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GPS Dud Munitions

Large and small munitions rigged with GPS locators
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(+1, -5)
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I annotated someone else's idea with this one. The war in Iraq has been dragging on and on. With no end in sight to the sectarian violence, some would have you believe that there is no defeating an enemy that uses guerrilla tactics in an urban setting filled with innocent civilians.

However, in order for the enemy to do us harm, they must be armed. The streets in Iraq are littered with I.E.D.'s, but where are they getting all these explosives? The answer is: who cares? They have to have them. We can use this to defeat them.

We can provide the explosives, the ammunition. We can inundate the streets of Iraq with large quantities of dud ammunitions that are identical to the real thing. We can insert, in place of the gunpowder perhaps, GPS locators or strong RF tags.

The munitions could also be rigged to ruin the weapons used to fire them.

This would allow us to trace the paths of these munitions. We can know the distribution routes of these arms, which would no doubt be the same routes of the normal, lethal munitions.

We could know the supply routes of the terrorists, and we could also identify weapons cache locations.

Also, any dud explosives rigged as IED's would broadcast their location for easy identification and removal.

Of course, it probably wouldn't stop the attacks altogether. However, it would make the terrorists' lives that much more difficult. They would have to check every round to ensure authenticity, and while they're checking, we're dropping GPS-guided bombs to the beacons they hold in their hands.

You would have to have protocol for using these GPS coordinates as a basis for offensive strikes. Maybe after 10 or more devices are located within 100 sq ft, they become flagged as a weapons cache.

Holeinmysock, Aug 24 2007

Auto-detsruct ammunition Auto-destruct_20ammunition
This idea is redundant, at least in part, with the one linked. [bungston, Aug 24 2007]

Iraq corruption whistleblowers face penalties http://www.msnbc.ms...d/20430153/from/ET/
fraud exposers have been vilified, fired, or detained for weeks [nuclear hobo, Aug 25 2007]

signs of improvement http://www.fas.org/...dir/army/fm3-24.pdf
See appendix B, in particular. [pertinax, Aug 28 2007, last modified Aug 29 2007]

RFID them guns! RFID_20them_20guns
I've said it before, and I'll say it again, because even a bad solution is better than none. [ye_river_xiv, May 11 2008]


       //where are they getting all these explosives?//   

       My sister, who works for the US State Department, has been seconded to the UN, and otherwise knows what she is talking about, says they got them through a monumental screw-up. Weapons inspectors, sent in to count and account for various arsenals, cut the locks off weapons storage facilities, saw that the weapons were indeed there, and left without replacing the locks. The locals then walked in and helped themselves.
baconbrain, Aug 24 2007

       //We can provide the explosives, the ammunition.//   

       We (the US) have already supplied Iraq with tens of thousands of tons of munitions, first over the decades when Hussein was 'our boy' and we used him to fight a proxy war with Iran, then again when we failed to secure their weapons and ammunition after the invasion and most recently when some percentage of military suppiles to the Iraqi 'security forces' has gone 'missing'.   

       [baconbrain] a padlock is not exactly a high security device, especially when there are a few hundred thousand unemployed military types wandering the country ...   

       Someone defending their homeland from a foreign invasion could hardly be called a terrorist.
nuclear hobo, Aug 24 2007

       bacon, you're right! We did give them a lot of weapons. The foresight and wisdom of the US's foreign policy is tremendous. =/ The fact remains that it doesn't matter where the weapons come from. If my goal is to kill someone, a box of AK-47 ammunition is not going to get left where it lies. I'm going to pick it up.   

       Nuclear, Defending their homeland? Maybe so, that's what we WANT them to do. Kill the infidels, and praise Allah? More likely their goal.   

       Remember, the extremist muslims flew those two planes into OUR towers. It wasn't just an attack on America, it was an attack on my way of life. They want to destroy my culture AND my life simply because I do not wish to be a muslim. I will do everything possible to protect my life and the way I live it, even if that means invading YOUR country to do so. Islam is not a religion that tolerates. Convert or die as an infidel, it is in the koran on like every other page.
Holeinmysock, Aug 24 2007

       It's amazing that after 6 years, people still think they can make new contributions to this debate. Impressive too, how many change their minds, having been convinced by irrefutable arguments.
theircompetitor, Aug 24 2007

       Even mice and rats can sometimes distinguish between food left out intentionally in traps and food they can safely steal. It's a good thing these terrorists are less intelligent than small rodents, otherwise it might take years to beat them.
pertinax, Aug 24 2007

       You're completely right. I've never seen a mouse trap work. Matter of fact, I bet the mice are the terrorists. We'll never make it out alive.   

