In This Review

The Technological Arsenal: Emerging Defense Capabilities
The Technological Arsenal: Emerging Defense Capabilities
Edited by William C. Martel
Smithsonian Institution Press, 2001, 284 pp

This very useful and accessible volume covers three areas: directed energy weapons, military targeting (a broad category that includes unmanned aerial vehicles), and command and control. The authors are solid, mid-level technological experts, many of them Air Force colonels. (The latter is not entirely surprising, since the editor was formerly the director of the Center for Strategy and Technology at the Air War College.) The book reveals a slight bias toward technological optimism, but most interesting is the discussion of how information technology may change traditional concepts of command. The authors' deeply felt anxiety about civilian "meddling" shows that advanced technology still has not changed traditional military attitudes toward the allocation of responsibility for the conduct of war.