Gamers' Corner


Future War

Written by David Schatzman

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Information Warfare of Tomorrow
Let us expose how those new factors will influence the role of information in the future.

More open contexts: In antique settings nations were much more isolated than they are now, and that they will become in the future. It was not obvious to gather information quickly by spying on neighbors, even less to get back with it. The best approach was still to use diplomacy. Now it has almost become obsolete as a method, since you don't even have to get out of your own country in order to accumulate information from all over the world.

Increased availability of information: As our world becomes quite democratic, citizens require their governments to make information publicly available. One can read the whole military budget of a nation from his very home, and holes of classified information are filled by underground investigation circles coming up with conspiracy theories. Even low citizens can act as intelligence analysts and have an opinion of the intentions of the state. Earlier in history governments enjoyed much less that the population showed any concern about their activities.

Wider, faster and more reliable channels: In antique settings information could take weeks or months to cross countries. Even then, since oral channels are not reliable at all, they most often misinformed everyone more than anything else. Now we become aware of facts and figures in minutes, from any point of the globe. We may even someday be able to do it between planets, space stations and spaceships, on astronomical distances. Therefore, influencing the masses becomes possible, as well as reacting very quickly to potential threats. This allows for some opportunism and improvisation that undoubtedly will play a major role in futuristic strategy.

More complex cryptography: This is definitely playing a major role, as secrecy is the most important tool of war. As enemy transmissions are more likely to be intercepted by now, cryptography is now the only protection left. As a result, it has become much more reliable as the techniques improved, and still improves as more powerful computers are designed. Also, the very nature of the codes are likely to make cracking of a very different nature in the future, as it is most likely to be based on biological traits such as retina scans that are very difficult to reproduce.

On the other hand, cryptanalysis, the opposite branch of cryptography charged of breaking the codes, has improved too and continues to improve. Statistical methods are now much more effective as the computers can process much more data than they used to do before, what could allow to read messages without even breaking the code.

Improved forgery: As previously explained, forgery allows to mislead the enemy more easily and efficiently than ever, and it will do nothing but improve dramatically with the years. Fact is, even should the forgery detection techniques improve as dramatically, and people rely much more on their senses and instinct than anything else. Therefore luring them into believing any kind of facts, combined with psychological techniques, is likely to become the new field of battle for the centuries to come.

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