RE: sleep and extropian dreams

Billy Brown (
Tue, 2 Nov 1999 11:08:12 -0600

Spike Jones wrote:
> ... yet the message of the film is moving and in a way
> extropian, for we are standing on a threshold of a dream:
> We can *finally* do away with this madness of men on a
> field shooting lead at each other.

> This brutal and devastating style of fighting is finally
> coming to an end, as was shown in Desert Storm. The foot
> soldier is obsolete.

Sorry, Spike, but it isn't going to be that easy. Foot soldiers won't be obsolete until we can build equally capable robots for less than it costs to train men, and that won't be for another 10-20 years.

The ability to bomb enemy leaders is not the same as the ability to kill them. Even if it were, it is unusual to have a serious war in which killing one man will change anything. The really ugly wars are the ones that have broad popular support, and in that kind of situation killing a leader just gives the other side a martyr.

Desert Storm showed that air power has become the dominant offensive weapon in relatively open terrain, but that leaves lots and lots of roles that must still be filled by the infantry. Planes cannot capture terrain, they can only weaken an enemies ability to resist. Open terrain can be taken by armored forces, but in close terrain (and especially in urban areas) there is no substitute for infantry - and since major cities are critical targets in any real war, that means infantry remain essential even in a modern army.

Billy Brown, MCSE+I