Now it appears that the Americans have found a way to use them for assassinations.
Active RFID chips contain a battery and can transmit a radio signal. Passive RFID chips can be much smaller because they do not have a battery. They remain inactive until ‘tickled’ by a radio wave. They then send back an identification code. The smallest RFID chips can only be read from a few feet away.
An article in Wired suggests that the Americans have created passive RFID chips capable of being read from up to a mile away.
If this is true, and not just disinformation, they are giving these chips to local agents in Afghanistan, who are paid to plant them next to buildings used by the Taliban
Then a drone comes along, scanning the ground. When it detects the tag it delivers a 500kg bomb. Of course, the tag only identifies a building, it does not show who is in the building.
These assassination tags appear to be perfect weapon. They are low cost, highly targeted and effective. Supposedly, the Taliban are so alarmed about the tags that they have shot over 100 people they have suspected of being taggers.
What could possible go wrong? Let me suggest a few possibilities.
The agent plants the tag next to the houses of people he doesn’t like, or a competitor in the drug business.
The Taliban get their hands on a tag and put it on the roof of a girls school.
Killing people from a place of safety may cut the casualty figures but it does not win wars. At some point the poor bloody infantry has to go in with a bayonet, even if some of them get killed. As Kipling said, ‘Blood is the price of admiralty.’
The Song Of The Dead - by Rudyard KiplingWe have fed our sea for a thousand years
And she calls us, still unfed,
Though there's never a wave of all her waves
But marks our English dead:
We have strewn our best to the weed's unrest,
To the shark and the sheering gull.
If blood be the price of admiralty,
Lord God, we ha' paid in full!