Future of warfare

  • #1
What type of warfare do you feel is next? We have military units, nuclear, chemical, biological, and electrical.

Answers and Replies

  • #2
First Committee

Information Warfare

The First Committee http://www.artilect.org/altman/ [Broken] provides a useful resource on the topics of disarmament and international security -- one of my own reports is available through the link, and provides a comprehensive overview of converging technologies and their relation to the future of information security.
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  • #3
Your question makes no sense to me Greg, what the heck is electrical warfare?

Assuming a more Asian definition of warfare, war is whenever one group substantially and systematically harms or kills another. Thus you have economic warfare, information warfare, etc.

Considering the US has the largest economy, the largest military, and is the largest exporter of weapons, etc. the trends in the US of A are among the major indicators of the future of warfare. For the last fifteen years the US has invested tremendously in the information economy and nano technology. The european union has publically denounced the US as shamelessly tapping underwater phone lines and cell phone towers using voice recognition software to gather industrial secrets and pass them on to american companies. This, while the higher paying jobs in america are simultaneously being exported and the wealth of the country is being concentrated among the top two percent.

The implications are clear, the US is exporting its own winner-takes-all economic approach to the rest of the world, while investing heavily in the technology and industrial espionage that will help them to maintain the cutting edge.
  • #4
Your question makes no sense to me Greg, what the heck is electrical warfare?

I ment electronic :smile:
  • #5
Science Advisor
I think that the most significant changes in the near future for warfare will be in the area of information. New hardware will, of course, continue to be developed, but in this "information age" new methods of intelligence gathering and increased SA (situational awareness) are where the big differences will be seen (IMHO). After all, information has always been the most important weapon on the battlefield. A numerically and technologically superior foe can be overcome by a small force with superior intelligence.

Reconnaissance platforms are now under development that will have standoff capability, and be able to loiter over the feel of conflict almost indefinitely. Miniaturization will make unmanned air vehicles (UAV's) nearly impossible to detect. Recent advances in wireless networking such as the new "Land Warrior" will make information from many different sources available to each soldier, greatly increasing their ability to coordinate their efforts. This in turn will probably result in major changes in battlefield tactics.

But all of this only applies to open warfare. The very nature of warfare itself is changing, as we've all seen. Major battlefield combat is becoming something of a rarity, and small gorilla-style conflicts and piece-keeping missions are more prevalant. In these types of situations, non-lethal weapons will likely be the most significant developements.
  • #6
History Ignored.

Interesting how the newest science for weapons of mass destruction
come from scientists, universities, the so-called intelligentsia.

The size of the lie is a definite factor in causing it to be believed,
because the vast masses of a nation are in the depths of their hearts
more easily deceived than they are consciously and intentionally bad.

The primitive simplicity of their minds renders them more easy victims
of a big lie than a small one, because they themselves often tell little
lies but would be ashamed to tell big ones.

Such a form of lying would never enter their heads. They would never credit
others with the possibility of such great impudence as the complete reversal
of facts. Even explanations would long leave them in doubt and hesitation,
and any trifling reason would dispose them to accept a thing as true.

Something therefore always remains and sticks from the most imprudent of
lies, a fact which all bodies and individuals concerned in the art of lying
in this world know only too well, and therefore they stop at nothing to
achieve this end.

~ Adolph Hitler, Mein Kampf


"But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy
and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a
democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist
dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the
bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they
are being attacked and then denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism
and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."

-- WWII Nazi Leader Hermann Goering
  • #7
I'm sure I made a post in this thread. Was it removed for some reason?
  • #8
Interesting how the newest science for weapons of mass destruction
Where else would it come from? It is stretching it a bit to expect WMDs to float down from the heavens, isn't it?
  • #9
Originally posted by FZ+
Where else would it come from? It is stretching it a bit to expect WMDs to float down from the heavens, isn't it?

Actually no, it isn't. Even before the atom bomb physicists had discovered radioactivity and the US had plans for dusting all of europe with the stuff if worst came to worst. Eventually, people would have figured out by accident the stuff was poisonous. With or without formal science, people would have invented wmd and used them.
  • #10

Unless somebody invents a device which somehow inhibits the reaction and stops the explosion, and such devices are put all over the place, then atomic bombs will remains a powerful trump card in terms of war and politics. There is a huge release of energy; regardless of what else is around, that huge release of energy is a useful weapon.


Chemical weapons are great, a neat way to target a small area, perhaps even a single room. Great in terms of effectiveness, anyway. I don't personally approve or firing chemical weapon grenades through windows into boardrooms. But somebody will, some day.


