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Thread: Old Generals New Technology

  1. #1 Old Generals New Technology 
    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Apart from the fact I find it more difficult as I age to understand technology as it evolves so I can't help but wonder if with each new advancement, whether or not older commanders are more readily equipped/qualified to use it over a younger individual, perhaps even a young corporal. Also wondering if field/combat decisions should be left up to the individuals actually in the front lines, not some General in the rear, miles from the action. I guess I might be asking if newer advanced military technology is making war a younger man's/woman's game.

    Found this :https://www.brookings.edu/articles/t...nd-the-perils/

    Excerpt: Too frequently, generals at a distance use technology to insert themselves into matters formerly handled by those on the scene and at ranks several layers of command below them. “?‘It’s like crack [cocaine] for generals,’ says Chuck Kamps, a professor of joint warfare at the Air Command and Staff College. ‘It gives them an unprecedented ability to meddle in mission commanders’ jobs.”

    Thoughts? Communication with the front is one thing but what about actually using advanced weaponry, who would understand it more....younger field personnel or the old guard sipping cognac in the rear? Yes I know older people can learn new technology also.


    Last edited by zinjanthropos; November 11th, 2018 at 11:39 AM.
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  3. #2  
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    someone (or some people) has to hold the overall picture.
    Also (sadly) in warfare you have to be able to sacrifice your own men at times for the wider goal.

    Again those people probably operate more effectively if they do not have direct physical fear.

    All very sad , but yes no doubt modern warfare is a whole new kettle of fish.. look how successful Al Qaeda and Isis were /are (arguably the masters at psychological warfare allied to sheer brutality)


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    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Technology allows (sadly) micromanagement.
    A general's job is keep an eye on how the fight is going, but current (let alone future) tech does allow a general to keep an eye on individual skirmishes (or sub-sections of any given battle) and, to some extent, interfere with it.
    War, at the sharp end, has always been a young(er) man's game but now the tech allows the older men (who may well have experience and knowledge) to start telling individual troops what to do. That is not their job. A general should ensure that forces are in place, that commanders of units are aware of their targets/ objectives and then let them get on with it.
    John G. Hemry wrote some SF novels (the Stark series) that used this micromanagement as plot point.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Technology allows (sadly) micromanagement.
    A general's job is keep an eye on how the fight is going, but current (let alone future) tech does allow a general to keep an eye on individual skirmishes (or sub-sections of any given battle) and, to some extent, interfere with it.
    War, at the sharp end, has always been a young(er) man's game but now the tech allows the older men (who may well have experience and knowledge) to start telling individual troops what to do. That is not their job. A general should ensure that forces are in place, that commanders of units are aware of their targets/ objectives and then let them get on with it.
    John G. Hemry wrote some SF novels (the Stark series) that used this micromanagement as plot point.
    Seems like old Generals are playing the ultimate Call of Duty video game. When you run out of lives, just call in some reinforcements or green recruits. Can't remember the name of the Star Trek episode where warring sides had computers run a simulated battle and if your number came up, civilian or military, you had to report to a nearby death station to complete the day. No real weapons, only death should you be selected.

    Come to think of it.....a video game where one not only plans the tactics, targets, attacks etc but where one also gets right in the foxhole to play it out actually might work. Or has someone already accomplished this?
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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