Contemporary Operating Environment
'Reach for the Sky: Drone Use by Sub-state Actors in Conflict'By The Cove February 13, 2019
Last year the Cove published the article Responding to Weaponised Drones by Stephen Bowles. In the article Stephen asked whether or not the Australian Army was ready to use UAVs and counter them, both with equipment and training in preparation for near-future warfare.
This premise is further reinforced by this article from the Wavell Room. In it, the author, Nick Waters, discusses how asymmetrical actors are using off-the-shelf (OTS) commercial drones in the Iraq and Syria conflicts. He highlights how the Islamic State (IS) have led the field using OTS drones to produce a direct kinetic effect on the battlefield, and how the effect they can have is out of proportion to their apparent lack of firepower. Their use of drones have been so successful, even US special forces have had difficulty countering their effect. As Stephen asks: are we ready?