Early definitions of military technology focused primarily on the tools and machines of battle. Eventually, as the general definition of technology expanded to include a wider range of ideas and procedures, the definition of military technology also grew to envelop the organizations, ideas, and doctrine necessary to create and build the hardware of war.

Throughout history, militaries traditionally represented the more conservative elements of a society, and could not afford serious miscalculations as they were charged with ensuring its survival. In their book, American Military Technology: The Life Story of a Technology, Barton C. Hacker and Margaret Vining propose that the interaction of society and technology over time is a greater stimulator of military technological advancement than actual war. In this context, disaster relief is viewed ...

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