Category Archives: Future War

Pacific Rim: Why Giant Robots Are (Usually) Silly

I’ll start this off by saying I really like Guillermo del Toro’s body of work, and that his characteristic blend of physical effects and CGI really shows in the quality visuals I’ve come to expect from his films. These two trailers for the upcoming Pacific Rim indicate that it will not be an exception to this rule.

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Laser Weapons and Naval Warfare

This is the first in a series of articles I’m writing for the Center for International Maritime Security (CIMSEC):

The Future of the US Strategic Arsenal: Into the Fourth Generation?

Looking back over the last 60 years, it becomes apparent that the nuclear standoff between East and West was in large part responsible for the lack of great-power conflict.  The fact that this occurred in the face of an incredible increase in the lethality and mobility of conventional forces is historically astounding.  Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has kept its nuclear strategy more or less as-is, but it is possible that challenges posed by the changing global political situation and new technologies either recently developed or only now cresting the horizon of practicality will necessitate a major change to the makeup the US strategic deterrent.

The Bear and the Eagle

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I will share with you a vision of the future of war…

Military units, from squads of infantry to tank platoons to UAVs overhead, are bound together by an invisible web of communications and data links. This network contains the digitally represented sum of the perception of each of its nodes, machine and human, and allows leaders thousands of miles away to monitor and manage the actions and reactions of anything from a brigade to a squad.

While there are as many aircraft as ever over the battlespace, pilots are a rarity. Fighters and fighter-bombers are unmanned craft that can greatly exceed the g-loading a human pilot could endure and are controlled from the safety of the combatants’ strategic depth. Reconnaissance is performed by a combination of high-altitude autonomous aircraft and small- to micro-sized UAVs that are an organic part of ground units.

Some of the biggest changes have come on the ground. Autonomous and remotely controlled platforms have made inroads here, too, but in a more limited role;  limited by the inherent complexity of land warfare. For the richer countries, traditional land mines have been replaced by more discriminating means like remote box launchers that can pump out a salvo of grenades or an anti-tank missile at authorized targets.

This is not my vision…

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