In my latest book, War At The Speed Of Light, I coined a new term, “c-war.” This is an excerpt from the book’s introduction and explains the rationale behind this term.

The pace of warfare is accelerating. In fact, according to the Brookings Institution, a nonprofit public policy organization, “So fast will be this process [command and control decision-making], especially if coupled to automatic decisions to launch artificially intelligent autonomous weapons systems capable of lethal outcomes, that a new term has been coined specifically to embrace the speed at which war will be waged: hyperwar.”

The term “hyperwar” adequately describes the quickening pace of warfare resulting from the inclusion of AI into the command, control, decision-making, and weapons of war. However, to my mind, it fails to capture the speed of conflict associated with directed energy weapons. To be all-inclusive, I would like to suggest the term “c-war.” In Einstein’s famous mass-energy equivalent equation, E = mc2, the letter “c” is used to denote the speed of light in a vacuum. [For completeness, E means energy and m mass.] Surprisingly, the speed of light in the Earth’s atmosphere is almost equal to its velocity in a vacuum. On this basis, I believe c-war more fully captures the new pace of warfare associated with directed energy weapons.