Our understanding of war and military is often confined to images of soldiers walking through derelict streets or large-scale infantry and armor movement with tanks, fighter jets, and special units combing the battlefield. This isn’t entirely far from the truth, but we’re starting to see a fundamental shift in the way that we should be understanding military technology.
As your life would be increasingly improved with greater computer technology at your disposal, so are militaries around the world with the increasing need for cyber-supremacy. It’s not just about having the biggest gun, it’s about having the smartest people behind them, and not necessarily on the field of battle either. Here is how the military uses technology to its advantage, and why it’s so important for future military operations.
Changing Nature of Conflict
In the broadest sense, the nature of the military conflict, operation, and existence is changing due to technology. When once there was a carrier pigeon, there’s now a 5G connection. Wars, skirmishes, or conflicts aren’t fought in gigantic theatres that span multiple countries or continents, it’s becoming a more tactical and precise allocation of manpower and resources, often being confined to the realm of cyberspace. A base with rugged LCD monitors and rackmount keyboards is as potent in modern conflict as a soldier with a reliable rifle, and this is a philosophical change for armies across the globe. Being able to code, hack, use new hardware and software, and take advantage of computers is the new face of future military operations.
In the more applicable understandings of computer technology, we can see the most obvious example is drone technology. Civilian use of drones is most reserved for photography or leisure, but the military uses incredibly expensive, incredibly precise unmanned aerial vehicles to complete tasks ranging from reconnaissance to airstrikes. This is likely the first thing people think of when they imagine computers and the military because it requires a highly-trained group sitting at a monitor station to operate these vehicles. This advantage provides military access to airspace worldwide without the loss of manpower when a vehicle is shot down.
Communications and Coordinated Tactics
Communication is key isn’t just a thing for a young couple to learn, it’s been one of the primary tenants of controlling a battlefield. Without the ability to communicate messages, relay orders, or plan tactical advancements and strategies, soldiers are left to figure out the plan the old school way, which is inefficient given our ability to communicate across borders and seas. 5G technology, wi-fi, encrypted codes, and instant messaging capabilities allow for commanding officers and military members to spread messages and tactics in real-time to help give them a comparative advantage, especially against enemies with rudimentary means of communication.
Infantry and Armor Technological Capabilities
The common soldier isn’t being left out in the cold either, contrary to the philosophical belief that war is heading online, rather than on foot. Computer technology is helping create new advantages for infantry and armor. Things like guided munition systems, rocket and explosive defense systems for tanks or APCs, advanced biosensors for soldiers, 3D printable weaponry, and other noticeable trends in soldier tech. Beyond that, there are speculations and potential that the future infantry of the military will look something out of a sci-fi video game series, with virtual HUDs (heads up displays) in smart glasses technology, exoskeleton suits, and other computer-controlled or derived creations that will serve to improve military capabilities in the field of battle.
Recruiting and Spread of Information
Lastly, the conventional use of computers is to spread information. In the same way, your aunt would be sharing a recipe on Facebook, militaries are using social media, websites, and other channels to recruit and spread information. Some call it strategy, others might call it propaganda, but the point is that without computers, it would be a lot harder to find the future coders for the military cyber branches by asking people in person. Targeted ads and being able to hunt down people with skills that might be fit for military service is an advantage that computer technology has in its most rudimentary sense.
The world is changing every day. Electric vehicles, virtual reality, 3D printing, quantum supercomputers, and a never-ending list of innovations brought on by computers keep growing. All of this tech has civilian use, but the military may be one of the biggest benefactors of it. Using technology to help drive new ways of conquering the physical and figurative battlefields of tomorrow is making it apparent that computers are the superweapons of the future.