       You're comparing apples and oranges. If I put two identical rolls of toilet paper beside the toilet and one was a trap, would you even think to compare the two rolls? No, you would just grab one. It's not like you would actually put the munitions in the middle of a street in Iraq. You would introduce them into the black market as real munitions, ding dong.
Holeinmysock, Aug 24 2007

       //It's a good thing these terrorists are less intelligent than small rodents// Al Qaeda ran rings around the CIA on 9/11. With little more than stanley knives, they brought America to their knees.
As regards the idea of bugging weapons, this was frequently done by the SAS in Northern Ireland to undermine and defeat Sinn Fein/IRA.
xenzag, Aug 24 2007

       [Holeinmysock] has a point. I got a bit carried away there; I was reading //inundate the streets of Iraq// more literally than was intended. It makes more sense if you talk about introducing smaller volumes of this stuff, and doing so indirectly.
pertinax, Aug 24 2007

       i don't know what munitions are, but wouldn't it be helpful to have things that can make other things fly towards terrorist and sectarian violators at really high speed? I propose some sort of tube with some sort of mechanism to create a pressure differential, and a little moveable plug that then gets accelerated by this pressure differential. We could equip our guys with suchlike and then have them point it at the terrorists.   

       Ok, back from my trip. Earnest. These are people we are talking about, on both sides of the equation. So just as M16s are fired in both directions in this war, any other device can be made to work in both directions. The IEDs are your idea, already baked in the other direction: Soldiers in cars tend to have to use streets, so rig the street with a bomb, and wait for enough soldiers to accrete.   

       Also, your (and all 'to get all the terrorists, just do...') idea builds on the misguided precept that there is some tangible difference between 'terrorists' and other people, that would allow any exact differentiation between the two. Say, like apples and oranges. If terrorists were like apples, and other people like oranges, there might be some genius invention to, by one swift action, tell the 10k apples apart from the 10b oranges they are hiding under, worldwide.   

       But, alas, this is not so. Terrorists are, first and foremost, people. They terrorize other people for some goal, but they haven't done so since inception, and won't do so forever. Try giving out free Rolexes, to 'eliminate' wearers of, say, Swatches. This might work on an individual level, so A is now a wearer of a Rolex. But B might decide to get a Swatch now, because he notices that he would now be very singular in doing so....   

       Only a very small percentage, if any, of all terrorists find happiness in killing and maiming, the rest is doing it for some more abstract purpose. Notice the seeming abundance of terrorists in Iraq. Notice too, the seeming absence of terrorists in Switzerland. Now, for some weird reason, run your scheme in Switzerland. At first, there will just be collateral damage, but, slowly, you might be getting a few terrorists too. Dumb ones, to be sure, but terrorists nevertheless. They weren't before, but now they are, and dead ones shortly after. The smarter ones might just be carrying those rigged munitions into the Capitol, singly. Then you can only hope that the cruise missiles scrambling for the sudden upbuilding of a giant weapons cache have some no-go areas preprogrammed...
loonquawl, Aug 24 2007

       You are assuming that the ownership or acquisition of ammunition on the black market is definitive evidence of terrorist intent.   

       I don't think this is a valid assumption.   

       This is Iraq we are talking about. It not England, where personal firearm ownership is rare, or even Wisconsin where every household has a couple of hunting rifles, a crossbow and probably a katana.   

       Iraq is a country that has had no functional government for more than three years, and was already falling apart before that.   

       If I lived there I would own a gun. I would probably own several. I would also have a pretty good quantity of ammunition on hand.   

       I would probably also be a member of a neighborhood law and order organization.   

       I think this probably describes a lot of Mohammed Sixpacks there. He may have no intent of any violence against the US, or the official government, or even the rival soccer team from the next town, but he is probably armed. He very well might be a member of a local militia. But he is not a terrorist.   

