The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (or DARPA) is working on "Deep Green," a tactical interface that is designed to give military commanders greater options and control over the field of battle. The project joins a variety of technologies which will not only allow a commander to see digital representations of friendly and enemy troops and doll out the appropriate orders, but form battle plans that computers will simulate ahead of time, so the CO can decide if it really is a good idea or not. Almost sounds like it'll fight the battle all by itself.
"Deep Green" inevitably makes us think back to the Millennium Challenge held in 2002, a massive $250 million military exercise where the United States pitted its modernized fighting force against a mock opposition force with third world technology. The opposition was led by General Paul Van Riper, who led such a spectacular, low-tech offense that the entire exercise had to be reset, with controls put in place to handicap the general.
So "Deep Green" makes us wonder: Will technology ever replace solid tactics? Does it enable a tighter-led army, or a reliance on tools that can be defeated?
"We hear many terms, all indicating something revolutionary has happened that's going to change warfare." General Van Riper told PBS. "Nothing has happened that's going to change the fundamental elements of war."