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23rd Century Soldier

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    Posted: 22 Jul 2014 at 04:22
Will the 23rd Century soldier actually see combat, get to fight it in any way similar to the 20th Century soldier.
 
Will they get to actually see the enemy that they're about to kill, or will it all be seen on remote TV screens some thousands of miles away from the front line?
 
Already, the USA, which I believe to be at the forefront of warfare technology by a long street, has:
  • Satellite Technology capable of guiding ordnance around the world;
  • Space based Surviellance Technology capable of identifying human beings on earth;
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles-drones- capable of surveillance or delivering ordnance from many miles away;
  • Experimental Unmanned Naval ships and submarines;
  • Experimental Battle Tanks; and
  • Is experimenting with "exo-skeletons" a framework worn by a foot soldier which carries all of his load and assists him in moving over land at a faster speed.

All of this is not to overlook the existance of Inter Continental Ballistic Missiles-with or without Nuclear capability.

If war technology continues to advance at the same pace as it has since the Viet Nam War, one could well and truly see the 23rd or even the 22nd Century battlefield being contested by unmanned vehicles, vessels and aircraft-operated from, for example, the continental USA.
 
What do you think?
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Aug 2014 at 11:04
I think our speculations will be well off target - very few people successfully predict the effects of existing technology and the appearances of new technologies.

Warfare is based around around targeting. The masses of troops of former eras are no longer required, and soldiers, if that's still the term to call them, are as much technological specialists as warriors, though very few actually confront one another. Enemies are easier to detect via personal recognition systems. A soldier will know anyone's information at a glance, his targeting systems align automatically with potential threats, his weaponry linked to fire and forget systems that aim with little concious effort, requiring only the mental stimulus to open fire. Troops operate from local HQ installations that are air mobile, a self contained operation system, and can cal upon heavier support systems when required and authorised. Troops are of course highly educated individuals who have spent much of their down time in virtual battlefields, learning how to adapt and utilise their assets, how to coordinate their efforts, and how to survive when those systems are unavailable or fail. The emphasis is on the 'Clean Kill' paradigm, though most of the weaponry used is not designed to maim and kill, but simply 'disables' targets as harmlessly as possible for capture. Brain pattern interpreters at short range can recognise malice, and help prevent suprise attacks, though there are countermeasures available to mask such indications. Most soldiers of powerful nations are not present on the battlefield anyway, remaining at their home base and operating through artificial avatars, which although not quite as perfect as being there yourself, do represent a means of protecting personnel. Detection of avatars is relatively easy however, and they are expensive machines. Automated security is commonplace,. Trespass at your own risk. You will be targeted.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Aug 2014 at 03:00
Caldrail:
Thanks for your post, I agree with you.
 
It seems to me that, ultimately, it won't come down to killing each others troops, but more of closing down infrastructures so that the enemy country cannot operate.
 
And by infrastructures, I'm talking about things like communications and finance, as well as the obvious.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Aug 2014 at 10:57
Other thoughts occur to me. On their monitor screens security forces pinpoint a known enemy individual. He's known to be dangerous, to be vital to the enemy's efforts, but not thought to be holding information the security force requires. A UN authorisation for criminal detention has recently been upgraded to a License to Commit Judicial Violence following the bombing of the Atlanta high speed rail station. Small spy drones deployed in the local area confirm his identity. Security have a positive ID, a positive lock, and a positive authorisation. As soon as the legal 50m minimum seperation is observed, a satellite changes orbit, orients itself, and activates a beam of neutrons that drop the enemy with precision and absolutely no collateral damage. Tango down.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Aug 2014 at 14:34
Originally posted by caldrail caldrail wrote:

Other thoughts occur to me. On their monitor screens security forces pinpoint a known enemy individual. He's known to be dangerous, to be vital to the enemy's efforts, but not thought to be holding information the security force requires. A UN authorisation for criminal detention has recently been upgraded to a License to Commit Judicial Violence following the bombing of the Atlanta high speed rail station. Small spy drones deployed in the local area confirm his identity. Security have a positive ID, a positive lock, and a positive authorisation. As soon as the legal 50m minimum seperation is observed, a satellite changes orbit, orients itself, and activates a beam of neutrons that drop the enemy with precision and absolutely no collateral damage. Tango down.
 
That's almost the scenario being painted at present, except for the collateral damage.
 
But humans make mistakes, deadly mistakes.
 
I think I like my scenario best. Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Aug 2014 at 12:14
This is why technology will increasingly make decisions, although in fairness, technology isn't so perfect either. During the Cold War, both sides on a few occaisions almost launched a 'retaliation strike' on the basis of incorrect information their systems were feeding them (they all kept that quiet for a few decades).

The relationship of soldier and system will increasingly become symbiotic. Of course there will always be more primitive and brutal forms of violence still employed, particularly by those that cannot afford the latest gizmo's or by terrorist/paramilitaries who don't have the connections to source advanced equipment - the difficulty of making a bomb isn't beyond your typical middle eastern villager I do note.

Soldiers will be programmed more than educated, and although that would reduce the basic training time, physical fitness and alertness will always be a desirable necessity for serving soldiers.

