We are seeing a completely new revolution in warfare and one that will not diminish. The thousand fold increase in the use of drones is an example of the trend. It costs too much to train a pilot and and replace one that has died to go back to all manned combat missions. Use of robot anti-IED devices has increased without abate. It’s not that hard to see how one unmanned weapon will be used against another unmanned weapon as a matter of course. Think about interceptor missiles that track and destroy incoming warheads. That’s a machine versus machine proposition. This is just the beginning of unmanned terrestrial machines projecting force against other live soldiers. When the day come sthat an army can be significantly augmented on the ground with machines that think or respond to remote operators, we will never go back.
Once iron and steel replaced bronze and stone weapons human beings never retreated. The amazing thing about living now is that we are seeing weapons change faster than any previous generation. Combat with stone axes lasted thousands of years. combat with bow and arrows lasted hundreds of years. Combat with manned aircraft will last probably about 150 years. once robots are fighting, the change will come faster and faster. Combat by robot proxy will continue until we watch Terminator in 50 years, and we will laugh at the forms we thought machines would take.
The reason is simple. Combat is hard. The military leaders we read about in history books and the Bible are gone. There are no more Alexanders and Robert E. Lees that lead from the front. Combat commanders will once and for all be absent from the battlefield. Once the Romans could fill legions ranks with Goths and Gauls and other “auxiliaries” Rome never took the lead again.
History repeats itself.