Thursday, May 04, 2017

Predictions are Hard--Especially About the Future

The winning entry in the Army TRADOC science fiction writing contest is pretty good.

My entry did not win. I think it was good enough to win; but Hall's entry certainly is good enough.  We had common elements in our essays, although Mathison (or Mathinson?) Hall's entry assumed a peacetime environment with an interesting look at real-time observation of military operations visible to the world and how that will impact information operations by the enemy and our forces. I enjoyed reading it.

My essay was focused on more conventional warfare, with the skies above a battlefield a dangerous place to survive. I even incorporated my reachback for the squad notion that was unpublished when I submitted the Mad Scientist essay.

Hall's essay really explores my worries about our Army fighting under a microscope of such scrutiny. And the new megaphone to wrongly indict our troops adds to my worry about protecting our troops from politicized prosecutions.

This trend has implications for victory because even fighting by the rules is ugly for those far from the battlefield and the rules really can--as necessary as they are--pose a threat to effectiveness if civilian standards are applied to the battlefield. That metric will affect civilian leadership to restrict what the military can do to win a war.

So Hall's essay is welcome attention. I still have no answers to how we train our troops to deal with this scrutiny.

Or do you really believe that humanitarian organizations can't be infiltrated by enemies to wage lawfare--or worse--on the West (tip to Instapundit)?

The Mad Scientist group may still do something with my (and other) entries. I look forward to seeing what that is. I liked my story. But I'm biased. I should ask at some point about its fate.

Which is a minor complaint in this contest. There was no notification of the results of the contest and I had to find it announced on the web site. Better communication with those who entered would be appreciated.

UPDATE: In a pre-scheduled posting update, I'd like to point out this Army project (sorry, I couldn't embed the video), which is darned close in the concept to the battle suit I described in my entry (Mechanical Exo-Skeleton Liquid Armor Suit: MESLAS). It's pretty cool.