So, I was reading this Twitter thread from Bret Devereaux (of ACOUP) this morning:
Teaching modern military history one thing that is interesting in the modern era is the increasing prevalence of weapon systems that never really 'had their day,' a product of the increasing pace of technological change paired with decreasing rates of warfare.— Bret Devereaux (@BretDevereaux) March 12, 2023
Click through for whole thread, but in particular note:
This is even more extreme in naval affairs today, since there hasn't been a great power war since 1945. Some of these ships did other missions, but just to take CVs, the Saipan, Forrestal, Kitty Hawk, and Enterprise *classes* all never fought the battle they were designed for.— Bret Devereaux (@BretDevereaux) March 12, 2023
It covers the territory of something I haven’t articulated terribly well about the Imperial Navy and their weapons mix. Because the ultimate evolution of:
All of that does, however, have the side effect of making wars even less predictable - and they were already very unpredictable, as Clausewitz notes (drink!). Rapid technological change combined with long peaces means everyone's weapons will be untested.— Bret Devereaux (@BretDevereaux) March 12, 2023
And again of course this is a good thing, but it ought to also caution policy makers and strategic thinkers: information may be more available today than yesterday, but in some important ways, you know *even less* about the results of trying to use force.— Bret Devereaux (@BretDevereaux) March 12, 2023
Is that you - and everyone else - owns a lot of nice shiny fleet arsenals filled with Wunderwaffen, with great specs and field performance unknown. The absence of large-scale Great Power wars creates a certain tropism for the tried and true weapons mix that’s always been perfectly satisfactory up to now and doesn’t make everyone else get panicky.
Plenty of time to break out the new stuff when it’s actually needed .