Defining warfare down

Russia’s cyberwar on Estonia‘s getting attention, finally.  But note… better l33t haxxors (or something like that, I have a life), than tank divisions.

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48 Comments

  1. 133t h4x0rs 😉

    I read quite a bit about cyber-terrorism, cyber-warefare, etc. I do quite a bit of work in the security field – and I still snicker at the words.

    I just can’t stop thinking of giant brain-eating robots or people being sucked into their phones.

    Reply
  2. Squids. Giant cell-squids.

    Reply
  3. Mike

     /  May 21, 2007

    Estonia is trying to envoke the NATO treaty covering this as an attack on them. Very interesting military-wise. We are possibly seeing the first real cyber war (or cyber attack) in the virtual front. No one was hurt but the economy took a hit and that did hurt the country.

    So is it an attack? Its been traced to Russia and seems to be government supported. But does this constitute a real attack?

    Very interesting, we are seeing the opening of the next theater of warfare: virtual/internet.

    This is not your daddy’s war.

    Reply
  4. It’s more like sending a platoon of ants into battle. People get bitten, lots of ant poison is spread about… but in the end it’s just an ant bite.

    I do think there are dangers in “cyberwar” – but exposure to attack is really limited to how much exposure you have. It’s relatively easy to limit military exposure with proper network design.

    Militarily – if it absolutely, must be secure – then it shouldn’t be on the public internet.

    The other side of damage is economic. We could think of this in two ways, one as a sort of trade blockade. The other, as a smear campaign.

    At the worse – by reducing the availability or accessibility of the online-economy, the Russians may be liable for losses.

    Reply
  5. Mike

     /  May 21, 2007

    (*&#$(*@&^(*@!&#()*^&%)!@?

    I had a great post and the (*^*&^$%R&^%ing computer ate it. So here is the short version as I am at work and out of time. Yes, if it needs to be secure it shouldn’t be online. However, routine systems are online and can be attacked. If you attack enough routine systems you can get great effects. The Chinese are working on this idea: its called Many Small Cuts. You can’t create one huge bottleneck (say crash all satcomms), but you can maybe create 6 medium ones or 25 small ones and get a similar effect. Cyberwar is a new arena of combat, and while it can’t win a war, it is becoming possible to lose one if you are not ready.

    &^%&$%*&^@(ing computer.

    Reply
  6. Alex

     /  May 21, 2007

    Sounds like you were a victim of cyber warfare Mike. Talk nice to your computer or it will beat you again. 🙂

    Reply
  7. Mike

     /  May 21, 2007

    No, it will eat my posts. I am the only one who gets to beat anything.

    Opposible thumbs anyone?

    Reply
  8. happycrow

     /  May 21, 2007

    I don’t know, CD: if I bomb your refinery late at night when nobody’s there to get hurt, and cause economic damage, that’s not like bombing a town… but is it an act of war?

    I lean towards “yes.”

    Reply
  9. Mike

     /  May 21, 2007

    This is one of the reasons that this area is interesting to watch. We are currently watching the parameters of the, ur, realm of cyberwar being set right now. How this shakes out will probably determine the borders of what will constitute an “act of war” in cyberspace, versus a cybercrime or cyber “incident” (like the Panay Incident in 1938 or 39 between Japan and the US).

    The parameters of a new type of warfare are being set with this, at least the start is…

    Reply
  10. What you often see in secure networks is that severe policy controls on critical systems means that commanders are more willing to utilize non-critical systems than make official mistakes.

    If “routine systems” are in reality “critical”, then we’re making mistakes in classifying in the level of importance.

    And to make it more hazy – Satcom often fits into both of these categories. First, because it is often a corporate provider which is backhauling military data. Second because it is “public” radio spectrum – and thus is subject to attacks (both distuption and info leakage) on FHSS/DSS, in addition to interference and jamming.

    We perceive the data to be secure and protected – but in actuality it’s open communication using several layers of secrecy to hide the information.

    Reply
  11. Mike

     /  May 21, 2007

    Yep, and you hit the critical point on that. The point is that something may be critical but not classified. Who cares how many spark plugs the Army is ordering for its trucks? You can get them anywhere so its not like we are going to give away some terrible secret. But if you can make the getting of the spark plugs a problem or a delay you have just created more of what we soldier types call “friction” (aka anything big or small that causes delay, confusion or things to not go according to plan). You make enough friction, you can derail the battleplan. You don’t have to knock out classified stuff to do it. In theory you could do it by leaving a phone off the hook, provided the phone is to someone important who you have to get permission from to do something. 15 minutes of delay while the guy figures out he didn’t hang up could be critical.

