Different types of robots suit different missions.
Drones will be the “weapon of choice” in future terrorist attacks as they become more easily and cheaply available and adaptable for all kinds of uses, according to a new paper published by the Association of the U.S. Army.
First employed with limited success during World War II, drones today are widely used across the military and commercially available around the world, making it easier for bad actors to use them, writes Maj. Thomas Pledger in “The Role of Drones in Future Terrorist Attacks.”
The technology of today, while impressive, is developing the tactics and techniques of future terrorist attacks. The most prescient current technology that will enable future terrorist attacks is the drone. Drones have the ability of providing standoff, which can enable terrorists to conduct multiple attacks nearly simultaneously, rapidly magnifying their overall effect. A terrorist attack is meant to create an atmosphere of fear to influence a target audience—a civilian population or government—to force or impose political change.
Rapid advances in technology could make it easier for cheap, easily available drones to be turned into weapons capable of delivering chemical or biological warfare agents to the battlefield, according to a new Association of the U.S. Army paper.
“The Chemical and Biological Attack Threat of Commercial Unmanned Aircraft Systems” calls for a national counter-UAS strategy, a sufficient stockpile of necessary chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear protective equipment, and updated exercises and training concepts to incorporate this new threat, among other recommendations.
The proliferation of armed, unmanned aerial systems in the hands of prospective adversaries puts the Army in a threat condition similar to the improvised explosive devices that changed ground operations in Iraq and Afghanistan more two decades ago, according to an Army expert looking at ways to counter the new airborne threat.
“The threat is similar but a lot more sophisticated,” said David Goldstein, a counter-UAS team lead at the Army’s Combat Capabilities Development Command who’s working on defenses against drones.
It began as a cheap, off-the-shelf tactic.
In the 21st century, everything is at your fingertips thanks to modern technology.
Unmanned systems on the battlefield are an inevitable consequence of the rise in lethal, precision weapons that make human survival unlikely, said former Deputy Defense Secretary Robert O. Work.
Speaking April 24 at a Mad Scientist Conference in Austin, Texas, Work said the U.S. won’t be able to recruit or afford a force large enough to fight in future megacity combat and won’t be able to protect soldiers who could be deployed.