My question concerns war between the major powers rather than localised punch-ups between the natives, so to speak. Nuclear weapons have certainly damped down a great deal of enthusiasm for war amongst the major powers, not least because the leaders themselves, even if they survived, would have little to lead in a radio-active wasteland! However, that leaves the way open for some conventional warfare of the old 'tanks and troops' variety, so long as it is carefully handled and not allowed to get out of control - or at least, that's what I thought until recently.
'Twas 'SoD' who first opened my eyes to some radical changes in conventional warfare, if 'conventional' is quite the word, which means that in this day and age you cannot pass wind on a battlefield without someone somewhere spotting it and within seconds sending a guided missile straight up your back passage from whence the offending wind originated! I jest, of course, but apparently the latest techniques are immensely sophisticated right down at battlefield level. Movement and action are under constant surveillance and it's no good firing at the people observing you because their weapon system is probably hidden half a mile away - quite apart from the fact that the observer is unseen because he's on the other side of a hill using a drone or a robot!
Well, where there's a will there's a way, I suppose, but a story in today's Daily Mail puts that in doubt. Apparently, both we and the Americans have developed a gun which:
Using electromagnetic energy, the gun can fire a shell weighing 10kg at up to 5,400mph over 100 miles – with such force and accuracy it penetrates three concrete walls or six half-inch thick steel plates.
As far as I understand it, the 'shell' contains no explosives, because moving at 5,400 mph its inherent kinetic energy is enough to wreck anything it hits. Even more delicious is the fact that each 'shell' would cost around £15k as compared to 'conventional' missiles which come in at a cool £600k each.
I gather that the Chinese are proudly displaying their (Indian-made) aircraft carrier and, like their Russian counter-parts, are eager to build more and more. That could be the most expensive waste of money the world has ever seen! Alas, a sudden thought has just wiped the superior smile off my face - 'Dim Dave' is still pressing ahead with our two (French-built) aircraft carriers. Oh God, can't that man get anything right?!