How Has Technology Changed the Rules of War?
War has been part of human life as far back as one can remember. Since earlier times, the way wars have been fought, and the ammunition used for the same has come a long way from using a mere spear, bow, and arrows to high-tech missiles and the latest war equipment. But technology now plays a significant role in the way wars are fought. With ever-changing technology, the rules of war have entirely changed, and there has been an evolution of war. How? Let’s find out.
Advanced Warfare Technologies Took the Place of Traditional Weapons
Over the years, weapons used in wars have evolved, and so has the method of using them in battles. In the earlier days, a bow and arrow was a common weapon used to attack their enemy. Soon, armor and shields took over and reduced the effectiveness of bows and arrows, which encouraged people to build new warfare equipment.
Fast forward to hundreds of years, and we came to the nineteenth century when soldiers fought wars in troops where they would inflict the most damage to the enemy. Later on, guns became their favorite weapon. A bullet fired from a gun would quickly penetrate the skin and inflict fatal injuries or even kill the enemy. Over time, these guns improved with time and became more accurate, increasing the impact of technology on warfare.
Soon machine guns, grenades, and cannons were popular among the troops. But they were also replaced by the next advanced technological warfare, including nuclear weapons, space weapons, submarines, stealth air crafts, missiles, laser-guided weapons, drones, etc. These weapons for mass destruction are enough to ensure that the enemies never see the light of the day.
Technology Is Replacing Manpower in Top Armies of the World
There has been a great evolution in warfare technology. Today, it is becoming more precise and lethal. So much so that weapons are automated and need not be fired by humans. For example, soldiers can man a missile while sitting thousands of feet away from it. Top military powers in the world are cutting their workforce. Instead of investing in humans, they prefer to invest in cruise missiles and other latest weapons, which can strike with pinpoint precision. The latest example of this is China that has cut off the number of soldiers in its military and redirected its budget towards AI.
With the way artificial intelligence and robots are replacing soldiers in the army, the day is not far when wars will be fought using satellite weapons where striking images can detect missile silos and transmit their location to attack units. Also, remote-controlled aircraft or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are being used by many countries for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, and allegedly some thirty countries already have or are developing armed UAVs.So, even if it is shot down, one need not worry about the loss of a pilot when using such technology. This can maneuver and probably fight better than an aircraft with a pilot. Wars of the future are going to have minimum human interference. Things that are considered unbelievable today are going to become a reality in the near future.
Use of AI (Artificial Intelligence)
Countries like the USA, China, and Russia are the top military powers that are the frontrunners in deploying new-age technology like AI to strengthen their armed forces. Some of the more popular AI-based projects that are already deployed in the US army include Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Squad X Experimentation Program, Project Maven, and the OFFSET program. Though many military powers are using AI, AI in the military has a long way to go.
Establishment of Cyber-warfare Units
Warfare has been upgraded with the technology change. The past few decades have seen an extraordinary technological change in military capabilities. It has become necessary for the military powers or intelligence agencies to have dedicated cyber-warfare units in current times. Today, more than a hundred countries have their own cyber-warfare units to fend off hostile cyber operations targeting the national infrastructure of their country.
Future of Warfare
Although the warfare equipment built today is so advanced, one cannot even imagine what we will have in stores in the future. Just like who would have imagined that war will be fought in the air and the planes will be unmanned, we never know what new innovations will be made in technology and how they will further change military warfare.
Countries may use satellite technology as a means of warfare. It will make it easier for them to destroy aircraft and increase the accuracy available from spy satellites. At the moment, it may seem just a dream, but with the current technological trends, it may become a reality soon. The desire to minimize the risk to friendly forces and prepare themselves to face enemies leads to more automation and more advanced weapons.