The concept of warfare is evolving. Traditional battlefields where two enemies face-off are now often replaced or supplemented by new, shadowier technologies. Cyber-attacks on crucial state infrastructure are now a reality. Drones can bomb and kill civilians thousands of miles away from where they are being controlled, in a process likened to a computer game. Biological warfare was identified by the Doomsday Clock scientists as a very real developing threat. Artificial intelligence poses ethical and security concerns about where taking humans out of the decision-making process could lead – potentially even to the use of nuclear weapons.
And the militarisation of space is an increasing concern for peace activists, not least following the US’ creation of a Space Force, and the establishment of UK Space Command in 2021. Billions of pounds are being spent by a number of countries on militarising space – on sophisticated surveillance and communication systems, satellites, ground-based stations and new technologies such as armed drones, controlled through satellites. Warfare has become almost totally dependent on space technology.
The US Missile Defence system is making the world a more dangerous place by leading us into a new arms race. The UK plays a crucial role in the missile defence system with key bases at Fylingdales, Menwith Hill, Croughton and elsewhere.
Conflict between states is now subject to increasingly complex and ever-changing factors, and CND calls for more robust parliamentary and public scrutiny of developments.
The impact of new technologies on future wars will be huge, as will the new challenges we’ll face as a result.
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