Missiles ‘could be fired to protect Olympics from terrorist attack’

Missiles could be fired in London to protect the Olympic Games from terrorist attack, Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, announced yesterday.

Missiles could be fired in London to protect the Olympic Games from terrorist attack, Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, announced yesterday.

Mr Hammond said “all necessary measures” would be taken to ensure security at the games, including “appropriate ground to air defences”, if such action is recommended by the military.

The announcement came as it emerged that America had repeatedly raised concerns about security at the Games and was preparing to send 1,000 agents to protect American citizens. Mr Hammond was pressed on the subject of Olympics security in the House of Commons by his predecessor, Dr Liam Fox.

Dr Fox, who resigned following allegations about his links to Adam Werritty, his self-styled adviser, said surface-to-air missiles had been used at Olympic Games since Atlanta in 1996.

He asked Mr Hammond to confirm that “there will be a full level of multi-layered defence and deterrence for the London Games, including ground-to-air based missiles in London”.

The Defence Secretary replied: “All necessary measures to ensure the security and safety of the London Olympic Games will be taken, including, if the advice of the military is that it is required, appropriate ground-to-air defences.”

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Are video games just propaganda and training tools for the military?

It’s a shadowy and lucrative relationship. But just how close are video-game developers with various military outfits? And how does it affect the games we play?

It’s a shadowy and lucrative relationship. But just how close are video-game developers with various military outfits? And how does it affect the games we play?

It’s Monday night, the kids are in bed, and I am trying to kill Osama bin Laden. I stalk through his Abbottabad compound and I aim my rifle at the first person I see, only to discover he’s my brother in arms, aka “OverdoseRocks”. So I walk downstairs into a prayer room, at which point my gun accidentally goes off. Then the mission is over. We were victorious.

Next, I join US servicemen during the 2007 surge in Iraq. For about three minutes I kick about a palm-lined boulevard, strafing apartment buildings. I am ambushed. In my dying moments, I am presented with an advert for a game in which I can embody a cheetah and kill an antelope, but I have had enough bloodshed for one evening.

I have been on the Kuma Games site, an online entertainment developer and, according to reports on Iranian television, an international distributor of military propaganda.… Read more

In Afghan Civilian Killing Rampage, U.S. Soldier May Have Gone ‘Berserk’

The U.S. soldier who allegedly attacked and killed 16 Afghan civilians Sunday may have experienced a relatively rare state of mental derangement characterized by a blind killing rage, a disregard of pain and danger, and a total disconnection from his fellow troops, military mental health specialists said.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. soldier who allegedly attacked and killed 16 Afghan civilians Sunday may have experienced a relatively rare state of mental derangement characterized by a blind killing rage, a disregard of pain and danger, and a total disconnection from his fellow troops, military mental health specialists said.

Officials in Afghanistan and at the Pentagon released scant details about the alleged shooter’s background. He had served three tours in Iraq, they said, and arrived in southern Afghanistan in January to help support a small special forces team in Kandahar.

It’s not clear what might have ignited his rage, said Dr. Jonathan Shay, a clinical psychiatrist who for decades has treated combat veterans with mental trauma. But he said what is known of the incident fits a pattern in which someone literally goes berserk.

Shay currently advises the Army and Marine Corps on leadership, trauma and mental health issues, and is the author of several books including “Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character.”

Berserkers, he told The Huffington Post, “have this curious quality of icy and flaming rage; all they want to do is destroy, they want nothing to get in the way of their unmediated destruction and killing, and they are truly insensitive to pain.… Read more

Seeking the roots of a U.S. soldier’s shooting rampage

In the search for an explanation of why a U.S. soldier left his base in Afghanistan at night and killed 16 civilians in their homes, some experts have raised the possibility that mental illness or a brain injury played a role in the massacre.

In the search for an explanation of why a U.S. soldier left his base in Afghanistan at night and killed 16 civilians in their homes, some experts have raised the possibility that mental illness or a brain injury played a role in the massacre.

“We’re going to look into all of that,” General John Allen, who commands U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, told CNN on Monday, declining to comment further on the mental state of the soldier suspected in Sunday’s attack. A U.S. official told Reuters that the staff sergeant had suffered a traumatic brain injury in a vehicle rollover in 2010 in Iraq, and was treated and returned to duty.

Experts caution against jumping to conclusions, but two facts are known. This was the sergeant’s fourth deployment. And the risk of mental illnesses such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety-related disorders is generally higher during subsequent deployments than during a soldier’s first.

“The more exposure there is to trauma the worse it’s going to be,” said Dr.… Read more