5G, the New Track of the Arms Race

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At Nellis air base in Nevada – the Pentagon announced – the construction of an experimental 5G network which will begin in July, the network will be fully operational in January of next year.

In this base, Red Flag, the most important air exercise in the United States, was held last March, attended by German, Spanish and Italian forces. Italian forces were also composed of F-35 fighters which – Air Force communicated – were «integrated with the best assets of American aviation» so as to «make the most out of the aircraft potential and weapon systems supplied», certainly nuclear weapons included.

At Red Flag 2021, 5G relocatable cell towers, that can be set up and taken down in less than an hour, will be probably already operating to be tested in a real environment. Nellis base is the fifth base selected by the Pentagon to test the military use of 5G: the others are located in Utah, Georgia, California and Washington State.

A document from the Congress Research Service (National Security Implications of Fifth Generation 5G Mobile Technologies, 22 May 2020) explained that this fifth generation mobile data transmission technology could have “numerous military applications”.

One of these applications concerns “autonomous military vehicles”, that is robotic aerial, land and naval vehicles capable of autonomously carrying out attack missions without being remotely piloted. This procedure requires the storage and processing of a huge amount of data that cannot be carried out only onboard the autonomous vehicle. 5G will allow this type of vehicle to use an external data storage and processing system, similar to today’s Cloud for personal file storage.

Such a system can make possible “new military operational concepts”, such as that of “swarm” in which each vehicle automatically connects to the others to carry out its mission (for example, an aerial attack on a city or a naval attack on a port).

5G will allow the entire command and control system of the United States armed forces to be strengthened worldwide: currently – the document explained – they use satellite communications, but due to distance, the signal takes some time to arrive, causing delay in the execution of military operations. This delay will be virtually eliminated by 5G.
5G will play a decisive role particularly in the use of hypersonic weapons which travel at speeds exceeding 10 times that of sound also equipped with nuclear warheads.

5G will also be extremely important for secret services, making control and intelligence systems much more effective than those currently used.

“5G is vital to maintaining America’s military and economic benefits,” the Pentagon stressed. Particularly advantageous is the fact that “emerging 5G technology, commercially available, offers the Department of Defense the opportunity to use this system at lower cost for its operational needs”. In other words, the 5G commercial network, made by private companies, is used by the US military with a much lower cost than what would be necessary if the network was built solely for military purposes.

This also happens in other countries. It is therefore clear that the 5G dispute, especially between United States and China, is not only part of the trade war. 5G creates a new field for the arms race, which takes place not so much quantitatively but qualitatively.

This is silenced by media and largely ignored even by critics of this technology, who focus their attention on possible harmful effects on health. This very important commitment should however be combined with the commitment against military use of this technology. unknowingly financed by ordinary fifth-generation cell phone users.

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This article was translated from Italian by Roger Lagassé, published on Il Manifesto.

Manlio Dinucci is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

Featured image is from Voltairenet.org


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Articles by: Manlio Dinucci

About the author:

Manlio Dinucci est géographe et journaliste. Il a une chronique hebdomadaire “L’art de la guerre” au quotidien italien il manifesto. Parmi ses derniers livres: Geocommunity (en trois tomes) Ed. Zanichelli 2013; Geolaboratorio, Ed. Zanichelli 2014;Se dici guerra…, Ed. Kappa Vu 2014.

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