søndag 28. januar 2018

Neste krig

Jeg ligger litt på etterskudd når det gjelder å anbefale gode artikler fra mitt favorittmagasin The Economist. Men de skriver stadig interessante ting, selv om jeg ikke har vært så flink til å skrive om det her på bloggen.

For eksempel i siste nummer der hovedlederen handler om "The next war", det vil si hvordan militære konflikter vil foregå i fremtiden. Det slår de fast at muligheten for en militær konflikt mellom stormakter i verden er økende. Og i en "special report" over mange sider går de dypere inn i denne tematikken under overskriften "The new battlegrounds - The future of war".

De drøfter hvordan fremtidens kriger vil være forskjellige fra de vi har hatt tidligere og går igjennom flere ulike høyst aktuelle og relevante problemstillinger som belyser dette. Og avslutter med to kapitler om krigføring ved bruk av roboter, automatiserte beslutninger og kunstig intelligens. Flere forhold gjøre at disse våpensystemene vil kunne bli veldig mye billigere å utvikle og bruke enn dagens mest avanserte våpensystemer, noe som i følge The Economist kan bety fundamentale endringer:

"Potentially the biggest change to the way wars are fought will come from deploying lots of robots simultaneously. Paul Scharre, an autonomous-weapons expert at CNAS who has pioneered the concept of “swarming”, argues that “collectively, swarms of robotic systems have the potential for even more dramatic, disruptive change to military operations.” Swarms can bring greater mass, co-ordination, intelligence and speed. As Mr Scharre points out, swarming will solve a big problem for America. The country currently depends on an ever-decreasing number of extremely capable but eye-wateringly expensive multi-mission platforms which, if lost at the outset of a conflict, would be impossible to replace. A single F-35 aircraft can cost well over $100m, an attack submarine $2.7bn and a Ford-class carrier with all its aircraft approaching $20bn. 

By contrast, low-cost, expendable distributed platforms can be built in large numbers and controlled by relatively few humans. Swarms can make life very difficult for adversaries. They will come in many shapes and sizes, each designed to carry out a particular mission, such as reconnaissance over a wide area, defending ships or troops on the ground and so on. They will be able to work out the best way to accomplish their mission as it unfolds, and might also be networked together into a single “swarmanoid”. Tiny 3D-printed drones, costing perhaps as little as a dollar each, says Mr Scharre, could be formed into “smart clouds” that might permeate a building or be air-dropped over a wide area to look for hidden enemy forces."