A video apparently produced by or for the Pentagon discussing the military nightmare of the future: megacities.
Megacities are themselves necessarily threats to humanity. Breeding grounds of disease and insanity and socialism (but then repeat myself) these gigantic human-scale “Universe 25” analogues are of dubious stability. A bit of a power outage and the tens of millions of inhabitants will soon begin to not only set upon each other, but will spill out into the surroundings and will consume and destroy the natural and agricultural environments. But from the Pentagons point of view, there is the further complication of “how do you fight a war in a megacity? And the Pentagon has this problem because you have a city of tens of millions of noncombatants that you want to protect, interspersed with hundreds of thousands of enemies who blend right it.
I suspect that within a few generations the DoD might give serious consideration to abandoning the long-held American viewpoint of trying to minimize collateral damage, and take up the Russian approach: carpet bomb the whole damn thing. Surround the enemy megacity, put it under siege, and utterly destroy it. While this could be accomplished with many bombing runs of B-52s, B-1s, B-2s and C-5s all loaded with dumb bombs, it can also be accomplished by a small number of tactical nuclear weapons. And even more easily accomplished with biowarfare. Given how strained the systems are in *current* high population density megaslums, a little bit more time, population and resource strain could easily make a city of tens of millions ready to be virtually exterminated with a small outbreak of a disease that could be easily explained as entirely natural in origin. And once the outbreak becomes public knowledge, shipments of food and medicine into the megacities will slow, because who’d want to go there, and things will rapidly progress.
The recently released movie “Inferno” (a staggering bomb domestically, but doing fairly well overseas) touches on this. A James Bondian villain has spent his fortune developing a virus that will kill half the population of the planet, and Our Hero needs to find the bioweapon and prevent it from going off. The plot is entirely ridiculous, and some of the supervillains math is dubious (he assumes a planetary population of 32 billion in something like 30 or 40 years), but he does have something of a point: overpopulation is a serious problem *now* and will only get worse in the future. From the military’s perspective, fighting a war in a megacity where they’re constrained by current notions of preventing collateral damage must be an unwinnable prospect. I have my own preferred solution (get the hell *off* Earth), but in the end a good dose of Vegan choriomeningitis might be the only solution, especially in the megacities.