The next holocaust? Probably. Some day, some nutter will design a nasty virus which targets only one "sort" of person. Short people, white people, people with green eyes... something. They'll do more harm than Hitler ever did, and they won't need an army to do it. They'll need a small glass vial opened in a major airport.

Powered Infantry Armour

Many military and civilian groups are working on "power armour", like in Starship Troopers (the book). The intention is to make fast, agile soldiers who can carry heavy firepower, ignore small arms fire, and target and move on faster than tanks can. Enough firepower to take down an aircraft, but with better cover than a helicopter. Enough firepower to take out a tank, but with superior speed and manoueverability. Enough armour to stop small arms fire, and enough firepower to wipe out regular infantry.


Some time soon, I would bet, the USA will be off invading someone, and a million Chinese hackers will crash their systems, putting the carrier group's command and control capabilities back to WW2. Something along those lines will happen. Maybe not USA and China, but someone. Eventually, hackers will be the first wave of attack, and the first line of defence.


A company in the USA is working on reading one specific portion of brain emissions with the intention of telling whether people are lying or telling the truth ( www.brainwavescience.com ). Perhaps other emissions from other thought patterns will be open for use in the future, such as emissions regarding when people are about to attack, or be aggressive. If range is increased, this can become part of a targeting system. You add to it a magnetic anomoly detector, to detect guns and such. Perhaps also a 3D imaging system to examine the body postures of detected contacts. Adding these things together, and using a programme to calculate probabilities, this could possibly tell soldiers when they are about to be attacked, giving them a useful edge.
  • #11
Edward Teller Dies



RE: Dr. Edward Teller dies without ever being brought to justice

To The Editor,

Dr. Edward Teller has died at age 95.

Known as "The Father of the H-Bomb", Dr. Teller was probably the most
self-assured pro-nuker of them all -- he set the standard for condescending
treatment of those critical of nuclear power.

In his life, Dr. Teller excused virtually all uses of radiative materials
that anyone ever came up with, including Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Power
Plants, Nuclear Submarines, Nuclear Aircraft Carriers, Nuclear Propulsion
for Rockets, Nuclear Airplanes, Thermonuclear batteries for space and for
listening devices at sea, and undoubtedly many more top secret nuclear uses.

He felt that each of these uses were absolutely critical for humanity -- or
more specifically, for the United States, even the most preposterous, such
as nuclear airplanes. He never saw the dangers of having a little
radiation in each of us, and then a little more, and a little more.

It's clear he never understood the fallibility of humans. He never grasped
the economic voodoo that was, and is, required to make his "darling"
nuclear power plants appear profitable. He never thought out the
"tit-for-tat" the superpowers would play, matching atomic weapons for
atomic weapons at each level, until Russia began exploding 100 Megaton
Hydrogen bombs into our biosphere, and finally, public outcry began to have
an effect on the arms race. Teller's invention had finally reached a size
no one could stomach, but technically, we could have kept going, and some
-- Teller included -- wanted America to respond with bigger bombs of our own.

Dr. Teller was never brought to justice by humanity for killing
millions. Estimates by non-biased scientific researchers are that 60
million people have died, or are alive today but will die, because of
radioactive pollution from the Cold War and from Nuclear Power. Dr. Teller
is directly responsible for much of this proliferation of radioactive poisons.

Who knows what justice he might receive now? If there is a God, why did he
give us Dr. Teller's awful "invention" (which, by the way, was an
inevitable "next step" in nuclear technology, just as laser excitement is now).

Let God do His Will to Ed Teller now, but here on Earth, we should not
forget the horror this man foisted upon the next thousand generations of
humans. The cancers. The leukemias. The birth
defects. The industrial-strength lies of the nuclear industry.

He will not be missed by this writer or by anyone aware of his true legacy.


Russell Hoffman
Concerned fellow mortal
Carlsbad, CA

Author, The Effects of Nuclear Weapons (a widely distributed and reprinted
Internet Essay), The Demon Hot Atom (Web Site looking at historic images
from various nuclear documents), List of U.S. Nuclear Power Plants (Web
Site with plant details, and links to plant owners AND activists), Editor,
Stop Cassini (newsletter to the nuclear activist movement). Mr. Hoffman
has a collection of over 350 books on nuclear power, including Better A
Shield Than A Sword and Energy From Heaven and Earth (both by Dr. Teller,
the latter an autographed copy) and two about Dr. Teller: Energy &
Conflict: The Life and Times of Edward Teller by Stanley A. Blumberg and
Gwinn Owens, and Teller's War: The Top-Secret Story Behind the Star Wars
Deception by William J. Broad.


