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The Big Girl by Steve Payne

Author says: what if Hillary Clinton had won the election? Would you want the "Big Girl" to answer that 3 AM phone call to the White House? Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s).

In 2016, May 24th: on this day first reports from the Middle East of massive civilian casualties caused by unmanned drone aircrafts were received in a 3 am telephone phone call to the White House. This nightmare scenario would test every ounce of the foreign policy experience of US President Hillary Rodham Clinton which the "Big Girl" had claimed during her election campaign eight long years before. Click to watch the Campaign Advert

The vision of developing smarter unmanned aircraft that could make life-and-death combat decisions on their own was a proposal from "Unmanned Aircraft Systems Flight Plan, 2009-2047", a thirty-eight year road map plan authored by the US Air Force during the Presidency of George W. Bush. At that time, drones had been remotely controlled from Air Force Personnel based in the contintental United States, mainly to provide ground troops with constant overhead video. And there seemed little imperative to change, with senior policy makers playing down the ultimate objective of drone autonomy "because it's a plan. And having a plan is better than not having a plan".

In 2010 the Defense Department had planned to spend $5.4 billion on unmanned aircraft development, procurement and operations - about $2.5 billion more than the military spent on UAVs during the 1990s. Then the world financial crisis had forced Clinton's Administration to take some brutal cuts in the military budget.

A decision had been made to accelerate the development of next-generation unmanned aircraft for a slate of new missions, including air strikes, aerial refueling, cargo transport and long-range bombing. Before Clinton's re-election, just one control crew - airborne or ground-based - was able to control multiple UAVs at once. Soon after the "Big Girl" returned to the White House, she signed the fateful order that provided executive approval for developing smarter unmanned aircraft that could make life-and-death combat decisions on their own.

Investigations at the Creech Air Force Base would later reveal that the drone had been "hacked" by al-qaeda operatives and that the decision to fire had not after all been a malfunction.

Author says content has been repurposed from the source content from an article in the March 2010 Edition of Popular Mechanics Magazine by Joe Pappalardo "Over the Horizon: as an unmanned revolution reshapes the U.S. Air Force, war, politics and budget crunches could drive the Pentagon to trust intelligent robots with once unimaginable aviation jobs". To view guest historian's comments on this post please visit the Today in Alternate History web site.

Steve Payne, Editor of Today in Alternate History, a Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today. Follow us on Facebook, Myspace and Twitter.

Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Possibilities such as America becoming a Marxist superpower, aliens influencing human history in the 18th century and Teddy Roosevelt winning his 3rd term as president abound in this interesting fictional blog.


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