A day in the not too distant future finds the President, his cabinet and members of the Joint Chiefs sitting in the White House War Room. They calmly watch as computer screens show an enemy missile headed toward the newest American aircraft carrier, the USS Donald J. Trump on station in the Persian Gulf. Despite counter measures the doomed warship with it's 3000+ member crew is unable to evade the attack. Shortly after, the War Room computers reveal retaliatory action against the Russian Naval base at Tartus in Syria.
Just a little over a week following the attack on the USS Donald J. Trump, the huge nuclear powered carrier enters it's home port at Norfolk, VA. to the cheers of family members anxious to see their loved ones after their long deployment. The reunions are brief as all crew members of the Carrier have been ordered to report to a top secret facility somewhere in the Appalachian Chain. While some 4000 miles to the East, thousands of Russians are loaded on ships headed for an undisclosed location in Crimea.
What these thousands of Americans and Russians do not know is their number has been punched and their extermination ordained in the protracted war between the United States and the Russian Confederation. A war that assures no destruction of valued infrastructure. A war where the only casualties of a grand computer game between the great powers, of simulated attacks, is one that guarantees only the loss of our most abundant resource---the human being.
I either saw or read a story to this effect some many years ago. One in which the only causality of war was human and not property. I think it was back in the late 1960's that the U.S. was in the process of developing what was referred to as a Neutron Bomb. Basically a bomb that would kill humans instantly with little damage to structures. Because of protest by the Russians and protest by others production of the "N" bomb was shelved. What caused me to remember these events was the recent use of the MOAB in Afghanistan. Actually the MOAB, although destructive was less than 1/000th that of the little nuke delivered to Hiroshima by the Enola Gay in WWII. One could say it was like dropping a BB on an anthill. There was a story in Tolstoy's 'War and Peace' about a Russian colonel who was presented with a group of French prisoners during Napoleon's retreat from Moscow, asked by his subordinate what to do with them. The Russian officers reply was brief and to the point, "shoot them, I don't take prisoners. War is not some game!" I wonder if we are approaching the point where collateral damage will refer to property and not human beings. Perhaps, simulated computer wars will one day save our great cities---those that are worth saving. But in war there must be a cost or it has no purpose. Damn, today I have moved over to the dark side.