Imagine a soldier deployed to a hot spot to quell a confrontation with aggressive subversives. He receives intel from HQ, either filtered or direct, which could display local information from local national surveillance systems authorised by the state in the theatre of war, satellite correlation and mapping, constant target feeds from sensors at all levels, between the soldiers observational stimuli to satellite imaging. The human brains biological information filtering is almost switched out or retuned  by interfacing equipment, meaning soldiers can take in the information they need much more quickly and instinctively. Automated drug feeds improve a soldiers physical endurance and strength, his ability to ignore pain, his ability to cope with injury and heal it, his alertness, his aggression levels, suppression of undesirable moods and impulses - to the soldier, thinking is effectively a low priority. Everything is geared to allow the soldier to act according to training and instinct with minimal response times, a haze of information and reaction, with constant tactical and strategic oversight. Almost a robot himself temporarily.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug 2014 at 04:16
Caldrail wrote:
Quote Automated drug feeds improve a soldiers physical endurance and strength, his ability to ignore pain, his ability to cope with injury and heal it, his alertness, his aggression levels, suppression of undesirable moods and impulses - to the soldier, thinking is effectively a low priority. Everything is geared to allow the soldier to act according to training and instinct with minimal response times, a haze of information and reaction, with constant tactical and strategic oversight. Almost a robot himself temporarily.
 
The US Army has experimented with Exo-Skeletons, a framework fitted to a soldier that acts as a load bearing ability as well as a transportation method. The soldier strapped into the Exo-Skeleton would be able to move far more quickly than normal, as well as being able to carry heavier loads.
 
This technology exists now.
 
I still like my scenario of no troops on the ground and infrastructure being the main targets. Clap
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote literaryClarity Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug 2014 at 05:23
Drones are pretty much the end all be all game changer.  Why train a super soldier when you can manufacture millions of drones and have the soldiers be the best video game playing experts in the history of the world?
http://hwyst.hangzhou.com.cn/wmyzh/content/2013-10/09/content_4920423.htm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug 2014 at 06:59
Originally posted by literaryClarity literaryClarity wrote:

Drones are pretty much the end all be all game changer.  Why train a super soldier when you can manufacture millions of drones and have the soldiers be the best video game playing experts in the history of the world?
 
Why have troops of any kind when by using future technology a country could be neutralised by shutting down its entire infrastructure?
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug 2014 at 10:42
Because at the end of the day you cannot guarantee that drones will be available when required, because drones are expensive pieces of equipment, because drones require expert operatos, and because the reality of warfare is that boots on the ground is often a necessity that technology, drone or otherwise, cannot replace.

Edited by caldrail - 05 Aug 2014 at 10:43
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Voltage Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug 2014 at 16:37
And if you nuke everything, you may as well have a trained fighting force to struggle with in a post advanced world. :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote literaryClarity Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug 2014 at 20:23
War is very cheap when you don't involve the human factors.  Imagine a factory churning out millions of the same drones which take less tax dollars than feeding sheltering training a biological and putting it through governmental paperwork.  There is no veteran liability.  No emotion or psychological fears to contend with.  A drone doesn't even need a maintenance crew once it "dies" it will just be replaced by millions more that come from the factory.  You only need to prepare as many drones as are needed in any given situation.  You mission brief the video game players which can technically be some form of search and destroy AI and they can take care of the rest.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Aug 2014 at 11:10
The drones I mention are either surveillance or guided. Autonomic assets would be a feature of the 23rd century - Russia has already announced it's working on robot security guards for installations on the basis they are far more reliable than human guards (who I'm told tend to find ways of getting some sleep of alcoholic beverages to help pass the time - but that's just gossip)

Also realise that the 'deploy and forget' concept of industrial drone usage invites scavenging and reverse engineering by the very people you wouldn't want deploying them. It's unlikely that mass disposable drones will become the standard way - there's too much investment in research and manufacture never mind the initial purchase costs and training overhead. As technology improves, so the latest versions will render the cheaper alternative obselete and thus exclusivity is never dispensed with.

As for nukes - why would anyone think they were any more suitable in the future than they have been since 1945? Only two warheads have ever been set off in warfare, both by the Americans in 1945, and since then all nations that own them (and at least one nation has dispensed with theirs altogether) are extremely wary of using a nuclear deterrent. The biggest risk of such devices has always been, and remains ever more so, the use of them by unofficial or rogue operators. This was one reason why nuclear weapons were so tightly restricted to those nations that had already developed them, why nations that develop them nowadays get treated to sanctions and so forth, and why some nations persist on very secret development.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Aug 2014 at 14:45
Caldrail:
But what I have suggested wouldn't rely on drones, nukes or troops on the grould. Did you read what I wrote?
 
If, for example,the USA developed technolgy which would close down all of a countrys infrastructure, industry, communications etc., without loss of life, the country could be brought to its knees without a shot being fired.
 
IF!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote literaryClarity Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Aug 2014 at 15:27
The threat of a war of drones against drones is very possible.  May the better drone win.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Aug 2014 at 11:05
Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:

Caldrail:
But what I have suggested wouldn't rely on drones, nukes or troops on the grould. Did you read what I wrote?
 
If, for example,the USA developed technolgy which would close down all of a countrys infrastructure, industry, communications etc., without loss of life, the country could be brought to its knees without a shot being fired.
 
IF!


It wasn't you I was replying to. I agree with your point about infrastructure. However, do note that most projections of a future war are apocalyptic. That's something deeply entrenched in the human psyche and I suspect has been there ever since one tribe decided the other tribe had to go.

I don't agree with that projection. Wars, or more accurately, armed conflict, will be more and more frequent as populations increase and territorial disputes, never mind religious or ideological differences that occur or get foisted upon a hapless society by dominant individuals. Future conflict will be increasingly about avoiding collateral damage and casualities, particularly in the civilian sphere, as weapons and systems become more discriminating, accurate, and reliable, linked to the increasing networking and connectivity of populations around the world. It will get harder for war crimes to go unnoticed and unpunished, the definition of war crimes will become stricter, and supra-national cooperation against armed conflict will also result in joint operations mounted regularly to ensure security. Armed forces will decrease in size, become more specialised, rely more and more on highly trained elites, tied to economic and political struggles that we already see.
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