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RMA from a Historical Perspective
--Interview with Mr. Chuck Hawkins, the Director of the Historical Evaluation & Research Organization(HERO) Library.(May 16, 1998) 访军事历史评估与研究中心主任查尔斯•霍金斯
MR. CHEN BOJIANG: In March 1998 the Historical Evaluation & Research Organization(HERO) Library and the China Defense Science & Technology Information Center (CDSTIC) co-hosted the Hua-Mei Workshop in Beijing. What is the reason behind selecting RMA as the theme for the Hua-Mei Workshop?
MR. HAWKINS: As you know, HERO has been in existence since 1962, when it was founded by the late Trevor N. Dupuy, a noted military historian and researcher, In the 1980s, Dupuy lectured several times in China. I believe you attended one of his lectures at the Academy of Military Science. I maintained the contacts in Beijing after Dupuy’s death. My CDSTIC colleagues and I agreed that mutual exchanges on conventional military research topics would be valuable for the United States and China, and that these meetings could do much to foster friendship and greater understanding. So we agreed to hold an “informal” workshop in Beijing to begin, and see how things developed.
In March 1997, I lectured at CDSTIC on the subject of information warfare1 and information operations. This helped to set the stage for the workshop. At this time we agreed that the revolution in military affairs was a vital and important topic to discuss in the future. This is particularly true since information technology and information systems are so much a part of RMA.
Since the 1990-1991 Persian Gulf War, China has made prodigious2 efforts to collect, assess and understand information about RMA, most of it focused on high technology weaponry, information systems, and command, control, communications, intelligence, reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition (C3I/RSTA), and most of that focused on Western equipment, concepts and use. With the exception of the United States, China has produced more studies, papers and articles on RMA than any other nation.
MR. CHEN: What were the main topics discussed at the workshop? What’s your opinion on it?
MR. HAWKINS: We covered a variety of interesting paper topics at Hua-Mei Ⅰ.There were 11 papers by Chinese researchers and five by American analysts.
A central question for workshop participants was what the term RMA actually means. Although precise definitions are not necessary to discuss a topic, a general understanding is important to aid analytical exchanges.
For me, the most important thing about RMA is historical perspective. Without history as a guide there are mistakes that will be made, and nonproductive paths followed. And, some very important avenues of research may be overlooked.
I like to begin with a definition of the word “revolution.” Webster’s Dictionary says that it means a “displacement of an existing order.” For RMA, this question must be answered: “What is the existing order that RMA is displacing?” without analyzing history it’s impossible to say accurately what the answer is.
The world has already undergone several technological revolutions in this century that have had direct, if not exclusive, application to the use of military force. For the 20th century, the advent3 of the airplane, wireless communication, nuclear energy, digital computation and communication, advanced electronics, exo-atmospheric4 vehicles, and advances in medical science have all brought varying degrees of revolutionary activities to the modern battlefield.
The airplane was revolutionary because it displaced the existing order of traveling by land or sea, or at least augmented land and sea travel in a new way. Armed forces could now fight in the air, move farther faster.
Wireless communication displaced or nearly displaced messengers. It also extended the range of communications, even into space.
Nuclear weapons displaced an existing order by increasing dramatically the number and proportion of battlefield loss. As we know, casualty rates have generally declined over the past 400 years. Nuclear weapons reversed or would reverse that trend dramatically.
Digital computers and communications displaced the existing order of analog5 computation by hand or simple machine by making computation many times faster and communications capable of carrying much more information in a shorter period of time.
Advanced electronics and optics now enable soldiers to see to fight during periods of low visibility, a revolutionary change from the past.
Exo-atmospheric missiles changed the existing order by enabling stand off attacks around the globe; and satellites give high resolution pictures of ground targets.
Advances in medicine have extended lives, displacing the existing order of old age into man’s 70th year and beyond; and it has helped dramatically to decrease the number of wounded soldiers who die of their wounds.
It is also interesting to use history to analyze what hasn’t changed very much. That is, to look at weapon platforms and military technology that is improving only on the margin systems that are mature, and, which, if they could be displaced by a new order, would herald6 a new revolution.
MR. CHEN: Could you give me some examples?
MR. HAWKINS: Of course! Manned aircraft are mature. Manned aircraft will not fly much faster, or turn tighter, or pull more “Gs” than those that existed a few years ago. The big leap in aircraft technology came between World War Ⅰ and World War Ⅱ. What would be revolutionary here? Displacing the pilot with unmanned aerial vehicles is one answer.
Rifles will not fire farther or more accurately or be lighter weight except on the margin. The big change for infantry rifles came in the first half of the 19th century when rifled barrels and conoidal7 bullets displaced smoothbore muskets and ball shot.
Main battle tanks are mature, and won’t improve much in terms of power to weight ratio, fire power, armor protection or speed without revolutionary technology.
Along with the maturing of many weapon systems and military equipment has come a maturation of military doctrine and organization. This confluence of technology, theory and organization has led to optimal operations on the battlefield. This is very similar to conditions in Europe in 1815 at the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo. Of course, not too many years after that the conoidal bullet, rifled musket8, effective breech blocks and later, smokeless powder changed the battlefield dramatically. It was years before theory, organization could catch up. It makes one wonder what the future surprises of RMA will be.
About the time of the 1990-1991 Persian Gulf War, the continuing trend in improvements in technology, military theory, and organization was lumped under the rubric of revolution in military affairs. Indeed, the most exciting and promising technological areas seem to be: microelectronics (including lasers) microbiotics9, optics10 (including lasers), propulsion and power, and materials science. Overarching the RMA is an explosion of information technology and digitized information that has become so global in scope that it has earned the term “information age.”
Some argue that today’s RMA is more evolutionary than revolutionary; that the true revolution is yet to come. These analysts suggest that for the next 15 years or so, technology will advance along expected paths. Then, sometime 15-30 years from now, a true military revolution will occur, one that is difficult to foresee clearly, if at all.