       You need intent and actions, not just possession of tools.
Galbinus_Caeli, Aug 24 2007

       I agree with you galbinus. That's why this would be effective. Just because you have intel on WHERE the ammunition is doesn't mean you have to bomb that location. It does, however, give you information on locations that have the capability to harm your personnel. You can send people in, if they get fired upon, THEN you can attack. If GPS wouldn't work, then RF tags probably would.   

       Also, loon, to address the problems you presented. All carpenters need wood, but not all people do. Terrorists need weapons, but not all people do. I think if I was able to rig lumber to explode, I would kill a hell of a lot more carpenters, as opposed to doctors or race car drivers or people who don't use wood everyday. Get my drift?   

       All this idea would do is help narrow down where to put your soldiers. If there is no weapons in an area, why would you need soldiers there? It allows for a more efficient distribution of soldiers.   

       A munition is any type of equipment used in a war setting, most commonly used in context to weaponry.   

       //Only a very small percentage, if any, of all terrorists find happiness in killing and maiming, the rest is doing it for some more abstract purpose.//   

       uh, what? How can you say that? Dying for Allah sends a muslim straight to heaven with a bunch of virgins for their defiling. Who isn't happy with that?
Holeinmysock, Aug 25 2007

       [Holeinmysock] nobody is going to change your point of view, but it might behoove you to consider our long history in Iraq.   

       CIA ties to Saddam Hussein go back to at least 1958 when he was an assassin targeted to overthrow the existing Iraqi government. That support very likely led to his rise to leader of Iraq. In 1980 Iraq attacked Iran, so close to the end of the Iran Hostage crisis that one would be foolish not to suspect a US hand in the matter. In addition, the US supplied Iraq with chemical and possibly biological weapons that were used against both the Iranians and the Kurds.   

       After the end of the cold war (remember the peace dividend?), when the military industrial complex suddenly realized there was no profit in peace, Iraq was set up: the invasion of Kuwait, allegedly provoked by Kuwait slant drilling Iraqi oil, was green-lighted by US ambassador to Iraq April Gillespie.   

       After that very successful war, in which US corporations made huge profits selling munitions to "allies", we enacted sanctions that killed an estimated 500,000 to 1,000,000 children over the following decade. This was accompanied by regular bombing runs, propaganda campaigns, condoned black market oil sales, etc. No effort was made to rebuild Iraq or any of the vital civilian facilities such as water treatment plants, power generation facilities, etc., that were intentionally targeted and destroyed in direct violation of the Geneva Convention.   

       And this was all before the current “war”, and only about Iraq. We’ve meddled in the affair of numerous other countries in the region, playing one against another for various self-interested purposes. None of this excuses or justifies 9/11, but it goes some way towards explaining it. The culture you despise is very much a result of US action over the last half century or more.   

       Here’s another tidbit: Israel once funded Islamic fundamentalists in an effort to destabilize Arab states.
nuclear hobo, Aug 25 2007

       // You can send people in, if they get fired upon, THEN you can attack // If they fire at you, you can be pretty sure they've got weapons, no need for GPS.
marklar, Aug 26 2007

       //I would kill a hell of a lot more carpenters, as opposed to doctors or race car drivers or people who don't use wood everyday. Get my drift? // Drifting down a slippery slope there.   

       //If there is no weapons in an area, why would you need soldiers there? // - You mean no _tagged_ weapons. Ruanda proved there need not even be firearms for an awful massacre, and there are already enough explosives in circulation in Iraq to last into the next century at the current rate.   

       //Dying for Allah sends a muslim straight to heaven with a bunch of virgins for their defiling. Who isn't happy with that? // There would be a lot more dying going on if that was the singular explanation. Sure, they need a moral excuse to disinhibit themselves, but they would find such in any religion. The true motives behind the social networks that back up the bombers are mostly anything but religious, ranging from personal revenge to long term strategies.   

       To wrap it up:   

       Your idea is technically unsound, as every modification (GPS, RFID, Olfactory cues,...) has to be detectable and thereby is selfdefeating.   

       Your idea is morally unsound: supplying weapons to murderers + hardwiring collateral damage.   

