Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Military Technology

The Nice Guy At the World's Largest Weapons Expo 180

Posted by timothy
from the dasani-army-sneaks-up-with-6-pack-ring dept.
pigrabbitbear writes "It was the second day of the Special Operation Forces Exhibition in Amman, Jordan, and the temperature outside the convention center was around 80 degrees Fahrenheit, with a typical chance of rain of zero. Drones of various sizes hovered in the hot blue desert sky. Inside, Ed Atchley had set up a booth for his company, Aspen Water Inc., right next to a 30mm chain gun designed to sink things like helicopters and Somali pirate ships. Atchley had traveled from his headquarters in Richardson, Texas, to the largest weapons trade show in the world, mainly because he makes 'the army's smallest, lightest, least expensive, high output, reverse osmosis water purifier,' he says, and people in the Middle East – including soldiers – get very thirsty."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

The Nice Guy At the World's Largest Weapons Expo

Comments Filter:
  • Logistics (Score:5, Insightful)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Sunday June 03, 2012 @06:11PM (#40204387)
    Actually, those booths should be sitting next to each other. All the high tech drones, big guns, fighters, bombers, and armor doesn't mean much if your soldiers starve or run out of water. Sun Tzu said as much -- it was pretty much chapter 1 of The Art of War. It may not be very sexy, but it's like saying the internet is important... and electricity isn't.
    • 'An army marches on its stomach.'

      'C'est la soupe qui fait le soldat.'

      Nothing, absolutely nothing, matters more at winning wars than logistics. The lethal fighting force is but the edge of a vast engineering and distribution network. Or, if it is not the edge of such a network, it is soon a defeated lethal fighting force.

      • by The Snowman (116231) on Sunday June 03, 2012 @07:38PM (#40204875) Homepage

        Nothing, absolutely nothing, matters more at winning wars than logistics. The lethal fighting force is but the edge of a vast engineering and distribution network. Or, if it is not the edge of such a network, it is soon a defeated lethal fighting force.

        I spent six years in the U.S. Air Force flying a desk. To this day people are shocked that the only time I flew on a plane was a civilian airliner, and I never saw combat.

        When I was in, the USAF was around 300,000 Airmen. Around 10% was aircrew, which includes: pilots, navigators, crew chiefs, AWACS computer guys, etc. It took the rest of the USAF to handle the rest: feed the troops, get them to where they need to go, ensure their computers were working correctly, tracking millions of bullets, bombs and missiles, tending to medical needs, paychecks, etc.

        • The lighter the tail, the better, but too light and the beast dies. It's hard to achieve a good balance, and unfortunately politics plays a role, with all the kingdom building and buying things that need too much maintenance.

          • by TheLink (130905)
            Modern military is tail heavy and will stay that way till we go back to sticks and stones.

            In the old days you had the spear-head, the shaft and the person holding it, and the person who made the spear (who could be the same person as the one holding the spear).

            Nowadays the "spear head" could be a bomb, behind this "spear head" could be a bunch of FA/18s (and their pilots), an aircraft carrier, with supporting ships, planes, helis (and maybe even a submarine). And it sure takes a lot of people, factories, mi
        • by sco08y (615665)

          Nothing, absolutely nothing, matters more at winning wars than logistics. The lethal fighting force is but the edge of a vast engineering and distribution network. Or, if it is not the edge of such a network, it is soon a defeated lethal fighting force.

          I spent six years in the U.S. Air Force flying a desk. To this day people are shocked that the only time I flew on a plane was a civilian airliner, and I never saw combat.

          When I was in, the USAF was around 300,000 Airmen. Around 10% was aircrew, which includes: pilots, navigators, crew chiefs, AWACS computer guys, etc. It took the rest of the USAF to handle the rest: feed the troops, get them to where they need to go, ensure their computers were working correctly, tracking millions of bullets, bombs and missiles, tending to medical needs, paychecks, etc.

          Hey now, don't forget the hordes of masseuses, pedicurists, HVAC and cable TV technicians.

          • by Rich0 (548339)

            Hey now, don't forget the hordes of masseuses, pedicurists, HVAC and cable TV technicians.

            At work sometimes I think half of our problems stem from the fact that in the huge wave of cost cutting it has been forgotten that sometimes this kind of stuff pays for itself.

            If you want to get work done you need competent employees (a premise that many companies no longer buy into). If you want competent employees then you need to motivate them to show up for work. The biggest motivator is obviously the paycheck, but there are other reasons that people work. If you pay enough, you can hire just about a

        • I spent six years in the U.S. Air Force flying a desk. To this day people are shocked that the only time I flew on a plane was a civilian airliner, and I never saw combat.

          That's because, of all of the [US] armed services, the USAF has the absolute worst tooth-to-tail ratio. It's inherent in the nature of an air force, any air force, but it is an aberration.

