Home Forums Modern The Influence of Smart Phones on Warfare.

Viewing 22 posts - 1 through 22 (of 22 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #9569
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    I walked into a bar tonight .. Wait let me start over I’m 60 almost 61 years old and have a stupid cell phone and never learned to text…yeah I know but..I saw all these young people at the bar…(Kind of a frat bar) { I like Strippers or Country& Western bars} any way, texting away …heads down thumbs flying and ask myself…so this is the future..how would smart phones be modeled in wargames ???? Do the terrorist get a plus for good communications ?? Minus for bad…cell towers as targets… what do yall think ???

     

    #9571
    Steve Johnson
    Participant

    Smart ‘phones are already being used in theatre as part of the British Army’s communications systems for soldiers. The same is true for other countries. See the link below:

    http://www.kinneirdufort.com/work/defence-security

    The ‘Bad Guys’ are also using them, but mainly for simple comms in comparison to the Army versions. Therefore I would give the regular soldiers a command bonus etc due to these systems, that really do give them a battlefield advantage in being able to “see over the hill” as it were. I believe there are systems that block ‘phone signals in a local situation to prevent them being used to detonate IEDs.

    #9572
    John D Salt
    Participant

    The influence of smart phones is at least fourfold:

    1. The fact that all the young soldiers are used to a very high standard of instant communication, with moving pictures, in a device that weighs tens of grams, means that it is increasingly difficult to persuade anybody that the heavy, low-bandwidth, hard-to-use comms devices they are issued by the military are a good thing. This also leads to crackpot demands on the acquisition community from senior decision-makers, who want streaming video feeds to all HQs, because they think it would be a good thing (though they can never explain why).

    2. The fact that the enemy has smart phones, and operates them insecurely, means that there is a mass of comms intercept data to be had, if only we had sufficient people fluent in the enemy’s language to exploit it “in real time”, as people now say when they mean “without delay”. Of course we haven’t invested in polyglot intercept specialists on the same scale as we have comms, because the accountants insist that on any balance sheet technical hardware is an asset, but people are an expense. Hence the emphasis on techological non-solutions like automated translation.

    3. The more people get used to smart phones, the worse they get at making and sticking to plans. On the one hand, the comms offer frequent distractions and opportunities for futzing, which serve to slow down the planning process. This is often mistakenly called “information overload”; the amount of useful information available about the enemy has hardly increased, but it is now hiding in a lot more data which in updated (without necessarily being improved) more frequently. Readers of Nicholas Naseem Taleb’s “Fooled by Randomness” may recall his elegant demonstration of the harmful effect of too-frequent updates. On the other hand, the fact that people are used to being able to change plans at the last moment gives them less ability to stick to plans, less understanding that other people in the plan might not have all the same updates you do, and less ability to improvise an intelligent work-round when the comms fail.

    4. The proliferation of cameras on smart phones means that any incidents of atrocity, outrage, war-crime, collateral damage or other unpleasantness is likely to become available immediately and impossible to conceal (barring a major effort against the phone infrastructure, which is easy for terrestrial phones, damned hard for sat phones).

    I’m not sure why any of these would justify a bonus for regular troops — you are really unlikely to get inside the irregulars’ OODA loop, if you still think that’s a sensible thing to try.

    All the best,

    John.

    #9585
    grizzlymc
    Participant

    John

     

    Your comments echo mine at work, a line of work which has much the same relationship to the profession of arms as that between a walk in the park and a F1 race.

    Communicating with exploration camps all around the world used to be so difficult that 20 something year old geologists just got on with things and mentioned the crises in their monthly reports.  In this enlightened age, they are likely to have some ritalin addicted CEO giving his ill thought out, poorly considered, step by step instructions in response to some minor problem.

     

    I can only imagine how this could affect a life and death situation.

     

    About 10 years ago the Economist reported that Israeli conscripts who were unhappy with their treatment would call their mother to complain.  One can only imagine the affect on a CSM who had never faced anything worse then 67, 73 or the Bekaar Valley of being interrogated by a Jewish mother about why he is picking on “my boy, who is a good boy”!

    #9586
    willz
    Participant

    Maybe I am old but the word smart phone is a misnomer to me, whilst the phone probably has more computing power than the first space shuttle, its the person / persons at either end of it that can be less than smart.  (Just look into today’s press for stories on the miss use of smart phones).

    So if you give troops bonuses for using smart phones in war-games, do you have to add a + or – modifier for whether  the person / persons using them are smart or not smart?

    “grizzlymc wrote” About 10 years ago the Economist reported that Israeli conscripts who were unhappy with their treatment would call their mother to complain.  One can only imagine the affect on a CSM who had never faced anything worse then 67, 73 or the Bekaar Valley of being interrogated by a Jewish mother about why he is picking on “my boy, who is a good boy

    Very similar problem the Royal Navy has today,  before the advent of mobile phones if a crew member had a family problem or bad news at home, it would come up via the welfare system.  Giving the chief / divisional officer time to have all the answers before the crew member was informed.  Now the same crew member gets bad news via a text and is waking the chief before he / she has any idea that anything is wrong.   (Never had that problem as I served in submarines, mobile smart phone signals do not work under water).

     

    #9587
    grizzlymc
    Participant

    Until today, I had never seen any attraction in the silent service.

