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Global Proliferation Of High Technology
CSC 1993
                            EXECUTIVE SUMMERY
Title:     Global Proliferation of High Technology
Author:    Major James J. von Rinteln, United States Army
Thesis:    The worldwide proliferation of high technology and the
weapons derived from that technology will challenge the United
States military in future conflicts;  changes to our tactics,
doctrine, and equipment are required now to avoid a future
military failure.
Background:  During the next decade regional military forces will
markedly improve their  war fighting capabilities by acquiring
increasingly lethal and sophisticated high technology equipment
and weapons.   This will occur as a result of technology transfers
as well as an increase of  indigenous production capabilities.   In
the aftermath of Desert Storm, a growing consensus among a number
of regional military powers has emerged over the importance of
quality over quantity with regards to weapons systems.    Military
planners in the United States will be faced with a broad array of
new weapons systems and military capabilities in the not so
distant future.  Analysis of potential  threat forces also will
become far more complex as the United States is faced with a
variety of weaponry from both the former Soviet Union and
countries all around the world.   The increasing lethality of the
battlefield may reduce our degree of freedom, or limit options in
future crisis-resolution scenarios.   This proliferation trend, if
not taken to task,  may result in a future military failure for
the United States.
Recommendation:      Military and civilian leaders and planners must
study carefully the implications that the development and
proliferation of high technology equipment and weapons will have
on our military forces in the future.   Changes to our tactics,
doctrine,  and military equipment must be made prior to the
introduction of a significant new technology onto the
Thesis:    The worldwide proliferation of high technology and the
weapons derived from that technology will  challenge the United
States military in future conflicts; changes to our tactics,
doctrine, and equipment are required now to avoid a future
military failure.
I.   Background of the proliferation problem
      A.   Why proliferation is a problem for the United States
            1.   Vulnerabilities
            2.   Implications
      B.   What technologies  are  being  proliferated
            1.   Ballistic missiles
            2    Weapons of mass destruction
            3.   Smart weapons and munitions
            4.   Advanced Communications and surveillance
            5.   Countermeasures equipment
      C.   Countries involved in  proliferation
            1.   Asia
            2.   Middle East
            3.   Europe and the former Soviet Union
            4.   Others
II.   What the United States needs to do
      A.   Changes to our tactics
      B.   Changes to our doctrine
      C.   Changes to our Equipment
III.  Conclusion
      A.   Implications if nothing is done
      b.   What should be done now
      The worldwide proliferation of high technology weapons
and the weapons derived from that technology will challenge
the United States military in future conflicts; changes to
our  tactics, doctrine, and equipment are required now to
avoid a future military failure.   The same smart weapons and
force multipliers that the United States used so
successfully in the Gulf War against Iraq will be in the
inventories of future adversaries.   Within the next 10
years, more than 50 percent of the world's nations will be
able to wage war at the mid-intensity level. (2)
Relatively cheap ballistic missiles,  precision-guided
munitions,  surface-to-air missiles, smart mines,  computer
ciphered communications equipment, and the countermeasures
to those weapons are all available on the open market today.
Effective use of these high technology weapons and equipment
against American forces could inflict extremely large
numbers of casualties,  and  possibly  cause  a  military
disaster  for  American  forces.
      The Persian Gulf War  clearly  demonstrated  how  the
      proliferation of sophisticated conventional arms
      has upped the risks for participation in regional
      conflicts.  ...In future conflicts where
      technology on each side is roughly comparable and
      where the gap in skill,  training, and doctrine is
      not as great as that experienced in the Gulf War.
      we are likely     to witness much  higher  levels  of
      death and destruction on all sides.  (7:4,5)
     In the wake of the Gulf War, many countries have been
eagerly trying to purchase the weapons,  technology, and
weapons countermeasures that the United States and its
coalition  allies  used  so  successfully.   Many of these
countries in the past have relied on the former Soviet Union
for their arms and military expertise.   With the demise of
the Soviet Union and the questions surrounding the future of
its  military  industrial base,  former Soviet customers are
seeking alternate sources of high technology military
equipment.   Countries such as North Korea and China have
developed  their  own  sophisticated  weapons  manufacturing
capabilities through their own efforts and by stealing
technology from  the  West  and  reverse-engineering  Soviet
equipment.   "Sources say that  Iran has traded captured  Iraqi
MIG-29s for Chinese missile and nuclear technology." (5:3)
Where regional powers have been unable to procure technology
or equipment from the world marketplace,  they have then
focused their technical manufacturing  and  scientific
capabilities on that specific area of technology they want.
