TECHIE HISTORY: In my sleepy state last night, it occured to me how much the technological state-of-the-art has advanced since 1991. A couple of examples:

COMPUTERS: The people with PCs we envied were running Intel 486DX chips with 33 mhz processors. Several iterations of that chip, Pentium, Pentium Pro, Pentium II, Celeron, Pentium III, Pentium 4, Xeon, and Utanium have followed.

VIDEO GAMES: We were really excited about playing our Nintendo 8-bit procesors with such fine games as Super Mario Brothers and Duck Hunt. The Super Nintendo with 16-bit processing power was just coming on line. Things have evolved a bit since then.

NAVIGATION: I deployed to Gulf War One in December of 1990 as a junior Army officer. I had never heard of GPS. Our battery (150-odd men) got issued two of them while we were in country. One went to the battery commander, the other to the motor officer. I was navigating using a cheap compass attached to my wristwatch. Now, people have GPS on their bass boats.

Keep these things in mind when you hear TV “experts” making comparisons between this war and that one. Our military technology has advanced at least as fast as video games. Iraq’s has not.

FILED UNDER: Iraq War, Science & Technology, , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.