True Military Applications of Nanotech

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Wed Jan 10 2001 - 18:31:48 MST

John Marlow wrote:
> Thanks for the pointers. As to local infestations, you
> could always satellite detect and nuke 'em--but when
> you add decision and flight time to target--you're too
> late in most cases. Add the fact that the target may
> well lie inside the borders of another nation and
> decision time alone screws it.

As a veteran, I can specifically say that the general purpose
disassembler you are freaky of has absolutely no military value
whatsoever. Weapons of mass destruction generally don't either, they are
political weapons. Any weapon that is as likely to kill the user as the
target has no value, since it gives no advantage to the user. Good
military nanotech disassemblers will target specific compounds that have
military value: phosphors used in night vision goggles, quartz crystals
used in optics, kevlar compounds in body armor, titanium and armor
ceramics, nitrocellulose munitions, mercury fulminate, food ration
packaging materials, burn treatment compounds, jock itch/athletes foot
medications, teflon (gaskets and other seals), turbine blade ceramics,
etc... or that will alter the properties of materials, such as remove
the springiness in springs so that the actions on firearms no longer
function, soften the metal in tank treads so they wear out and fall
apart sooner, convert gasoline molecules to flame retardants, de-dope
semiconductors, short dielectrics in klystron switches used in nukes,
turn toilet paper into nitrocellulose paper (which blows up in the
hand), etc...

These types of targeted nanites will eliminate the enemy's ability to
conduct combat operations, which is the proper goal of war.

Such nanites could have long term lingering impact upon the
technological infrastructure of an economy beyond just military devices
unless the enemy provides some means to deactivate them after the
conflict is over, and if they are highly mobile. They will not, however,
destroy the planet or exterminate the human race.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 09:56:18 MDT