New technologies and geopolitical competition change the nature of the wars, commenting The Economist, observing that there are new types of military, intrastate, civilian conflicts in urban areas, and anticipating that Russia and China will not accept the international domination of the United States, Mediafax .
"In the past, predictions about future types of military conflicts have often put too much emphasis on new technologies and doctrines. In the nineteenth century, the rapid victory gained by the Prussian army against France in 1870 convinced the European military headquarters that rapid mobilization by rail, rapid artillery and concentration on attack would make the short and decisive wars. These ideas were tested at the beginning of the First World War. After four years of battle in the trenches on the Western Front, they have proven to be wrong. In the 1930s it was believed that aerial bombardments over cities would prove destroying enough to generate almost immediate surrender. This hypothesis was confirmed only after the invention of nuclear weapons a decade later. When the United States demonstrated in the first Gulf War (1990-1991) the combination of high precision ammunition, new types of information and recognition, space communications and invisible technology, many people assumed that in the future the West would always obtain fast and painless victories. But after the terrorist attacks in the US on Sept. 11, 2001, the wars entered a different path, "commented columnist Matthew Symonds in an article published in The Economist magazine titled" New Battles: The Future of War - The War Is Still a War contest of wills, but geopolitical technology and competition change the nature of conflicts. "
"During the last five decades, wars between countries have become very rare and those between the great powers and their allies almost non-existent, mainly in the context of the mutual nuclear power of the nuclear weapons, but also against the backdrop of international legal constraints and decreased appetite for violence in societies relatively prosperous. On the other hand, civil and intrastate wars have been relatively numerous, especially in fragile and failed countries, and are usually long-lasting. Climate change, population growth and religious and ethnic extremism are likely to make such conflicts continue. Increasingly, military conflicts will take place in urban environments, including by 2040, two-thirds of the world's population will live in cities. The number of mega-cities with populations of over ten million people has doubled, reaching 29 in the last 20 years, and annually almost 80 million people move from rural areas to urban areas. As demonstrated recently in Aleppo and Mosul, intense urban warfare remains painful and non-selective, so it will continue to pose difficult problems for Western intervention forces with good intentions. The technology will alter both urban and other types of war, but fights will continue to be in small areas, "explains The Economist columnist
"Even though large-scale wars between major powers remain unlikely, there are less severe forms of military competition. In particular, both Russia and China do not seem willing to accept the international domination of the United States, which was a reality in the 20 years since the end of the Cold War. Both nations are interested in challenging the international order imposed by the US, and both have recently demonstrated their willingness to apply the military force to defend what they consider to be legitimate interests: Russia by annexing Crimea and destabilizing Ukraine, and China by building militarized artificial islands and exerting pressure on disputes with neighbors in the Seas of South and East China. Over the past decade, both China and Russia have massively invested in a wide range of military capabilities to counter the US's ability to exercise power on behalf of threatened or intimidated allies. In military language, these capabilities are called antiaccess / stop access in the area (A2 / AD). The purpose of these countries is not to engage in war with the US, but to make US intervention more risky and more expensive. This approach has increasingly allowed Russia and China to exploit the "gray area" between war and peace, "says columnist Matthew Symonds, explaining that such situations lead to the" hybrid war ", a combination of" military instruments, economic, diplomatic, reconnaissance and criminal acts in order to achieve a political objective. "
The main reason why the great powers will try to achieve their political objectives by means other than the open war is the nuclear threat, but that does not mean that the "balance of fear" that characterized the Cold War will remain as stable as in the past. "Russia and the US are investing a lot in modifying the current nuclear arsenal, and China is supplementing atomic capabilities, so that atomic weapons will continue to be the main military element at least until the end of the century." Both Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart, Donald Trump, in different ways, enjoys little to procure nuclear threats. The treaties for the control of atomic weapons are deteriorating, "notes the columnist The Economist, explaining that the protocols and understandings that helped to avoid the atomic conflict during the Cold War have not been renewed.
"Russia and China are now afraid that technological advance could allow the United States to threaten nuclear capabilities without resorting to an atomic attack. Washington has been working for over a decade on a concept called "Conventional Prompt Global Strike" (CPGS), although weapons systems have not yet been installed. The idea is to launch a very accurate conventional attack at hypersonic speeds (at least five times faster than the speed of sound), even through the most defensive airspace. Possible missions include countering anti-satellite weapons, targeting A2 / AD enemy networks, attacking nuclear installations in countries that do not comply with international regulations, such as North Korea, killing terrorist leaders. Russia and China claim that the "Global Rapid Aviation Convention" system can be highly destabilizing if it is used together with advanced anti-missile defense elements. Meanwhile, Russia and China are developing similar systems, "The Economist continues, noting that threats to the nuclear balance include cyber attacks or anti-satellite weapons on command systems, especially as the identity of the authors is hard to find, hindering response.
The risk of robotic weapons
"At least the world knows what life means under the shadow of nuclear weapons. But there are much bigger questions about how fast advancing artificial intelligence and assimilation of data will affect how military conflicts are unfolding, and perhaps even the framework within which people think of war. The greatest concern is that these technologies can create autonomous weapon systems that can choose to kill people independently of the way they were programmed by those who created and mobilized them, "recalls columnist Matthew Symonds, recalling that was launched internationally "Campaign to Stop Criminal Robots", with the aim of banning lethal autonomous weapons. A petition in this regard was signed by more than 1,000 experts in the field of Artificial Intelligence, including Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk and Demis Hassabis, in 2015.