Drone wars

Russ Vaughn
US government responses to the reporting this past week about the downed US military drone  in Iran leave me wondering if we and some third-world thugs aren't being snookered. Purportedly one of our most technologically advanced unmanned aerial vehicles goes maverick on its controllers, effectively defects to Iran, landing relatively unscathed, and presents itself as a treasure trove of America's most highly-held military secrets. Or so DoD, and perhaps the CIA, would have the world believe. Quite strangely, they almost blithely confess that we may have just handed Iran, and therefore the Chinese, the North Koreans and all our other enemies, keys to the inner sanctums of the fastest growing field of modern military development, unmanned aerial warfare.

Color me skeptical. First question that comes to mind is that since there is no human presence on these sophisticated UAV's, then why are they not rigged with explosives to self-destruct if they stray from the reservation? And loss of contact by ground controllers is no excuse because a fail-safe, self-destruct system can be programmed to act precisely when that loss of contact occurs.

Second, if this is truly the major intelligence loss the government would have us and the mullahs believe, then why was no air strike or cruise missile strike immediately mounted to destroy such a high-value target as soon as it was determined to be in Iranian possession? If we smoked it, what could Akmadingyjob do but make an outraged, spluttering, foot-stomping, podium-pounding speech of silly condemnation at the UN? I guess maybe Iran could threaten to build a nuclear bomb and attack Israel. Nah...they wouldn't do that.

Third, why no howls of outrage from congressional leaders demanding to know how it is possible that we could so foolishly allow such top secret, high-value technology to fall into hostile hands? Why are there no demands for the heads of the responsible field commanders? Why are no high-profile congressional investigations being launched? You would think this would present Republicans with a stout cudgel with which to pound this militarily effete administration, but no, not one Republican politico has demanded an accounting from the White House for this supposedly huge loss of technological superiority.

What if the missing drone was constructed precisely for this mission, loaded with faux technology to lead less sophisticated investigators down endless rabbit holes of misinformation thus slowing their own development of such aircraft? After all, UAVs cost a fraction of the expense of developing and manufacturing manned combat aircraft and there is no hugely expensive requirement to train  human crews to be put at risk. That's an ideal combat concept for poorer nations. As long as they have the technology. That works.

US government responses to the reporting this past week about the downed US military drone  in Iran leave me wondering if we and some third-world thugs aren't being snookered. Purportedly one of our most technologically advanced unmanned aerial vehicles goes maverick on its controllers, effectively defects to Iran, landing relatively unscathed, and presents itself as a treasure trove of America's most highly-held military secrets. Or so DoD, and perhaps the CIA, would have the world believe. Quite strangely, they almost blithely confess that we may have just handed Iran, and therefore the Chinese, the North Koreans and all our other enemies, keys to the inner sanctums of the fastest growing field of modern military development, unmanned aerial warfare.

Color me skeptical. First question that comes to mind is that since there is no human presence on these sophisticated UAV's, then why are they not rigged with explosives to self-destruct if they stray from the reservation? And loss of contact by ground controllers is no excuse because a fail-safe, self-destruct system can be programmed to act precisely when that loss of contact occurs.

Second, if this is truly the major intelligence loss the government would have us and the mullahs believe, then why was no air strike or cruise missile strike immediately mounted to destroy such a high-value target as soon as it was determined to be in Iranian possession? If we smoked it, what could Akmadingyjob do but make an outraged, spluttering, foot-stomping, podium-pounding speech of silly condemnation at the UN? I guess maybe Iran could threaten to build a nuclear bomb and attack Israel. Nah...they wouldn't do that.

Third, why no howls of outrage from congressional leaders demanding to know how it is possible that we could so foolishly allow such top secret, high-value technology to fall into hostile hands? Why are there no demands for the heads of the responsible field commanders? Why are no high-profile congressional investigations being launched? You would think this would present Republicans with a stout cudgel with which to pound this militarily effete administration, but no, not one Republican politico has demanded an accounting from the White House for this supposedly huge loss of technological superiority.

What if the missing drone was constructed precisely for this mission, loaded with faux technology to lead less sophisticated investigators down endless rabbit holes of misinformation thus slowing their own development of such aircraft? After all, UAVs cost a fraction of the expense of developing and manufacturing manned combat aircraft and there is no hugely expensive requirement to train  human crews to be put at risk. That's an ideal combat concept for poorer nations. As long as they have the technology. That works.