Tuesday, November 28, 2023


We regard the invention of drones as one of the most potent anti symmetric weapon systems ever designed by modern man. Admittedly, this is a sweeping statement, especially coming from a column that is not known for exaggeration. We will attempt an explication!
Way back then, the invention of the gun, which utilized gunpowder, was a quantum leap in the sphere of weaponry. For centuries, gunpowder remained the fountainhead of all arsenals. The various weapons that were based on gunpowder rendered the spear or the bow and arrow or the sword and shield, absolutely impotent. Moreover, unlike the old weapons the new concoctions based on gunpowder did not require ‘Spartan physicals’ for their effective utilization. In the olden days it was brute force generated by human muscle that was always in play. When the Chinese gunpowder was transformed from its traditional peaceful use to the realm of destruction, geopolitics changed irreversibly! The claim is; it was the Mongols who introduced gunpowder to Europe. Such quantum change or significant leap, we prefer calling ‘anti-symmetric’! We like this phrase because it conveys a significant departure from the established or even the expected. See Smith’s article next column.
Just like the bullet (propelled by the explosion of gunpowder in the brass shell) rendered the muscle weapons useless, drones are rapidly and effectively replacing many of the old arsenals. Granted, drones are, by and large, delivery vehicles. Yet, their effectiveness, not only in the delivery of various weapons, but also in physical confrontation makes them special. These and other features warrant the name anti-systemic! AI (Artificial Intelligence) piloted drones can fight with their own spears, swords and shields or bows and arrows. We can assure you even the old Roman gladiators won’t have a fighting chance against this modern monsters! At the same time, drones can be invaluable in surveillance. They can be programmed to follow an individual anywhere in the world. By targeting a specific ‘sim card’ or a ‘biometric data’, drones can deliver a serious blow to their target! A bullet’s trajectory is always a ‘line-of-sight’. A drone can do all kinds of maneuverings, including U-turns. No wonder, the old grandeur of ‘marksmanship’, with its gunpowder-propelled bullets, is now only a nostalgic sport of no significance! Drones do not necessarily hug the earth’s surface, at least not to the extent human soldiers do, including pilots of flying objects! When it comes to heights, drones have no narrow bounds like humans. Mark our words; it won’t be long before drones replace most of the (manned) fighter planes in the world!
Unlike we land crawlers drones are truly three-dimensional. In the scheme of planetary things, we are hardly three-dimensional. Even flying creatures (birds, insects, etc.) have their own limitations when it comes to height/altitude. On the other hand, specially designed drones can fly very high, without any damage to their bodily or software-ly constitution. Drones can be made supersonic with significant payload. The Chinese are expected to display their supersonic drones in the coming few days. This is bound to create havoc on old weapons system, like aircraft carriers, etc. As if that is not enough, supersonic drones with nuclear weapons can also be maneuvered remotely to avoid incoming trajectories (read missiles), hence will be illusive. This creation of the Russians has brought back the MAD détente (Mutually Assured Destruction) back to the negotiating table!
Drones’ size can range from very minute to seriously huge. The small ones can be designed to do certain specific things, like mimicking insects (mosquitos, etc.). These small drones can be made to carry and deliver biological/chemical weapons to a specific target without being noticed! The drones used in the attack of the Saudi petroleum plants were neither very large nor complex. Nonetheless, they proved to be effective. Drones are also cost effective, compared to other delivery vehicles, like missiles or fighter planes. Since drones do not have human operators inside them, they can be made cheaply, materially and financially. We believe, ‘use and throw’ drones will be preponderant in future wars. See the articles on page 36 & 38.
Protecting targets from drones is not always an easy undertaking. Even the potent anti missile/air defense system of the Russians (Pantsyr-S1, BUK and S-300, S-400) can easily be overwhelmed. One needs plenty of air defense systems to protect every nook and cranny, which of course is an impossibility! Can one control or predict birds’ paths or mosquitos’ or flies’, etc.? It is claimed there were over ten drones that hit the Saudi plant. There might have been even more, probably used as decoys. Since we are not privy to exactly what happened, we cannot say for sure, but our speculation is not farfetched. The dangers drones pose to the world at large is frightening, even to contemplate. A lunatic equipped with a home made/assembled drone, packing various weapons, (chemical, biological, etc.) along with a Google map can create chaos that is beyond the imagination of many a sheeple. Let us hope such happenstances will not come to pass! The multifarious nature of drones is coming to light only now. The Saudi petroleum plant disaster is bound to increase the awareness.
We believe a new mindset is in order. Instead of always seeking domination via confrontation, states/non state actors, particularly those who have the upper hand, must be willing to relinquish their monopoly on the massively organized violence, so that others will not wish to seek it. Humanity must earnestly examine its current situation, from climate change to drones, from unsustainable existence to phony money, etc. We need to go back to the basics and change our ways. We need to avoid evil thinking and evil doings. Drones came around because we continue to obsess about vacuous accumulation, devoid of values.
Here are two differing views from the two most powerful leaders of the world. “And remember the favor of Allah upon you – when you were enemies and He brought your hearts together and you became, by His favor, brothers.” Vladimir Putin quoting the Koran. “There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!” Donald Trump. Good Day!


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