Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Clash Of The Times

.:A Clash Of The Times:.

All references to book pages are for "Multitude" by Hardt and Negri...

To say that the military, given the new face of war, is polarized in support or in opposition to the so-called Revolution in Military Affairs, would be an understatement. As technology continues to improve, and as the ties between technology and the machinations of war grow stronger, we clearly see a slow and gradual shift of dependence from the soldier to the weapon (Paraphrased, p.42). This glaring change is particularly reflected by the ability of the United States to wage wars with minimal casualties on their side when they choose to.

The new war is viewed from two sides by the military: the technologists, and the traditionalists (p.42). The former believes in making war as small-scale and as close to zero casualties as possible (p. 41), while the latter believes that forging the importance of the soldier in favor of the weapon has its disastrous effects, ranging from the counterpoint of suicide bombers to the theoretical but logical conclusion of an entirely virtual war, giving no motivation for a war to end if its horrors and inherent disadvantages become null (p.45-46).

The military sees war becoming "bodyless" (p.44), and this in turn results in a very skewed outlook of war, because aside from the United States, not too many countries have this luxurious option of not needing to expend soldiers in order to achieve victory in a war. Furthermore, it is ludicrous that a majority of the actual troops in current wars who are in the middle of the battlefield are actually allied forces, essentially, people from other countries functionally fighting a war for America. The other brunt of these troops are contracted from private military companies, making for an army composed of outsourced soldiers and mercenaries. This completely breaks the rules of war in half, not because some noble code of honor is being trampled upon (Not necessarily something everyone subscribes to.), but because logistically, you are padding an army with unstable support.

The military's outlook in this new war is mixed with optimism and pessimism, insofar as technology undeniably improves the efficiency of the military to wage war, but as this efficiency approaches perfection, what becomes an inherent deterrent to waging war on practically defenseless countries? The answer is sadly also approaching "none".

As such, while the technologists and the traditionalists may disagree on the merits of this new war, neither side can possibly deny that we are indeed coming closer to a new faceless war in the age of technology. For as long as war is stripped of its horrors, like Counterstrike or Battlefield 1942, these wars become alarmingly "fun" in the eyes of those who have the edge.

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