simple model to explain the emergence of new weapons is that of
action and reaction. One side develops a new weapon, tactic or
technology and the other side counters by developing weapons,
tactics and technologies to neutralize this advantage.
structures also affect the development of technologies.
The need for large numbers of highly trained archers carried
inherent limitations and risks. Consequently, a better system was devised using mercenary
soldiers and firearms.
to adopt important new technologies such as the machine gun or tank
may be result of entrenched social structures and traditional ways
of conducting war.
new weapons are adopted and promoted due to organizational interests
rather than their practical value. For example, the desire to
establish an air corps led General Billy Mitchell to overstate the
value and effectives of aerial bombing.
the French revolution and the development of nationalism the scope
of warfare increased. Now
instead of centering on the interest of a monarch and a small, elite
army, warfare involved the entire nation with a large national army.
allowed the building of larger armies
increased to support the army
industries were vital to support its armies.
armies required governments to invest heavily in research and
development for new weapons and weapon systems.
advances in weapon technologies came attempts to limit the spread
and use of new weapons:
Second Lateran Council banned the crossbow.
26 nations agreed to ban use of asphyxiating gas, dumdum bullets
and aerial bombardment
42 nations agreed not to use gas in warfare.
is capable of enforcing bans on weapons?
nation is usually deterred from using a weapon because of fear
of retaliation and strategic concerns.
In the Cold War, MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) kept
each side for using nuclear weapons.
MAD may actually encourage a first strike.
advances such as the cruise missile make it difficult to
determine exact numbers of weapons and their capabilities.
is not an effective deterrent against terrorist groups