May 20, 2024

Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen H. Hicks briefs media during a press briefing at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., Sept. 22, 2021. (DoD photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Brittany A. Chase)

On Tuesday, the Vandenberg Space Base witnessed a missile test conducted by the US Air Force. The test involved an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile, which possesses the capacity to carry a nuclear warhead.

Amidst the backdrop of escalating tensions between the US, Russia, and China, US Colonel Brian Titus emphasized that the test showcased “the preparedness of US nuclear forces and our confidence in the efficacy of our national nuclear deterrent.”

General T. Bussier echoed this sentiment, stating, “This test launch reaffirms what our allies and partners already understand – our combat-ready nuclear forces stand ever vigilant, ready to safeguard the United States, anytime, anywhere.”

Simultaneously, the Pentagon is prioritizing the development of an extensive military network centered on Artificial Intelligence. The aim is to connect autonomous systems, remotely piloted aircraft, and ships within the next two years, primarily to address perceived threats emanating from China.

These developments are outlined in a report by the “Wall Street Journal,”1 which references an address given by United States Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks on Wednesday.2 In the address, Hicks emphasizes the necessity of innovation “in this enduring age of strategic competition” with the Peoples Republic of China. She states that the operations of the Biden government in this field is to “enable and unleash the potential of the US and partner innovators”.

Through the rest of the address, in the context of the threat that the PRC poses to US interests, Hicks outlines the steps towards investing in AI to bolster the US military forces. The speech was riddled with hegemonic appeals to the qualities “embedded in American people”, historical revision of the events of World War II, and the role of these “innate” qualities in the history of the US in its imperialist wars.

Under the age-old pretext of “deterrence” the new development that takes the forefront is the so-called Department of Defense Replicator initiative. Replicator will provide for “more ships, more missiles, and more forces” which are characterized by their autonomous systems.

All this, under the presidency of the Democrat, Biden, who ran as the “hope for the American people” to return us to “normalcy”. A people who, in the midst of a deep capitalist crisis resulting in rising food prices, unaffordable homes, healthcare, and education, homelessness, inflation, joblessness, poverty, racism, misery, and an overall decaying society find themselves locked in the gears of a two-party system, which reproduces this brutality.

Footnotes

  1. Pentagon Plans Vast AI Fleet to Counter China Threat. https://www.wsj.com/politics/national-security/pentagon-plans-vast-ai-fleet-to-counter-china-threat-4186a186
  2. Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks’ Remarks: “Unpacking the Replicator Initiative” at the Defense News Conference (As Delivered). https://www.defense.gov/News/Speeches/Speech/Article/3517213/deputy-secretary-of-defense-kathleen-hicks-remarks-unpacking-the-replicator-ini/