Drones are the technology of future wars. We have moved to 4th generation warfare: warfare of small scale resistance armies.The Taliban is today’s main example, but they are not alone. You can read a summary of 4th generation warfare and what it means here.
These armies have been unconquerable for millennia. Afghanistan is their model. No invading empire has ever conquered Afghanistan. Mountains and fierce dedication have always given them their military edge.
For the West, 4th generation warfare is new. Historically, it has been 1st generation warfare.
For the USA,4th generation warfare began in Vietnam. We lost. Guerrillas (Viet Cong) and invading conventional troops from North Vietnam defeated us. They dragged out the war until the voters back home gave up. The inability of 3rd generation troops to gain a surrender from multiple semi-independent units in the field was what gives them their advantage.
The drone and related communications technology is the 3rd generation army’s response to 4th generation units. It enables distant (10,000 miles away) surveillance troops to monitor the battlefields.
The number of types of drones is higher than you might think. The types will multiply. Take a look.
Word comes from the Wall Street Journal that the Obama Administration plans to sell Italy the latest drone technology. The Administration gave Congress 40 days to comment. Congress said nothing. The deadline was Sunday, May 27. The deal is now done.
Italy already has a fleet of Reaper drones. They are not armed. Now they will be. They will have missiles and laser-guided bombs. Great Britain has these, too. No other NATO nations do.
Italy will deploy these in Afghanistan.
This will make it difficult to refuse to sell these to other NATO members.
This is going to be big money for manufacturers in the USA.
The Administration sent notices to Congressional panels in April. They did not block the sale. Congress had 40 days. This is longer than usual.
Congress could block this with a joint resolution. This is unlikely.
The White House declined comment. So did the Italian embassy.
Meanwhile, drones are being sold to local law enforcement agencies in the USA. These are weapons for surveillance from the sky. Drones extend the ability of county sheriffs to survey the skies.
But it works both ways. Amateur groups now have the ability to monitor law-enforcement agencies. The technology is getting cheaper.
In the San Francisco Bay area, Occupy Wall Street activists built the so-called Occucopter designed to monitor police action against protesters from the sky. . . .
Hobbyists say drone prices have been driven down sharply even in the past two or three years mainly by the surge in popularity of smartphones. The chips smartphones use to determine whether they’re being held vertically or horizontally or to locate themselves on a map are the same ones drones use to keep themselves flying straight, level and in the right direction.
The supply of such chips has spiked along with the use of smartphones, sending prices lower.
“Today if you have an iPhone or an Android, you basically have an autopilot in your pocket. You’re just running the wrong app,” said Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief of Wired magazine and founder of DIY Drones, an online community and company that sells drone kits and parts.
For a time, drone technology will favor the 3rd generation military, but not for long. The range of private drone technology is huge.
The sky’s the limit!