The Future of War in the Developed World
Here’s a short text published a year ago, which turned into a much deeper collective reflection, through the comments (that I won’t post here), covering the subjects of the ongoing technocratic development to the « Coming Insurrection » in the over-developed Western world, all the weaponry and counter-weaponry in development, in a pro-tracted, still mostly imagined, and heavily-garrisoned conception of a future war already unfolding, actually nothing else than the social war fought through and out of the technologic biopower…
By Ian Welsh
I’ve been meaning to write about the fact that people don’t understand the lessons of Iraq, Afghanistan and Mexico for some time.
In simple terms: the US military, the most expensive, most powerful military in the world, lost in Iraq (they had to pay bribes to leave). They are losing in Afghanistan. In Mexico the state has been unable to control drug gangs. In Lebanon, the IDF, the most powerful military in the Middle East, was defeated by Hezbollah. Hezbollah also won the e-lint war against the IDF.
(Kicking this to the top again, I want more people to see it. – Ian)
Technology is not necessarily on the side of the great powers, of the big armies. IEDs are cheap, any halfway competent mechanic can make them with materials that are readily available even in Afghanistan. Weapons are widely available everywhere, and soon it will be trivial to 3D print most of them. Drones, which people are so scared of (with reason) are essentially remote controlled airplanes, they are not hard to make, and they will spread to guerillas, resistance movements, terrorists and so on.
These are, yes, terror weapons, as the US, in its use of bombing and drones, well understands. They are also area denial weapons, weapons that prey on the psyche of the opposition, leaving them no peace and quiet.
They are weapons whose widespread use can and will destroy nations by destroying the peace and stability required for prosperity and normal life.
But they are very, very effective. They will work in virtually any nation if a large enough portion of the population wants them to work.
Do not think that the more intelligent members of current elites don’t know this. They understand what many on the left don’t: that first world militaries can be defeated, have been defeated, and that it can happen in their own countries.
And I suspect they are very very scared. The surveillance state, routine assassinations by the executive, the loss of habeas corpus, and so on, are their response. Total surveillance, and the ability to take people out anywhere, any time, is their answer, which is why I keep saying that I will know people are serious about revolution when they take out surveillance systems as a matter of routine, when surveillance becomes ethically anathema.
Be scared, not because those on the left who insist that modern militaries are unbeatable and all anyone can do is supplicate the powerful are right, but because militaries are very fightable, but such fights leave countries in ruins. If the elites continue on their current course, in many first world countries, Iraq and Afghanistan and Mexico are the future. People with no future will fight, and too many people now know how this form of war works.
This is the future of war. If elites continue on their path of unaccountability, their insistence on destroying the future, and their crushing of prosperity, this is what will happen…