Essay by major de ranger
Thinkers’ Corner features theoretical essays on everything from politics to the paranormal, science to religion, crime to love, offering a different way of thinking best described as Rational Holism.
If we want peace on Earth why not begin with a reasoned theory of warfare? Ever since the birth of politics warfare has been about one society trying to consume another. This is true today with western powered globalization – although much more subtle.
It takes away meaning from smaller societies. This destroys their endemic way, thus fuelling a minority of fanatics who go on to carry out global terrorism and try to destabilize countries targeted by globalization. Insurgency ensues, with western forces going in to sort it out. A vicious circle creates warfare as they fall into the trap.
If counter insurgency must happen, then do counter insurgency. If you then try to control a population and build a state, you cannot win. This is because you try to force your values on others, and if those values are alien to them they won’t work, no matter how repulsive we think theirs are.
This is the current world situation, but this is simply a blip in the history of warfare. Warfare, in the extreme, is two major powers facing up to each other, convinced that their system is bigger than the other, and this system will inevitably return.
Usually, neither population is behind the leaders. This is where the game of intelligence becomes vital. It rarely produces anything of value, but it does produce a feeling of paranoia, and this makes the people cling to the values of the leader. Insert a political propaganda exaggerating the evilness of the other side and you’ve created both an inner and outer demon which guarantees the idea of war will spread among the people.
One recent innovation in warfare is the role of technology. Historically, tech has always been vital to warfare, with tech racing to meet the demands of an armed force. Recently this has changed, with armed forces having tech forced upon them by Big Biz, usually for profit.
The result is tech is too advanced for many of the forces’ requirements and quite pointless. In particular it increases the support targets an enemy can hit. And if support is in danger, so is the front line.
A change in direction in tech could solve this problem. For instance, high altitude drones could be a cheaper, safer alternative to the satellite, carrying out communications, surveillance and targeting. Drones could also replace the expensive fighter jet, piloted remotely.
Development of ground effect craft with ceramic engines and fibre construction could produce light, stealth craft which could carry out all transport and maritime functions. Simple rocketry systems using laser guidance from drones could replace bombing. All this could be handled by trucks and small ships, making support bases and airfields redundant, thus lessening targets.
Small, fast fibre vehicles with small caliber, but shaped charge shells could be difficult to find and be air portable, reducing the need for build-up in theatre. Containerised air dropped supplies and module construction of equipment would take away most support in theatre.
All this new, but simpler tech could allow small pockets of forces with stealth capability and minimal targets. In effect, it would place guerilla warfare into technological armoured warfare.
Strategy would be not to hold ground, but to indulge in tactical retreat, offering no targets for an enemy to hit, yet bringing down an accurate rocket rain to disable armoured columns. This would weaken an enemy to the point of allowing small but quick armoured column encirclements. Large scale forces will always be depleted to the point that they cannot fight.
The only way for an enemy to counter this strategy would be to adopt it themselves, where the only possible outcome would be stalemate, as it is the smallness, not the largeness, of the force that counts. And the beauty of such a system is that small forces cannot put the boots on the ground in order to conquer, so the reason for war evaporates.
It could be argued that banishing conventional war could make nuclear war more likely. But maybe technology can help here, too. Soon a new type of bomb will exist – the non-nuclear electromagnetic pulse (EMP) device. If fitted to high altitude, solar powered drones, such invulnerable devices could be deployed over an adversary’s cities, power stations and launch sites. Operated by control aircraft well away from retaliatory targets, if detonated, they would wipe out any electronic device over a wide area beneath it. Such devices would effectively wipe out a hierarchy’s ability to lead, whilst at the same time leaving cities intact, but also a very angry population who see their services disappear. What leader would risk such wrath from his own people?
How do politics and society really work? In the
dozens of essays in I, Society I try to answer.
See Bookstore, top, or