Over the past decade, the United States military has shifted the way it fights its wars, deploying more technological systems in the battlefield than human forces. Today there are more than 7,000 drones and 12,000 ground robots in use by all branches of the military. These systems mean less deaths for US troops, but increased killings with less political risk for the United States. With lethal drone strikes being carried out in secret by the CIA and occurring outside of declared war zones such as Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, the use of robots and drones evokes serious questions about the operations of the United States and what this means as more and more autonomy is developed for these technologies...
Just as mobile phones and wireless capability dramatically changed the way technology interacts with modern society, drones--or 'Unmanned Aerial Vehicles'--are set to become the next major influence in technocratic life, directly impacting and seriously expanding the already extensive capabilities of surveillance. Rise Of The Machines takes a look at already developed drone technology and how governments, military and even civilians are rushing to adopt the gadgets which can be purchased off the shelf for just a few hundred dollars and controlled by already existing smart phones. So what will a world of drones look like? And what of the many, serious, unexplored implications on how society will function in a world of drones?
Atomic Confessions investigates the devastating effects of atomic weapons testing carried out in Australia by the British military during the 1950s. Members of the Australian Army, Air Force and Navy detail former top-secret aspects of the tests, while prominent Aboriginal Elders describe the real impacts on the ground. Using archival film and photographs, as well as eye witness accounts, Atomic Confessions chronicles the consequences of nuclear testing imposed on the Australian people, and the land, showing that these tests are not just skeletons of the past...
Robot Wars visits companies in the United States that are producing robots for the military to disarm bombs, fly unmanned aircraft (drones), withstand repeated attacks and even choose targets and fire without any human intervention. The rapid development of autonomous robots and the use of them right now is surging ahead at a crazy rate, all with little regard to ethical and psychological questions, concerns about technological privilege and other obvious impacts. With military robots currently being operated using video game controllers, is the line being blurred between fantasy and reality?
Between 1964 and 1973 the United States conducted a secret war in Laos -- dropping over 2 million tons of bombs, making it the most heavily bombed country in history. Millions of 'cluster bombs' did not explode when dropped, leaving the country massively contaminated with "bombies" which are as dangerous now from when they fell over 30 years ago. Bombies documents unexploded cluster bombs through the personal experiences of a group of Laotians and foreigners who go about dismantling the bombs. These weapons are still a standard part of the United States military arsenal and were recently dropped in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq...
When the United States devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki with nuclear weapons in 1945, the bombs dropped were code-named 'Fat Man' and 'Little Boy' -- as part of the new propaganda campaign to create acceptable images of war, propagating the illusion that the world should live securely with nuclear weapons, and that it is the only way to 'enable peace'. By using reassuring and even soothing language, this new kind of propaganda spread all over the world...
On 8th August 1945, the United States dropped its second atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan, three days after the bombing of Hiroshima. The city was a veritable apocalyptic vision, devastated by this new type of weapon. Nagasaki -- The Horror Of Fat Man documents the memories of survivors, both Japanese civilians and Western Prisoners Of War, as they relate the morbid aftermath of the bombings, the United States occupation, and the segregation that still effects fallout victims to this day.
For the people of Vietnam, war is not over. Three generations on from 1975, babies are still being born with serious birth defects and genetic abnormalities -- the legacy of the United States intensive use of chemical weapons. To this day, it is still unknown just how many have been affected. In 2005, on the eve of a historic lawsuit to determine the culpability of the United States, this film directly portrays the powerful effects of Agent Orange.
John Pilger travels to Cambodia to investigate how the United Nations has allowed the Khmer Rouge regime to grow stronger. Why has Pol Pot's organisation grown stronger and more menacing since the arrival of the UN? Cambodia -- Return To Year Zero looks behind the façade of the so-called 'peace process' and asks: Has the unthinkable for Cambodia at last been made acceptable for the rest of the world?
Agent Orange was the codename for one of the herbicides and defoliants used by the United States military as part of its chemical warfare program--Operation Ranch Hand--which ran for ten years during the Vietnam War from 1961 to 1971. During this time, the military sprayed nearly 80,000,000 litres of toxic chemical and defoliants mixed with jet fuel in Vietnam, eastern Laos and parts of Cambodia. The supposed goal being to destroy forested and rural land, depriving guerrillas of cover and to induce forced-draft-urbanisation, destroying the ability of peasants to support themselves, forcing them to flee to the cities dominated by US forces, depriving the guerrillas of their rural support base and food supply...
Mr Nixon's Secret Legacy covers the absurdity of the supposed logic behind "Mutual Assured Destruction" or MAD--a doctrine of military strategy and the national security policy of the United States during the cold war, circa 1975. During this time, MAD is supposedly disassembled, but replaced with a strategy called "Counterforce". This film investigates the propositions of "Counterforce", questioning the rhetoric of executing a "flexible, acceptable nuclear war."
After the 1973 Paris Agreement and military ceasefire, more than 70,000 soldiers and civilians had been killed in Vietnam. Vietnam -- Still America's War investigates how the Vietnamese populace still have to contend with mines and other legacies of the war, even after the ceasefire, and after the war...