By The Prophet of Life
Terrorists attack civilian populations. Suicide bombers blow themselves up at a checkpoint. Bombs drop out of the sky decimating neighborhoods where an enemy is mixed in with civilians. Drones scream out of the sky blowing up on the windshields of cars carrying specific targets. These things are the new face of war.
Gone are the days of the boots on the ground. Gone are the days of two armies facing each other across a piece of landscape, dug into foxholes. Warfare is changing right before your eyes. It is nothing new, it has been changing for a long time.
Since the American Civil War, which is, by many, considered the first modern war, warfare has been constantly evolving. The American Civil War introduced iron ships, submarines, the bullet (replacing shot balls), air reconnaissance (via balloons), and, towards the end, repeating rifles. World War 1 introduced fighter planes, tanks and chemical warfare. World War 2 introduced flame throwers and nuclear bombs. The War in Viet Nam introduced fighting helicopter gun ships as a staple.
In all of this time and even since the dawn of human kind, warfare has gone from being upfront and personal to far away and impersonal. Now, with the advent of the drone, someone hundreds of miles away can direct a drone strike and never be in harms way, Warfare has and will become more like a video game, except the casualties are real.
Drone technology will continue to advance and in time governments will create drone with the same size and capabilities of military aircraft. Terrorist organizations will get their hands on the smaller drones like the ones the U.S. is using now. This will allow them the ability to blow up motorcades with world leaders or target them at sporting or other public events. They will, of course, continue to conduct sporadic strikes like the one in Paris this past weekend and blow civilian airliners out of the sky because they generate publicity and create an unparalleled chill factor in the minds of the general public of a nation.
Warfare that becomes increasingly impersonal carries with it, an additional danger. It creates a more impersonal world because it makes it easier to kill. The ability to kill without being harmed in return is nothing more than a video game. The Armies of various nations are recruiting kids who are good at military video games because they have the skills to create high kill ratios and they don’t give the casualties a second thought. They have been numbed by years of playing video games. Death to them is not real. They don’t see the victims of their kills, they merely press reset and they are all wiped away.
When armies are populated by people who kill without regret, who kill without fear of being harmed themselves then war is reduced to a video game. Once this happens, the value of life is cheapened. The value of life becomes the casualty. Our ultimate humanity becomes a casualty along with it.
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