Even Teller stated that if nuclear power
facilities were to exist they should be placed
underground and in remote areas. After the nuke
industry paid him off he didn't hesitate to
promote them. The NY Times conviently fails to
omit these facts. Teller even claimed that he was
the only victim of Three Mile Island.

3 Mile Island Coverup, Ongoing To This Day:

1. http://www.mothersalert.org/bertell.html
2. http://www.mothersalert.org/blanche.html
3. http://www.mothersalert.org/rickover.html

Bill Smirnow


Edward Teller stood against thousands of scientists
who signed petitions to stop atmospheric atom bomb



Eminent nuclear chemist and cardiologist Dr. John Gofman
wrote the following letter, May 11, 1999:



To Whom It May Concern,

During 1942, I led "The Plutonium Group" at the University of California, Berkeley, which managed to isolate the first milligram of plutonium from irradiated uranium. [Plutonium-239 had previously been discovered by Glenn Seaborg and Edwin McMillan]. During subsequent decades, I have studied the biological effects of ionizing radiation---- including the alpha particles emitted by the decay of plutonium.

By any reasonable standard of biomedical proof, there is no safe dose, which means that just one decaying radioactive atom can produce permanent mutation in a cell's genetic molecules [Gofman 1990: "Radiation Induced Cancer from Low-Dose Exposure"]. For alpha particles, the logic of no safe dose was confirmed experimentally in 1997 by Tom K. Hei and co-workers at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York [Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences [USA] Vol. 94, pp. 3765-3770, April 1997, "Mutagenic Effects of A Single and an Exact Number of Alpha Particles in Mammilian Cells."]

It follows from such evidence that citizens worldwide have a strong biological basis for opposing activities which produce an appreciable risk of exposing humans and others to plutonium and other radioactive pollution at any level. The fact that humans cannot escape exposure to ionizing radiation from various natural sources ---which may well account for a large share of humanity's inherited afflictions- is no reason to let human activities INCREASE exposure to ionizing radiation. The fact that ionizing radiation is a mutagen was first demonstrated in 1927 by Herman Joseph Muller, and subsequent evidence has shown it to be a mutagen of unique potency. Mutation is the basis not only for inherited afflictions, but also for cancer.

Very truly yours,

John W. Gofman, M.D., Ph D
Professor Emeritus of Molecular and Cell Biology


United States: 215 atmospheric tests + 815 underground tests = 1,030
USSR: 219 atmospheric tests + 496 underground tests = 715
UK: 21 atmospheric tests + 24 underground tests = 45
France: 50 atmospheric tests + 160 underground tests = 210
China: 23 atmospheric tests + 22 underground tests = 45

The grand total of global atmospheric tests = 528

Source: Page 52, "Atomic Audit, the Costs and Consequences of U.S. Nuclear
Weapons Since 1940," Stephen Schwartz, Editor, Brookings Institution Press,
Washington D.C., 1998.


Plutonium Fallout


Hardy, E.P., Krey, P.W. and Volchok, H.L. (February 16, 1973). Global
inventory and distribution of fallout plutonium. Nature. 241. pg. 444-445.

The following letter is one of the most important ever published in the
British journal Nature, providing baseline data about the dispersal of
weapons testing-derived fallout plutonium as well as plutonium isotopes
derived from the 1964 satellite accident. Hardy, et. al. used the
reporting unit of mCi/km2. This can be converted directly to the more
understandable (for the layperson) reporting unit of pCi/m2. Few areas
in the northern hemisphere contain less than 1 pCi/m2 of fallout 239Pu,
1/2 T 24,240 years. Even though this fallout is stratospheric rather
than tropospheric, the higher values in soils are correlated to some
extent with locations having the greatest annual precipitation, as well
as mid-latitude locations. One to four pCi/m2 of fallout 239Pu is the
minimum baseline level of plutonium contamination in the northern
hemisphere. More recent research identifies numerous areas with much
higher levels of plutonium in soils, see especially the data collected
pertaining to the Rocky Flats facility in Colorado.

Below is a scan of page 444 followed by a more readable enlargement of
the table. See RAD 8:5 Anthropogenic radioactivity: Baseline data:
Plutonium and Americium for more comments on this article and other
information on plutonium fallout. For more information on this
satellite accident, consult RAD 11:9 Anthropogenic radioactivity: Major
plume source points: Nuclear Powered Satellite Accidents.

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  • #12
Teller and the H-bomb

Teller was more of a lobbyist...he did not invent the H-bomb.

