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    Editorial: Damaging small unit effectiveness through technological advancements



    Story by Cpl. Cory Schubert 

    AFN Iwakuni

    Editor's Note: The views expressed in the following entry are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Marine Corps, Department of Defense or the U.S. government.

    MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan - In today’s society, technology plays a bigger role than human interaction. People can do simple day-to-day tasks in the palm of their hand, but how many of those are really a necessity? It may seem to make tasks much easier and more efficient; however, technology has become so important that it's now a crutch and potentially a weakness to our organization, specifically the field of battle. This may come as a shock to some, but in reality this situation is a common reoccurrence.

    Throughout history, there has always been a race for the latest and greatest technological advancement. How does new technology affect our troops, present and future? It affects us because today we rely so much on technology that we forget about the basics like simple communication. Strategically, we didn’t get this far based on technology alone and we’re not going to get much further when it comes to boots on the ground. We have a set system that has had to change and adapt to new ways of thinking but the foundation is still there. The foundation that may be in jeopardy due to society’s dependence on technology.

    Developing “new and improved” technology has always had positive and negative aspects due to our reliance on outside factors. When you use technology, it saves lives; but when you rely too heavily on technology, people die. The failure is due to overconfidence. Take the Falklands War for instance. The British were outnumbered and out gunned, but due to the overconfidence Argentinians had in their technology they eventually lost and were forced a surrender.

    If you look back to other historical battles, when soldiers gain new advancements they grow confident because they now see they have “superiority” over their enemies. In fact, I would argue they don’t. They have more vulnerabilities. This is because superiority may look like it equals more power but that is not always the case. Many great battles were won because small unit leaders understood and realized that heart, courage, and tactical knowhow can take precedence over everything else. As Marines, we see this every day. How many times have you heard the phrase “do more with less.” That has more meaning than most of us understand because small unit insight can take what leaders know, lose technology in the heat of war, and still come out victorious.

    Technological reliance not only worries me, but leads me to my final thoughts and a personal reflection. We as a society rely on tech so heavily that ultimately, if not balanced, it could lead to our downfall. If we rely too heavily on the “latest and greatest,” we lose sight of where we’ve been and what we’ve accomplished.

    Contrary to popular belief, nothing will ever replace a human in battle, because technology can't adapt to a situation the same way a person can. Understanding this concept leads to understanding the fact that many of our current enemies have nothing even close to our level of technology, yet they're not easily eliminated. If we, as a fighting culture, stop trying to advance our equipment and start focusing on fighting with or without it, we could get back to our roots and find a new way to defeat our enemies.



    Date Taken: 12.21.2015
    Date Posted: 12.31.2015 00:58
    Story ID: 185513

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