An IAF F-16 (illustrative photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit/Flash90)

IAF aircraft strike Syrian army after roadside attack

It seems that the drums of war are reaching further afield than ever before. One can only wonder these days where it is that their sound cannot be heard.

But, as regards this latest Israeli response against what are presumed to be Syrian and Hezbollah targets, a thought occurs. Putting aside the rights and wrongs of the episode, doesn’t the whole affair, as with so many others, portray a most inefficient use of mankind’s resources in these scenarios?

I mean, there are extremely expensive aircraft involved here, various explosives of undetermined but, no doubt, significant cost, expenditures in training, fuel and other materiel that facilitate such operations and then there is all the logistical support needed for retaliation of this type.

In total outlay, the entire exercise must have cost a pretty penny. But is it likely that the results will justify the expenses incurred? Or is that a consideration of no importance, merely the inevitable downside associated with deploying a credible deterrent in an offensive capacity?

It’s just that the evolution of warfare has come such a long way since the days of bows and arrows, spears and shields, slingshots and swords. Conflict, in the modern era, has taken on an almost impersonal quality, a machine-like consciousness of its very own. The fear has long been voiced that the machines may be taking over to an extent far greater than anything ever envisaged in days gone by.

But the genie is now out of the bottle and humanity’s expertise in such matters cannot be rescinded or conveniently forgotten.

Then the only answer may be to evolve even further along in the art of making war, advancing so far that it becomes reduced almost to mere thought alone and then, with very few regrets, is heard no more.