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The real question is what counts as a single vehicle. If I weld two tanks together, are they now one vehicle? If I tie a rope between the vessels of an entire navy, is that one vehicle? Can I violate causality with a large enough "military vehicle?"

You'd probably see slightly more wars, since there would be less human cost, but I'm not entirely convinced that wars haven't been limited by economics since WWII. Plus, despite the trend of military technology to have fewer and fewer humans in physical danger (less crew, radar, drones) war has still been way less common compared to pre-WWII. I don't know why that is, but I doubt that just a small reduction in the human cost of wars would shift that balance.

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1 hour ago, YNM said:

It'll mean more collateral damage.

I disagree, in the context of the hypothetical question.  At worst, since we still have a human at the wheel, there should be no more collateral damage than we have now, human error is human error.  I could argue that since there are less humans involved there should be less human error.   But also, the question states the platforms will be operating at 100% efficiency, and in my mind, this means no errors, so less collateral damage.  

Just now, Mad Rocket Scientist said:

war has still been way less common compared to pre-WWII. I don't know why that is,

Speed of communication has increased, leading to quicker diplomatic responses.    But I might counter that wars are still somewhat common with the major nations fighting smaller ones, and very common between small nations fighting each other.

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3 hours ago, Gargamel said:

I disagree, in the context of the hypothetical question.

Wars are stupid, period.

Wars that already happened can't be changed.

And if you have less military personnel that you can kill and really scare the s*** out of your opponent, then what else do you aim to ? A mountain ? No, you're going to start killing their civilians, under whatever pretense you can make.

Trust me, the country that I live in has both been used as a battleground, and has been used as a proxy for battling. We all know how bad it is and even if we pay dearest to it that it allowed our independence, it's still a stupid thing to resort to.

Edited by YNM
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The military tech gets high.
The combat vehicle crews get single-person.

The military manufacturing gets very hi-tech and expensive and more and more depend on the key components of several manufacturers. With generic export restrictions.
Any old-style combat tech produced in a local bike workshop or a local factory becomes a harmless target.

The combat field gets controlled by hi-tech networks. Depending on the satellites (and several sat manufacturers, which are - surprise! - the manufacturers of that hi-tech combat tech, too.)

Internet battles/messes/scandals make the cybercompanies make the networks become more protected and complicated. And monopolize this.

The hi-tech monopolization leads to the combat tech monopolization.
The local wars become licensed.

The hi-tech countries have too much fragile goods to fight directly, so their conflicts move to the periphery (since mid-XX), as a supporting of opposite sides in local wars.
Also their population doesn't grow faster than food production, so they don't need new land (since mid-XX).

So:
Hi-tech country vs hi-tech country = almost never
Hi-tech country vs local country = almost always a tech support of police actions. Casualties are defined not by the tech level but by the local traditions.
Local country vs local country = Casualties are defined not by the tech level but by the local traditions.

So, the casualties won't depends on the high-tech level, as most of them are a peasant pvp.

Edited by kerbiloid
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Assume that every country get "one-crewed vehicle tech", with roughly current weapon technlology and the only human error is the one decided by that one crew (So for example if a regular submarine captain ordered torpedo crew to load a new torpedo, and the torpedo crew messed something up (human error) that leads to the bow section goes kaboom, then the fault is on torpedo crew. In one crew vehicle, the only mistake is the bad decision of those 1 crew, such as reloading at inappropriate moment, wandering on the wrong spot, etc)

2 hours ago, YNM said:

Trust me, the country that I live in has both been used as a battleground

I feel you bro, I feel you. I got a similar experience in my place

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2 hours ago, kerbiloid said:

the casualties won't depends on the high-tech level, as most of them are a peasant pvp.

Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine.

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8 minutes ago, YNM said:

All of it. All of them used drones.

How much casualties are caused by the drones rather than machine guns, old-style artillery, and simplest rockets?
Btw, B-52 and Tu-95 are from early 1950s. 

