WIRED FOR WAR

DIGITAL SOLDIERS WILL MAKE THE ARMY SMARTER AND DEADLIER--IF THE COMPUTERS WILL JUST STOP CRASHING

Comets have long been associated with war, upheaval and disaster, and as the light from Hale-Bopp faded in the California sky early last Tuesday, U.S. Army Major Russ Oaks got a taste of all three. Oaks was participating in one of the Pentagon's most ambitious and elaborate war games ever, a laser-gun battle pitting a 2,000-soldier "experimental force" against the toughest men in the war-game business, Fort Irwin's vaunted 2,000-man "opposing force." OPFOR had the home-turf advantage, with a 90% win record in this 20-sq.-mi. stretch of the Mojave Desert. But Oaks' EXFOR had a secret weapon: humvees and M-1 tanks...

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