    We can’t classify everything, and we can’t right now secure everything either (that kind of money is on the level of the Mahantten Project if you are talking all services, never mind the civilian links such as Northrop-Grumman, Boeing, BAE…you get the idea, and then add the government agencies who work with the military, DOD, DOS, DOE, DOT, Treasury…again you get the idea).

    Lots of little links to get into. You don’t need to crash the whole ballgame, just create enough problems so that the system becomes unresponsive or bottlenecked. In modern warfare, speed is everything, especially when tied to information. Slow it down, you have the advantage.

    With Estonia the real issue is the limits we end up setting. We don’t know if this was Russia just being a jerk (probably), flexing some cyber muscle, testing a new weapon or doctrine (that is the scary idea in my mind) or what. If we respond harshly, then other countries will be thinking twice before trying cyberwar (or cyber attacks or whatever) on NATO. Otherwise we could be in for a hard time as anyone who can afford to hire a criminal hacker desides to try NATO countries out for this stuff.

    Reply
  12. About the bomb on the refinery – that’s very unlike the most common cyberattacks. These are called Denial of Service, or DOS.

    Think of it more like sending in a mob of people to block workers from doing their job by crowding the subway, jamming the parking lot, etc. You may or may not stop the work getting done, but it makes the job frustrating. In real world security – it’s called a “social hack.” Ghandi is a prime example of this.

    On the other side of the coin you have direct attacks, which can range from remote monitoring to deleting, creating, or modifying information. The method of delivery isn’t so much important as the threat that you can’t trust the system to operate properly. This is akin to the real-world sabotage. So far, Estonia hasn’t claimed anything of this nature.

    Reply
  13. Mike

     /  May 21, 2007

    True, but I still think this is a prime example of what “could be” for the theater of cyberwar. A proof of concept or a small scale dry run.

    Reply
  14. blackpine

     /  May 22, 2007

    Anyone want to list the new Guernicas? Estonia, Darfur…

    Why have an NTC when a weak neighbor suffices.

    Reply
  15. Mike

     /  May 22, 2007

    Because the “weak” neighbor sometimes turns out to not be so weak…

    Reply
  16. Alex

     /  May 22, 2007

    Especially since cyberwarfare is so delocalized, and, it’s really easy to enlist others out there to support your cause.
    Give it enough time and Russia will probably get hit by DDOS waves coming from many other countries (even within Russia) of those sympathetic to Estonia getting picked on. Only reason why Sudan hasn’t gotten hit is because they don’t have the infrastructure to be cyber-attacked.

    Reply
  17. blackpine

     /  May 23, 2007

    Guernica was a proof of concept operation: could we bomb a town off the map. The answer was yes.

    There are conflicts that I think meet the criteria for a proof of concept war or a training war. If Russia pours enough money into it, they can collect data for a fully developed computer warfare division. They’ll have proven techniques and seasoned people.

    Darfur is combined arms training for the Arab League. Same thing, just different skills seeking development.

    So my question is where are the other proof of concept/training wars.

    Reply
  18. Mike

     /  May 23, 2007

    Iraq is one. That’s our proof of concept war (among other things). Chetnya was Russia’s for a while. I figure Venezuala (sp) will have one in a bit for Chavez’s “Bolivarian” concept (that should flop). China is already proofing their cyberwar concepts on us by hacking several US military sites.

    Reply
  19. Alex

     /  May 23, 2007

    I think the cyberwarfare is something that can only be done by developed countries against other developed countries – and it is a field that is dominated by both existing nations as well as very well trained 3rd parties. I think just now that the nations are getting strongly into the game (Russia, China) but the US version, if it exists, seems laughably behind the times.

    Iraq is also a proving ground for the insurgency, Al Qaeda and Iran against us. The constant “tit for tat” of new tactics and improvised attack methodology against our ever-increasing defense mechanisms strikes me as a proof of concept/training war much in the same way that the Spanish Civil war was a proxy training ground for the Germans. I’m not so sure about Venezuela though – who is going to remove Chavez besides us? He’s very popular and I’m not aware of any of his neighbors getting ready to remove him.

