RSIS Roundtable by Professor Christopher Coker, Professor of International Relations, London School of Economics
Warrior Geeks in Contemporary Military Operations
Technology has significantly shaped warfare and will continue to do as it progresses even more rapidly in an increasingly globalised world. Technologies with military potential, such as cybernetics, robotics and bio-engineering, would arguably be the most influential. Cyber warfare not only transforms combat from physical to virtual, but also blurs the line between war and peace. Robots are currently replacing soldiers onsite so that war is gradually becoming remote-controlled or even autonomous without the need for human judgment. Genetically engineered soldiers would have much improved battlefield performance. Applying these new technologies will fundamentally alter our knowledge, perceptions, and strategies regarding defence. Will war still be waged between conflicting wills, as Clausewitz suggested? Will it still be merely a clash of militaries ? With both technologically oriented traditions and demographic challenges, Singapore is more likely to be affected by emerging military technologies than other states. The roundtable will discuss and elaborate on such matters. Professor Christopher Coker, with his rich knowledge and insightful analysis, will shed light on the profound relationship between human beings, warfare and technology.
About the Speaker:
Christopher Coker is a Professor of International Relations with the London School of Economics in the United Kingdom. He has written many books about war, with the most prominent including Warrior Geeks: How 21st Century Technology is Changing the Way We Fight and Think about War (2013), Barbarous Philosophers: Reflections on the Nature of War from Heraclitus to Heisenberg (2010), War in an Age of Risk (2009), Warrior Ethos (2007), The Future of War: the Re-enchantment of War in the Twenty-first Century (2004), Waging War Without Warriors (2002), Humane Warfare (2001), War and the Illiberal Conscience (1998), The Twilight of the West (1997), War and the Twentieth Century (1994), Britain’s Defence Policy in the 1990s: An Intelligent Person’s Guide to the Defence Debate (1992), and A Nation in Retreat (1991). Indeed, such is the significance of his works they have shaped the research on war. Professor Coker has served in various organisations – defence, foreign policy and academic – and they include the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the Council of the Royal United Services Institute. He has also published a variety of articles on The Wall Street Journal, The Times, The Independent, The European, The Spectator, The Times Literary Supplement and The Literary Review. In addition, he has lectured at various military institutes in Europe, North America and Asia.
Organised by IDSS, Military Studies Programme.