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Low-tech fighting has often turned into blood-bath wars of attrition, as the Napoleonic campaigns, America's civil war and the first world war attest. With modern technology, however, fighting forces can wage "system against system" war. Destroy enough elements of an enemy's system—kit and infrastructure, or specialists needed to operate it—and the force cannot keep fighting. With air power, for example, an attacker can wreck critical equipment behind enemy lines without needing to shoot its way through troops on the ground.
What matters, then, is to ensure that military know-how leads not to the nightmare of mass or nuclear destruction, but rather to fewer and less deadly conflicts. This book explores the technological developments that have given rise to what has become one of the biggest challenges of today.
The book is organised in five parts, as follows:
Land and sea
Designing, and countering, new weaponry
Upgrades for combatants
Powering up, differently
New materials, new capabilities
Air and space
Attacks from above
The growing drone dimension
Air ops, for less
Aircraft and flight, enhanced
The computer factor
The new realm of cyberwar
Better equations, smarter machines
Propaganda ops, online
Intelligence and spycraft
Identifying, and killing, the quarry
Finding what's hidden
Getting to know you better
The road ahead
The challenge of irregular warfare
Technological one-upmanship fuels arms races and will make wars easier to start. Crucially, however, wars are apt to be smaller and less deadly than the horrific conflagrations of the last century. Technological underdogs will benefit from "asymmetric" weapons such as formidable makeshift bombs and "munitions of the mind" for psychological warfare. Some powers will benefit from complex weaponry, such as an aircraft-carrier-killing ballistic missile being developed by China. Much weaponry will most benefit the West, in part by harnessing its cultural strengths of individualism and innovation. All of it is profoundly reshuffling balances of power throughout the world.
The five parts of this book—land and sea, air and space, the computer factor, intelligence and spycraft, and the road ahead—present a selection of the best and most revealing of The Economist's writing on how startling innovations are reshaping armed conflict and the quest for peace.
It is an interesting book, a very concentrated and useful informations and insights about the modern warfare and the ongoing high tech developements. Read morePublished on April 23, 2013 by FAYCAL BOUSSAID
An excellent book containing many articles that gave insightful information concerning military technologies. No regrets in purchasing this book. Read morePublished on March 28, 2013 by David Wong Wan Tho
I purchased this as a Christmas gift. This is well written and a good source
of information with a lot of pictures