     Less technologically developed countries, such as Libya
and Iran,  have used their  great oil wealth to hire former
eastern block scientists and technicians in an effort to
create indigenous high technology weapons programs.
      Iran is attempting to recruit disgruntled
      missile and electronic engineers from the
      former Soviet arms industry to help upgrade
      its own development efforts.   According to
      Izvestiya,  several Russian organizations
      privately came to agreement with Iran on
      technology transfer,  skirting  the  usual
      government channels.  (5:38)
When possible, regional powers have purchased sophisticated
weapons from western countries such as France and Germany.
When trade restrictions have proven to be an obstacle to
obtaining a desired piece of technology, China,  Iraq, North
Korea, and Iran have been successful in using a third
country as a cover to acquire it covertly.   (11:5,6)
Because of this, on future battlefields the United States
military will face weapons that in the past only the most
technically advanced countries would have had.
      Imagine for a moment the predicament of a
      U.S. Navy commander whose Aegis cruiser is
      stationed in the Persian Gulf in the midst
      of some future crisis there.  His radar picks
      up the take-off of several  Iranian Backfire
      bombers.  The Backfires orbit inside Iranian
      airspace, but within the range of their Kh-15
      missiles.  His cruiser's ESM sensors pick up the
      distant signal of the Backfire's Down Beat radar.
      Are the Iranians merely using their radars for
      surveillance?  Or is this the first signal
      of an imminent attack?  The Kh-15 missile is so
      fast that it will only take a minute to reach
      the ship, a very short reaction time indeed.
      The ability to effectively deliver weapons of mass
destruction (chemical, nuclear, and biological) to a target,
could have a devastating effect on our forces in future
conflicts.   Short, medium, and intercontinental ballistic
missiles are beginning to show up in the weapons inventories
of many countries around the world.   By themselves,  they are
no more than a terror weapon with little military value.
But, add a non-conventional warhead,  such as a crude nuclear
device, and then there is a significant military  capability.
	There is enormous potential for the proliferation
	of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and
	related delivery systems.   More than 20 nations
	have or are acquiring weapons of mass destruction
	and the means to deliver them.   These  arsenals
	are often in the hands of unstable and unreliable
	governments.   The most dangerous external effect
	of the Soviet break-up is to potentially add fuel
     to this fire of proliferation.  (3:1,2)
Even without a non-conventional warhead, the addition of a
high technology guidance system, which would allow very
accurate targeting, would change the magnitude of the
conventional threat significantly.
      Although ballistic missiles are not costly or
      difficult to deploy, effective defence against
      them is both very difficult and very expensive.
      Indeed,  it  is for this very reason that they
      could be said to be militarily useful,  in so
      far as they could cause diversion of resources
      to defeat them, as happened in both the Second
      World War and the Gulf War.   To counter this
      threat effectively with interceptors will demand
      a major commitment of effort and resources; to
      counter it on the ground by destruction of the
      launch capability will require some technique
      that has so far escaped us.  (8:50)
      There are several other key military technologies that
if obtained by our potential adversaries would have a
significant affect in a future conflict.   Precision-guided-
munitions, such as smart-bombs and cruse-missiles, greatly
enlarge the size and lethality of the battlefield and could
threaten our command and control infrastructure.   Air
defense systems using directed energy and advanced guidance
seekers could greatly reduce or even deny air operations to
our aircraft.  Advanced anti-ship weapons,  including smart
mines and advanced mini-submarines, could prevent sea
operations in areas needed to support a military operation
on shore.   This is clearly already happening in the Pussian
Gulf today "Russia has just delivered the first of several
"Kilo"  class  submarines to Iran; these submarines have both
an anti-ship,  and anti-air capability".  (6:9)
Communications equipment using sophisticated ciphers,
encoding,  and data-burst technology could deny our
intelligence assets valuable battlefield information.   One
or more of these high technology weapons used effectively
could neutralize our present air,  land, and sea
technological advantages.
      The capability of foreign artillery forces,
historically the cause of two-thirds of all  ground combat
casualties (9:23),  will  increase substantially during the
next decade.   These developments will be driven by
widespread precision munitions with increased warhead
lethality and target acquisition capabilities.   As a result,
potential threat forces will be able to reliably destroy our
armor from indirect firing positions.   There are more than
thirty artillery systems worldwide that have greater ranges
or rates of fire than the best U.S. system.  (2)  Multiple
rocket launchers will  increasingly be favored by regional
powers as a cost-effective means of delivering large volumes
of fire at ranges extending beyond 100 kilometers.  (2)
      When considering the performance or field
      artillery,  the main change from even a few
      years ago is a substantial  increase in range.
