Anything can be a weapon in the 21st century

Anything can be a weapon in the 21st century

Conventional weapons are becoming more and more expensive; public opinion (even in authoritarian regimes) less and less tolerant of combat casualties and, for that matter, gone are the days when power was measured by the number of coal mines or seaports. warm waters. States have always used nonmilitary means to intimidate, provoke, or entangle the enemy and gain victory.. However, today's world is more complex and inextricably interconnected than at any time before. Traditionally, interdependence was considered to prevent wars. Which was true in a way, but the tensions that led to contention did not go away, so interdependence became the new battleground. Wars without fighting, conflicts settled with all sorts of unconventional meansfrom subversion to sanctions, from memes to murder, may well be becoming the new normal.

As a result, the dividing lines between war and peace can be blurred to near irrelevance, and "victory" no longer goes beyond signaling that today's day was a good one, with no guarantees about what tomorrow will bring. Instead, we will live in a world marked by ongoing, often unnoticed and endless low-intensity conflict, where even our allies can be our opponents. We have reached a time when, especially with regard to the current confrontation between Russia and Western countries, there is talk of the "weaponization" of this or that, from information to violent football fans. . Strange as that last sounded, yes: after Russian fanaty supporters clashed with British hooligans in France during Euro 2016, a "domestic government source" He declared, with self-righteousness and little foundation, that "what happened seems to be an extension of the hybrid war launched by Putin."

When everything can be turned into a weapon, it would seem that this concept loses all meaning. This is a valid objection up to a point, for as much as all things are susceptible to being used as a weapon, some of them are more susceptible than others. This book is a field guide to the new way of warfare, or perhaps a new way of warfare, or even the new world of warfare.. It is not so much a prediction as an introduction to a possible trajectory in the future. As the COVID pandemic has reminded us, life takes many unexpected turns. It is easiest to consider that the future described here is dystopian, characterized by eternal conflict, in which everything can be wielded as a weapon. And yet I for one would much rather be attacked with memes than with nukes and luckily information warfare doesn't include bombing

artillery. I cannot even imagine a future characterized by bloodless conflicts – people continue to die from economic sanctions, anti-vaccine misinformation and the misappropriation of funds destined for health – but one that is at least not so bloody, in which direct war between one state and another is less practicable as a default method. It's also a world where the good guys in the movie, if they get their act together, are in a position to use those same tools just as effectively as the bad guys. Yes, I am using these terms ironically, because in geopolitics everyone serves their own interests, which are rarely good or bad as a whole, but rather ugly to varying degrees. And yet, it is possible to draw some faint and blurred lines that separate those powers more or less committed to stability and an international order based on legality from those who generally have no qualms about ignoring both.

Ultimately, the purpose of this work is nonpartisan. Like it or not, this is one of the paths that the world may well be taking. It is always possible to complain about the use against us that other more alert and agile powers, with less scruples, may be making of these instruments, but if all we do is react, we will never go beyond complaining. And in the end, nothing is as powerful as the weaponization of the intellect and imagination at our service.

To know more

“Everything is a weapon. A field guide to the new wars.

Awaken Iron Editions

232 pp. 23,95€