Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Lasertag warfare for unpopulated engagement zones

Inspired by the current tiff between the Philippines and China
  (+2, -1)
(+2, -1)
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This is a call for an international pact, hell maybe even a new Geneva Convention, which draws a clear distinction between territorial disputes that are populated and those, like the Scarborough Shoal, which are clearly not.

China has resorted to blasting Filipino supply ships headed to the disputed shoal with water cannons, which I personally think is a brilliant way of fighting this particular kind of war. But I say let's go all out, and outfit both sides with Geneva-compliant, non-blinding laser tag weapons. It's an unpopulated bit of territory they're battling over, so winning or losing doesn't threaten a group of people with loss of rights or being forced from their homes, so in a strong sense that makes victory much less urgent to either side. That should be reflected in the manner in which they fight it out. Let's agree that we're gonna have this fight, but that nobody should die over it.

Battles will be overseen and scoring judged by a neutral agency like the IAEA or Doctors Without Borders.

21 Quest, Nov 18 2023

A Taste of Armageddon - ST:TOS, s1e23 https://en.wikipedi...Taste_of_Armageddon
A cautionary tale for anyone who thinks war should - or even can - be civilized with rules. [a1, Nov 18 2023]

Baudrillard https://en.wikipedi..._Did_Not_Take_Place
"The Gulf War Did Not Take Place" [pertinax, Nov 19 2023]

These people tried a very small war ... https://en.wikipedi...f_the_300_Champions
... but they didn't like the outcome, so they fought a real war to contest it. [pertinax, Nov 19 2023, last modified Nov 20 2023]


       Obligatory Star Trek reference in memory of [8th] :   

       "Death, destruction, disease, horror. That's what war is all about, Anan. That's what makes it a thing to be avoided. You've made it neat and painless, so neat and painless you've had no reason to stop it!"
a1, Nov 18 2023

       That episode actually went through my mind when I was thinking of this, that's why I stressed the clear delineation between populated areas and unpopulated areas. Fighting over people is very different than fighting over empty land, and so should the lengths one is willing to go to to fight for it.
21 Quest, Nov 18 2023

       But you're mistaken if you think "victory" in taking a territory without people on it doesn't impact people living elsewhere.   

       It's ALWAYS about people, somewhere. Even if it looks like someone is fighting over an empty piece of land coated with bat guano.
a1, Nov 18 2023

       There are effects and there are effects, though. There are levels of escalation that are appropriate for different objectives, as evidenced by China's use of giant super soakers instead of lethal ordnance, for instance.   

       That all or nothing thinking is what got us mired in Vietnam and Afghanistan. Are we "affected" by what happens to the oil fields in Iraq? I mean, sure, we have to pay more at the pump to fuel our cars if control doesn't go our way. But is that worth killing and dying over? Of course not. So we settle THAT kind of dispute with laser tag fighting.
21 Quest, Nov 18 2023

       I'll see your "of course" and raise an "obviously."   

       Obviously, people throughout history have fought to the death over oil fields and guano and other resources and will continue to do so. When you stand up to any of them and suggest they'd be could settle everything with a game of laser tag, they'll be happy to poke hole in your argument, as well as your integument.
a1, Nov 18 2023

       Mote often than not, politicians have sent young recruits to die for reasons that have very little to do with actually defending their country.
21 Quest, Nov 19 2023

       True but lasertag won't fix that.
a1, Nov 19 2023

       It's just meant to be an alternative for when politicians need to save face by "fighting" for something that isn't actually all that important.
21 Quest, Nov 19 2023

       It would be something probably proposed BY a third party observer in the first place. They would approach both parties, acknowledge both have a grievance, but ask each of them "is it worth getting your soldiers killed over?" If both sides say no, it's not THAT extreme an issue for them, then ok, let's settle it like gentlemen. Marquis of Queensberry rules. You're both gonna put up a good fight for it, but without killing.   

       The idea is not to discredit the validity of lethal warfare in all scenarios, but to make a clearer distinction between those issues that are and are not worth dying and killing over.
21 Quest, Nov 19 2023

       Pertinax, that doesn't seem to be a fair assessment of that situation. Sparta and Argos had their thing, then later wound up on opposing sides of the Peloponnesian war because Athens forced Argos into it. Argos, during a lull in the war, challenged Sparta to a rematch of the earlier showdown, and Sparta declined.
21 Quest, Nov 19 2023

       See the last paragraph of Herodotus' version, as summarized in the wikipedia article.
pertinax, Nov 19 2023

       For fuck's sake lol
21 Quest, Nov 19 2023

       This is what international Football (Soccer) is.
pocmloc, Nov 19 2023

       How about a nice game of chess?
a1, Nov 19 2023


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