WORDS AND EXPRESSIONS 词汇提示
1.information warfare 信息战
2.prodigious [] a.巨大的
3.advent [] n.出现,到来
4.exo-atmospheric [] a.大气层外的
5.analog [] n.相似物,相似体
6.herald [] v.预示
7.conoidal [] a.圆锥形的
8.musket [] n.步枪
9.microbiotics [] n.微生物
10. optics [] n.光学

QUESTONS AFTER LISTENING 听后答题:
1.When was the HERO founded?
A.In 1972. B.In 1962.
C.In 1964. D.In 1982.
2. Who maintained the contacts with Beijing after Mr. Dupuy’s death?
A.Mr. Hawkins. B.Mr. Perry.
C.Mr. Marshall. D.Mr. Smith.
3. On what subject did Mr. Hawkins lecture at CDSTIC in March 1997?
A.The RMA.
B.The new weapons development.
C.The information warfare.
D.Military science.
4. Which country has produced more studies, papers and articles on the RMA than any other nations except the U.S. according to Mr. Hawkins?
A.Russia. B.China.
C.Japan. D.Germany.
5. What is the definition of the word “revolution” in Webster’s Dictionary?
A.It means a “complete change in military affairs”.
B.It means a “great change in social system”.
C.It means a “displacement of an existing order”.
D.It means a “great change of concepts”.
6. Why did Mr. Hawkins say that the airplane was revolutionary?
A.Because it changed the living way of people.
B.Because it changed the living way of message exchange.
C.Because it displaced the old way of thinking.
D.Because it displaced the existing order of travelling by land or sea, or at least augmented land and sea travel in a new way.
7. What did nuclear weapons displace?
A.It displaced the existing order of fight.
B.It displaced an existing order by increasing dramatically the number and proportion of battlefield loss.
C.It displaced the existing order of weapons development.
D.It displaced the existing order of weapons use.
8. Why did Mr. Hawkins say manned aircraft were mature?
A.Because manned aircraft will not fly much faster, or turn tighter, or pull more “Gs” than those that existed a few years ago.
B.Because manned aircraft will not be changed in its shape.
C.Because manned aircraft will not need to improve its function.
D.Because manned aircraft will not replace its airborne equipment.
9. When did the big leap in aircraft technology come?
A.It came after the World War Ⅱ.
B.It came in the World War Ⅱ.
C.It came before the World War Ⅱ.
D.It came between the World War Ⅰand the World War Ⅱ.
10. What did it take place in Europe in 1815?
A.Nazi was defeated.
B.Czar was defeated.
C.Napoleon was defeated.
D.Caesar was defeated.

