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Historic/Religious/Sentimental value For instance, the island used to be a bustling center for trade due to its location. Control of which would grant power/money/etc. In battling for control of this island hundreds of thousands of soldiers have died over the course of centuries. Those are honoured by numerous monuments spread out over the island. All of ...


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Sheer Accident Perhaps the military stuffed up, spelled a name wrong or wrote coordinates down wrong. I think that if that people arrived at the correct island intentionally that makes the island strategically valuable, as it was by intent. Correspondingly, choosing the island because it has no intrinsic value makes it, contradictingly, valuable. If you ...


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You mentioned civil presence. Gather hobbyists, gawkers, and astronomers for a... Total solar eclipse ... or any other kind of astronomical or atmospheric event really. It needs to be rare enough to warrant the travel, spectacular enough to be cool, and happen to be best observable from this particular island. The maps of total eclipses can get pretty ...


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Most of them are not actually military personnel. They are not persons at all. They are something else. Real military personnel in boats patrol the water and ward off anyone interested. Satellite images show the structures and vehicles and people walking around in uniform. If you were sent onto this island and used your skills to get close you would ...


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The Island will become strategic only if a truly strategic alternate island is captured or embargoed. It is part of a backup plan. By building a base there, you absorb a portion of the strategic value of the other location, so that losing either location is less damaging to your position. You deny an enemy a strategic location from which to attack you. It is ...


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As described, your dragon is good for armed reconnaissance The 40mm grenade launcher is hardly artillery, and hardly a bomb, but it can produce smoke or shrapnel rounds at needed, and modest airborne fires. I'd compare it favorably to the 2.75 inch Hydra rocket(Which now has the APKWS kit that offers laser guidance), though it's not quite as good as that. ...


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Take the grenade launcher with AI targeting, forget the dragon. It's big and vulnerable. A few of those launchers on portable mounts would be highly effective. Use the dragons to emplace them and get out of the area if you're looking for a job for them.


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As a diversion. We actually planned all that originally for another place, which has a large, non-obvious, super-secret strategic advantage. Then it partially leaked. A rival got to know that we were about to put a heavy presence in a place with a large, non-obvious, super-secret strategic advantage. We know that they know, but they probably don't know that ...


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I think the use case for these dragons is wrong. I wouldn't see them as cheap air support but as mobile fire support. They sounds to me like a biological weapons carrier platform. See the British universal carrier or the Wiesel. Not a vehicle type that is widely used currently, but with added flying abilities, probably easier maintenance and lighter ...


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What about cultural significance? Maybe this island has no strategic value or resources, but something cultural happened (or is believed to have happened) there. Perhaps an event of great religious significance took place on this island? Maybe a cultural folk hero was born there? This could make the island a destination of pilgrimage, and also a ...


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Have a look at the Thirty Six Stratagems The thing about "no strategic value" is how malleable 'strategic value' is; putting lots of people and materiel into a place makes it a strategically valuable position. The Thirty Six Stratagems are an early Chinese treatise on, well, the art of war (but not Sun Tsu's famous essay). Several could easily ...


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International Waters Consider the island of Kolbeinsey off the northern coast of Iceland. Ostensibly, it is a barren rock with no resources or strategic value. However, what it does do is extend the territorial waters claimed by Iceland due to the 12-mile radius around the island marking the border to international waters. Due to sea-level rise, it is ...


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The Island is a relay Well, even if this is far from everything and have nothing on this may have a strategic value. Nowadays there is satellite to almost everything but if people wanted to exchange in long distance with no satellite having a relay here may be a good option. That may mean something is gonna kill the satellite and there is preparation to be ...


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A defeated charismatic dictator has been exiled to the island, as happened with Napoleon, first on Elba and then on St Helena. This obviously necessitates a substantial military presence to prevent him from being liberated by his remaining followers (as also happened with Napoleon on Elba).


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Disputed sovereignty Your country says this is your island. Another country says it's their island. Who's the winner? Flooding the island with your civilians and military alike makes it hard for the enemy to claim it as theirs. Real-life example (sort of): Machias Seal Island, the last disputed territory between Canada and the United States, 20km from the ...


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What would cause a heavy military or civil presence on an island with no strategic value? That is quite close to the definition of a paradox. And the source of the paradox comes from the undefined "strategic". It itself, the word is "big", but means nothing. To make it significant, it had to be paired with other clarifying words. E.g.: ...


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In 1947, the Royal Navy decided to detonate 6700 tons of explosives on the island of Helgoland, creating one of the biggest non-nuclear explosions in history (undoubtedly with significant military presence and efforts before the detonation). From today's viewpoint, the island was of relatively minor strategic value, with no significant number of inhabitants -...


