by Sam Culper
Prepare for War in the Pre-Electronic Age
With the technological superiority of the US military, and with US state and regime law enforcement electronic capability potential not too terribly far behind, should FREEFOR be preparing for a war in the pre-electronic age? A Marine Corps Reserve Captain believes that the US military should brace for impact in the event of a world war due to the advancing electronic and cyber warfare capabilities of their adversaries. He states the case:
Major battles in the 21st century will be confusing and disorganized affairs more similar to the clashes of a pre-digital age than the ‘network-centric’ combat we’ve become accustomed to. A new generation of offensive technology targeting the electromagnetic spectrum — systems such as cyberweapons, electronic jammers, anti-satellite missiles, and electromagnetic pulse (EMP) munitions — will deprive militaries of the sensor and communications links they rely on. Forget 24-hour streaming video from a Predator drone. Armies of the future may struggle just to use their radios.
And with that in mind – the potential for electrical outages and jammed communications – FREEFOR really ought to consider training not for how they expect to fight, but maybe for how they don’t expect to fight. Pilots spend 99% of their time training for emergency events that may only happen 1% of the time. But in that 1% event, hundreds of lives are depending on the pilots’ abilities to safely guide that aircraft. In a grid down situation — a 1% event — your entire paradigm of down time in combat operations (or stability/support operations) will be changed. I recommend taking this Captain’s advice and consider spending some time training without electronic inter-team communications, electronic optics or any technology powered by electricity or batteries. (Kudos to you if you’re already doing that.)