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30 May, 2024
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AI's role in shaping future warfare

Lessons from Ukraine: Patriotism alone won't save a nation

Alexis Papachelas

Alexis Papachelas

The war in Ukraine has brought about significant changes, including how wars will occur in the 21st century. These changes are quite substantial. Suddenly, everyone realizes that inexpensive unmanned aerial vehicles can inflict more damage than costly traditional military planes.

Even simple devices like an opponent officer's wristwatch and the use of social media can help in selecting attack targets. Information gathering and propaganda strategies have undergone complete transformations, and artificial intelligence (AI) is a key player in all these alterations.

Ukraine was well-prepared for these new forms of warfare, with considerable assistance from the United States. For instance, they were ready to counter massive cyberattacks, which was one of the main reasons they withstood the initial critical phase of the Russian assault.

Success in war also hinges on effective communication. Zelensky emerged as a major player in this aspect, becoming a global symbol and garnering public support in the West through media manipulation, with Germany being a prime example.

What does all of this signify? It means we urgently need to discard outdated "tools" in Athens and adapt to the new environment.

Are we adequately prepared in terms of cybersecurity, even for the simplest scenarios?

Have we assembled the brightest Greek minds, both in Greece and the diaspora, to establish research centers and operational teams to practically ready the country for the future? Have we reevaluated our assumptions about where Greek taxpayers' money should be allocated in the defense sector?

Have we truly readied ourselves for public diplomacy? Are we preparing the diaspora for the roles they'll need to play?

Will our defense industry ever transition into the 21st century, moving away from outdated practices and unionism?

Have we sought insights from the top strategic thinkers in our friendly nations, like Israel, to learn from their experiences?

If there's one lesson we can draw from Ukraine, it's that patriotism is essential for a state's survival, but it's insufficient without professionalism and open-mindedness.

[This article was translated from its Greek original]

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