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To gain access to resources and to gain sovereignty over the sea. If you own an island (ok, you may not own it really, but you placed fortresses and troops there so who's arguing?) you own any resources under the sea (oil! minerals) and the fish in the sea around it. You can also make like a pirate and interfere with passing ships. This is not fantasy; a ...


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Sometime the strategic importance is hard to assess, here is a simple example: An island lost in a sea far away from any country. Well, often these are extremely interesting because they can for example act as a SIGINT (Signal Intelligence) collection point: The owning country can install antennas and processing stations that will listen to the radio ...


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Your economy would collapse if you stopped expanding. If you're building a city there: You're a former superpower thats transitioned to a service economy that is trying to achieve greatness again by basically doing each others laundry. The only thing keeping your economy afloat is construction and expansion for your growing population. Expanding onto a ...


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No inherent Strategic Value ... The requirement for "no strategic value" kills many explanations which might otherwise apply. It cannot be a waystation to somewhere else, or it would be strategic. It cannot be far enough from prying eyes to hide an ongoing secret program, or it would be strategic. It cannot justify claims to an exclusive economic ...


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As a waystation. The ocean is big, and ships can be out to sea for a long time, which is not easy or fun for the ships or their crews. The more friendly ports you have to resupply from, the less space your ships will have to devote to supplies and the more room they have for combat- or other duty-related equipment. Now ideally you'd want your waystations to ...


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When you say no value/resources, I am taking that to mean none at all, not just "none apparent," as secret reveals solves all mysteries. One mundane, frustrating, and all-to-common reason? Politics. General A needs to increase his deployment numbers to get more funding . . . Hey let's build a base! That of course attracts civilian support, etc. ...


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The island may not have strategic value per se, but it may make sense politically that it holds that island. US and UK made an airlift into Berlin while it would not be warranted by the city itself. Spain sent a commando attack force to recover a rock pastured by goats. Just an interest by another country on that island would make the government to send a ...


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Top-secret Resources and/or Strategy Importance Government officials have discovered that there is an attack plan that a presence on this island would foil, or that scientists have discovered a way to use some insignificant material found on this island in important ways. Safe Location for Research The low population, distance from other locations, ...


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This would be almost impossible for a few reasons. But hey, impossible makes for an interesting story, so let's work through it with a few creative stretches here and there. The Chinese were interested in tribute. It's essentially a racket. You give us horses, gold, and other wealth, as well as whatever other curiosities you have laying around, and we don't ...


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Make China aware of you The Mesoamericans stand no chance of developing reliable seafaring technology within a century. Crossing an ocean as big as the Pacific is no easy task, and you cannot just learn that without some long-term economic motivator, something lacking in the West. But you can send a message. Manned expeditions will never make it, but if you ...


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Contrary to popular belief, superpowers aren't what makes a villain (or other powered individual) dangerous. It's character, skills, and smarts that make an individual dangerous. For example, a guy with a gun can be a global threat if they go around assassinating world leaders; they just need to be smart enough to avoid capture and plan successful hits. That ...


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I'd say they would be a minor annoyance, as there are only 4 of them and their powers are limited in size. The world is a big place, and these Supervillains can only attack at most 4 places at a time. So most of the world can ignore the villains for most of the time. Also unless their invulnerable to all damage all the time a smart opponent waits until they ...


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any natural weather phenomenon full affect for upwards of an hour and takes about another hour to recharge This is a city destroyer. Wait till nightfall. 1 hour of heavy snow can give 12 inches (30cm). An hour to recharge. Repeat until all drainage channels are saturated with snow, and the city is in a "bowl" shaped snow structure. Sudden ...


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Second-Tier Supervillains The only character who seems like much of a threat at all is Castaway. Zero Point might well suffocate if Zeno's Paradox applies globally, as diffusion would also stop and oxygen could never reach her when she's moving. Aside from that, all she's got is selective invulnerability, and to a subset of weapons, at that. (Directed ...


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The German Type 212 submarine uses hydrogen fuel cells for AIP & a marine diesel engine. They have a complement of 5 officers and 22 men. But I don't know what each person's job is. My guess, same as the Gotland-class submarines, they cannot desalinate water, perform electrolysis, have less repair capabilities, and fewer weapon options. Civilian ...


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Against Peer Opponents I know that sounds counter-intuitive, but bear with me. Your Drones are God's Own Killing Machines. 100% better, per your description, at not just SOME aspects of warfare than humans, but ALL aspects. So presumably guerrilla war, low-intensity fighting, avoiding civilian/infrastructure damage, commando/special operations, the lot. ...


