I’ll never forget being briefed by a US Army General about the redesign of South Korea in ways that would force invading Chinese tanks into tight “killing zones”.
The idea is not to stop invading forces entirely, but to slow down enemy tanks and other vehicles and buy critical minutes to retreat and defend. A U.S. Army veteran deployed in the area decades ago noted it was “a bit disconcerting being stationed on the north side of these barriers.”
Take the humans out of those tanks and you’ve got explosive projectile-laden drones on land (VBIED), similar to the evolution of torpedoes flying in water and smart bombs/missiles flying through the air (like Tarzan).
South Korean problem spaces, and whether walls ever work, certainly sat on my mind when I was working at NASA back in the early 2000s.
French leadership failed to notice something was not normal (enemy troops moving through the Ardennes Forest and violating neutral countries). And that is why Maginot’s expensive wall continues to be almost universally remembered as a huge failure.
Researchers and colleagues at NASA ostensibly were trying to find a way for large mechanized robot swarms to navigate complex valleys on Mars, where Mars very neutrally/scientifically clearly represented a lot of other problem spaces.
In 2014 I actually gave several talks (including a private one to the future head of Facebook security) revealing a bit of the state of art at that time on research in drone swarm countermeasures.
That’s why I was proposing swarm countermeasures way back then, much to the chagrin of lawyers who ALWAYS told me that anyone trying to stop an attacking drone would be charged with property damage. Ah, lawyers.
Anyway, fast forward to today and here are two important updates that we all should have seen coming: