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21st Century Warfare

21st Century Warfare
July 08
11:09 2021

21st-century warfare is evolving rapidly and is in contrast with previous military concepts and methods, and compels combatants to stay updated constantly and modernize.

Since the “gunpowder revolution” that marked early modern warfare, other landmark military developments have been, artillery marked by the Crimean War; the reliance on railways with the American Civil War; the use of the machine gun, aircraft, tank, or radio in World War I. Modern warfare is tied to total war, industrial warfare, mechanized warfare, nuclear warfare and counter-insurgency.

In the recent past, we have been witnessing futuristic warfare, where nation states have begun to use drones with accuracy for specific targets of opponents. For example, US drones were used against Iranian military commander while travelling in a convoy near Iraq border. And more recently Pakistani terror attacks using drones to target Indian Air Force in Jammu & Kashmir. China is not far behind and uses cyber warfare against several nations.

Military installations aside the new warfare includes soft targets, which includes key industries like power grids, defense establishments well beyond territory borders, railways and even healthcare industries.
Last week saw cyber attacks on a colossal scale that hit about 200 businesses. The gang REvil Group, behind the attack, has claimed it has hit 1-Million targets and now demands $70 million in Bitcoin. The federal US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency said in a statement it is taking action to address this attack.

About two decades ago only a few countries had capabilities of advanced warfare technology. In the near future we are likely to see rogue countries like China, Pakistan or even Russia, using such methods, as it is not only cost effective but also does not require large scale movement of human troops and manually operated equipment. Yet it can create havoc against any opponent big or small.

Democratic countries like US and India have already been victims of this new warfare. In the very near future several countries will face this unpredictable war. Drones and cyber attacks will become common practice to target enemy property. The advancement of space technology could witness another danger of countries using hi-tech laser beams to target installations from outer space.

21st century warfare will include robots, laser and space technology. So far most of the advanced countries have been using futuristic technologies for peaceful human development but we may soon experience otherwise. Movement of troops could become a thing of the past, which would be replaced by robots. The technology exists but the caveat is, it will depend who can manufacture these robots on a large scale. Cyber attacks are already taking place and the recent Wuhan Virus is also being suspected to be a bio-weapon under development in China. It has taken more than 4.5 million lives globally.

UN and other international governance organizations will need to adapt and address, in earnest and without delay, their strategies on these increasingly imminent global threats.

So far US has been the leader in research and development of advanced technologies and also responsible for sharing and funding such scientific findings and discoveries. But there lies real danger of such technologies landing up in wrong hands be they rogue nations or terrorists.

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