NIC PROJECT 2020 AND SUPEREMPOWERED SOLDIERS...AND TERRORISTS
The technology section of the NIC Project 2020 Report
had a very accurate passage on technology and the global economy:
"Moreover, future technology trends will be marked not only by accelerating advancements in individual technologies but also by a force-multiplying convergence of the technologies—information, biological, materials, and nanotechnologies—that have the potential to revolutionize all dimensions of life. Materials enabled with nanotechnology’s sensors and facilitated by information technology will produce myriad devices that will enhance health and alter business practices and models. Such materials will provide new knowledge about environment, improve security, and reduce privacy"
They will also have an inevitable force-multiplying impact on individual soldiers as realtime information technology, nanotechnology, energy weapons technology
and even genetic engineering techniques are all employed to create fighters who once existed only in the realm of science fiction. Smart body armor - eventually with exoskeleton robotic enhancements
, advanced personal weaponry
, networked supercomputer assistance will give modern militaries and terrorists the advantage over todays armies that Delta Force currently would have over George Washington's Musket wielding Continentals.
Dubious ? DARPA is already deeply involved in most of these areas, for example exoskeletons
. Even off the shelf technology can be jerry-rigged by terrorists to enhance their capabilities as al Qaida has demonstrated by adapting to the use of information technology to coordinate terror attacks.
This represents a problem less for the United States military which, presumably, will continue maintaining a technological edge on potential foes than for Gap and militarily weak Core states that are unable or unwilling to spend the money to be able to counter groups so armed and enhanced. This would also include local law enforcement within the United States who proved unable to handle bank robbers in low-tech body armor they heavily outnumbered back in 1997
until snipers arrived from SWAT.
Technology advances and terrorism will inevitably drive the paramilitarization of police forces in the Core as our " First Responders" will have to be able to at least delay terrorists until better armed help can be mobilized and employed.