Big scary scaly things which can fly, breath fire, kill anything they want and are notoriously hard to train. The Queen of the dragons in the show can sort of control them, like the mother of a steroid pumped bodybuilder; he might listen to her, or he might not but if you were to have a go at his mum….
So it would take a very brave person indeed to do anything bad to the Queen whilst she has three CGI dragons behind her on a leash. They are a fantastic deterrent to the rest of the made up characters in the show. No one messes with the Queen.
Well so far – let’s see how the story pans out.
What would happen though if everyone else somehow managed to get their hands on a dragon or two? Suddenly the Queen might start feeling a little less secure, her deterrent neutralised. Everyone in Westeros and beyond would be on a level playing field.
If that was to happen then there would probably be a moratorium on the use of the Dragons and I would imagine there would be strict controls imposed on who else have get them. There would probably be unilateral agreements on breeding them and perhaps a limit on how many one could have.
And, of course, there is no way the Dothraki are going to be allowed to get their hands on some…
Now you can’t develop a dragon, however cool that might be. In fact you can’t even breed any because they are, unfortunately or fortunately, not real.
But drones are real.
Unmanned combat aerial vehicles are very real and only a few countries have them. Even less countries have actually used them in combat; US, UK, Pakistan and Israel. A few other countries have them but to this point they remain unused in a military sense.
Drones give the country owning them a clear advantage; controlled from thousands of miles away, no human life put at risk (in the drone that is) and using the most up to date, cutting edge sophisticated technology they are very very effective.
Who wouldn’t want to have a fleet of fire breathing drones at their disposal?
A long time ago a group of people invented the bow and arrow and they instantly had the advantage, they were able to kill the enemy from a distance. Then along came the Steppe people who combined the cutting edge technology of horses with the bow and arrow and they took over the advantage.
Suddenly armies which moved at the speed of a walking man were facing armies which moved at the speed of a galloping horse and they were armed to the teeth. Whole continents were razed to the ground because of the advantage this gave them. But soon everyone caught up and they lost their advantage.
Tanks were developed specifically to break the deadlock of WW1 trench warfare. But then the other side developed their own. And so on. History shows that the advantage of such technology is short lived.
And it will be the same for drones and also for whatever the next technological leap forward happens to be, robo-warriors?
How will we feel when Kim Jong-un starts showing off his own drones, or IS or anyone else we think are not capable of using them in the ‘proper way’?
But drones have their limitations, like almost all weapons of war with one clear exception – nuclear weapons.
Nuclear weapons followed a similar path to every other weapon which preceded them. At one point only the US and the UK had them. And at that time most people were ok with that. Well people in the US and UK were. I would guess the residents of Nagasaki and Hiroshima were less enthusiastic.
But then following the normal course of events others found, stole or somehow acquired the technology and then it became not ok. As we descended into an arms race and the cold war nuclear weapons became the scariest thing we ever invented.
As we all know, what sets them apart from any other weapon is their sheer destructive power. They don’t just have the capability of hurting the enemy, they have the capability of wiping the human race from the face of the earth, and a similar to dragons that makes them very fucking scary indeed.
But this is the point in history where nuclear weapons diverted from the normal course of military technological advancements. They never got used, in anger. Tanks, drones, airplanes, bows and arrows, horses, armour, guns, missiles have all been used. Nuclear weapons not.
We stepped back from the brink and took a breath. The stockpiles of nukes which exist around the world today are primed, pointed and programmed but lie dormant, unused. Even at the height of the cold war, when nuclear annihilation seemed almost certain the powers that be paused and removed their respective fingers from the button. Its one thing to have Russian tanks rolling through Germany in a westerly direction, it’s another pressing a button and in doing so knowing for certain you are setting in motion the mutually assured total destruction of the planet.
And it’s for this reason I would argue the world is a much better place today with nuclear weapons than it would be without them.
No one can rewrite history but try to think for a moment what would have happened had the Trinity tests in New Mexico been unsuccessful and Einstein’s theory turned out to be just the ramblings of a madman with funny hair.
The war in the Pacific would have lasted years longer that is guaranteed. Many more casualties would have occurred than were incurred in Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Just imagine the US having to invade mainland Japan at that point in history, it would have ended but it would have been horrific and much, much more bloody, on all sides.
Would the Warsaw pact countries and the West have maintained the stalemate they did without the threat of all round destruction hanging over their heads? I think not.
I do believe WW3 was only avoided because of the existence of nuclear weapons.
Don’t get me wrong, I dislike them as much as the next person. I just believe they are a necessary evil. It’s easy to criticise them, march against them or demand they are not in my back yard but what is the alternative?
Jeremy Corbyn is anti-nuclear, which is understandable. I am too.
But what I keep wondering is, given we know they exist what do we do with them? They are not dragons; they are real so how do we deal with the real world?
Unless you can persuade everyone who has them to dismantle them all, at exactly the same time and then forget how to make them, I’m not sure what other solutions there are.
Jeremy if that’s your solution then I will applaud you and maybe even vote for you if you manage to pull it off but I don’t hear you saying this.
All I hear you saying is they are nasty things and we don’t want them.
The problem is the real world isn’t a nice place. It never has been ever since that girl took an ill-advised bite out of that apple. The real world is full of nasty people and nasty bombs. If one person has a dragon they have an advantage if two people have them then the threat is neutralised.
The nuclear genie was let out of the bottle way back in 1945. Until someone figures out how to put it back in anyone who thinks we can just get rid of them, Mr Corbyn included, are living in a fantasy world of rainbows and unicorns.
It’s easy to criticise when you don’t have the power but that said I still would expect more from elected politicians.
Even one I would never vote for.
Unless he’s got a real dragon that is.