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Posted on Sunday, September 11 - 2005

" Moving an elephant atom by atom costs a lot more than moving the elephant in one pre-assembled lump.And that is what the US Army’s Project Walrus is about – putting together an entire action unit of war machinery, with all the wiring and plumbing preinstalled, and placing it ..."

The US Army contemplates building an aircraft the size of a football field

Moving an elephant atom by atom costs a lot more than moving the elephant in one pre-assembled lump.And that is what the US Army’s Project Walrus is about – putting together an entire action unit of war machinery, with all the wiring and plumbing preinstalled, and placing it in the most strategic place.Whilst this would completely rewrite the way that war is conducted, the Walrus - a massive lozenge-shaped blimp the size of a football field capable of transporting 500 tons at a time - could offer solutions to myriad peacetime problems, opening land-locked countries to trade, enabling heavyconstruction materials to be delivered into urban centres with minimum disruption, freeing our highways of high volume, heavy loads, offering a more robust and agile air transportation network capable of absorbing disruptions due to weather or attack.

Indeed, business logistics could again be completely rethought and streamlined because many physical transportation limits would no longer apply once a fleet of commercial walruses became available. The walrus does not require an airstrip and can land on water or on open ground. The military offers society many innovations –unlimited budgets buy cubic brainpower to dissolve massive problems – this is the good that comes from such intensive endeavours as war. This is the positive to the negative known as collateral damage. Call it collateral betterment … spontaneous transformation of theway we do things. Before September 11, the US military budget was in the vicinity of US$500 billion, and it’s now a LOT more. And with a few years of very high budget requirements under the American public’s belt, and no end in sight, everybody is looking for a better, more efficient, way of running its own “virtual nation” of soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. Lots more money is required and the US Military is seeking the most effective and judicious uses of its budget. One of the biggest, most complex and most costly aspects of the wars in far off countries is logistics. America has 140,000 soldiers on the ground in Iraq and 10,000 in Afghanistan and needs to police around 171,599 square miles, (444,439 square kilometers) of Iraq and 251,825 square miles (652,225 square kilometers) of Afghanistan. Not only did it moveth......


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