The world will shrink,
People will come closer,
They will fly up in the sky. And there will be peace.
Then, up there, wars will start again.
This is the prophecy of Nostradamus for us after the 3rd world war. It is still unclear if Nostradamus was a real or a false prophet. However, these words describe the beginning of space colonization. It also depicts the appearing of future wars.
Solar System era Edit
First to be colonized will be the planets, asteroids and moons around the Solar System.
The first peace Edit
A war does not appear without a reason. There must be something to make it start. In the first decades, people from Earth will try to terraform nearby planets, to make new homes and expand their borders. New colonies will form. It might look like the period when Europeans were extending their borders into the New World, only that this time there will be no native population to encounter.
Just as happened on Earth, at some point the new colonies will fight for independence. This might happen in a peaceful way or war will occur. Unlike in past, we might see a new type of war: economical.
Interstellar era Edit
When humans will master the interstellar technology, we will be able to go to other stars. First to the nearby stars, then further away. Again, peace will be first, then the new colonies will breakaway. In this era, because of the high distances and the fact that it will be very easy for someone to hide in the immensity of space, we can speculate that some new problems will occur:
- Terrorists will have many places to hide. They will keep on attacking, but will be much harder to catch.
- Pirates will appear again, hiding in the remote areas of Kuiper belts and Oort clouds that probably every star has. They will look for cargo and passenger ships.
- Industrial wars might occur between industrial corporate states.
Given the immensity of space, wars for territories might be more rare then today.
Future weapons Edit
In the future, people will have much more powerful ways of destruction then today. Also, terraformed planets and moons have more vulnerable ecosystems then Earth. So, it will be far more easy to destroy them. In fact, you don't need conventional weapons:
- Asteroid impact. All you have to do is divert an asteroid or a large chunk of ice from the Kuiper Belt. There is a chance that your enemy will not have enough time to spot it.
- Climate disruption. In case of an Outer Planet, it is very easy to do bad things. Those planets depend on a thick layer of greenhouse gasses. An atomic bomb will be enough to make a hole in the gas layer. Heat will escape into the outer space, the surrounding area will freeze and this will create strong atmospheric currents, further disrupting the uniform layer of greenhouse gasses. This way, the planet will be sentenced into an ice age. In case of an Inner Planet, things are somehow similar. That planet also needs an artificial cover from excess radiation. Breaking the shield will result into a runaway greenhouse effect. An alternative way is to send a virus that creates sterility. This way, population will get older and in a century there will be nobody left to oppose you. However, the use of powerful weapons is not needed, in fact all you would need is a large fire (like burning a forest).
- Bioweapons. They are the most easy to spread, since all you have to send is a tiny capsule containing a few germs. Deadly bacteria and viruses already exist.
- Chemical weapons. There are some extremely toxic substances, like some dioxins and botulinum toxin, which are extremely dangerous. It is said that a few kilograms of pure botulinum toxin can kill all life on Earth .
- Economic war. We see this today, under the form of embargos and customs blocking. This is economic war, that does not imply the use of bombs, but of economic measures.
Opposite to these methods, there are the uses of explosives, bombs and fighters. There is no way to know how future wars will look like, but certainly they will appear at some point, just as they did in the new free states of America and Africa.