Arthur Cordell is gently ironic about my posting “Proxy warfare for now” (8 July) — “Robots fighting robots. No soldiers die. Only civilians and innocent bystanders and the cities and towns where civilians live.”
I didn’t dispute that robotic warfare will never be used. It will continue to be used by major powers against minor powers where large-scale civilian deaths and property devastation are also consequences — such as in the invasion of Iraq, or the present war in Syria. Politicians will publicly deplore civilian deaths but carry on warfare just the same.
Unlike nationalistic wars between major powers, there is now no intention to occupy the victim country or control its government permanently for the sake of its resources. as used to take place in Europe. It took the last three major wars — 1870, 1914 and 1939 — to finally teach the lesson that occupation doesn’t work in these increasingly complex times. This was only confirmed by the Soviet Union when it collapsed into Russia and a dozen other countries, each reviving its own language and currency.