      • by budgenator (254554) on Sunday June 03, 2012 @08:59PM (#40205273) Journal

        And that logistics has to work under chaotic conditions, which is why the military is so good at humanitarian disaster relief.

      • 'An army marches on its stomach.'

        Ah, so a soldier is just a large gastropod [wikipedia.org]?

      • Nothing, absolutely nothing, matters more at winning wars than logistics

        Says who? Morale is #1, even in conventional war, but even more so in the unconventional combat that's been popular lately.

    • by PCM2 (4486)

      All the high tech drones ... doesn't mean much if your soldiers starve or run out of water.

      No, I'm pretty sure the drones still mean something, especially if you can launch them from a ship offshore and pilot them from an Air Force base in Colorado.

  • Judo (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo (965947) on Sunday June 03, 2012 @06:16PM (#40204413) Homepage Journal

    Unfortunately, at the weapons show, more of the attendees were probably interested in ways to keep this product out of the hands of "certain people" than buying it for themselves.

    • Re:Judo (Score:5, Insightful)

      by girlintraining (1395911) on Sunday June 03, 2012 @07:11PM (#40204733)

      Unfortunately, at the weapons show, more of the attendees were probably interested in ways to keep this product out of the hands of "certain people" than buying it for themselves.

      There's no reason for that. We've offered to assist in the setup nuclear power plants to North Korea in exchange for discontinuing their weapons development program. If we're willing to do that, a few water purifiers is hardly anything to worry about. Besides, I think fresh water is a better diplomat than a Predator drone.

      • Re:Judo (Score:5, Interesting)

        by PopeRatzo (965947) on Sunday June 03, 2012 @09:14PM (#40205345) Homepage Journal

        We've offered to assist in the setup nuclear power plants to North Korea in exchange for discontinuing their weapons development program.

        and

        Besides, I think fresh water is a better diplomat than a Predator drone.

        Of course it is, but the people at that weapons show are in the war business. They're not looking for "diplomacy" or "development" or "peace".

        Their business is killing, and as the famous Stoic philosopher Lt. Aldo "The Apache" Raine said, "brother, business is a-boomin'."

        • Every soldier who dies of thirst is one less solder who can die from the latest missile technology.

          I'd think arms dealers would be highly supportive of water purifiers.

        • Their business is killing,

          Their business is protecting and saving lives, which sometimes means having overwhelming firepower. Mutually Assured Destruction was the most successful peace policy ever. Don't assume that everything we send into a war zone is meant to either kill, or die. That kind of thinking is 20+ years out of date.

          • by PopeRatzo (965947)

            Their business is protecting and saving lives

            You know who "protects and saves lives"? Medical personnel, doctors, nurses, firemen, police. Armies do the bidding of the most powerful, which almost always means some very bad days for regular people.

            You can dress it up with all the lovely rhetoric you want, but if you listen to the sales pitches, read the brochures, of all that great "protecting, life-saving" hardware at a weapons show, you'll hear about killing people, hurting people, depriving them of life

            • You know who "protects and saves lives"? Medical personnel, doctors, nurses, firemen, police.

              Your police must be magical. Where I live, they kill people for holding things like screwdrivers, bags of skittles, or picket signs.

              Armies do the bidding of the most powerful, which almost always means some very bad days for regular people.

              If by "regular people" you mean "armed insurgents", yes.

              You can dress it up with all the lovely rhetoric you want, but if you listen to the sales pitches, read the brochures, of all that great "protecting, life-saving" hardware at a weapons show, you'll hear about killing people, hurting people, depriving them of life.

              "Please hold still while I murder you with this water purifier."

              We say it to make the young men and women who do the fighting and end up dying or being mutilated feel better,

              Er, people who are dead can't be made to feel better... or anything for that matter.

              but all that business about "protecting liberty" and "fighting for our freedom" is just a canard.

              Yeah, it's true... everyone loves America. We're like a big purple dinosaur that sings love songs in the international community. No need to defend ourselves... who'd ever atta

  • by TorrentFox (1046862) on Sunday June 03, 2012 @06:21PM (#40204451)

    Is a droid that understands the binary language of moisture vaporators!

  • by matunos (1587263) on Sunday June 03, 2012 @06:27PM (#40204481)

    ...the stillsuit or the lasgun?

  • Correction (Score:4, Insightful)

    by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Sunday June 03, 2012 @06:32PM (#40204519) Homepage
    Perhaps a correction to the headline is in order:

    The Nicest Guy At the World's Largest Weapons Expo

    If you want to publicise the work of some actual nice guys, what about those people who go into warzones simply to provide this kind of facility (some even do it for free, the gall of these people!) to those who are suffering because they happen to live in the middle of a war they want no part in?

