A lot of things have changed since caissons struggled to pull cannons to the top of Lookout Mountain in Tennessee. Modern warfare is not waged with merely bullets and bombs. In fact, the number of non-lethal weapons at one’s disposal are so many we may be creating mini-wars just to have an excuse to use them all.
Weaponry has changed a lot since those cannons were in use. I think of the F-35 aircraft that Lockheed developed. The amazing accuracy and firepower carried in a single plane exceeds what an entire armored battalion would have had a mere fifty years ago. Development and advances in the weapons of warfare make it possible to hit targets with precision without them ever knowing they were targets. Rather scary, when one thinks about it too long.
More than just bullets and bombs, though, there are many more weapons available on a much wider scale and often at a much lower cost than what the military has to pay. In fact, the general accessibility of such weapons may actually be contributing to a higher number of socio-political wars than we’ve ever seen. Going to war over an issue suddenly becomes very easy when weapons are as close as a keyboard and we don’t have to witness bloody, bullet-ridden bodies falling all over the place. While I could make an extremely long list, consider if you will, just a few of those most commonly utilized against modern society.
Money. This one may seem rather obvious, and certainly isn’t new, but what has changed is the ability to accumulate for matters of social warfare. Case in point would be the bigoted pizza parlor that has raised nearly a million dollars through crowdfunding simply because they stated they would not cater a gay wedding. Ability to raise money quickly from unaffected but interested sources is a significant weapon in social and real wars. Just ask the so-called Islamic State.
Religion. Those of particular beliefs are reluctant to admit that the tenets of their faith can be used as a weapon, but it’s been happening for centuries. Today, it is common to observe actions by a radical sect being condemned by more moderate members of the same religion, but radical religion still wages war on both fronts, with bullets and rhetoric and political influence, on a regular basis.
Data. Few people outside the technology industry truly understand the overwhelming threat that big data holds. Tremendous amounts of information are held by technology companies such as Google and Facebook; information that tracks where you are, what you’re doing, with whom you’re conversing, what you’re buying, what you’re eating, what diseases you’re fighting. We’ve yet to see anyone actually use that data against us, but it is unquestionably the bomb waiting in the silo.
Holy weaponry, Batman. With so many non-lethal options available, it is entirely possible that wars of the future could be waged entirely through alternative methods, never requiring the firing of a single bullet or dropping a single bomb. Think about that for a moment.
I’m not so sure but what I’d rather have to deal with the cannons, especially if it’s my three boys manning them.