HyperWar: The Evolution of Conflict in the Digital Age

    The only way to survive in a chaotic international system is to be stronger and more durable than others. Resilience is a critical element in building a secure future for every actor in the international arena. The most important area of implementation of this effort is defence technologies. For this reason, great powers allocate a significant part of their national income to the defence industry. While technology brings new changes to every aspect of our lives daily, the defence industry is where the most apparent developments are experienced. Many technological developments are the product of efforts primarily for military purposes. The internet, which has become an integral part of our lives today, emerged thanks to efforts to build a communication network that cannot be disconnected in case of war.

    With numerous examples that can be cited, including the internet and the microwave oven, it is evident that research conducted for military purposes and the substantial budgets allocated for such endeavours serve as the most prominent catalysts for technological advancements. While certain innovations and developments stem from loftier objectives, including pure scientific exploration, commercial gains, or enhancing the quality of life for individuals, it is not an overstatement to assert that the primary driving force behind rapid technological progress is maintaining military capabilities at their zenith.

    The escalation of technological conflicts between countries has expedited this process, with each invention marking a fresh advancement in the art of war.

    Although the reasons for wars have varied throughout human history, the necessity of having superior resources to win the war has often remained valid. Today, we encounter a multi-layered structure that goes far beyond the traditional meaning of war and conflicts, including the digital field and the latest technology tools.

    Hyperwar is a term coined by John R. Allen and Amir Husain which refers to algorithmic or AI- controlled warfare with little to no human decision making. This is a new concept in conflict areas that involves the comprehensive use of advanced technologies, artificial intelligence (AI), and the cyber world in warfare (Husain, 2021).

    Hyperwar will be a form of warfare where the decision-making process accelerates to an extent unimaginable in today’s context. With all the concerns, uncertainties and risks, hyper-war has already started despite us not being fully aware. With the involvement of AI, battlefield rules are being rewritten by an uncertain hand. It may be the last war in which human beings, who have turned the world into a place where chaos and conflicts are rampant with the weapons they produce and artificial causes, hold the decision-making power.

    Download the Discussion Paper

    Latest Articles

    Related Articles