Dong-Kuen Oh

cadet, soon to be officer, Chosun Univ

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What is the future role of the military power and soldiers?

Many people say this 21st century is going to be, really, new generation we've never seen before. Thanks to the modern communication technology, we can share almost every thing simultaneously with the world.
These changes make us pay more attention on human rights and contribute non-governmental actors such as anti-war activities. And recently, as I think, it brings democratic waves in Arab world. However wars and violences still persist, none of us may argue the war is going to be disappeared in the world.
Personally, I'm a army cadet and soon be a military officer. So I'm really interested in this question What is the future role of military force? As I said, even though wars still persist, it's not as same as it was in 20th century. Then how we can definition of the military power, the future roll of the soldiers? How we can limit or expand it? If so, who is deserve to deal with?

Thank for reading and I hope sharing your ideas.

  • Apr 7 2011: At the very least the British forces (but I'm sure this applies almost universally) have a very small percentage of their people 'on the front line' as it were, and most are involved in supporting and administration roles, be it for administration, supplies, maintainance, medical, training, and so on.
    This leads on obviously to overlaps as people gain multiple roles & skills; social skills in my opinion are particularly important as communications with and gaining the support of local people are so vital.

    I think that certainly in the west at the very least, public opinion has a greater influence as people become more aware of what happens with the advances in communications and mobile phones, cameras/video;
    amateur video clips from soldiers and civilians for example are already common place on the news channels for both heroic acts and war crimes/breaches of human rights.

    I do however expect that it will be a different situation for South Korea, but there will be similarities
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    Apr 4 2011: Thanks for all of your answers :)
    The 21st century military force is not as same as the 20th century's but war and the military power still persists. So, as I conclude, the military power is going to act between the old traditional role to coerce nation's will and the new role which, we can't sure yet, is a kind of the intelligence services or helping people in misery.
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    Apr 2 2011: it will be a huge power greater than any military force ever seen.

    It'll be one were every man, woman and child is a part of. And the only thing that they stand for is love and there will be no hate or struggle at all.

    The end. :P
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    Apr 1 2011: My wish and hope is that eventually humanity will reach a point where no military power is necessary anymore.
    But don't worry, you are not going to lose your job any time soon. Unfortunately it will still take us a while to get there.
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      Apr 4 2011: Thank you, interesting answer :).
      Until we reach the point where no military power is necessary, I will do my duty!
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    Apr 1 2011: The behavior of Russia might be the best indicator. Before the collapse of the USSR, their intelligence services focused primarily on political intelligence. After the collapse, it focused primarily on economic intelligence. With China's recent moves regarding the Internet (their diversion of 15% of global net traffic last year), we're probably entering into a new era of information warfare to gain economic advantage.

    Currently China uses the DPRK as a buffer state. But someday DPRK will collapse and ROK will fill in the power vacuum. When that day comes ROK will need to restructure its military to hold its neighbors at bay (the NK border is 4x larger than SK). It will also need to restructure its intelligence services to reflect the global shift towards economic warfare. That Seoul has one the world's most connected cities will be both a blessing and curse.

    The big unspoken question is how will ROK choose to redefine itself after it absorbs DPRK? There are three spheres of influence it must consider: China, Japan, and the USA. Of these two, China and Japan will want to "help" Korea develop the north so that they can gain access to its resources, and both will probably interfere with its political and cultural affairs. Its highly unlikely that Korea will ever want to strengthen its relationship with Japan. Of the three, the USA will mainly be interested in keeping China's power in check and will not be interested in cultural interference. Of these options, having ROK reaffirm its alliance with the USA will give it the most independence. With USA protection, Korea will be able to do something it hasn't had the opportunity to do in over 600 years... determine its own cultural destiny. Perhaps ROK will see a cultural rebirth and one day throw around its own weight in the region like the Silla.
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    Apr 1 2011: I really wish that we could convert the military as we know it today to attack the things that destroy us as human beings and to aid in times of disaster.
    Humanity is in a war against disease.
    Japan could use the help of a million wo/man army right now with the skills and compassion to preserve life.
  • Apr 1 2011: The military today is dramatically different from what it was several decades ago. No doubt it will look quite different several decades hence. As you correctly note, instant communications have changed a lot about the world, and a whole lot about the military. I can't predict what changes will happen from here on in, but I can predict with some degree of confidence that software, viruses, electromagnetic 'bombs', and the like will play a bigger and bigger role. Your neighbours to the north should give us all a fairly good idea of military trends as they continue to spend almost 100% of their budget on their military.
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      Apr 6 2011: Revett: Are you saying the North Koreans are living the libertarian ideal? I.e. - a government that is only concerned with defense?