    The one proof of concept war that I’m surprised I haven’t seen (and maybe I won’t because it is supposed to be secretive) but it doesn’t seem to be practiced by anyone but our enemies and Mossad is the War of Assassins that should have been picked up by us in 2001. However I’m several here will tell me I’m wrong – so educate away as I want to learn more if it does exist.

    Reply
  20. Mike

     /  May 23, 2007

    You didn’t understand me Alex, the “Bolivarian” concept is something Chavez is going to try on someone else, not us to him.

    The Israeli War of Assassins isn’t anything new, they have doing it since before they became a country so it isn’t anything gee-whiz new.

    And you are wrong that cyberwar is only for the developing or developed. How about the Nigerian Oil and Savings account scams? Not a very advanced form of cyberwar (its really just cyber-crime), but the principle can be used. China for instance uses mostly criminal gangs for its cyber attacks.

    As to how the US does on cyberwar…

    No one knows. We don’t make a point of advertising our attacks (or even if we do attack), but we do get hit alot. That being said, our defenses have been improving for quite a bit given that we are such a target. So while our offensive capabilities may not be so great, our defenses are getting a work out.

    Reply
  21. blackpine

     /  May 23, 2007

    East Germany was doing effective computer espionage back in the 70’s and 80’s. Think about the hardware infrastructure at that point in both East Germany and the US. You don’t need much or have to have much to get good and proper fucked by an effective computer espionage or warfare department.

    Reply
  22. Alex

     /  May 23, 2007

    Thanks for the clarification on Chavez Mike.

    But going back to cyberwar on developed nations – yes those in developing nations can use cyberwarfare on us, but we can’t use it on them. What are we going to hit? Ultimately the classic Nigerian scam isn’t hosted on Nigerian servers or infrastructure, it’s on a 3rd party system. If one can flood a system with information that shuts down electrical power grids controlled by computers that affects 1st world countries, not 3rd world countries which don’t have that infrastructure or even level of computer control to begin with.

    Reply
  23. blackpine

     /  May 23, 2007

    Monitor and disrupt information. The less infrastructure, the fewer variables you have to screw with. Banking is electronic everywhere and cel phones are ubiquitous. Reduced infrastructure means a reduced number of variables and greater ability to sort and manipulate data. In this kind of scenario, there would be no deliniation between crime, espionage, or martial aims. Stock fraud, currency devaluation, trafficking sensitive information, monitoring civillian communications via cel and satellite phones, or as Mike put it, fucking up shipments of spark plugs: anything would be possible and permissible so long as it slowed the other folks down or so long as it gave us an advantage. Think of the British privateer policy, but change privateer with “Electronic Security Consultant.”

    What can we do to undeveloped countries? What we do now: monitor every single email, electronic financial transaction in banks, and track every single cel phone call and text message with data mining software and acres of computers. Tells us when to drop a bomb and who to shoot. If they stop using modern means of communication, that will slow them down and reduce their efficiency and overall effectiveness. We win.

    Reply
  24. Alex

     /  May 23, 2007

    We’re already drowning in information overload. I’m not convinced that the modern methods of communication are always better. Yes they’re faster than a runner between units, armies, towns…but if you don’t know what they’re saying to begin with because they’re not even on the same communication system as you – you have no idea what they’re really up to.
    You’re also assuming that our data mining algorithms are what everyone claims they are. They’re not even close – right now it is human interpretation, admittedly flawed that it is, that is best at interpreting what all that data really means and if its a threat or not.

    Reply
  25. blackpine

     /  May 24, 2007

    Actually, the countries you’re describing, including the guys we want to monitor, are using accretions of older stuff you can buy off the shelf from us, including encryption software. They don’t make anything on their own. They buy our stuff and use it, and if they don’t use the stuff industrialized nations produce, then they don’t use anything. They don’t have native alternatives.

    Also, using radio is inherently faster than not using it. Same with cel phones and email. If, by their awareness of our monitoring them, they stop using them and go to courriers, we have made them slower. If they realize that we can monitor there email, and they stop using email and computer networks, that slows people down and reduces their efficiency. If they don’t trust their banks, that slows them down further. If they don’t trust orders or the value of their money onworld markets… there is all kinds of mischief most vile that can be done and to greater effect. Shut down three banks in the US for a week, and the system can absorb that shock. Shut down three banks in Pakistan and the wheels come off the country.

    In terms of data mining, they focus on certain patterns of communication and activity and then the software send a flag to a human. Less volume of data means more human attention to significant data. The smaller the network and the more restricted the information, the easier it is to monitor information, and the greater the vulnerability of that nation.

