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Unwelcome advice?

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Science  28 Jun 2019:
Vol. 364, Issue 6447, pp. 1222-1225
DOI: 10.1126/science.364.6447.1222

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  • RE: JASON Group
    • Rodrick Wallace, Research Scientist, The New York State Psychiatric Institute

    The second entry of the timeline figure in Science’s recent hagiography of the Pentagon’s infamous Jason group [1] states that ‘Members develop concept of electronic barrier for Vietnam war’. The ‘Igloo White’ program of sensor-targeted airstrikes against North Vietnamese supply lines and related matters, involved considerable ethical and technical lapses. The Jason group’s techno-proletariat commitment of professional skills to a morally-bankrupt strategic disaster elicited worldwide condemnation and a series of demonstrations against individual Jason members that resulted in the current secrecy of the group’s membership.

    Jason’s efforts in Southeast Asia, in addition to violation of even the most elementary conception of professional ethics, were the subject of scathing rebuke by the US military strategist John Boyd, who, when put in command of Igloo White, immediately ordered its closure as wasteful and ineffective. John Boyd knew his business. He later went on to design the spectacularly successful ‘left hook’ strategy used by Coalition forces in the First Gulf War.

    In that regard, Jason’s ongoing commitment to US military efforts comes in the context of gross, ongoing, and repeated large-scale strategic failure. With the exception of the First Gulf War, the US has not had a significant military success since the Inchon landings of 1950. This in the face of current $750 billion annual expenditures that, following the works of Seymour Melman [2] and John...

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    Competing Interests: None declared.