Drones are the way to hit an actual target rather than cover bombing 'em all.

52 minutes ago, ARS said:

Assume that every country get "one-crewed vehicle tech", with roughly current weapon technlology and the only human error is the one decided by that one crew

And all casulaties will be caused not by the errors, but by the orders. The orders will follow the local understanding of good and evil.

Civilian casualties are up to ~30:1 to combat ones in local wars. So, no matter which weapon is used, just the rate changes.

Edited by kerbiloid
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50 minutes ago, kerbiloid said:

How much casualties are caused by the drones rather than machine guns, old-style artillery, and simplest rockets?

You don't have to pretend to be a fool.

War on Terror

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

How many "enemy soldiers" that they kill ? Are they even "soldiers".

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11 minutes ago, YNM said:

How many "enemy soldiers" that they kill ? Are they even "soldiers".

Why do you distinguish combatant casualties from other ones? Is that about the weapon combat effectiveness or (as I was thinking) about casualties at all?

Did a drone make a carpet bombing with tens thousands casualties like in old times?

In Rwanda and Cambodia they had millions killed with no high even medium tech. The orders decide, the tech just provides the order performing.

Edited by kerbiloid
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@kerbiloid, you don't have the complete picture.

We don't see the pictures of the so called "collateral damage" caused by automatic weapons, drones, guided bombs and so on because they are too terrible and filtered out. Dead children in the street after the "erroneous" bombing of a school, or hospital (which is done systematically by all sides). People torn apart, burnt, suffocated and so on. I could post some but that will call the moderators and is not an appropriate content here. A friend of mine works in a news department of a large German public company (The ZDF) and regular sorts out pictures like these. She needs help every now and then ...

This is mostly done by automatic weapons these days. The murderers never see their victims. Not even in the every day news.

Edited by Green Baron
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12 minutes ago, Green Baron said:

@kerbiloid, you don't have the complete picture.

We don't see the pictures of the so called "collateral damage" caused by automatic weapons, drones, guided bombs and so on because they are too terrible and filtered out. 

Maybe you don't. 10-20 years ago we had two Chechenian wars, and several wars in Middle Asian and Caucasian republics,

As well WWII was always depicted pretty completely at least here.

(Maybe not completely honestly, but enough describing)

I'm not sure about Germany, but in Russia the war horrors were always shown, since 1940s till modern days..

12 minutes ago, Green Baron said:

This is mostly done by automatic weapons these days. The murderers never see their victims.

Even in WWII almost a half of casualties was caused by artillery.

And in local conflicts the murderers almost always see their victims because they burn a village or attack a bus or so.
The higher tech level - the lesser is the need in such actions. A drone hit with several unexpected casualties instead of a carpet bombing of a town.

Edited by kerbiloid
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32 minutes ago, kerbiloid said:

Why do you distinguish combatant casualties from other ones? Is that about the weapon combat effectiveness or (as I was thinking) about casualties at all?

Do you even understand the word collateral damage ?

36 minutes ago, kerbiloid said:

Did a drone make a carpet bombing with tens thousands casualties like in old times?

No, but it destroyed every building and huts it finds or so.

In the past, wars were deadly because of the amount of soldiers that was killed. These days wars are deadly because you just kill everyone you see, and the easiest one to kill are those unarmed, which are most often not part of the 'armed forces' (armed forces includes separationist groups).

38 minutes ago, kerbiloid said:

10-20 years ago we had two Chechenian wars, and several wars in Middle Asian and Caucasian republics,

... And completely annexed Crimea.

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22 minutes ago, YNM said:

Do you even understand the word collateral damage ?

Of course. That's exactly why I don't understand why to distinguish it here when the "collateral damage" is the most part of casualties at all.

22 minutes ago, YNM said:

No, but it destroyed every building and huts it finds or so.

It destroys the building and damages several around, if the pilot/operator has an order to destroy it.
Not "every" one, unless the town is already a battlefield.

A wing of bombers just drops a hundred of heavy bombs to a city district.