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I see at least two situations in which human soldiers would still be useful: Special Forces/Commandos: You specifically mention that your A.I. is not on the level of humans, which opens up a window for highly trained elite soldiers that are able to perform missions that robot-grunts might be too stupid/uncreative to do (taking out crucial targets behind ...


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Humans can move around without raising suspicion Since you say that all humans are essentially on permanent, 100% welfare, they are free to do what humans with free time do: waste time. So watching humans come and go from planets is business as usual since they have free time and free resources. Now, whenever you see war-ready bots rolling around, you assume ...


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Sure! As long as the ratio of money-to-common-sense is high enough. In many ways this is a story-based question. Do you want an infantry? Have one. You don't need to justify it. But can it be justified? Of course not. Who in their right mind would land tens if not hundreds of millions of anything (infantry, drones, mechs, anything) on a world? You'd gas the ...


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They Are Neither Relevant Nor Cost-Effective The cost of making a fighting robot that is much better than a human at war is nothing more than few hours of machine work. This is how everything gets done anyway from the simplest things to the most complicated. Humans barely supervise anything and all is done by AMI. This is all that needs to be said to make ...


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They are still relevant. Flexibility, Threat Evaluation, Randomness, and Not Being Daleks. As you said, there is no "true" AI in your universe, only some very specialized algorithms. Since you state that they aren't a whole lot better than what we already have, we can assume that they are rather limited in several important ways. Due to this, the ...


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Start with some better SF. Take Iain M Banks' Culture novels. Chemistry based materials are not military grade. Warfare is field based at some scale. Tiny, tough, field-reinforced knife missiles with a reasonable intelligence make biological troops pretty obsolete. New kinds of manipulation of reality -- gravity control, FTL, force fields -- lead to ...


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I think that the first question should be "Would FTL capable humanity need a reason for fighting machines?". FTL capable civilization would be able to destroy whole solar systems in one go and it would be a post-scarcity society in a huge galaxy. The only reason for fighting would be ideological and with those premises above - you would simply ...


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Emphasise your peace with big friendly vessels. Ensure it with big data. Fight your wars with hidden nanotech. You need 3 basic vehicles: A 'peacekeepers' ship. Has: Powerful Shields. Ftl. Self defence style weapons (close in railgun / intercepting laser beam weapons, etc). No visible long range weaponry. (Some hidden long range missiles can exist - but ...


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Playing Devils Advocate for Infantry Something you said, that I very much agree with, is that while it may not look the same, our technology now is already at a point where it embodies it's role perfectly. In the far-flung future, we may very well have giant robots and mechs and tanks and warmachines, but in my opinion this doesn't negate the role of the ...


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The first thing we need to know when designing is how it'll be used in the first place, what its goals are and how to possibly achieve it. 1: FTL FTL determines a lot of the tactics. If you can FTL directly onto the planet surface with no interdiction you can land virtually anything no matter how large. If you can only enter the system after months or years ...


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For orientation (since these maps don't mark out the Urals), the Ural mountain range runs from Yuzhny island in the north, to between the Caspian and Aral seas in the south. Nearly All of Your Infrastructure (Roads and Railroads) is Pushed to the South As shown in the image, east of Urals most of the roads and railroads concentrate along the southern border. ...


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If you have orbital weapons around the planet, you may have won in theory, but all you can get is a shiny glass parking lot, not a planet full of workers producing sophisticated gadgets. If you want the latter, you need to drop something on the planet that fights the enemy's military structures but leaves the civilian parts of society alone. That is way too ...


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Look at four power centers: the party, the military, the secret police, and the civilian/economic administration. It was generally understood that the party was on top, certainly since Stalin's purges. Both the party and the secret police infiltrated the military and the administration -- perhaps the administration was more infiltrated than the military, ...


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If you need fighting machines at all, it will only be to assist your infantry When you have a warship in orbit, it doesn't matter how many super fortresses, destructo-titans and battleoids the defenders have, as you can precisely bombard them with high powered lasers, O2S missiles and 30 foot tungsten rods. The only time you don't want to do that is when ...


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Well, "what will our fighting machines be like" largely depends on whether your projected audience are left-wing types who believe that all conflict can be avoided by a hug and negotiation, or right-wing types who embrace regimentation and "police actions" as a fact of life. My own feeling is that there will always be scope for infantry ...


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I am going to assume that east of the Urals was not unscathed; if enough nukes are flying to utterly annihilate west of the Urals, surely some will target east of the Urals as well. So the eastern USSR won't be pristine either. With this in mind, empires collapse because local leaders realize the central government can't or won't intervene anymore. They ...


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