Support the IEET




The IEET is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization registered in the State of Connecticut in the United States. Please give as you are able, and help support our work for a brighter future.



Search the IEET
Subscribe and Contribute to:


Technoprogressive? BioConservative? Huh?
Quick overview of biopolitical points of view




whats new at ieet

Currency Multiplicity: Social Economic Networks

#21: Your nanorobotics future: life truly becomes ‘magical’

Meaning, Value and the Collective Afterlife: Must others survive for our lives to have meaning?

From German Idealism to American Pragmatism

Torture and the Ticking Time Bomb

#22: Ray Kurzweil on Rationality and the Moral Considerability of Intelligent Machines


ieet books

Virtually Human: The Promise—-and the Peril—-of Digital Immortality
Author
Martine Rothblatt


comments

instamatic on 'Four questions for Social Futurists, and others' (Dec 18, 2014)

CygnusX1 on 'Four questions for Social Futurists, and others' (Dec 17, 2014)

instamatic on 'Four questions for Social Futurists, and others' (Dec 17, 2014)

CygnusX1 on 'Four questions for Social Futurists, and others' (Dec 16, 2014)

instamatic on 'Four questions for Social Futurists, and others' (Dec 15, 2014)

CygnusX1 on 'Four questions for Social Futurists, and others' (Dec 15, 2014)

Axiom on 'IEET Audience Wants Regulation of DIY Biohacking' (Dec 14, 2014)







Subscribe to IEET News Lists

Daily News Feed

Longevity Dividend List

Catastrophic Risks List

Biopolitics of Popular Culture List

Technoprogressive List

Trans-Spirit List



JET

Enframing the Flesh: Heidegger, Transhumanism, and the Body as “Standing Reserve”

Moral Enhancement and Political Realism

Intelligent Technologies and Lost Life

Hottest Articles of the Last Month


Does Religion Cause More Harm than Good? Brits Say Yes. Here’s Why They May be Right.
Nov 18, 2014
(21147) Hits
(2) Comments

Review of Michio Kaku’s, Visions: How Science Will Revolutionize the 21st Century
Dec 15, 2014
(8643) Hits
(0) Comments

What Will Life Be Like Inside A Computer?
Dec 7, 2014
(8145) Hits
(0) Comments

Bitcoin and Science: DNA is the Original Decentralized System
Nov 24, 2014
(7492) Hits
(0) Comments



IEET > Security > Military > Fellows > Mike Treder

Print Email permalink (0) Comments (5351) Hits •  subscribe Share on facebook Stumble This submit to reddit submit to digg


Future War Revisited


Mike Treder
By Mike Treder
Responsible Nanotechnology

Posted: Nov 20, 2008

Think of a futuristic war scenario where soldiers are firing smart weapons from the confines of their command centres.weapons that are capable of intercepting and destroying virtually all enemy attack weapons and yet, they are fired from unmanned vehicles thereby minimising all possibilities of human casualties.

This is the promise that nanotechnology has in store for the global defence industry, which is pumping billions of dollars in nanotech research, examining how nano science can improve defence capabilities. Potential benefits of nanotechnology in the defence industry include stronger, lighter and less-expensive materials and enhanced protection for military personnel.

Robot-army-3

That's the opening of an article in Financial Express titled "Small Wonders" [hat tip to Nanotechnology Now]. What they describe in that excerpt represents the type of advanced nanotechnology impact on warfighting that CRN has been warning about since at least 2005, when we provided this assessment about one kind of risk for a Millennium Project survey:

Large quantities of smart weapons — especially miniaturized, robotic weapons and intelligent, target-seeking ammunition without reliable remote off-switches could lead to unexpected injury to combatants and civilians, destruction to infrastructure, and environmental pollution.
The rest of the Financial Express article deals mostly with 1st and 2nd generation nanotechnologies, although not explicitly. In fact, it tends to confuse some of the expected benefits of advanced nanotech ("visions of lightweight materials many times stronger than steel") with earlier generation projections.

We've noted this sort of problem many times before, of course. It's difficult to keep writers from making such mistakes when even so-called experts in the field will sometimes conflate the risks and benefits of molecular manufacturing with other less revolutionary nanoscale technologies.

Crisis

For a more accurate and more complete look at the future of warfare, especially in the context of advanced nanotechnology, take a look at this presentation that I gave at the World Future Society annual conference in 2007 (and subsequently presented to a group of officers at the U.S. Naval War College).

Further understanding of the potential impacts of emerging technologies on waging war can be gained by reading a convincing future scenario called "Crisis in Zefra," prepared by Canada's Directorate of Land Strategic Concepts.

No matter how you look at it, the future looks more precarious than the present, unless we are fortunate and suddenly mature as a species before it's too late.


Mike Treder is a former Managing Director of the IEET.
Print Email permalink (0) Comments (5352) Hits •  subscribe Share on facebook Stumble This submit to reddit submit to digg


COMMENTS


YOUR COMMENT (IEET's comment policy)

Login or Register to post a comment.

Next entry: Prospicience (The Art and Science of Looking Ahead) and Geoengineering

Previous entry: Don’t Change Your “Self” - Change the World

HOME | ABOUT | FELLOWS | STAFF | EVENTS | SUPPORT  | CONTACT US
SECURING THE FUTURE | LONGER HEALTHIER LIFE | RIGHTS OF THE PERSON | ENVISIONING THE FUTURE
CYBORG BUDDHA PROJECT | AFRICAN FUTURES PROJECT | JOURNAL OF EVOLUTION AND TECHNOLOGY

RSSIEET Blog | email list | newsletter |
The IEET is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization registered in the State of Connecticut in the United States.

Contact: Executive Director, Dr. James J. Hughes,
56 Daleville School Rd., Willington CT 06279 USA 
Email: director @ ieet.org     phone: 860-297-2376