“By 2025 we may face adversaries with scientifically enhanced cognitive capacity. The land force will need to develop a better understanding of enhancing human capabilities with, for example, improved human-machine interfaces or better fusing of technology with biology … Physical and cognitive enhancements such as ‘exosuits’ or long-lasting stimulants need to be considered in the context of amplifying performance.”
Although it may sound like the opening narration from Hollywood’s latest sci-fi blockbuster, these startling predictions come straight from the 2014 Future Land Warfare Report released by the Australian Army earlier this month. Designed to anticipate and respond to the changing face of war in the 21st century, the 26-page document tries to determine just what role Australian troops could play in a future, where fully autonomous drone strikes and genetically modified super soldiers dominate a constantly shifting battlefield. While the report maintains the army cannot know for sure what the future holds, the message is clear: war has changed, and we must change with it.