Despite the escalation of war around the globe affecting millions of people, the process of battle is becoming increasingly de-personalized. This very well could be a plan implemented to create unthinking and unblinking battalions to do the bidding of warmongers as humanity begins to resist their machinations. At the very least, the process of de-personalization can create a scenario where avoidance of war is minimized.
With the cooperation of major defense contractors, the landscape of war is quickly beginning to resemble the fictional Skynet Global Digital Defense Network. We seem to be on the cusp of a new future that gives every indication that humans are gradually being phased out, much like they already have been on the manufacturing assembly line.
Aerial Drones: Surveillance drones and weaponized drones have taken center stage, bringing death from above via remote control, often from thousands of miles away. The video game culture surely has lent a hand in creating the disconnect from buttons pushed and real lives lost. The latest offering are backpack-sized suicide drones that can fly autonomously, or via remote control.
Robots and Unmanned Ground Vehicles: Human troops on the ground already have partnered with thousands of robots to secure roadside bombs, conduct surveillance missions, and serve as battle-ready auxiliaries or autonomous agents. Unmanned tank turrets have been introduced to strafe the enemy, as well as an assortment of vehicles and even navy vessels to patrol the seas without on-board operators.
Cargo delivery: Lockheed Martin has just announced a resounding success with their K-MAX system of “autonomous and remote control” helicopters that can re-supply troops. This cargo delivery system could potentially merge with robotic forces on the ground, completely eliminating the need for humans on either end.
Nanotech: The miniaturization of drones seems to have no end. Literal swarms of cyborg insects can surveil the most impenetrable locations. With President Obama’s 2011 Nanotechnology Initiative (pdf) having been fully funded, this has been signed on as the future of non-human war. DARPA has tested nano-enhanced hybrids for body and vehicle armor, paving the way for the likelihood of full-fledged human augmentation to merge nature and machine.
Cyborgs: Modern science has merged with the unending military budget to make the cyborgs of science fiction a near-term reality. Insect cyborgs are well-established as a recognizance tool, while Bullet-proof skin will augment any humans that might be left on the battlefield. Human augmentation has reached a new level with the XOS exo-skeleton that creates a real-world Iron Man with superhuman strength and abilities. Augmented Cognition Technology programs have been spearheaded by defense contracting giant Honeywell, which offers a full-spectrum computer-body interface to analyze and potentially program soldiers’ physical and mental states via computer.
Computers and Cyberwar: The merging of the virtual landscape with the real is where humans could become redundant. The Department of Defense and Homeland Security have made it clear that cyber terrorism is the next great threat. Furthermore, they have announced that the cyber battlefield will be a representation of the real one, with computer attacks prompting real-world response. This could be the last step of full integration, as computers and communications networks connect in one overall web of attack and response – with humanity left only to wonder how things could have spiraled so far out of control. Are we facing future wars conducted only between drones? How long before their autonomous capabilities go too far?
At the very least, our real world is beginning to dangerously resemble a computer game with the players residing far from the battlefield. Classified, black-budget military research and capabilities are many decades ahead of public awareness. So, while we do know that the reality of non-human war is here . . . we can only imagine what comes next.