Monday, May 12, 2008

Blessed are the Engineers.

Not many people know who this man is.

His name is David Salonimer, an engineer who worked at the U.S army's Redstone proving ground. He is the father of the modern laser guided bomb. You have probably never heard of him.

His idea, with the collaboration of others has probably done more to reduce human suffering in warfare than any of the peace treaties or political gestures at disarmament since the Second World War. By improving the accuracy of weapons by several orders of magnitude he has spared countless people from becoming collateral damage. He has also probably spared many soldiers and airmen from death and massively increased the military power of his country. In this age of military barbarism he has probably done the most to lessen the miseries of war.

Part of the reason that that area bombing was implemented was because the accuracy of bombing was so low that an inordinate number of large high explosive bombs had to be dropped on a target in order to achieve a probable hit. Given that pinpoint precision is now a real ability of armed forces, military forces have now begun to use the weapon of David, albeit in a smart form. The smart rock.

This guy is an all out legend, yet no one knows of him. As far as I understand it he has won a few engineering awards but that is it. Al Gore gets to win the Nobel peace prize for being an environmental windbag while the man who actually save lives gets passed over. I personally feel he comes second to Henry Dunant in reducing the suffering in war. The world honours its sinners and passes over its saints.