October 21, 2003

Coherent Light. Incoherent Policy?

Developments in solid state lasers may lead to practical battlefield applications in the near future according to this article.

What are the implications of being able to shoot mortar and artillery shells out of the air? To knock ballistic missiles out of the sky before they can deliver their payloads? What about soldiers equipped with nano-surgeons
that radically improve a soldier's chances of surviving a battlefield wound? Is it a good thing for our military to become, effectively, invincible? I part ways with many fellow libertarians in my support for the overseas war on terrorism and my wholehearted agreement with Deputy Defense Secretary Wolfowitz's proposed "cure" for terrorism outlined in his September 13, 2001 comments.

But I occasionally grow concerned about the long term health of our republic in the face of a quasi-imperial and essentially invincible military, a theme expanded upon by Jerry Pournelle here.

Of one thing I am sure: we cannot stop developing improved military technologies (and we cannot surrender our nukes voluntarily) unless we are willing to surrender sovereignty to an illiberal hegemon like China.

Posted by JohnL at October 21, 2003 12:00 AM
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