DARPA's Revolution in Military Affairs

Episode Artwork
0% played 00:00 00:00
Sep 03 2007 24 mins   1
The Defense Department's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) was founded in 1958 in order to ensure that the science gap remained in the US's favor. Many great empires, such as the Mongols, Chinese, Ottomans, Mughals, and later, the Soviets, fell from grace because they missed out on major military revolutions, such as the Gunpowder Revolution, the Two Industrial Revolutions, and the Information Revolution. America was determined to not let it happen to them.

Since its creation in 1958, DARPA has been at the forefront of technology and innovation. It's inventions since 1958 include:
  • Satellites
  • GPS
  • M-16 Rifle
  • ARPANET (predecessor to the Internet)
  • Stealth Fighters (F-117, B-2, F-22)
  • Cruise Missiles
  • UAVs (Predator, Global Hawk)
  • UGVs (SWORDS, TALON, Packbot)
DARPA now focuses on nine major areas:
  • Robust, Secure, Self-Forming Networks
  • Detection, Precision ID, Tracking, and Destruction of Elusive Targets
  • Urban Area Operations
  • Advanced Manned and Unmanned Systems
  • Detection, Characterization, and Assessment of Underground Structures
  • Space
  • Increasing the Tooth To Tail Ratio
  • Biorevolution
  • Core Technologies
Many of its current "Revolution in Military Affairs" projects fall under the Future Combat Systems Program. This includes the Future Warrior battlesuit that can change color, carry more, become harder than kevlar, heal the user, connect directly back to the command post, sense dangers, change temperatures, and reinforce human muscles.

For more information, read:
War Made New by Max Boot
Foreign Affairs (January 2007): The Real Meaning of Military Transformation
Foreign Affairs (July 2006): The Military’s Manpower Crisis

Military History Podcast is sponsored by Armchair General Magazine

My Odeo Channel (odeo/a5b9222a2c4c44e2)