【参考译文】
用历史观点看军事革命
陈伯江:1998年3月军事历史评估与研究中心与中国国防科技信息中心在北京共同召开了“华美军事革命讨论会”,为什么要选择军事革命作为这次讨论的主题?
霍金斯:如你所知,军事历史评估与研究中心由著名的军事历史学家特雷费•杜派于1962年成立。八十年代,杜派曾多次到中国讲学。我想你可能听过他在军事科学院的报告。1993年杜派去世之后,我继续保持了与中国的联系。中国国防科技信息中心的同行和我都认为,就一般军事研究课题进行交流对于中美双方都是有益的,对于发展友谊和增进了解很有好处。于是我们商定在北京共同举办一次非正式的讨论会,以此为开端,探索如何进一步发展交流。
1997年3月,我以“信息战和信息作战”为题,应邀在中国国防科技信息中心作了一次报告。该报告为这次讨论会打下了基础。当时我们就一致认为,军事革命是今后应该进一步讨论的一个极为重要的问题。确实是这样,因为信息技术与信息系统是军事革命中的一个非常重要的组成部分。
海湾战争以来,中国在收集、评估和理解有关军事革命的信息方面,已经作出了巨大的努力。其重点大多数放在高技武器、信息系统、以及指挥、控制、通讯、情报、侦察、监视、目标搜索等方面;其重点大多数放在西方的装备、作战概念和运用上。中国完成的有关军事革命的研究报告、论文和文章,比除美国之外的任何其它国家都多。
陈:“华美军革命讨论会”研究的主要问题是什么?您怎样看待军事革命?
霍金斯:在讨论会上共交流了16篇论文,其中中国研究人员的论文11篇,美方5篇,内容包括了许多很有意思的问题。
研讨的中心问题是军事革命的含义是什么。虽然讨论没有必要作出确切的定义,但从总体上加以理解对于分析交流也是很重要的。
在我看来,理解军事革命最重要的是要用历史的观点。没有历史作指导,就会出现错误,就不能发现有效的途径,并且还可能会忽略一些很重要的研究方法。
我想先来谈谈“革命”这个词的定义。《韦氏大辞典》的解释是:革命是对“现有秩序的替代”。对于军事革命来说,也必须回答这样一个问题:“什么是军事革命将要替代的秩序?”离开历史的分析,是不可能找到这一问题的正确答案的。
本世纪世界上已经发生了几次技术革命,这些革命曾经直接(如果不是完全的)运用于军事。20世纪飞机、无线通讯、原子能、数字计算机和数字通讯、高级电子学、大气层外飞行器等的发明以及医学的进步等等,所有这些都程度不同地为现代战场带来了革命性的变化:
飞机的发明是革命性的,因为它替代了现有的陆上或海上旅行的方式(或者至少在陆上、海上旅行之外增加了一种新的方式)。现在,军队可以在空中作战,以更快的速度推进。
无线通讯替代(或几乎替代)了传令兵,它还扩大了通讯的范围,甚至进入空间。
核武器通过极大地增加战场伤亡的数量和比例,替代了“现有的秩序“。我们知道,在过去400年里,伤亡率在总体上是下降的,核武器极大地改变了(或将国改变)这一趋势。
数字计算机替代了由手工和简单机器进行模拟计算的“现有秩序”,并使计算速度提高许多倍;数字通讯则能在更短的时间里传递更多的信息。
高级电子学和光学器材能使士兵在低能见度的条件下进行观察和作战,这是一个不同以往的革命性变化。
大气层外导弹替代了“现有的秩序”是因为它使在全球范围实施远程攻击成为可能;而卫星可提供高分辨率的地面目标图像。
医学的进步处长了人的寿命,70或者70岁以上的年龄段“替代”了现有的老龄年龄段;同时大大减少了受伤军人因伤死亡的数量。
运用历史方法对尚未发生很大变化的领域进行分析也是很有意思的。就是看看那些仅有一些边边角角改善的武器平台和军事技术。这些武器系统比校成熟,如果它们能被一种新的“秩序“所替代,则将预示着一场新的革命将要来临。
陈:您能举几个例子吗?
霍金斯:当然可以。有人驾驶飞机是成熟的系统。与几年前已有的性能相比,有人驾驶飞机的飞行速度将不会再快很多,或转弯半径再小很多,或载重比更高很多。飞机技术的巨大进步发生在第一次世界大战和第二次世界大战之间。那么,什么地方将会发生革命性变化呢?以无人驾驶航空器替代飞行员就是一个答案。
让步枪射得更远、或射得更准、或重量更轻的改进余地已经十分有限。步枪的巨大变化出现在19世纪前半叶,当时以来福枪管和锥形子弹取代了滑膛枪管和实心子弹。
主战坦克是成熟的系统。如果没有革命性的技术,其动力与重量比、火力、护甲或速度等都将不会有很大的改进。
内燃式发动机是成熟的技术,除非有革命性的新技术出现,如涡轮发动机微型化技术出现,否则其改进余地也不大。
随着许多武器系统和军事装备的成熟,军事理论与编制也趋于成熟。技术、理论与编制的交互影响导致战场上以最佳方式进行作战。这与1815年欧洲拿破仑兵败滑铁卢的情况非常相似。当然,此后没有多少年锥形子弹、来福枪管、有效的枪栓以及此后不久无烟火药的出现,极大地改变了战场。作战理论、军队编制需要多年时间才能赶上技术的发展。这使我们对未来军事革命将带来什么样的奇迹深感兴趣。
大约在1990~1991年波斯湾战争的时候,技术、军事理论和编制体制不断改进的趋势被概括地称为军事革命,其中最令人激动和有发展前途的技术是:微电子学(包括机器人技术)、微生物学、光学(包括激光)、推进器和动力、以及材料科学。贯穿军事革命的是信息技术和数字化信息的迅猛发展,其波及全球的程度如此之大,以致有了“信息时代”这一专门术语。
有人认为,今天的军事革命是进化的,而非革命的,真正的革命尚未到来。这些分析家提出,在今后15年左右,技术将按照人们预期的道路发展。然后,从现在起的15至30年的某个时候,将会出现一场真正的军事革命,这场革命即使现在可以预测,也是很难预料清楚的。

KEYS TO THE QUESTIONS 参考答案:
1.b 2.a 3.c 4.b 5.c 6.d 7.b 8.a 9.d 10.c

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