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Army Robots Carry Their Weight

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Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Future Combat Systems
Ann R. Thryft   8/26/2013 1:30:12 PM
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Sad to say I think you're right about that, Rob.



Rob Spiegel
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Re: Future Combat Systems
Rob Spiegel   8/22/2013 3:55:04 PM
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Yes, it is. I think there is a strong population that has a vested interest in making sure the defense budget does not shrink. You can count a good number of politicians in that group.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Future Combat Systems
Ann R. Thryft   8/21/2013 7:31:10 PM
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Thanks for sharing that chart, Rob.It's pretty scary.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Future Combat Systems
Rob Spiegel   8/21/2013 6:31:31 PM
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That's my understanding, Ann. In this Washinton Post story, it shows defense spending on a steady rise with the exception of the years immediately following the end of the Soviets. the chart also shows how the spending on Iraq and Afghanistan come from outside the defense budget.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/01/07/everything-chuck-hagel-needs-to-know-about-the-defense-budget-in-charts/

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Future Combat Systems
Ann R. Thryft   8/19/2013 6:30:35 PM
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If that's the case, Rob, then military budgets must be continually increasing over time. I had thought it was more of a 3 steps forward during war and 1 or 2 steps back after a war winds down kind of pattern, but from what you're saying it sounds like an X steps forward pattern all the time.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Future Combat Systems
Rob Spiegel   8/14/2013 12:17:56 PM
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I know that the military fights cutbacks when wars draw to a close. In the recent two wars, the efforts were not part of the budget. So the fact that the wars end will probably not affect military budgets.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Future Combat Systems
Ann R. Thryft   7/15/2013 1:59:17 PM
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I think you have an interesting point there, Rob. R&D budgets usually increase when we have a lot of soldiers deployed. Whether they then decrease when deployments are withdrawn I don't recall.



Rob Spiegel
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Re: Future Combat Systems
Rob Spiegel   7/15/2013 1:54:52 PM
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Ann, it will be interesting to see if the R&D on robots increases as we pull out of Afghanistan. I doubt if military budgets will shrink much. Money we're not spending in Iraq and Afghanistan may go to R&D.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Future Combat Systems
Ann R. Thryft   7/15/2013 1:07:23 PM
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Thanks, Chuck, I was trying to remember what other robot makers were early in the game. iRobot is definitely one--they made military-style 'bots long before the Roomba. Their 510 PackBot was the first robot to enter the Fukushima No.1 nuclear reactor buildings after the disaster. And QinetiQ is another--their bots were used in the Twin Towers after 9-11.

Charles Murray
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Re: Future Combat Systems
Charles Murray   7/12/2013 6:52:02 PM
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Yes, Ann, Boston Dynamics and, as I recall, iRobot (maker of Roomba), got into the FCS picture, too.

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