    #9603
    willz
    Participant

    Just had a thought why not try a war-game with 2-3 players each side taking charge of say 1 squad each recording their movement each turn on their smart phones and sending feeds back to the commander who is in an other room with maps, computers and smart phones.  The commander controls the battle via all these feeds and does not see the table until the battle is done.

    This would work well for modern war, it might be an interesting concept for WW2 or 18th century.

    #9604
    grizzlymc
    Participant

    Did that 40 years ago with peper messages.

     

    Each side had three players on the table downstairs.  Each turn they would play and then be given60 seconds to read their messages and write messages.  The game would then go on to the next turn.

     

    The umpire would go upstairs where each player downstairs had a commander who would be given the messages and 60 seconds, at the end of which time the umpire would walk across to the CinC and drop off his messages, and he had 60 seconds towrite messages.

     

    The umpire would then go back downstairs.

     

    The chaos reminded me of my impression of reality, but the players got all whiny because they didn’t know what was going on and had no control.

    #9647
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    So information misunderstanding and not sticking to the plan… I like it.

    #9652
    willz
    Participant

    “Grisslymc wrote” The chaos reminded me of my impression of reality, but the players got all whiny because they didn’t know what was going on and had no control.

    That is the main problem with this style of concept game be it paper or hi tech, when you bring your painted models to a club you want to play with them.  Sitting in a different room and not pushing your own figures around the table is frustrating.  All said and done that’s what we want to do, it is very hard to separate oneself from the god like position of control with all those lovely models.  If you play one week as the man in the other room, will somebody do it the next week, hmmmmm hard questions.

    #9778
    grizzlymc
    Participant

    Some of these issues wee solved by the fact that only I and the other umpire actually owned stuff on the table.  But like the sparrow in the cowpat, most people will stick to what is familiar way past where it gets toxic.

    I had a air campaign system where you could stalk people, get up sun and bounce them – totally unrealistic, unfair and unwholesome.  Everyone knows that fighter pilots have a flawless sense of spatial awareness.

    I have oft wondered if it was our age; teenage boys are very competitive, problem is that today I only play in one or two 6-10 man games each year.  In my teens we could put together 15 guys easily and on several occasions had over thirty in an air game.  The dozen or so of those people with whom I correspond are smeared over the globe.

    Is the future of wargaming playing against a holographic opponent with a holographic army in old folks homes on opposite sides of the world?

    #9795
    grizzlymc
    Participant

    Test

    No you’re not.

     

    If the topic is multiple pages and yoou are on page 1 you may not be able to find your latest post.

    #9799
    Mike
    Keymaster

    Test – I’m having major difficulty posting

    The post was stuck in the pending folder, no idea why, very sorry.
    🙁
    It has been released though now.
    🙂

    #9824
    grizzlymc
    Participant

    Ah yes, takes me back.  We ran out of ships to make out of balsa.  We agreed that it was ok to make ships that never got off the drawing board.  But duplicating entire classes was not on.

    #10036
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    Saw on another web site that U-tube has videos of up to the minute conflicts from civilians not just reporters.  How will that impact future wars ?

    #10043
    grizzlymc
    Participant

    As John says above, it will bring the horrors of war into people’s living rooms.  That started with Vietnam, but it will cause every military intervention to be hesitant and half arsed.

     

    Imagine the population of the UK watching Dresden burn on tv filmed by the daughter of the old man who has just gone up like a torch.

    #10045
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    Will it make soldiers more accountable ? Will war crimes trials last longer than the war they occur in.  Will Mom’s call the Military and tell them to knock it off?

    #10048
    grizzlymc
    Participant

    Kyote

     

    I have never come close to experiencing the stress f combat, but drawing from my limited experience of being fightened shitless by armed men, if I had had the training and equipment to start killing these people, restraint would have been the last thing on my mind.  I think that it is a reflection on the decency and discipline of the average squaddie that civilised armies do not leave a swathe of destruction behind them.  Will they be more accountable?  Damned if I know.

    The trend on war crimes trials is heading towards the entire ccast dying of old age before they finish.

    It is part of the human condition that we want it all and consider the bill to be outrageous.  We buy a cheap car and whine when its safety features fail to save us from all our ineptitude and misuse.  We expect low taxes and high government services. We are happy to cheer for just military action, but we get squeamish when we see the stock in trade of houses demolished, guts on the pavement, widows and orphans.  When Mr and Mrs average see what state coercion means they are going to puke on the carpet.

     

    I am sad to say that the consequence will be stop go warfare, the exact opposite of the notion that war (or its myriad of dodgy euphemisms) should be something that a state enters with great reluctance and pursues with ruthless gusto until the problem is solved.

     

    #10106
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    Will the U-tube video’s of the long boring training and waiting to fight, then the stark terror of combat. strip away the glory and glamour of war? Will kids start to say hey that was real not a video game there is no reload/reset in war.

     

    #10107
    grizzlymc
    Participant

    So by extension, the unworkable rules of the ’80s were a response to Vietnam and Northern Ireland?

     

    Vets used to war not only being hell, but impossible, created stifling rules.

    #10108
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    I don’t know, that is why I’m asking.

    #10116
    grizzlymc
    Participant

    It would be nice to think that Youtube could convince people that war is not glorious, but Da’ish’s use of youtube suggests that it is more liikely to be an effective advertising medium.

Viewing 22 posts - 1 through 22 (of 22 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.