In response to naked ape
, you wouldn't have to modify the technology much. There is a variant of the Tomahawk
that flies over its target and then dispenses a large number of bomblets
horizontally from the warhead, then crashes itself. You could probably modify it to toss medical supplies (if they were hardy) pretty easily.
So why don't we?
Because it's inefficient as all hell. If you want to send medication, using a disposable, one-shot $1 million USD delivery system to deliver at best maybe a hundred pounds of medication (after packaging) is dumb. We *have* good ways of delivering lots of medication, and we've used them all over Africa. Take a C-141 Starlifter and drop many, many tons of the stuff by parachute, for a lot less money than throwing away a single Tomahawk.
War has always advanced technology. It is a survival struggle; at least, it's the one we're left with after mostly taming the planet in the areas we choose to live. As such, it receives the lion's share of human ingenuity. I, too, have your problem- I think atomic weapons are absolutely the coolest damn things out there; however, there's no way to use them on Earth without hideous consequences. I dearly wish we could go out to, say, the asteroid belt and play with them there! I mean, hell, we can create a small piece of the sun wherever we damn well choose. That's cool as hell!
Anyhow, I content myself by reminding myself of the numbers of workers and families that eat or ate dinner due to the Tomahawk program. I think of five or ten desperately afraid American servicemen and -women pinned down, perhaps in a city such as Mogadishu, hoping that something will kill the people trying to kill them and get them out. I think of the bridges that pass Government tanks across to persecute and kill Iraqi civilians. Looking at these things, the ability to reach out and touch something like we can with the Tomahawk doesn't look too silly. It looks downright conservatively careful.