A Real “Warp Drive”?

I’ve always been ultra-conservative in my thinking about this kind of thing, suspecting that there may be theoretical possibilities for wormholes and warp bubbles, but thinking that, ultimately, there’s no such thing as a free lunch and that practical technologies using this kind phenomena just can’t be possible.
This is literally the first time in my life that I’ve seriously doubted this.
Naturally, though, being the mil-porn addict that I am, I couldn’t help but almost immediately jump to the weapons potential this technology might make possible. I shudder to think what destruction might be wrought if one were to create a warp bubble in or just under a city. Could this be our Tralfamadorian moment?  On the other hand, if one could create a shell-shaped zone of compressed space, then perhaps something like a Star-Trek-style “shield” might be possible, another “magical” technology I’ve always sniffed at in disdain as a “hard” SF purist.
One last (very preliminary) thought: Given the potential of space-warping technology, I can’t imagine it could be stopped if it were proven to be feasible. On the other hand, it seems like the early stages of such R&D would be pretty friggin’ dangerous. THAT might well be a great spur to space development with current technology: The best place to do space-warping experiments would be WELL away from the Mother Planet.

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