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At the London Summit, NATO’s 29 countries pledged to "guarantee the security of our communications, including 5G". Why is this fifth generation mobile data transmission technology so important for the Atlantic Alliance?

While previous technologies were finalised to produce ever more advanced smartphones, 5G is designed not only to improve their performance, but mainly to connect digital systems that need huge amounts of data to operate automatically. The most important applications of 5G will be realized not in the civilian field, but in the military field.

The possibilities offered by this new technology are explained in the report Defense Applications of 5G Network Technology, published by the Defense Science Board, a federal committee that provides scientific advice to the Pentagon: "The emerging 5G technology, commercially available, offers the Department of Defense the opportunity to benefit at minor costs from the benefits of this system for its own operational requirements".

In other words, the 5G commercial network, carried out by private companies, will be used by the US armed forces at a much lower cost than would be necessary if the network were carried out solely for military purposes. Military experts predict that 5G will play a key role in the use of hypersonic weapons: missiles, including those armed with nuclear warheads, that travel at a speed greater than Mach 5 (5 times the speed of sound). To guide them on variable trajectories, by changing course in a fraction of a second to avoid interceptor missiles, it is necessary to collect, develop and transmit huge amounts of data in very fast times. The same is necessary to activate defences in the event of an attack with such weapons: since there is no time to make a decision, the only possibility is to rely on automatic 5G systems.

The new technology will also have a key role in the battle network. Being able to connect millions of transmitter-receiver devices in a limited area at the same time, it will enable the military - departments and individuals - to transmit maps, photos and other information on the current operation to each other in near real time.

Extremely important will also be the G5 for secret services and special forces. It will make possible much more effective control and espionage systems than those of today. It will increase the lethality of killer drones and war robots, giving them the ability to identify, track and strike people based on facial recognition and other characteristics. The 5G network, being a high-tech warfare instrument, will automatically also become the target of cyber attacks and war actions carried out with new generation weapons.

In addition to the United States, this technology is being developed by China and other countries. International 5G litigation is therefore not only commercial. The military implications of 5G are almost completely ignored because even critics of this technology, including various scientists, focus their attention on the harmful effects on health and the environment due to exposure to low frequency electromagnetic fields. This commitment is of the utmost importance, but it must be united with the one against the military use of this technology, indirectly financed by ordinary users. One of the greatest attractions, which will promote the diffusion of 5G smartphones, will be to be able to participate, by paying a subscription fee, in war games of impressive live realism with players from all over the world. In this way, without realizing it, the players will finance the preparation for war, the very real one.

Translation
Roger Lagassé
Source
Il Manifesto (Italy)

Attached documents


Defense Applications of 5G Network Technology (summary)

Defense Science Board, August 2019


(PDF - 1.1 Mb)