      Much of that improvement can be credited to
      Doctor Gerry Bull and his Space Research Corp.
      Much of the surface-to-air-missile countermeasure
equipment used by our pilots in the Gulf War was not
effective against the limited number of modern missiles
possessed by the Iraqis.   The acquisition and subsequent
application of air defense systems and technologies is an
area of intense interest to global  forces.  (1:23)   One can
only imagine the impact that a large numbers of effective
and lethal  surface-to-air missiles could have had on that
operation, which was so dependent on air power.   All our
potential adversaries were watching,  and they fully
understand that an effective air defense is a critical
element of power needed to challenge the United States
military.   In future conflicts sophisticated air defense
networks using redundant systems of several different types
of modern air defense guns and missiles will confront us.
Many of our current aircraft will not be able to survive in
that  threat  environment.
      Many nations continue to pursue advanced armor
development programs, ranging from comprehensive world-class
tank design and production,  to indigenous design and
manufacturing of selected components and add-on upgrade
kits.   The growing cost of armor systems will  force many
countries to adopt a strategy of upgrading equipment rather
than replacing.   Most countries thus will seek to improve
armor by adapting night-vision equipment,  self protection
systems,  and the use of advanced anti-tank missiles.   The
lessons of the Gulf War will motivate regional forces to
reemphasize mobile fighting capabilities over fixed
defenses. (2)
      Consider the impact the Ecoset cruise missile had on
the U.S  Navy in the early 1980's when suddenly, any nation
in the world could attack and do severe damage to our naval
vessels.  Advanced cruise missiles incorporating stealth,
advanced computer technology, and designs that allow
extremely long range flight will give a potential adversary
the ability to do great damage to any naval vessel cheaply
and effectively.
      Two of Russia's latest air-to-surface missiles
      are being offered for export to the Middle
      East and Asia.   The Kh-31 is described as a
      supersonic, all-weather air-to-surface missile
      and the Kh-35 which is described as being similar
      to the U.S. Harpoon missile.   These missiles are
      capable of hitting any surface target at ranged
      out to 130km.   The missiles are also advertised
      as having an anti-radiation capability.  (11:4)
High technology mines delivered by artillery,  rockets,
aircraft and soldiers will threaten our ground and naval
forces in ways never thought of in previous conflicts.   With
the ability to select not only the type of target but also
the time of attack,  these high technology weapons will have
a revolutionary effect on ground and sea operations.
Weapons using advanced technology are not magic;
countermeasures can, and often do, effectively fool them.
Countermeasures technology is widely available throughout
the world, much of it having dual uses, such as an
automobile radar or  laser detector.   Simple countermeasures
are possible against high technology weapons.    The Soviet
SA-7 shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missile was a real shock
to the United States military in the early 1970's.   But once
its technology was understood, we easily countered it by
firing simple infrared flares to tool them.   Our advanced
weapons and protective countermeasures are susceptible to
similar simple remedies.
      Although there is a great disparity in force size,
nations,  insurgents, and terrorist all share a common need
for command and control.   The worlds communications balance
is leveling as a result of the ongoing revolution in
telecommunications technology.   Most of these technologies
are dual-use, and civilian-sector applications will drive
their assimilation by regional powers.   Among the
technologies of greatest potential are fiber optics, spread
spectrum fusion centers, cellular systems, and large
telecommunication networks.   In addition, gigabit memory
chips will speed computation task and accommodate huge
software applications while simultaneously driving the cost
of these systems down.   The result will be the wide-spread
use of these systems and a greatly increase threat to the
U.S. military.
       In order to counter the high technology threats of the
future, we must address the problem in the following ways.
First,  it is often possible to simply change your tactics to
counter a sophisticated weapon.   Secondly, we must keep our
war-fighting doctrine flexible,  inflexible doctrine is
particularly susceptible to defeat by high technology
weapons.   Lastly, new equipment must continually be
developed and integrated into our military, often the only
effective way to defend against a new weapon is with a newer
      Superior performance in combat depends on three
      essential components.   First and foremost,  it
      depends on superb soldiers and leaders with
      character and determination who will win because
      they will simply not accept losing.   Next,  it
      depends on sound, well understood doctrine for
      fighting.   Finally,  it depends on weapons and
      supporting equipment sufficient for the task at
      hand.   These three components must be unified
      harmoniously into effective fighting
      organizations.  (12:5)
This is not an easy problem to solve and will require a
matrix type solution.   It will require a smart mix of new
tactics, doctrinal flexibility, and a new generation of high
technology equipment to meet the challenge.
