Let me preface all of this by saying that I’m an opponent of war in any form. I like to believe that there’s a peaceful resolution to every conflict. At times history has made this a tricky stance to live by, especially when taking into account dictators like Hitler. Appeasement didn’t work with Hitler. If anything, bread crumbs bred a bigger monster. So, I’m of the opinion that war shouldn’t exist, but that military strength and technology is paramount. Recourse needs to remain on the table as a solution when dealing with the intolerable, current dictators and hermit kingdoms included.
One thing about said military technology that I’ve noticed is a plateau of imagination. Most of the early designs in modern military technology were born out of World War I. Planes, tanks, and many advancements in hand-held weaponry came out of that era–just over 100 years ago. That’s 100 years without a drastic change, aside from operational upgrades to the form and function of vehicles. Tanks still roll on tracks, planes still fly (albeit much faster, and with guided weapons), and guns are still held in the hands of combatants, fired by manually aiming them.
Our designs have stayed woefully, unimaginatively stagnant. Where are the mech suits? Where are robots that jump into the fray with human operators. Where are rail guns and mobile laser rigs? Where are space weapons like Star Destroyers and Tie-Fighters? Where are nano-particles that eat away at enemy combatants? Where are heat, sound, and energy weapons? Aside from a sound device that I first heard about this week, which we still don’t know much about, a lack of imagination has permeated in our weapons development world. Strangely, this is one area that humanity has often excelled at. We’re very good at killing each other.
One reason might be simple economics–a mind towards cost-cutting. It can’t be cheap to develop giant mechs. But what hostile, combative nation wouldn’t stand down instantly in the face of them? If a belligerent opponent were to antagonize a war, and a stream of thirty-foot tall Mechwarrior style machines came marching over their border, would that not stop the conflict outright? Nuclear weapons are so messy and vague, but a Shield style Helicarrier would send a suitably specific message.
Nuclear armaments should be the bone clubs of our weapons race. Rather than reinvesting in modernizing delivery systems and stock for these absurdly messy tools, that money should be funnelled into newer, more interesting devices, like android soldiers and Terminator style Hunter-Killer craft.
One last time (I feel like I should reiterate this, based on my plucky tone), war should under no reasonable circumstances have cause to occur. But if we’re going to waste trillions of dollars on arming ourselves and measuring…missiles, we may as well also measure creative advancements that fulfill the dreams of kids who grew up on 80’s science fiction movies and Saturday morning cartoons. I would never willfully join a current army, but if they were offering Robotech flying lessons, I would undoubtedly sign on the dotted line.
Featured Image Credit: Pixelstalk
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