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A fantastic reality
Here is a news post that quite literally borders on the fantastic:
The French Defence Innovation Agency is creating a special working group called the Red Team, which consists of science fiction writers. The creative think tank will supposedly help the French military come up with adequate responses to devastating threats of the future. The US Department of Defence has been known to use the talent of sci-fi writers before.
It is assumed that the writers' imaginations will help envision situations that the top brass can't predict.
The futurologists' projects, as well as the team's lineup, will remain classified. Of course, the defence agency won't be buying just any idea divorced from geopolitical realities.
And what if we try to fantasize too?
Armies began to change from living to nonliving forces. Initially, the effects of the change were undramatic. The new, nonliving microsoldier required a whole new approach to tactics, strategy, and, of course, to the question of what kinds of weapons he could put to best use.
Stanislaw Lem. Weapons Systems of the Twenty-first Century: The Upside-down Evolution
Then Stanislaw Lem talks about mechanical insects—somewhat primitive mechanisms. Although driven by simple logic, they are inexpensive and operate as part of a swarm.
But the operating unit was a microarmy, which possessed superior combat effectiveness only as a whole (just as a colony of bees was an independent, surviving unit while a single bee was nothing).
This effectively prophesises today’s drone swarms. Even recent works of fiction such as Star Wars still depict starfighters being manned by living humans. However, not too long ago the American military presented a new shark-like robot frolicking carelessly in the ocean and awaiting orders.
Most of this “nonliving micropersonnel” could, at the first warning of an atomic attack, dig deep into the ground and then crawl out after the explosion, maintaining combat functions even in an environment glowing with terrible radioactivity, because these soldiers were not only microscopic but nonbiological.
Micro drones can spread across the globe. Perhaps, none of them can be used as a weapon on their own. But, at a designated time, they may come together like pieces of a puzzle.
A microarmy could easily penetrate all systems of defence and go deep into enemy territory. It had no more trouble accomplishing this than did rain or snow.
Imagine a world with myriads of microscopic armies lying in wait and ready to spring into action at any time. And hackers in a relentless search for vulnerabilities in the armies’ control systems. And a black market rife with information for sale about the armies’ vulnerabilities and exploits that can be used to abuse them. An obedient mindless horde that may rise to the call of a power-thirsty madman seeking to wipe this civilisation from the face of the Earth.
Imagine that you are a sci-fi writer. What future would you foresee?
"The Ministry points out that secrecy is necessary to protect sensitive information and maintain a reliable defence against potential enemies". Meanwhile, recent Russian sci-fi stories mostly revolve around accidental travels—perhaps, that's because other noteworthy sci-fi ideas are now classified?