- This topic has 11 voices and 28 replies.
April 29, 2006 at 12:44 am #4785
I don't think there will be any more fundamental shifts after nuclear weapons. The whole arc of military history has been the race to win faster and more completely against your enemy, in short to be more destructive of him than he is of you, and nothing that I can conceive of is potentially more destructive than nukes.
I'm actually being fairly serious when I suggest this: the death star (or something like that...you know what I mean). Nuclear weapons are still only so powerful. Although we're a far way off from colonizing other worlds, I think that is where mankind is headed. Technology progresses rapidly, so we must consider what the next step will be and where civilization will go. What happens when an effective nuclear difuser is invented? Surely, something will be developed somewhere along the line that makes ICBMs unuseable. They'll become like the bow and arrow is for us today; yeah it can still inflict damage, but it's really pointless to use in most any large scale war in the modern age.May 7, 2006 at 8:38 pm #4786WmLambertParticipant
The most formidable military weapon ever devised was organization and strategy.The most effective hardware can be used against itself, and a simple tunnel can bring down a castle. An armored knight can destroy a legion of unarmored infantry, but bring in a longbow or a crossbow, and the knight is no longer important. The Saracens conquered most of Europe until reins and stirrups allowed knights to use lances effectively against them, and then Charles Martel routed Islam at the Battle of Tours. Basically weapons are like rock:paper:scissors. A sword is good, but a lance is better, but without stirrups and a harness, a lance was untenable. A lance is good, but a longbow brings down a knight. If you remember the 1959 Peter Sellers' film, The Mouse that Roared, you can see how the little bankrupt Archduchy of Grand Fenwick declared war on the U.S, hoping to be defeated and getting rehabilitative aid from the generous victor. However, the bumbling crossbow and chainmail armed Grand Fenwick soldiers entered New York City during a civil defense drill for the dreaded Q- bomb, and ended up capturing the bomb, Jean Seberg, and winning the war.Its all in the strategy, neh?June 25, 2006 at 5:23 pm #4787
I think that you have a point, but perhaps not the overarching point. After all, if a legion of well-trained, disciplined Roman soldiers went into battle against a company of 1991 Iraqi regulars, who do you think would win?June 26, 2006 at 2:15 am #4788DonaldBakerParticipant
Remember that old episode of Star Trek where Capt. Kirk had to square off against the Gorn captain on a desolate planet to satisfy the Metrones? Kirk was no match physically for the Gorn, but he utilized the sulphur, diamonds, and charcoal to make gunpowder and projectiles for a makeshift cannon. The Gorn relied upon a mere blade and his superior brute strength. Kirk won with technology more so than strategy. My point is that strategy is not as important if you have the overwhelming technological advantage.June 29, 2006 at 11:51 am #4789
I'm not sure how to answer this one….but I'm amazed at your recollection of ST names from the old series… 🙂 Actually I agree about the technological advantage. At the same time, I believe the Phillistines were at an advantage over the Israelites when David slew Goliath. I think that they had the straight-edged sword, whereas the Israelites only had the inferior sickle-blade sword. Obviously, God's help of the Israelites changed the tide….July 8, 2006 at 4:50 am #4790StumpfootParticipant
The've both been touched on, But gunpowder and nuclear weapons are certainly at the top of the listJuly 9, 2006 at 4:41 am #4791SKYDIVER386Participant
I personally believe it was the Phalanx. Alexander was able to conquer nearly all of the known world using it.July 10, 2006 at 1:25 pm #4792peterkParticipant
I would have to say the aeroplane as it alowed long range bombings into areas neverbefore under threat and gunpowder as it started the use and development of cannons an guns.July 11, 2006 at 12:16 am #4793StumpfootParticipant
Good point the airplane definatly made things differant in warfare. By the way, welcome!!July 13, 2006 at 5:00 am #4794
I personally believe it was the Phalanx. Alexander was able to conquer nearly all of the known world using it.
That may have been one of the greatest tactical devices in the ancient world. Aside from Alexander, the Romans used it to turn their forces into a machine. I saw a show about a Celtic warrior woman who actually had some success against the Romans in modern-day Britain, until she went up against a large Roman army that used the phalanx formation to cut the Celts apart.July 20, 2007 at 4:38 pm #4795
Counterinsurgency doctrineIt trains the local population to fight for themselves thereby minimizing our casualties. It also deals with the root of enemy ideology.Nearly all the posts were about what brings the most destruction. What about what brings the most peace?July 20, 2007 at 5:05 pm #4796
So you're saying that training people to “fight for themselves” is a bringer-of-peace? Doesn't it also bring destruction? Also, couldn't it be argued that the A-Bomb was also a bringer-of-peace since it ended World War II? Come to think of it, a pistol used back in the days of the Wild West...wasn't it called The Peacemaker? Rather ironic, don't you think?Granted, you do have a point about what you said. But perhaps it's one of the "Greatest diplomatic advancements of all time". Actually, that would be an interesting topic.....good thinking Ski, I may just have to do that.July 20, 2007 at 6:03 pm #4797
All types of warfare can and do bring destruction, but isn't peace the ultimate goal of any (rational-based) military strategy or weapon? I say COIN mainly because it looks at the cause of situations. (why does Group A hate Group B? What can be done to bring both groups together) The trained local population would rather fight the enemy than be or join the enemy.July 20, 2007 at 7:00 pm #4798
Yes, peace should be the goal of rational minds, but this begs the question of how many rational minds are fighting each other in the first place. We are not in an age of swashbuckling gentlemen who can discuss their differences over a meal. I also have to ask how beneficial it is to consider the root causes of incidents, lest we wander into a necessary "why did Hitler despise the Jews" type of scenario or "how can Nazis and Jews live together peaceably?". I do think we should be aware of root causes but sooner or later the buck is going to have to stop and we are going to have to say that one side is acting less just than the other and that a person or group's will needs to restrain its own passions. Perhaps right about now you could explain more about COIN for those of us who are unfamiliar with it.July 20, 2007 at 7:16 pm #4799
Well you guys probably know more about it than I do. It's been used in history numerous times. It is best decsribed as something that is a military, political, and economic solution all in one. It is very population and cultural centric. It is more psychological than physical.
I also have to ask how beneficial it is to consider the root causes of incidents
It's beneficial in this way. There is no way you can intelligently fight an enemy without knowing what makes him tick. Why does he fight? What's his motivation? Why all the hate? What's the culture like? How can we get them to think of their leader(s) as irrational beings? Not all the time, certainly not in the case of a Hitler, is this doable but IMO most of the time it is. We like to see a clear cut victory; millions of innocent Japanese civilians killed or major cities completely destroyed. Victory in COIN isn't so clear cut, but it's still victory. (with less people dead). For example if you break their will, then you won or if you intimidate then so much that they wouldn't dare carry out what they plan because they know the repercussions, that's victory as well.