It came out a few days ago, 9 May 2019, that the US has a secret missile for drone strikes. It is a variant of the Hellfire anti-tank missile designated the R9X, apparently. What makes it different is the lack of explosives. It kills by kinetic energy or in simple terms the sheer force of impact. It has a corona of six sword-like blades that cut through everything in its path including a car’s roof. The idea is that it is more surgical (excuse the pun, not intended) because nothing explodes and therefore no innocents die.
What every commentator misses is that this method is not new. It goes back to World War One. Closer to our time, back in the days of Rhodesia, they came up with an idea of using their English Electric Canberra bombers to drop a flechette type of cluster bomb from incredible heights. What they had was essentially thousands of sharp needle-like heavy darts falling at tremendous speeds (known as “beehives” or “canister” by some armies) and causing hell where they struck. You can hear them coming. The falling flechette darts make a sound like a swarm of honeybees and when you hear them, it is too late. They will slice you and every tree in the vicinity to pieces including normal (not armoured) vehicles. Unless you are under decent shelter (five feet of solid earth at least), you will die.
It is not against the Geneva Convention to use such weapons. Such ammunition is in use everywhere, even in shotgun shells and beehive rounds for artillery. The American Army used artillery fired flechette rounds to great effect in Vietnam and in the Civil War (both sides, as well as in Korea). Therefore, it is not a new concept at all. Like the R9X, the Rhodesian one contained no explosives, they used height to generate speed and mass, very effectively. At another occasion, they dropped small iron pellets but that was from low level, same effect.
However, the problem here is that the wrong people are attacked and that is why innocents die. A lack of intelligence combined with utter arrogance. In a recent book, Code Name Swan 53, we looked at drone operators. The vetting, to begin with, was all wrong, they would be tested on video games and shown “kill TV.” Those that asked questions were removed, those that did not, were recruited. Now you had people with borderline psychopath symptoms and no sense of military honour operating drones from their air-conditioned offices close to Las Vegas. They are paid six-figure salaries to murder women and children since they miss 96.5% of the time. Many became disillusioned quite quickly, “I was under the impression that America was saving the world, like, that we were Big Brother and we were helping everyone out...” One female whistle-blower stated bitterly, “It’s so primitive, raw, stripped-down death. This is real. It’s not a joke. You see someone die because you said it was okay to kill them. I was always shaking. Sometimes I would just go to the bathroom and just sit on the toilet. I mean just sit there in my uniform and just cry.” Eventually, she was diagnosed as suicidal. Two of her colleagues did commit suicide and others abused alcohol and hard drugs. You may be surprised but I have great sympathy with her. That is how an honourable person OUGHT to react. This is also why the US Drone Program is being moved to the CIA, away from the USAF and any type of scrutiny. Former imagery analyst, Michael Haas, “Everyone drank. There was a lot of coke, speed, and that sort of thing. If the higher-ups knew, then they didn’t say anything, but I’m pretty sure they must have known. It was everywhere.” When another reported for service at the base, Metallica heavy metal music was being played as part of the indoctrination. The welcoming speech? “Gentlemen! Welcome to Creech. While here, it will be your job to blow shit up and kill people!” Creech is the base outside Las Vegas where the drones are controlled from.
You look at such disclosures with disgust that only a professional can feel. Mickey Mouse people trying to play God. They are creating more terrorists. Some will get through, it is inevitable, and you will die or your kids will. Brought to you by Uncle Sam’s low standards. Then you will be angry with everyone including military authors like me that stood up and warned for years that you are on the wrong road, the road to defeat. And remember something else, that drone has your flag on it. What is happening is being done in your name. You are as much guilty of war crimes as would be the fellow that pulls the trigger. You will do well to read GMJ 46, VOICES - War Crimes USA, where we take a hard look at US war crimes and the reasons behind them. Your R9X is not the answer, proper intelligence is. Stop murdering innocents.