From another thread:

"Richard Rhodes' Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb gives a fairly persuasive account. One of the reasons there was little interest in the "Super" (Los Alamos slang for the H-bomb) for some years after WW2 was that the only conceptual designs (sometimes referred to as the "wedding cake" & independently hit upon by Sakharov in the USSR) didn't promise an explosion all that much more powerful than the fission bombs then being developed in the US--or a very deliverable weapon (as the designs demanded deuterium that had to be kept in liquid form, below -400 F, requiring massive cooling facilities). The new idea behind the H-bomb as we know it--radiation-mediated secondary implosion--was the brainchild of Polish mathematician Stanislaw Ulam. Teller's role was mostly that of whining to keep research going & attacking skeptics like Oppenheimer.

FWIW the key scientific work behind the Fat Man fission device had little to do with nuclear physics and much more to do with shockwaves in conventional explosives and with the hydrodynamics of plutonium implosion. The crucial contributions came from George Kistiakowsky and Seth Neddermeyer, respectively, neither exactly household names... "
  • #13
Anti-Radiation Drugs


Someone Please Make Radiation Drugs, U.S. FDA Asks

Health - Reuters
Fri, Sept 12, 2003

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug
Administration said on Friday it was trying to entice
someone, somewhere, into making drugs to treat people
for internal radiation poisoning.

It said it had identified two compounds that could be
made into safe drugs and called on companies to come
up with plans for making them.

The compounds, pentetate calcium trisodium (Ca-DTPA)
and pentetate zinctrisodium (Zn-DTPA), can be safe and
effective for the treatment of internal contamination
with plutonium, americium, or curium, the FDA said.

"FDA is calling for manufacturers to use these
findings to submit marketing applications for Ca-DTPA
and Zn-DTPA products for use as medical
countermeasures," the agency said.

People can be poisoned with plutonium, americium, or
curium by accidentally eating or drinking contaminated
substances, inhaling it or through wounds. It can be
fatal or, at lower doses, may cause cancer.

Radioactive plutonium, americium and curium are found
in the fallout from nuclear bombs and in waste from
nuclear power plants. The chemicals may also be used
in a "dirty bomb" -- which is an explosive device that
contains a small amount of radioactive material.

The FDA made a similar call in February when the
agency said the compound Prussian blue could be made
into a safe treatment of people exposed to radioactive
thallium, non-radioactive thallium, or radioactive

"One of FDA's most urgent new challenges is to protect
Americans from heightened threats of terrorism," added
FDA Commissioner Dr. Mark McClellan.

"We are doing all we can to help product developers
provide safe and effective countermeasures for
biological, chemical, and radiological attacks."
  • #14
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Dearly Missed
Dr. Teller was never brought to justice by humanity for killing
millions. Estimates by non-biased scientific researchers are that 60
million people have died, or are alive today but will die, because of
radioactive pollution from the Cold War and from Nuclear Power

Where did you get this? From the same unbiased folks who told you the US government had plans to spread radioactive material over Europe.
  • #15
Science Advisor
Originally posted by Adam


Some time soon, I would bet, the USA will be off invading someone, and a million Chinese hackers will crash their systems, putting the carrier group's command and control capabilities back to WW2. Something along those lines will happen. Maybe not USA and China, but someone. Eventually, hackers will be the first wave of attack, and the first line of defence.

In a way, that has already come to pass. I've heard that at the beginning of Gulf War, the first strike by the coalition was a hack-job by the US. I think they said it crashed the computers that controlled the comunications infrastructure just before the cruise missiles took out the hardware. Hacks can ce repaired or bypassed, but the time it takes to correct the problem in the programming leaves a target vulnerable to attacks of a more permanently dissabling nature.
  • #16
The US has two major programs underway to deal with electronic warfare concerns. One is a ten year old program to develop a computer chip that is impervious to EMP devices, and the other is a satellite based quantum cryptographic system. Within the next ten years or so these should be in place giving the US a huge advantage both on and off the battlefield.

Quantum cryptography is flat out unbreakable, and allows the parties to swap codes that then allow them to send secure messages back and forth over any conventional system such as the internet. The only way to hack such a system is from the inside, which is still thought to be the single biggest vulnerability of the capitalist world. Even if the technology is unbeatable, greed and other intrinsic cultural problems can always be exploited.

This is an important aspect of the current war on terrorism you don't hear much talk about. Immediately after 9-11 the FBI went after every minor so-called "terrorist" group in the country including, for example, environmental groups. The basic stratagy is to make sure they don't get organized across idiological lines. This is also what the FBI did previously with various mafia groups. By focusing specifically on the top mafia dons over a ten year period they upset their heirarchy and organization so much the average lifespan in the mob went down to 2 or 3 years as they rushed to kill each other and fill the voids and generally splintered.

