How COVID 19 May Change Future Weapons and War
Video Report: Army Research Lab Scientist Tell Warrior About AI-Enabled Robot Tanks
By Kris Osborn - Warrior Maven
(Washington D.C.) Adding respirator equipment, anti-viral medications and advanced sanitizing equipment into tanks and armored vehicles, engineering weapons systems with biological warfare resistance and hardening technologies and creating new tactical, strategic and doctrinal nuances to warfare requirements -- all seem like things the Pentagon might start to explore as a way to adapt to longer-term impacts of COVID 19.
Perhaps forward-operating, dismounted infantry might soon be carrying advanced bio-hazmat equipment as part of their required gear? Perhaps Navy ships will need to add new kinds of bio-war technologies into on-board layered defense systems? -- as it certainly seems feasible that a potential enemy might seek to disperse or drop pathogens from the air or even some kind of approaching missile. Perhaps the Navy is already thinking about new kinds of bio-defense-equipped interceptor missiles engineered to take out approaching weapons at safe stand-off ranges? Would advancing infantry develop new protocol to better destroy enemy soldiers from 6ft or more stand-off distances in situations where they might otherwise engage in close-in hand to hand combat? Maybe F-22s and F-35s will be engineered with new air-filter technology to fend off any aerial pathogens sent toward them as an attack?
It almost goes without saying that military medics, forward-operating medical personnel and even make-shift war hospitals will increasingly be equipped with medicines and technologies needed to fight-off, defend and treat sickness caused by pathogens potentially released by enemies. The medical community is already working on vaccines for COVID 19, and many are doubtless exploring new kinds of human-immunity approaches, medications and procedures.
With all of these potentially alarming or dangerous possibilities in mind, senior service leaders are already starting to think about engineering new technologies and adjusting warfare procedures.
In fact, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said there is already some evidence that adversaries are “already trying to take advantage of this situation,” according to an April 1 Air Force report. Air Force Report
Gen. John Murray, Commander of Army Futures Command, recently told reporters that the service was already beginning to look at new requirements related to the long-term combat impacts of COVID 19.
New sanitation protocol is already in place across much of the military services; for instance, Air Force crew members are already sanitizing F-22 cockpits as a way to sustain testing, operations and combat readiness at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia. Air Force Report
Air Force photo - F-22s at Fort Eustis, Va.
While soldiers carried hazmat gear to counter Saddam Hussein’s possible use of chemical weapons during the Gulf War, new threats in a modern or future warfare environment may need re-adjusted tactics and yet-to-exist technologies.
Interestingly, a 2006 essay from the National Institute of Health seems to recognize and further anticipate the potentially devastating impact of virus-caused epidemics. At the time, the essay, titled “Tweaking Innate Immunity: the Promise of Innate Immunologicals as Anti-infectives,”
posits that the “H5N1 avian influenza virus could rapidly cause anywhere between four and 150 million deaths in a short time are serving as a wake-up call that we, as a global society, must safeguard ourselves against an increasing number of infectious threats.” (US National Library of Medicine, NIH, by Kenneth Rosenthal) NIH ESSAY
Many have compared COVID 19 to a virulent kind of flu-virus, prompting fast-moving efforts to discover new vaccines -- as suggested by the 2006 NIH essay.
…..New and exciting insights into activation and the importance of the innate immune system are revolutionizing our understanding of protection against infections and how vaccine adjuvants work…..
Osborn previously served at the Pentagon as a Highly Qualified Expert with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army - Acquisition, Logistics& Technology. Osborn has also worked as an anchor and on-air military specialist at national TV networks. He has appeared as a guest military expert on Fox News, MSNBC, The Military Channel and The History Channel. He also has a Masters Degree in Comparative Literature from Columbia University.