For centuries technology has redeﬁned war and the warriors who ﬁght it, but the pace of change is now accelerating at a dizzying rate and it has implications that many warriors should ﬁnd disturbing.
Warriors have always been under threat from the development of weapons. When, for example, the young hero of Stendhal’s novel The Charterhouse of Parma, the young idealistic Fabrizio, ﬁrst encounters the Napoleonic battleﬁeld, an old woman warns him: ‘your grip isn’t strong enough yet for the sabre ﬁghting that will go on today. If you had a musket I wouldn’t say anything, because you could ﬁre your bullet as well as anyone else.’ Even the old woman recognises that to ﬁre a musket requires a minimum amount of training learned quickly. The action is largely mechanistic. The swordsman, by contrast, has to devote years of practice to master his art.1