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December 2nd, 2007
Systems of Mass Disruption
A few days ago, I was privileged to make a presentation on "Nanotechnology and the Future of Warfare" to a group of senior officers and affiliated civilian researchers at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. We had an enjoyable, wide-ranging, three-hour discussion about molecular manufacturing, climate change, global politics, and the ways in which wars are fought.
Although I would never presume to lecture professional service officers on military history or military science, they seemed to appreciate some of the insights I offered, not just about nanotechnology, but also about the future of weaponry and warfare in general.
One of the points I made (which is not original to me) is that in modern warfare, the real target of attack is not the opposing military—it is the will and capacity of states to make war.
Similarly, the real target of weapons of mass destruction is not the victims, but the survivors.
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