It's always essential to have the good old conventional infantry fighters. Here in Egypt, the main reason why we cannot beat jihadists is that we do not have quality infantry fighters. Everybody who willingly signs up for the army here ends choosing a career where they can ensure themselves a speciality that will be useful after leaving the army. For example, in the navy here almost no one chooses to be a Navy SEAL because once they're out they are jobless. Instead, they all prefer to work on ships! Now, Egypt is left with an army that lacks quality infantry fighters and you see the result in Sinai. There have been only about 1000-2000 militants in Sinai and it took the army 5 years to overcome the obstacle. I don't even believe they have won the war but that's what they're saying. As for the future soldier aspect, I still believe you will need the house to house searches and destroy because in my opinion, that's what wins wars. An airstrike/drone will pave the way for a swift, cost less (life wise) and easy victory but will never win the war on its own. 'Stan is the best proof of that.
My honest opinion would be that people unnecessarily put too much faith in these machines (wet themselves silly i say). I have some arguments in support for that.
For all we know there could be a virtual wall as to how much we could achieve with robots, for all we know they might never progress past artificial intelligence which operates on mechanical knowledge(which is notoriously bad in dynamic situations as it fails to adapt), then there is the fact that much of the modern machinery operates on thermal imagery, which has its limits, https://www.oathkeepers.org/defeating-drones-how-to-build-a-thermal-evasion-suit/
interesting article that, a point to be considered that barely literate afghan militiamen put an extra blanket over themselves to evade american multi million drones, i am sure that someone with more education and need can top that.
Then there is the hearts and minds strategy, case in point would be that american drones in afghanistan couldnt do half as much damage as the Brits did in malay to the communists(re: the malayan emergency).
Then there is the argument that of the technological race, as in one builds something the other builds something to top it off and even the most advanced technology is susceptible to hacking, sure you can use them against the afghani militiamen to somewhat of an affect but against a technologically sound adversary? can you trust them enough that they wont get hacked and turn their guns on friendlies? i wouldnt and no one should
The phrase that the greatest weapon is the human mind is true and nothing can top that beast, nothing beats good old fashioned human ingenuity and experience(afghani militiamen and blankets).
The grunt isnt going anywhere i say
Simply, however great the technology you will always need boots on the ground. First in support of technology or taking the main role when as is bound to happen technology fails. Finally mopping up after the use of technology. The need is a permanent requisite and I have reduced the case to its simplicity.
Let's look at where the conflicts are in the world today. Imagine NW Africa which has not greatly evolved over the past century, and this is not a cheap dig, being patrolled by robots. Or should I say automated vehicles. What would happen when one of the Million dollar machines breaks down? Send in a mechanic (AETT 1) ? Kids with a klash are as dangerous as adults.
In a large scale conventional war, EMPs would render most technology useless, a targeted first strike with EMPs could decimate an army's capacity wage war, no radios, no satellites, lasers, drones, you name it. Boots will always be a necessity.
In the future, will we still need trafic wardens ? They can be replaced by video surveillance, on board mouchards /computers that transmits your speed instantly (and where you park and for how long)
In the future, will we still have need for pass port control?
Or will we all be 'micro chipped', and a walk thru portail before accès to the depature lounge
No need to pay wages and pensions to robots and other hi tech stuff (+ they never go on strike)
One thing for sure, employment is going to be more rare
Jeeze, even cows are milked by robots nowadays
An intresting article in th L' usine nouvelle
about the french armys intrest in new technologie
Source : Generation NT (GNT)
The french army will deploy large robots (1 ton approx) on Opex (2021)
Mainly in support of Infantery troupes
See Milrem Robotics (Estonian)
By 2030, shall see the 2 nd generation of robots. Equiped with more Artificiel Intelligence and weaponary