The result, of course, was a much weaker and disorganized mafia, and the same stratagy is being applied to governments. As the war on terrorism escalates, I expect this stratagy to be applied to more countries. The result will be an increase in vicious cut-throat dictatorships like Sadam Husein's, which the US can then invade at will and reorganize as they see fit, with little international criticism and the support of the people living under these oppressive governments.
  • #17
PBS NOVA: Averting Nuclear War

False Alarms on the Nuclear Front

by Geoffrey Forden, PBS Monday, September 22, 2003 11:00:37 PM


The Cuban missile crisis is the best-known example of narrowly avoiding
nuclear war. However, there are at least four other less well-known
incidents in which the superpowers geared up for nuclear annihilation.
Those incidents differed from the Cuban missile crisis in a significant
way: They occurred when either the U.S. or Soviet or Russian leaders had
to respond to false alarms from nuclear warning systems that
malfunctioned or misinterpreted benign events.

All four incidents were very brief, probably lasting less than 10
minutes each. Professional military officers managed most of them. Those
officers had to decide whether or not to recommend launching a
"retaliatory" strike before possibly losing their own nuclear first
strikes. In three of the four incidents, the decision not to respond to
the alarm was made when space-based early-warning sensors failed to show
signs of massive nuclear attacks. The fourth incident was caused by an
inadequate early-warning satellite system that was fooled into thinking
that reflected sunlight was the flames from a handful of ICBMs.

As the following brief history of those four incidents makes clear,
space-based early-warning systems played a major role in avoiding
nuclear war. During the 1980s, a few specialized articles in the media
hinted at the presence of those systems. However, it was only during the
Gulf War that the American public truly became aware of U.S. capability
to detect missile launches using space-based assets. During that crisis,
U.S. Defense Support Program (DSP) satellites, first orbited in 1970,
detected the launch of every Iraqi Scud missile. The satellites made the
detections from their orbits by "seeing" the infrared light that the
missiles' motors gave off during powered flight. The warning of launches
was transmitted to Patriot air defense missile batteries in Israel and
Saudi Arabia to support attempts to shoot down the incoming warheads.

The association with the fighting of conventional war has obscured the
more important strategic role those systems have played: reassuring
leaders of the United States and Russia that they were not under nuclear
attack. A review of the four nuclear crises will better highlight that role.
  • #18
Edward Teller

As far as Dr. Teller goes, I bet you never even met the man. I did briefly, earlier this year and it is an experience I will always remember. He is hardly the Dr. Stranglove bent on the world's destruction that many made him out to be. From what I have heard from others, he was always very social and engaging, willing to discuss issues. Although I will admit I do not agree with many of his ideas, he was a brilliant non-conventional thinker which this world has all too few of. He was perhaps one of the greatest advocates of science education and an opponent of scientific secrecy. He was one of the greatest minds of the 20th century and will be missed.

Although there are some people who will say that any amount of radiation is harmful. These days that opinion is quite in the minority among the scientific community. Although science is not a democracy, the evidence seems to be pointing to some threshold and actually low doses may be beneficial through hormeosis. Either way, the negligible amounts of radiation from nuclear power and bomb testing has had minimal effect when using realistic calculations.

According to a straight linear-no threshold application for bomb testing, we released 10,000 pounds of plutonium into the atmosphere. If 1 pound is enough to kill a million people, 10 BILLION people should have died. I'm still here typing this, seems our methodology above has some weakness. This gives us the absolute maximum number of people which is often many, many orders of magnitude lower than reality. More recent calculations show that the number of deaths possible would be in the thousands. Again, these are theoretical deaths, not actual ones.

Even Teller stated that if nuclear power
facilities were to exist they should be placed
underground and in remote areas. After the nuke
industry paid him off he didn't hesitate to
promote them. The NY Times conviently fails to
omit these facts. Teller even claimed that he was
the only victim of Three Mile Island.

This quote is taken way out of context. One of Dr. Teller's ideas was to create small reactors to provide power for remote areas that would require little to no attention. It would sit there and produce electricity for decades with no human intervention. The underground component was done to provide the extra layer of safety in the unlikely event of an accident since you would essentially have few people around to constantly monitor the thing. Where is your evidence that the nuclear industry paid him off? As far as I know, he always supported above ground nuclear energy stations as well.

As far as TMI, not a single person was harmed. Plantiffs who claimed otherwise had nearly two decades to show that there could have been enough radiation released to cause their cancers. They did not have to show that the radiation did cause their cancers, they just had to show some evidence that an acceptable level of radiation was present. Even after this period of time, they could not even demonstrate this. Now we can all go on and claim all these conspiracy theories, but until there is some real, documented, non-internet evidence, I will be very suspicious of such claims.

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