  • by Osgeld (1900440) on Sunday June 03, 2012 @07:08PM (#40204705)

    fuck it tapped 100 a few times here in the states last week, besides why is this guy nice? Cause he wants to sell technology to any army that pays him enough, well just call him Jesus fucking Saint Humanity!

  • by jklovanc (1603149) on Sunday June 03, 2012 @10:01PM (#40205525)

    It is funny how people think that all military forces are bad. While it would be nice if there was absolutely no military forces in the world but that will never happen. It is human nature to want something someone else has and to want to protect what one has (which can soon morph into we have these forces and they have what we want). In every conflict there is at least one aggressor and at least one defender. In general I side with the defenders; taking land by force is wrong. In my mind the defending force are the good guys. They too need armaments and ammunition which is why I see not issues with military expos.

    Whether or not a military force is a good or bad this is a moot point. It is how the people, through their elected officials, use their military forces on other countries that matters. As examples: North Korea, pretty bad; Canada damn good.

    • and most military expos are not about selling protection to democracies.

      selling land mines has no legitimate military purpose. we still do it.

      selling weapons to dictators has no legitimate diplomatic purpose, other than enabling one to kill a bunch of people from another. in the cold war, you could argue that was meaningful. the cold war is over. what is the argument now?

      • by Hartree (191324)

        "selling land mines has no legitimate military purpose."

        Nonsense. If I'm defending a fixed position, I want a line of mines in front of me. Why? So it's harder for any attackers to overrun us, and kill not only us but whoever/whatever we're trying to protect. Mines are very effective for that.

        They have absolutely legitimate military use. The problem is when they're left behind and kill civilians. Or worse, when a regime plants them throughout farm fields so they can't be worked as a way to cause starvation.

        • "selling land mines has no legitimate military purpose."

          Nonsense. If I'm defending a fixed position, I want a line of mines in front of me. Why? So it's harder for any attackers to overrun us, and kill not only us but whoever/whatever we're trying to protect. Mines are very effective for that.

          They have absolutely legitimate military use. The problem is when they're left behind and kill civilians. Or worse, when a regime plants them throughout farm fields so they can't be worked as a way to cause starvation.

          I'm very much with GP and against you on this. "The problem is when they're left behind and kill civilians" is true but a smoke screen. They're pretty much ALWAYS left behind where they kill and maim innocents, for generations. They take minutes to deploy but years to clear. You deploy now with the full expectation that you will be committing egregious human rights violations in the future. Where we draw the line between acceptable and unacceptable behaviour is obviously different in peacetime and at

          • by Hartree (191324) on Monday June 04, 2012 @09:27AM (#40208561)

            Since 2004 the US has been eliminating the "dumb" antipersonnel mines in its arsenal. The ones left are electrically detonated and deactivate at a preset time, or ultimately when the batteries run out.

            Mines are so useful that the reality is, they will be used. And manufactured locally if they have to be.

            If you make it impossible for countries that can make the mines with time deactivation (or degradable components for the same end) to sell them, then what you will have for sale are those made by those who don't care. (And if you say it would be a war crime, I suggest you look at how many heads of state have been convicted since Nuremburg. One. Charles Taylor, And that's just in the past few weeks)

            That's very good for saying "it's not my fault", but it's hiding your head in the sand as far as reducing the number of situations like the former Yugoslavia and large numbers of long term mines being abondoned.

            As I said before, I greatly support putting deactivation systems in mines, and supporting it with treaties restricting the sale and manufacture of dumb mines. That may have some effect as it will mean the more modern type mines will be the ones openly sold.

            But a blanket ban just leads to those who won't follow it making their own, or buying them under the table. And guess what. Those won't be self deactivating because dumb mines are dirt cheap to make once you've spent the money to set up a production line.

            So, are you for something that might reduce the problem? Or are you for something that probably won't, but will let some people/countries say "it's not my fault"?

      • by jklovanc (1603149)

        and most military expos are not about selling protection to democracies.

        Care to cite any studies on that? Buyers from democratic and non-democratic nations around the world attend these expos. Whether the nation is democratic or not they still need defense What I am trying to say is it how the weapons are used that is the issue..

        selling land mines has no legitimate military purpose. we still do it.

        There are at least three countries that would not exist without land mines; South Korea, Taiwan and Israel. Land mines have the legitimate purpose of enabling a smaller force to defend against a larger force. Used properly land mines are an asset. Used

  • by 1s44c (552956) on Monday June 04, 2012 @08:25AM (#40207921)

    ..tries to sell water purifier.

    He considers the target market and decides to try and sell to people who work in places where there is a shortage of water.

    What's the story again?

  • When I look at the images, it might be great for large amount of people. However for the soldier in the field there is the Lifesaver. Also available in bottle and in jerrycan sizes.

    The HUGE advantage is that it can be easily used, does not need any maintenance and can be used by anybody. Yes, larger ones are available as well.

If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts. -- Albert Einstein

Working...