I disagree with the article below, but thought I’d post it anyway.
How you go about fighting a war depends greatly in part on what your objectives are. The objective of Operation Desert Storm was to decrement the military strength of the world’s third largest army. It was not to gain territory, supress an uprising, nor was it to unite a people. By the traditional definition of warfare, Operation Desert Storm hardly qualified.
While serving as the commander of NATO forces in Yugoslavia in 1991, Canadian General Lewis McKenzie openly declared the bombing of Serbian positions to be “utterly pointless.” F/A-18s pounded the countryside relentlessly while the corpses of NATO troop carriers littered the roadsides throughout the republics, and Serbian ethnic cleansing continued unabated. The conflict served as proof that without an overwhelming and oppresive military force on the ground, theatre control is still impossible and a lasting peace, which is generally the primary objective of war, cannot be acheived.
Smart weapons will never have the processing power or the fundamental instinct required to occupy and defend land. They won’t have the intelligence and experience necessary to perform roadside automobile searches, and they won’t have the ability to win the hearts and minds of the civilians who struggle to survive in the theatre of war.
Smart weapons and drones are offensive tools which are most effective while on the attack. War is a human conflict that ultimately must always be fought and resolved by humans. To foist technology as a panacaea to the death and destruction caused by war is a dangerously alluring concept — it fools us into believing that it can be conducted with impunity. Aggression of any sort should have (and still does have) epic consequences for both sides.
The US Government is reshaping our collective concept of war in an effort to allow them to conduct aggression virtually free of consequence to their own side. Wars are now conducted in support of US Domestic political wrangling at least as often as they are conducted to liberate, pacify, and stabilize.
The unfortunate result is that violent human conflict around the globe has become and will become more frequent, less effective in creating stability, and impotent as a tool to remind us of the value of peace.
Our attitudes towards war were much healthier after the Vietnam conflict than they are today. Smart weapons or no, the “Nintendo Haulocaust” has desensitized us to the societalal disruption and horrific destruction caused by conflict.