IR 4.0 and International Security

IR 4.0 and International Security

Emerging technologies transforming international security:

  • Drones: They are essentially flying robots. The United States currently leads in this technology, but the technology is spreading like wildfire and will soon become widely available and more affordable.
  • Autonomous Weapons: Combining drone technology with artificial intelligence, they have the potential to select and engage target without human intervention.
  • Militarization of Space: A new generation of hypersonic glide weapons is also poised to enter into the space domain. This will increase the probability that space will play a major role in future conflicts. This gives rise to concerns that current regulations on regulating space may no longer be sufficient.
  • Wearable devices: They can optimize health and performance under conditions of extreme stress or produce exoskeletons that enhance soldier’ performance, allowing human to carry loads of around 90kg without difficulty.
  • Additive Manufacturing: It will revolutionize supply chains by enabling replacement parts to be manufactured in the field from digitally transmitted designs and locally available materials.
  • Renewable energy: This enables power to be generated locally, revolutionizing supply chains and enhancing capacity to print parts on demand and in even remote locations.
  • Nanotechnology: Nano is progressively leading to metamaterials, smart materials which possess properties that do not occur naturally. It will make weaponry better, lighter, more mobile, smarter and more precise. It will ultimately result in systems that can self replicate and assemble.
  • Biological Weapons: The history of biological warfare is nearly as old as the history of warfare itself, but rapid advances in biotechnology, genetics and genomics are the harbinger of new highly lethal weapons – airborne designer viruses, engineered superbugs and genetically modified plagues.
  • Biochemical weapons: Technological innovation is making the assembly of these weapons almost as easy as a do-it-yourself task.
  • Social media: This technology can also be used to spread malicious content and propaganda. In addition to that, recruitment via these media is easy and prevalent.


Do you agree? Do you want to add to the list?