In World War I, generals who studied Napoleon sent waves of troops into a barrage of machine-gun fire. The rapid-fire weapons mowed down thousands in minutes. Was this necessary? No. Thousands of young men died all because their commanders focused on fighting the last war. They didn’t adjust to new developments and new technologies. In World War II, the Polish army defended itself from Nazi and Soviet invaders with horse-mounted troops. They also focused on fighting the last war. A few years later, World War II ended when the United States dropped two atomic bombs on Japan. Ever since, most people have held the belief World War III will start the same way World War II ended. Anyone who believes this makes the same mistake as those who came before them. They prepare to fight the last war.
Complacency is the Enemy
Our tendency to focus on the past creates a sense of familiarity and comfort, and comfort breeds complacency. When it comes to warfare, complacency is the enemy. For over seventy years, Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) prevented all-out nuclear war between the major powers. The world emerged from the Cold War intact. Following decades of uncertainty, nuclear war never came. We didn’t destroy ourselves. This lulled many into a false sense of security, and complacency set in. The majority of people now think World War III is unwinnable. They think possession of nuclear weapons make a nation invulnerable. Because they do, they think World War III will never happen. They’re wrong.
The global stability of the post-war era is coming to an end. With the exception of a few moments such as the Cuban Missile Crisis, you have to go back to the years just before World War II to find a time when the world was more dangerous than it is right now. Why do I say that? Again, complacency. During the Gulf War in 1991, the United States displayed a dominant edge in military technology. Its armed forces were declared superior to any on the planet. But dominance doesn’t last forever. The nature of war has changed. Nations now use terrorists, proxy armies, and cyber attacks to wage war anonymously. Conventional weapons can’t effectively counter these types of attacks. Moreover, Russia and China have gone to great lengths to close the technology gap since the early 1990’s. The result? The world power structure is on the verge of a major shift.
The AI/Swarm Era
Today, the world is entering a new era in warfare. September 14, 2019, marked the beginning. On that day, someone (either Iran or their proxies in Yemen) launched a successful drone attack on two oil processing facilities in Saudi Arabia. Approximately five percent of the world’s daily oil consumption flowed through those two facilities. The news made headlines for a few days. Then, just as quickly as it hit the news cycle, it disappeared. Most people forgot all about it. But for many, it remains a significant event. In fact, for many, it’s a terrifying event. Why? Because it exposed conventional defenses as inadequate. Saudi Arabia invested millions to secure its facilities. But in mere minutes, those defenses proved useless.
Because of the success of this strike, expect more drone attacks. Expect smaller drones arriving in larger swarms. Why? They can inflict just as much damage as any conventional weapon, and because they’re unmanned, the attacking nation can deny any involvement. Drones are inexpensive to produce and easy to deploy. They can mimic flocks of birds and even evade radar. Because they blend into the environment, they can appear out of nowhere, surprising the enemy. They present a new threat, and most conventional armies are unprepared to defend against them.
Still don’t see the threat? Imagine this. It’s inauguration day. As the new president prepares to speak, an assassin launches a fleet of drones from just a few hundred yards away. The swarm contains several hundred drones, each the size of a small bird. Each one carries an explosive. They converge on the president. How do you protect the president? Conventional defenses won’t work. You can’t tackle a drone. Firearms might take out a few, but not an entire swarm.
On August 4, 2018, a scenario similar to this took place in Venezuela. As President Nicolas Maduro addressed a crowd at a military parade, two drones exploded nearby, prompting security to surround him with blast shields. The explosions caused no harm to Maduro, and many believe he orchestrated the entire event so he could crack down on political opponents. But whether it was real or staged, the attack shows a new danger people need to protect against.
And it’s not just assassins who will look to use drones. With such technology, terrorists could take destruction to new heights. Imagine this. It’s Super Bowl Sunday. A hundred thousand fans crowd into a stadium to watch the excitement. But before the first score, a flock of thousands of drones descend on the stadium. They hover above the crowd and release chemical weapons on those below. Everyone dies. And unless every point of entry is secured, even an indoor stadium is vulnerable to such an attack.
Drone attacks are more than just a novel way to assassinate or a new method to unleash terrorism. Swarming drones are the future of warfare, and they’re coming sooner than most people think. Drone swarms using artificial intelligence offer a number of benefits and advantages to nation states. They’re less expensive to build and maintain than large standing armies. They don’t require large numbers of highly trained personnel. They can be controlled from a remote, secure location. They can be deployed anywhere in the world, often undetected. This means they magnify the military capabilities of smaller nations. They close the gap between weaker nations and world superpowers.
Imagine conventional forces trying to counter an attacking swarm of drones. Tanks, armored personnel carriers, and infantry advance on the battlefield. From the sky, a swarm of millions of drones the size of bees descend on the conventional army. They cover every tank, vehicle, and piece of equipment. In minutes, they quickly disable the entire army, leaving them defenseless. Firearms, artillery shells, and missiles have little impact on a swarm. Think of a swarm of locusts descending on a field. A farmer can fire his shotgun and swat at them all he wants. But in mere minutes, they’ll devour all his crops. Drone warfare will bring the same impact to the battlefield.
Certainly, military forces will develop new weapons and defensive measures to counter such attacks. But these too will be vulnerable to a surprise attack. However, no matter what new techniques are developed, you can be sure of one thing – the next great war will be far different from the last one. The first nation to develop these new weapons will have a decisive advantage. And that’s why you can be sure the world’s governments are racing to develop them.
What It Means
The rise of artificial intelligence and drone swarms is a destabilizing event. Together, these new technologies will overturn the post-war stability of MAD. Once this happens, World War III will break out. When the dust settles, one nation will dominate the globe. That nation will be the leader in the development of these new military technologies. Does this surprise you? It shouldn’t. The Bible says another world war is in our future (Revelation 6:4). It also tells us what the world will look like when World War III ends. One nation will control the earth (Revelation 13:7). Is this just a coincidence? No. It’s yet another sign we’re on the verge of the Tribulation and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. This means you should take advantage of every opportunity you have to spread the Gospel and tell others about the love of Jesus. Time is short. He’s coming soon!
Britt Gillette is author of the free ebook Coming to Jesus as well as the books Signs of the Second Coming, Racing Toward Armageddon, and The End Times. Receive his book 7 Signs of the End Times for free when you sign up for his monthly newsletter.