Image: U.S. Army photo by Master Sgt. Michel Sauret
Jonathan Gillismay, War On The Rocks: In Over Their Heads: U.S. Ground Forces Are Dangerously Unprepared For Enemy Drones
America’s ground forces are not accustomed to looking at the sky. That’s because the last time the United States sustained a reported casualty from an enemy aircraft was April 15, 1953 — 64 years ago.
For decades, American air dominance has gone almost uncontested, and ground forces have all but forgotten they can be touched from above. But thanks to the proliferation of small, low-cost drones and desktop manufacturing, that paradigm is now changing — and quickly. As T.X. Hammes argued last year, small aerial drones have brought about the “democratization of airpower.” Today, both state and non-state actors are capable of coordinating precision air attacks at remarkably low costs. And the U.S. military is alarmingly unprepared.
It’s not that the government isn’t spending money on the problem. The Department of Defense’s FY2017 budget request called for $226.7 million on counter-drone solutions. The problem is that we have failed to adequately inform our troops about the threat. As a result, the United States has a force that, at the fighting level, remains shockingly and dangerously unaware the threat even exists.
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WNU Editor: The U.S. military is unprepared for a lot of things .... enemy drones included.