Britain’s top general reminds us what Remembrance is really about: creating a robot army

A large Rememberance poppy on the front of a building
Joe Glenton

Britain’s top general used the Remembrance period to remind us what really matters at this time of year: building an army of robots.

General Sir Nick Carter, who is head of the British military, told reporters on Remembrance Sunday that a future armed force could well include up to thirty thousand robot soldiers by the 2030s.

I mean, I suspect we could have an army of 120,000, of which 30,000 might be robots, who knows?

Carter also raised future funding for war:

Clearly, from our perspective, we are going to argue for something like that [a multi-year budget] because we need long-term investment because long-term investment gives us the opportunity to have confidence in modernisation

He also warned that the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic may have elevated the risk of a new world war:

We have to remember that history might not repeat itself but it has a rhythm and if you look back at the last century, before both world wars, I think it was unarguable that there was escalation which led to the miscalculation which ultimately led to war at a scale we would hopefully never see again

Climate poppies

Activists from Extinction Rebellion carried out a protest at the Cenotaph on 11 November. An army veteran and an NHS nurse put a climate-themed poppy wreath on the Cenotaph.

Right-wing outlets like Guido Fawkes attacked the protest as disrespectful, while the Telegraph and the Murdoch press highlighted criticism of it.

In a press release on the Extinction Rebellion website, British Army veteran Donald Bell said:

I took action today knowing that I would be criticised. I knew that I would be accused of being disrespectful and hated by many for speaking out in this way. Remembrance Day is never an easy time for veterans and this was not an easy decision for me to make. 

But I served this country, I served the people of this country and the action I took today is about just that. Unchecked climate change means a return to a world at war. I cannot stand by and let that happen. It is my duty to act.

Any protest at the Cenotaph will be likely sucked into the culture war. But while the XR action brought instant right-wing media attacks, the general’s lobbying for money and robot soldiers drew little media criticism.

Featured images via Wikimedia Commons/ HH58

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  • Show Comments
    1. Oh dear, Carter & his war-mongering ilk have had their bubble burst & now their knickers are in a twist just because others make an opposing point. Good luck to them. Health care in UKania & social services have been destroyed by Tory austerity & this cretin Cater wants soldier robots as if bombing drones aren’t enough. The (Royal?) British Legion (CEO on £150,000) have £millions stashed in off-shore bank accounts & here they are again flogging poppies using drone volunteers. All this memorial stuff is a money making scam.

    2. We don’t need robot soldiers, we need to end conflict. An army of ‘Terminators’ will only make ‘the perpetrators’ even less likely to have any conscience for their decision making. They don’t much care for the cannon fodder and the casualties of their actions now. Just as using drones has enabled the remote atrocities alread, robots will just embolden them further!

    3. War is the only thing Carter understands as a response to any problem. The centre of the poppie looks like a huge spycop robot camera informing “Central” of what to do, and from deep down in a bunker deep in the chalk facing the climate change question.
      Without fear these minds are lost souls.

    4. I’ve been thinking about the War Machine and this likely scenario of mutually assured destruction about our smaller planet starved for good sense. I’m glad Cater was open about what they are thinking. It means this is open for discussion. We still are a open society where dialogue is possible.
      But without the Spycop Media of Nothing New Ever Happens in Ideas.
      Ideas are real, and have consequences. Its not like a brick however, and it can be confusing as to why.

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