Issue Brief on “Tech-Military Revolutions & Their Shifting Impact on Global Security”


Tech-Military Revolutions

Over the years, new types of weapons that frequently gave a military edge have been made feasible by developments in science and technology. Most of the time, advancements in military technology happen gradually, but occasionally there are qualitative shifts that are so significant that they qualify as revolutions. One was characterized by the invention of firearms, while the other was by nuclear weapons. For over 30 years, the emergence of electronics, sensors, precise weapons, networked communication and a “system of systems” has been referred to as a “revolution in military affairs.” ‎

We are already in the midst of a more fundamental transformation. It will be characterized by cyber warfare, widespread military Artificial Intelligence (AI) uses, new genetics-related technologies, human body and mind manipulation and more widespread access to destructible technology.‎[1] Some most recent advancements are highlighted below.

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