2,500 million years ago animals killed animals with the tools imparted to them by evolution for survival.
2,500 years before Christ. A land is forming into what will become an Empire called Assyria, loses its might and is now Syria.
In 1945, Trinity preceded Little Boy and Fat Man used in Japan by the United States which was not repeated so far.
War, Land, Nuclear power, the trinity indeed!
Well, first, not much has changed. Armies still exist. No matter how gentle and well intended you may be, hoping for this necessary evil to disappear is wishful thinking.
Nuclear power is also a necessary evil. No matter how ecological I may be, doing without it until the world has changed socio-politically is wishful thinking.
And these two necessary evils cross over as nuclear weapons.
We had to establish those facts before considering the upcoming days as regard the old land that is Syria and the events unfolding there!
Some people are worried that nuclear weapons might be involved in the Syrian scenario of Western intervention. Let us then see why this is utterly unlikely.
When you intersect nuclear power and war, our two necessary evils, you find two types of weapons : strategic and tactical.
Tactical nuclear weapons can be used in offensive battle, to destroy the enemy where the fighting is taking place. Of the nuclear powers, Russia, the US and France are the only ones that could bring tactical nukes to Syria. Before they use them though would come a reasoning : is it necessary? For the use of even tactical nuclear weapons can open the door to that of strategical ones. There is minuscule chance of seeing tactical nukes used and that would be from Israel to Iran.
You may however have heard of a possible case of tactical nuclear bombs, the terrorist kind. It is mostly a fluke. The chances that the knowledge and access to fissile materials be combined in order for someone to build such a bomb and say carry it in a truck to the heart of a big town and detonated are slim if not zero. The best provider for one of those would be a rogue nation with a nuclear program not yet strong enough to produce airplane carried bombs or missiles, North Korea comes to mind.
Strategic nukes are what most people think of when nuclear is meant for war : long-range missiles intended to bring the atomic fire to the land of the adversary, whether they be ground based or hidden under the waters in submarines. The problem with those being that if someone fires them, the rest of the gang will follow suite. If used, China, India and Pakistan will play too by force and our World as you know it will be if not destroyed at least reduced to rubbles. All the countries mentioned plus the UK and many as collateral damage would be hurt beyond recognition and the overall state of the planet would be horrendous for centuries to come.
That is why it is called nuclear deterrence and the last War was cold and the World is actually somewhat safer since these arsenals were built up despite the size of the menace hanging over our heads.
Long story made short : Bacher al or el-Assad is not worth that much even as a token representation of Russian pride!
Because of the impractical nature of nukes, things such as chemical agents such as the very gas used in Damascus last week but in fact present since WWI ( Mustard gas, Anthrax, etc ), bacteriological ones like viruses which are much easier to be used in a dirty little explosive device by terrorist or just spread in the air or water rank as higher threats and have caused the coining of the modern term : Weapons of Mass Destruction which encompass both on top of Atom’s Power.
Since we ruled out nuclear and chemical bombing occurred already, it remains possible that we amy see the use of bacteriological warfare. But again, there is a problem with that. Unless your gang/troops etc have been efficiently vaccinated, these are difficult to use too, almost as much as nukes since viruses do not differentiate well between the good guys and the bad ones, the military and the civilians and son on. Viruses, it could be argued are very equalitarian little buggers? You cannot rule them out but seeing how no one or about at present can really find who is who and doing what anymore in Syria, it wouldn’t “help” to employ them.
Is that to say then that the war will go on as it has so far with guns, light man-carried missiles / rockets and a couple tanks and planes on the Syrian government’s side, with or without possible Western intervention that would itself take the form of cruise missiles to hit army targets? Not quite!
There is another new form of technological weapon that has surfaced in the last quarter century and this one is being used actively as we write and read respectively : cyber attacks.
The Electronic Syrian Army is the name of a group that has apparently conducted Internet assaults in the last days and hours!
The above links may interest our readers. CyberWar is a brand new form of fighting and it is here to stay. It used to be that governments tried to protect their web networks from hackers or hacktivists such as Anonymous. This has changed already. We reported on Definitive Lapse of Reason about Stuxnet, the mega-worm/virus used by the American government to “infest” the Iranian nuclear program, lodging itself in computers and disrupting the use of any machine over time. We also saw the acts of cyber attacks carried during the last spat of Intifada in Palestine and Israel. The information age has very logically spawned the information battlefield and you can expect more and more of it. Each and every side first want to limit first the ability of the other to inform which prompted defensive measures. Now, the objective is offense! The reason for governments to do that is simple. The more technologically based your side is, the more hurtful the counteractions on Internet. If the centrifuges of Iran were a target, so would be the electric grid in America. This means that the more you use computers by way of the Internet, the Web, whatever you call it, the more fragile you are. Knowing this and remembering that the best defense is offense explains why war is moving to the electronic battleground.
Just as with nuclear weapons, it is the armament of the feeble to the strong. You only need a few missiles kept up to date as far as means to reach their target to deter even the mighty US to attack you. Why would they invade your land if it meant the destruction of New York or Los Angeles and the accompanying millions of deaths? Similarly, the more dependent you are on a network, the easier it is for a few hackers of worth to impede your systems, your system, your society as a whole. And some wonder why the NSA and other government agencies what the permission to roam the Net freely and go through your files and Washington seems willing to squander what the private citizen sees as his right to privacy? Sadly, that Snowden guy was on to something : welcome to Bigger Brother Era, folks!
There is no way to evade this new situation. The old Pandora Box conundrum is alive and kicking. It has always been and only sped up since the beginning of the Industrial revolution for all the changes in scope, might and range that brought. But with the age of electronics, it has reached Light speed, literally!
Isn’t sourly funny that not half a century after the Information Age came to be, its very power now means that you have more chances that before it appeared to disappear in a flash without ever knowing what it hit you? Yes, the nukes were on the way but sadly the site that could have warned you about it was down. And some worried about the fact that the electromagnetic pulse produced by nuclear weapons would bring down electronic gear?
Besides : Click, boom, flash! Flash, click, boom! Boom … Whatever! It still ends in oblivion!
You gotta love human ingenuity, sigh!
Sorry for the bad news, Tay.
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