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From Bug Drones to Disease Assassins, Super Weapons Rule U.S. War Game

Published: August 25, 2012
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Source: Wired

Sailors train for chemical and biological warfare. Photo: Navy
Sailors train for chemical and biological warfare. Photo: U.S. Navy

The NextTech Workshop, as the war game was branded, was actually the second in a four-part series of intellectual exercises meant to explore how “future advancements in different technology focal areas may be used in given scenarios,” according to a Noetic handout. The first war game session, held in Washington, D.C. in June, focused on the science behind five new technologies: drones, software, directed energy, biological enhancement and 3-D printing. The Carlisle event approached the techs from a U.S. military standpoint. Future workshops will consider the enemy’s use of the same technologies — and also the legal and ethical implications.

In attendance: scores of mid-level civilian government officials, influential researchers, scientists and engineers plus mostly mid-career officers from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and the Australian military, among other armed forces. Danger Room attended alongside reporters from at least two other media outlets. The event was under Chatham House rules — meaning the identity of the participants could not be revealed, except with their permission. However, a few key participants agreed to go on the record; others would only be identified anonymously. The views expressed are the speaker’s alone, and do not reflect U.S. government policy.

The rules of the game were simple: a Noetic representative introduced the basic concept before giving the floor to experts in each of the technology fields. The experts outlined the state of the art in their respective disciplines — in essence, telling the war-gamers what new weapons they would possess in four simulated battles.

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