War had become something only the rich could truly afford. (Was it ever not thus?) For as the mechanization of warfare marched on, humans moved back from the front lines, farther and farther. That is, for those who could buy these machines, which saw and heard and fired in surrogate formation, visible from far above by satellites, controlled in hard wireless lines between command centers and robotic battlefields. When it was human versus machine, the mechanically empowered against those whose only forces were flesh and blood, there could be nothing but a one-sided massacre, whichever side actually won the day. In machine against machine firefights, the main objective was to cause the most expensive damage. To advance, if one could, to actual human cost was generally a tactical impossibility.
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