ACCESS: Top Secret
- Sep 26, 2006
- Reaction score
This is the key point:Wars in space will never be like Star Wars. “Starfighters” will not engage in dogfights with unlimited maneuverability and range. An actual conflict inwarontherocks.com
engagements, whether peaceful or aggressive, can be planned long ahead of time regardless of the speed at which satellites are traveling... Any conflict in space would be a slow and deliberate affair.
Two SFF authors come to mind. In Anvil of Stars, Greg Bear can't help but indulge in starfighters (which prove to be of limited use) but in the end states clearly that the essence of space war is deception. Terry Pratchett in The Unadulterated Cat describes 'Cat Chess' in which every cat in a neighbourhood strives to find a high point where they can see every other cat without being seen in turn.
Considering the inherent fragility of spacecraft and the extreme improbability of practical stealth, 'battles' may follow concepts similar to nuclear deterrence. That is, due to the huge scale in space, time and consequence, the tactics are actually strategy and logistics, with placement of assets for potential kinetic action being a formalised sublimation of actual action. Maybe they'll be more like the sports and games that are derived from military action themselves: chess, go, or even fencing. Certainly AIs will be doing a lot of the planning. Where the fighting gets 'hot' it will be in espionage and cyberwar.