22 minutes ago, YNM said:

In the past, wars were deadly because of the amount of soldiers that was killed.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simplicius_Simplicissimus

Also google the Ares and Athene difference.

(Though, the civ:mil casualties indeed gets much higher than earlier, but not because robots killed them all.)

22 minutes ago, YNM said:

... And completely annexed Crimea.

I understand that Crimea is closer to West Java than East Timor, but:

1. It's politics from the forum rules pov.
2. It's an example of almost no casualties at all.
3. You should first read the previous 1500  at least 500 years of history of the region to make your words looking less... pathetic.

Edited by kerbiloid
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2 hours ago, kerbiloid said:

That's exactly why I don't understand why to distinguish it here when the "collateral damage" is the most part of casualties at all.

It's exactly why wars are terrible.

2 hours ago, kerbiloid said:

I understand that Crimea is closer to West Java than East Timor...

Nah, I was just messing with you.

I know we've done bad things with that small country (but we did some good). We're sorry about that. (it was also much more profitable for australians.)

 

Edited by YNM
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9 hours ago, kerbiloid said:

Maybe you don't. 10-20 years ago we had two Chechenian wars, and several wars in Middle Asian and Caucasian republics,

As well WWII was always depicted pretty completely at least here.

(Maybe not completely honestly, but enough describing)

I'm not sure about Germany, but in Russia the war horrors were always shown, since 1940s till modern days..

Even in WWII almost a half of casualties was caused by artillery.

And in local conflicts the murderers almost always see their victims because they burn a village or attack a bus or so.
The higher tech level - the lesser is the need in such actions. A drone hit with several unexpected casualties instead of a carpet bombing of a town.

Most advanced weapons, that is from anti tank up to ASAT is designed to kill other weapon or CCC systems, not to kill people. 
Yes they will kill people in the tank or plane but it would make no difference if tank or plane was unmanned.
 
Area effect weapons as in bombs, rockets, shells and mines cause lot of  collateral damage, that is if its civilians in the area. However not many civilian causalities on the western front in WW1 after the  trench warfare was established. 

City fighting on the other hand generates lots of lot of  collateral damage independent of weapon is swords or smart bombs. 
But yes most insurgent in modern time makes their stand in cities, makes sense if they made an stand in open ground they would get hit by kiloton levels of bombs or artillery. 
Cities are good fortifications and the inhabitants are human shields who increase to political cost of massed bombing or shelling. 

For killing people you don't need advanced weapons, any sort of gun is good enough even overkill, and that is not just the Roman or Mongols, most people killed in Rwanda was killed by axes and machetes. 

On the other hand civilized people don't do stuff like that. Note the difference in how Russia handled Chechnya and other wars. First was extremists you had to wipe, WW2 style works, other was the violent type of diplomacy, I'm the boss but no hard feelings. 

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19 hours ago, YNM said:

it's still a stupid thing to resort to. 

Hear hear.

 

19 hours ago, YNM said:

And if you have less military personnel that you can kill and really scare the s*** out of your opponent, then what else do you aim to ? A mountain ? No, you're going to start killing their civilians, under whatever pretense you can make.

That's on the civilian leadership then.   Attacking civilians because you can, is a horrible thing, and should be a war crime if it is not.   But you don't attack an enemy's soldiers, you attack their ability to fight.   It shouldn't matter if a battleship has a crew of one, or 1500, you're aiming to kill the battleship, not the crew.  

I see this is a sensitive topic for you, and I don't want to rile you up anymore, so right or wrong, let's let this one go.    Feel free to respond if you'd like, I won't respond out of respect. 

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Right aside the bombed Laos, one or two millions in Cambodia were killed with pickaxes and other stuff.

So, as we can see, not the technical level defines the total civilian casualties, but orders.

Orders, in turn, are defined by the sides intentions and local habits (the latter in turn tend to vary in the worse direction if the war lasts too long).

Edited by kerbiloid
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