Proponents of new technologies often make assertions, with little or no proof, regarding the capabilities of a novel weapon. (This was also the case in the past after the advent of the mine, the torpedo, aircraft, and missiles.) Such technological determinism is still prevalent in many Western navies—the U.S. Navy included. However, there is usually a gap between the assumed potential of a new technology and its real capability. Furthermore, if a given capability is technically feasible, it does not always mean it is operationally useful in combat.1
The Men Behind the Machines
As history has proven, new technological developments can only do so much—the importance of the human element in warfare cannot be discounted.
By Milan Vego