“The proliferation of many small and smart weapons may simply overwhelm our exceptionally capable, but relatively few, weapons systems.
The advances may force the United States to rethink its procurement plans, force structure and force posture.
The diffusion of power will also greatly complicate US responses to various crises, reduce its ability to influence events with military force, and should require policymakers and military planners to thoughtfully consider future policies and strategy.
Advances in additive manufacturing, artificial intelligence and composite materials; improved energy densities in gel fuels; new energy-reflecting coatings; and nanoexplosives mean there are powerful, autonomous, stealthy drones in our immediate future.
Today, commercial firms are creating drones that use a variety of sensors to autonomously execute tasks ranging from aerial spraying to ocean surveillance to air freight. With minor modifications, these drones can become improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that hunt autonomously. And as commercial systems, they are available to…
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