While I'm certain the Army's new XM-25 grenade launcher is excellent, I disagree with the enthusiastic claims of its developer, Colonel Doug Tamilio. Let's see if you catch it:
"This significantly changes the art of warfare for a soldier. He no longer has to worry about maneuvering on an enemy position..."
Sir, I beg to differ.
Maneuvering on the battlefield has been central to land warfare from ancient times to the "Thunder Run" of 2003. Since then, we've seen the implementation of chariots, arrows, crossbows, gunpowder, cannons, muskets, breech-loading rifles, artillery, machine guns, tanks, air power, nuclear weapons, and network-centric warfare. And yet, we are to believe that a "smart" grenade launcher will completely eliminate the need to maneuver on the battlefield?
I hate to sound like a broken record, but I'm going to invoke the quintessential Elkus-Burke argument, as best summed up by Joseph Fouche:
Here is a major theme of the Elkus-Burke ouvre that I sum up as “Hey numbnut, have you ever considered the possibility that your
big rock pointy stick armed mob chariot calvary phalanx legion cannon musket rifle needle gun machine gun artillery trenches bomber tank indirect approach special ops nuclear weapon network global guerrilla decline of the nation-state operational design giant anime robots super-empowered individualdoes not represent a complete sea change in the historic course of war, strategy, politics, culture, or apple pie?” While this appeal to a moderation contrary to the whirlygig obsessed mindset of most Americans is not as strong as Oliver Cromwell’s “I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken?”, it certainly rubs all those who come a peddling their one magic bullet to resolve all political or strategic or military questions the wrong way...
...[Adam Elkus and Crispin Burke embark upon their usual] routine of destroying the dreams of cranks, sci-fi enthusiasts, and procurement officers everywhere. Can the romance of technological miracles survive such a cold shower?
Seriously, the claim that maneuver on the battlefield is obsolete is as facepalmingly full of hubris as the belief that air to air missiles would make dogfighting obsolete.
Nevertheless, I eagerly await feedback from the field. Anyone in Afghanistan care to weigh in? Does this weapon live up to the hype?