      Our tactics, or how combat power is used to win battles
and engagements, have been generally successful in the past.
Often when our tactics were not successful  it was a result
of the enemy using a new weapon that we had failed to
recognize the significance of.   An example of this would be
the wire-guided anti-tank missile.   The Israelis quickly
learned that their World War II tank tactics were no longer
valid at the outset of the Yom Kippur War.    We also failed
to recognize this even though we were the first to develop
the weapon and knew that they existed in armies supplied by
the former Soviets.   In order to prevent this situation in
the future we must study the effects of new and innovative
weapons and change our tactics,  if required, prior to those
weapons being used against us.   This is possibly the
simplest and most-cost effective way to counter a new high
technology weapon.
      Our doctrine, or how we put all our military
capabilities together to win the campaign or war, has served
us well  in the past.   The success of our doctrine.  In part,
is due to its flexibility.   We have generally been able to
adjust to surprises by our enemies on the battlefield and
achieve our desired results.   But because our doctrine
relies on the use of all aspects of our military force (air,
land,  sea, and space), we become much less effective if all
of the pieces are  not able to work together.   Consider the
impact that the loss of our satellite capability would have
had on the Gulf War.   Our doctrine must continue to rely on
the use of all of our military assets and capabilities.   We
must study the impact that new technology will have on our
doctrine and how we might change it.   Changing doctrine
before the introduction of a new weapon can be a highly
effective way to counter that weapon.
      Often the only way to counter a sophisticated high
technology weapon is with a new piece of equipment.   We have
had great success introducing new technology to the
battlefield and surprising our enemies before they surprise
us first.   We must continue to study new technology and
understand what military implications there might be,
otherwise we may be surprised and defeated first.   It is
crucial that we continue to develop and bring equipment with
new technology into out military.   The process of getting an
idea from the drawing board to the operator is lengthy and
once put on hold is hard to get going again.   Developing and
fielding new or modified equipment is often the slowest and
most costly way to counter a new high technology threat but,
it is often the only way.
      It generally takes a long time for a particular
      piece of technology to evolve from the germ of
      an idea, or the understanding of a new physical
      principal,  to its incorporation in a piece of
      military equipment of practical use; the state-
      of-the-art infra-red night-vision equipment and
      image-intensifiers used by the allies in the Gulf
      were based on ideas that had been proven twenty
      years earlier.   Things need not necessarily take
      this  long,  but for various reasons they mostly do.
We must ensure that we are the ones with the most effective
and advanced technology in the new world order,  not the
other way around.
       High technology weapons threaten all dimensions of our
war fighting tactics, doctrine, and equipment.   The United
States military is vulnerable to many of its own
technological  innovations.   A 20th century example of this
problem is the impact that the Turkish, a very undeveloped
country at the time,  possession and use of the machine gun
had on the British and Australians and others at Gallipoli
in 1914 and 1915.   Many countries around the world are
manufacturing high technology military equipment and much of
it has significant capabilities against the American
military on land, at sea,  in the air,  and in space.   Many
potential adversaries are actively pursuing acquisition of
these high technology weapons and countermeasures into their
military forces.   The result of this trend is a threat
environment evolving over the next few years which will be
full of technology that our military is potentially very
vulnerable to.
      The United States faces as complex and varied a
      security environment as it enters the 1990s as
      at any time in its history.   The world economy
      is becoming more integrated and new centers of
      influence are developing.   The increased lethality
      of weaponry, and the proliferation of force in
      the developing world make regional conflict more
      rather than less likely.   Allies are becoming more
      assertive in pursuing their own interest and are
      less apt to follow the lead of a superpower.
Unexpected introduction of high technology weapons could
revolutionize warfare as we currently know and understand
it.   Our military planners and civilian leaders must
recognize the implications of the proliferation problem,
because If they do not, the outcome of the next conflict we
may be involved in could be a costly military failure.   In
order to prevent a future military disaster, we must study
carefully the implications that the development and
proliferation of new technology, and the potential for its
use as  weapons.   When we identify the potential for a high
technology weapon we must study the effect it will have on
our tactics, doctrine, and military equipment making changes
where necessary before being surprised and defeated by an
enemy who has been shopping at Radio Shack or its foreign
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11.  Smith, Bertum E., Foreign Broadcast Information Service,
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