       Your idea is socially unsound: Every dead terrorist is a martyr, and, any way you look at it (even the weird 'they like it' - view), martyrs tend to multiply.
loonquawl, Aug 27 2007

       I think the underestimation of the enemy lies in the 'inundate the streets' line; if there are suddenly large quantities of, say, ammunition mysteriously left lying around, that will inevitably arouse suspicion and be ineffective (or counterproductive). Hence my earlier sarcasm.   

       However if, say, one round in every hundred is rigged, or one weapon in twenty, and those rounds or weapons are introduced into circulation in a way that does not arouse suspicion, then it may be some time before anyone catches on, and during that time useful intelligence might be obtained. This would be useful as part of a wider policy of messing with the heads of the enemy and distinguishing between different kinds of 'they', which is something the American forces are getting better at (see link).
pertinax, Aug 28 2007

       From what I have read, most of the IEDs (I hate this term. These are mines.) in Iraq are constructed of modified artillery shells. These shells came from the disbanded Iraqi army, and they are thousands of these left unaccounted for.   

       Basically you take an artillery shell or two. Pull out the proximity fuse and replace with the receiver from a garage door opener, cell phone, or R/C car. Then you put the modified shell in a trash bag and leave it by the side of the road. Sit nearby with the transmitter, when your target drives by, hit the button.
Galbinus_Caeli, Aug 28 2007

       Clearly they would just yank the electronics and use them to build bomb fuses. Even I can see that.
GutPunchLullabies, Aug 28 2007

       Nuclear, I agree with everything you said, except for the I "hate" Islam part. I never said that I "despise" Islam, I despise people that try to blow me up. Regardless of what ANY religion teaches anyone, if someone tries to kill me, I despise them. It's called self-preservation, aptly defined as the innate desire to stay alive. I doubt I had to define that for you, but maybe for a few of the others.   

       To address Loon's arguments:   

       //Drifting down a slippery slope there.// What? Oh, that's under Ice Skating, we're talking about "-tagged-" munitions.   

       //Your idea is technically unsound, as every modification (GPS, RFID, Olfactory cues,...) has to be detectable and thereby is selfdefeating.//   

       Well, of course, it has to be detectable. How would WE find them otherwise? That's not the point. I'll address Lt. Frank and you here:   

       Do either one of you own guns? If you are military, you probably do own a weapon or two. How many times have you scanned your ammunition and/or firearm for unexpected RFs? Do you have the equipment at home to perform a RF scan? What frequencies would/could you scan? Also, ever fired a round that was defective? If you type "defective ammunition" into Google, you get 364,000 hits. It happens. It's not common, but it does happen. Do you think it would cause you to scan the rest of your munitions for unexpected RFs?   

       It would take plenty of time for them to realize what was happening and even MORE time to scan their munitions once they realized it.   

       //Your idea is morally unsound: supplying weapons to murderers + hardwiring collateral damage. //   

       The idea name is GPS -DUD- Munitions.   

       //Your idea is socially unsound: Every dead terrorist is a martyr, and, any way you look at it (even the weird 'they like it' - view), martyrs tend to multiply.//   

       I won't argue with that. Let them. We can fight in Iraq forever as long as they don't kill us in the USA. However, I would say that there IS a finite number of suicide bombers in the world.
Holeinmysock, Aug 28 2007

       //We can fight in Iraq forever as long as they don't kill us in the USA//   

       Oh my god what an enraging statement that is. A few suicide bombers, and the whole nation of regular folks is expendable? Regular mangling and killing of our selfless young folks is acceptable forever?
GutPunchLullabies, Aug 28 2007

       //if someone tries to kill me, I despise them//   

       Who tried to kill you?
nuclear hobo, Aug 28 2007

       Back to Dud Munitions:   

       In WWII, a US bomber was hit by flak 9 times. Amazingly, none of the shells went off. When the plane got back to base, they found a note inside one of the shells from a forced laborer in a German munitions factory who had intentionally left out the explosives as a way to aid the allies.
nuclear hobo, Aug 28 2007

       Awesome story about the dud flak shells!   

