Modern Warfare

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December 01, 2023

Why in news?

Recent Israel-Palestine conflict showed that even in today’s digital age, militaries need to be prepared to fight analogue wars without relying on state-of-the-art technology.

What is the need for modern warfare?

Modern warfare is a term that refers to the use of advanced technology and strategies to conduct war in the 20th and 21st centuries.

  • Dynamic war nature- To keep pace with the changing nature of war and the emergence of new technologies, such as hypersonic weapons, artificial intelligence, and space capabilities
  • Counter threats- To counter the asymmetrical and unconventional threats from non-state actors, who use guerrilla tactics, cyberattacks, and weapons of mass destruction
  • Efficiency- To enhance the precision, speed, and efficiency of weapons and operations, reducing the collateral damage and human costs of war
  • Increase compliance- To comply with the legal and ethical constraints on the use of force and the protection of human rights

To know emerging technologies in defence, click here

What are the limitations of modern warfare?

  • High cost- It is expensive and requires a lot of resources to develop, maintain and operate.
  • Inaccuracy- It is unreliable and may fail or malfunction in harsh or unpredictable environments.
  • Vulnerability- It is dependent on external agencies such as satellites, networks, power grids, etc. that may be disrupted or hacked by adversaries.
  • Ethical constraints- It may create ethical, legal and moral dilemmas for the users and decision-makers.
  • Disrupt human resource- It may reduce the human skills, creativity and judgment that are essential for warfare.
  • Compromise training- The focus of training syllabi shifts to operating these gadgets thus compromising both operator and maintainer training.
  • Unconventional threats- Technology cannot always counter the low-tech or unconventional methods that use technologies to exploit the vulnerabilities of the conventional forces.
  • Constant upgradation- It requires constant innovation and transformation of military organizations, doctrines and concepts to keep pace with the changing nature of war and the emergence of new technologies.
  • Unprepared for analogue war- Militaries that rely too much on technology may lose the ability to fight without it.

What lies ahead?

  • Militaries need to rethink their approach to warfare and balance the use of technology with simplicity, robustness, security and reliability.
  • They must prepare for a range of options from sticks and stones to strategic deterrence.
  • The armed forces should retain the ability to fight without depending on high-tech equipment.



Indian Express- Fighting analogue wars in digital age

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