actual reality of battle. The uncertainty of conflict, what many term the ‘fog of war’, becomes less obscure when one can eliminate the constraints of time. Despite its pursuit of rationalistic modeling, the war game nonetheless creates a space where metaphysical thought can mingle with the rational and produce a synthesis that not only affirms the humanity of the players but also places that humanity at the center of decision making. Descartes famous maxim, ‘I think, therefore I am’, could easily become, ‘I think, therefore I (war) game’.
Compare this to the ideology of Drones. read more
STILL: Benjamin Christensen