chapter  17
19 Pages

Virtuous war/virtual theory

My search for a virtual theory of war and peace began several years ago on a hilltop in the high Mojave Desert, watching the first digitized war game at the US army’s National Training Center. According to the briefing papers for Desert Hammer VI, a new array of high technology was being tested ‘to enhance lethality, operations tempo, and survivability’. It was hard to tell if it was working. I had spent most of the first morning trying and, for the most part, failing to discern the significance of distant dust trails of M1A2 Abrams tanks, Bradley armoured personnel carriers, and swarming humvees. The NTC at Fort Irwin might be a military base stuck in the middle of the Mojave Desert, but like nearby Las Vegas, it was a perfect stage for the evocation of past and future, hopes and fears. I had entered the theatre of war, not literally but virtually.