       And no one tried to kill me, hence the "if". GutPunch, everyone keeps putting words in my mouth. I never said I wanted to continue killing OUR soldiers by forever sending them into harm's way. Oh, and "a few suicide bombers"??? Does that mean two or three? That, to me, is "enraging". Do you have any idea how many suicide bombers have blown themselves up in Iraq alone? I can tell you it is quite more than "a few". Sending our entire nation of regular folks seems ridiculous to me, I think that's a bad idea.   

       About my comment: "finite number of suicide bombers", that was half jest and half serious. They kill themselves, and in doing so reduce their numbers. I know that they recruit more naive people to carry out their terrible agendas. Eventually, the people that are willing to kill themselves will all be dead. Given that it will take a long time, but they can't convince everyone to blow themselves up.   

       If you think that Iran won't step into the power void in Iraq if we just get up and leave, you're mistaken. If there is power to be had, there are people willing to take it.   

       Let's see, fight suicide bombers indefinitely, or fight a maniacal Iranian president who has nuclear capability, perhaps leading to nuclear war.   

       Oh, idea. We should pit North Korea and Iran against each other. That might give us time to tactfully exit Iraq and give the Iraqi gov't enough time to become self-sufficient. Nuclear, what do you think about that?
Holeinmysock, Aug 30 2007

       //fight suicide bombers indefinitely//   

       You've missed the point entirely. If the cause is removed, the symptoms will be eliminated. What is the cause? US imperialism in the Middle East (and elsewhere).   

       Those are not our countries, that is not our oil, and problems there can be easily and readily traced directly to our political, economic and military intervention there.   

       It is no secret that Bin Laden was armed and trained by the CIA to use guerrilla against the Soviets in Afghanistan.   

       What goes around, comes around.
nuclear hobo, Aug 30 2007

       I very much agree that you have missed the point entirely. Your point of view is so narrow that you actually misunderstood my reference to the vast non-suicide-bomber majority in Iraq as a reference to he population of our country. I was pointing out the devastating effect war has on the civilian population of the country where it is being performed.   

       Is it so hard to understand/believe that Iraq is populated by civilians, just like every other country ever? Yes, by percentage, the number of suicide bombers is low.
GutPunchLullabies, Aug 30 2007

       //This randomness was genetically programmed by nature to ensure that no matter what happens, at least some will survive. Many experts believe the same is true of humans... you've got a damn puppet.//   

       wait... what? how does supposed "random response" generate puppets? i would think the "random response" would push us away from being puppets on a large scale. isn't that what you just said?
k_sra, Aug 30 2007

       I should be able to avoid the temptation of adding to this, in true pedant fashion. But I'm not. I have a problem. Operation Desert-Whatever the fuck is not an invasion of morals. It is a holocaust. It is racism.
monk, Aug 31 2007

       Hmmm, I don't think I've missed the point. I don't really understand exactly what you mean, GutPunch. I never made a reference to the percentage of suicide bombers in the population. Of course, there are civilians in the population. Maybe the misunderstanding is the definition of "low" percentage of suicide bombers. How many suicide bombers, in any given population, do you consider "normal"? There have been approximately 1,400 suicide bombings in Iraq since 2004. Relatively low?   

       Even if there were NO suicide bombings before the US arrived, US troops are NOT the only targets.   

       I have already said that I do think that America has done some abhorrent things, but they're done. In a perfect world, we could extract ourselves from the Middle East forever, with no repercussions. However, Islam and other religions have been at war for centuries. The USA is far from the cause of the bitterness. It is a conflict of beliefs. Followers of Non-Islamic religions refuse to be converted, and because of that, they deserve death and are worthy of hell. Why do you insist on defending that belief? How will you protect your way of life, your freedom of religion, that Islam believes you shouldn't have?   

       You can break this down: There will always be conflict if a person believes they must kill another to go to Heaven.   

       Oh, and btw, I am not in the least bit upset. I do love to debate, and sometimes I play devils advocate to continue the conversation.
Holeinmysock, Aug 31 2007

       Most things that touch nerves also hold some truth. For example, if I said that operation desert storm were utterly the fault of penguins and clowns, I don't think that would offend anyone who knew how ludacris and far from possible that is. //Directing all the blame in the world toward us is not fair, and frankly I'm tired of playing the part of global scape-goat.//   

       Oops, I shouldn't have done that. There'll be hell to pay now.
monk, Aug 31 2007


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