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U.S. is shaping new normal war: Interactive warfare

Editor: Li Kun 丨CCTV.com

03-17-2016 15:08 BJT

By Han Xudong, professor, Strategy Department, National Defense University

Since nuclear weapons were used for the first time during the end of World War II., the United States has developed more high-tech weaponry, proposed new military operations theories and methods of warfare, as well as having converted practice scenarios into actual combat.

High-tech weapons and theories are tested in battles and are upgraded, enriched and promoted, which yields war with a new normal.

Since the Gulf War, compared with conventional weapons, Washington's military operational performance has undergone major changes with high-tech weapons.

Military operational effectiveness has been greatly improved; meanwhile methods of warfare assume a more prominent role than with conventional ones.

With increasing development of information society, some weapons have materialized and are featured with subverting traditional technologies, which have become dominant weapons.

A war utilizing such weapons can be named interactive warfare. The US is the first country to explore this kind of war. From the Gulf War to present military actions in Syria, there exist some factors promoting interaction from traditional warfare to interactive warfare.

The purpose of the war has shifted from destroying enemies and conquering new territories to forcing enemies to surrender and accept the winning troops' intentions.

Conventional war battlefields have reached the limit. Eliminating constraints of the three-dimensional planet has become a new tendency. Fighting spaces are evolving into outer space, virtual spaces and even to integrated spaces.

An integrated space refers to a war space's extensions from the three-dimensional planet to outer spaces and virtual spaces. With the integration of air spaces and outer space, which constitute an integrated space.

There have also emerged some main participants of military struggle in information societies that differ from conventional societies, namely the game shifts from a hard power campaign to soft power campaign.

Additionally, the impact of technology on wars has reached an unimaginable level, compared to conventional wars. The importance of technology is booming.

We have entered the age labeled with "no combat without technology," instead of "tactics depend on technology." Impacted by the above decisive factors, various features of the new normal war are emerging.

The fighting space is shifting from the three-dimensional planet to an integrated space. Virtual spaces and actual spaces are mixed; meanwhile people can carry out military interactive activities between actual spaces and virtual spaces.

It is unthinkable in the past and incomparable with wars in history. The war game has entered a battle between integrated spaces.  The appearance of an integrated space is a fundamental and unique feature for warfare forms that differ from conventional changes.

Compared with conventional military elements, many revolutionary elements are emerging. Currently, weapons labeled with informational ones are playing an important role in warfare.

Some unmanned weaponry including unmanned space planes, unmanned naval ships and ground robots will become the new protagonist of the battlefield; precise weaponry and equipment including missiles, laser weapons, electromagnetic kinetic energy weapons are developing under the principle of precise targeting.

Intelligent weaponry including computerized time bombs, intelligent cruise missiles is increasing their important contributions.  Small-size weaponry including unmanned airborne laser, micro-robots, or micro-UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) will engage in strategic performance.

The Spectrum for combat styles of conventional warfare has nearly been saturated, a spectrum-extension-war will become a normal.  Many non-conventional mass destruction weapons are merging as the new normal war will remain stable. 

The dominant weapon will display with a form of groups. A combat style without a consistent war appears.

Participants in war shape themselves from the stage to behind the scenes. Dehumanization combatants become the protagonist of war. Conventional wars play a supporting role. The interaction between man and battlefield appears.

The interactive war is a form of war that the US is exploring and may become a normal under a disruptive technology environment and an emerging new normal in the warfare development process.

Mastering the principle of interactive wars will do more favor for Washington to maintain its superpower status.


( The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )



Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

Panview offers an alternative angle on China and the rest of the world through the analyses and opinions of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.


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