    Reply
  26. Alex

     /  May 26, 2007

    You wanted an idea of a concept war and I think I have it! It occurred to me during mowing the yard today and I think it borrows from the cyberwar comments and others:
    The 100% drone war.

    We’re starting to see this now in Iraq and Afghanistan with remote control ground units and with UAVs. But to go to 100% drones against an insurgency would be a very interesting turn. You don’t gain any honor points or terror points by blowing up a robot – especially if we can easily make more of them. No dead soldiers but plenty of dead insurgents. Who needs to uparmor a vehicle anymore? All you need to do is make sure it still moves and can attack even after taking several hits or a large IED hit.
    Video game trained soldiers quite distant can man them – and as long as you can ensure the communication signals aren’t jammed – you have a mobile fighting force that can’t be reasoned with, can’t be frightened, and even if blow them up, you haven’t killed your enemy. Very demoralizing.

    I’ll admit that my recent re-reading of Joe Haldeman’s “Forever Peace” may have colored my thinking, but I think the drone war is what we will see next.

    Reply
  27. blackpine

     /  May 26, 2007

    Good call. Do you think that if there’s a breakthrough in the technology, that we’ll see an upswing in drug interdiction missions in Mexico and Central America? That would be an interesting thing to follow.

    Reply
  28. Alex

     /  May 26, 2007

    Oh yes – if you already have surveillance drones in the UK to keep “crime” in check, and those UAVs are cheap enough to run there, you’ll see them flying over the Columbian jungles with thermal imagers looking for cocaine chemical factories to blow up. Right now a predator has missiles, but no reason you couldn’t have a UAV with a couple of 250lb “daisy cutters” under each wing.

    Reply
  29. Beat ya to it months ago, Alex.
    (But you’re right). You’ll not only see these missions, imho, but you’ll also see marked lack of posse comitatus involved, as these aren’t the military, merely “hardware.”

    Reply
  30. The problem with this type of hardware is power. The same reason your laptop only runs for 3 hours is the same reason we can’t run these minature systems.

    The predator is basically an unmanned extended-wing Cessina. It does a great job, but it needs quite a bit of work still in terms of interoberability.

    I’m fairly certain that we already have such systems out there – ready and waiting for a useful power source. Until then we’re going to see larger semi-autonomous systems.

    I also see war moving towards drones – but we’ll still have people on the ground for a long while. I think there’s a lot of promise in swarm-based systems. Cheap, replaceable, and abundant. It allows one-to-many command structures.

    Reply
  31. Alex

     /  May 27, 2007

    Power is only a problem if you go with batteries. No need for passengers and you can make the vehicle smaller and lighter weight so that a traditional cheapo internal combustion engine gives you all the power you need.
    Seriously – a low-power I-4 engine will power a wheeled drone and the electronics for it to be remotely controlled. You could even go smaller and pick a go-cart frame with a couple of .30 cal remote-controlled mounts that cruises along quite fast making it hard to hit by RPGs unless the shooter is patient and trained enough to lead the target – whereupon the GI “piloting” the thing can make it drive erratic (brake heavy after accelerating and then jump acceleration again).

    Finally – I bow down to Russ’s prescient mind on this idea since he saw it long before I did.

    Reply
  32. blackpine

     /  May 27, 2007

    Power is no problem. Blimps have loiter times that take advantage of the persistant focus that computers bring to the table. Have another blimp with missiles on board, and You halve the time from detection to strike because the missile drops from a stable platform. It’s halfway there already, the cruise phase is nil, and it has gravity assisted launch. You could theoretically supress a whole city with the proper network of automated blimps. Imagine weeks where anybody who leaves their house gets shot, day or night. That is an evil siege.

    Reply
  33. Mike

     /  May 28, 2007

    What you guys need to read are two books called “The New Face of War” by Bruce Berkowitz and “Transformation Under Fire: Revolutionizing How America Fights” by Douglas A. Macgregor. I hate to say you guys are a bit behind how the military is thinking but, well, you are. Blimps, combat robots, gameboy style controls and so on are already being fielded and have been fulled field tested in combat. The “Swarm” method is a big topic of thought, but be warned it has been tried before and is one mother to get right. Even with our current setup, its tough.

    Yeah, everyone says the skinnies did it in Mogladishu, but that wasn’t tough to do. A cell phone call, a tire fire and charge to the sound of the guns. Works great for a defense with a home militia, try it on the roll outside you own home town (that was the reason the Adid couldn’t knock out his opponents, they did the same to him and he couldn’t take them out on their own turf). How could we do it? Commo for ground and air elements, including drones? Tough to do. We are working it and we can only get better, but we have a ways to go before its going to be perfect.

    And of course, the comedy of this is that a swarm-style won’t work on an counter-insurgency. You need to do it the old fashioned way or lose.

    That right there is the true punchline. We have the most advanced military on the planet, and we have the best equipment and we are field testing our theories (and they seem to work), but in the end to win the war we are currently in, we need to fight according to methods that have been used since we fought the Indians and chased Scots over the Highlands.

    Reply
  34. Mike

     /  May 28, 2007

    No offense to any Scots or Indians intended of course.

    And Happy Memorial Day everyone.

    Reply
  35. happycrow

     /  May 28, 2007

    To you, too.
    I think you have a good point there: we know how to fight small wars, and when we let ourselves do it right, we’re very good at it. Technological edges in this respect are nice, but the human element is the key to success.

    (none taken, we were lowlanders who wore pants)

    Reply
  36. blackpine

     /  May 29, 2007

    It’s not our equipment, it’s our focus. We build toys to kill toys. Don’t get me worng, I love THEL, but it’s a toy killer.

    I don’t think military thinkers are thinking what I am. I’m thinking low tech, networked blimps. Put a fifty caliber on an articluated mount in about 20 or thirty blimps. Slave them to about thirty or fourty blimps with computers, thermopgraphs, radio receivers, and microphones. After curfew, have the masters tell the slaves to shoot any heat signature larger that a rat. Vehicle sized heat signatures would cause the command blimps to send spotting solutions to artillery that automatically shits a shell on it. That is a vision of machines killing people in the manner of machines and makes war terrible again. Nobody is above ground for the duration of the siege.

    Reply
  37. Mike

     /  May 29, 2007

    Uh, again you are behind the times. We already have blimps and we are using them sort of in the way you are talking. ONly we don’t need 30 or 40, 2 or 3 work fine in Baghdad. We can’t arm them as that starts a problem with the air force and they are not a stable as you think. But they work great for survallence and counterfire.

    Reply
  38. blackpine

     /  May 29, 2007

    I am happy man.

    Reply
  39. I don’t expect swarm systems in the next decade – like I said we need compact high power systems first. If the point of a swarm is force multiplication for our forces then it needs to be cheap, replaceable, and uncomplicated.

    Gas engines and the like have good power – but they’re loud, break down, and have issues in extreme environments.

    I’ve worked with a few people involved in swarm projects – and I think eventually we’ll see them as a very deadly weapon. If I wasn’t in crypto I’d definitely be working in that field.

    Reply
  40. Alex

     /  May 29, 2007

    Mike,

    “but in the end to win the war we are currently in, we need to fight according to methods that have been used since we fought the Indians and chased Scots over the Highlands.”
    Which methods exactly? If we’re talking about the techniques used to break the cultures and people who supported those insurgencies, then technology is our only savior, as we can’t use those tactics even though our enemy can.

    I will look into those books and see what I can learn. Danke.

    Reply
  41. Mike

     /  May 29, 2007

    Dude you totally missed it. I am not talking wiped out people (although that would solve the problem), I am talking about the slow, methodical process of counter-insurgency. Gupta and the USMC Manual of Small Wars stuff, Malaysia and so on. Not sexy or high tech. Just the slow process of building a police force and getting a country to gain the support of its people.

    Reply
  42. Mike

     /  May 29, 2007

    ON the swarm stuff, they just tested a new idea that will help light forces swarm: Para-sail resupply parachutes. Sounds weird, but its true. You can now drop resupply from 60kms away and have it land plus or minus 100 meters, no sound, no signature, no trails to follow, no resupply convoys to ambush. Light units using this could stay hidden for weeks and swarm fairly well. Might help with light motor units too. Heavy units are needing to much heavy stuff (parts, gas and so on) to really use it.

    To really get a swarm rolling, I am thinking its our commo situation and also the adversion to losses. We need to be willing to lose some people to use a swarm properly and its going to happen (if you break apart to avoid detection, you can be attached and destroyed easier since you have less firepower, and that could happen). That and the mentality of our senior commanders who want to mass their power close to use. The idea of swarm is that you mass when the fight starts and then get gone, but too many old school types are still around who like to mass and keep it that way.

    Using UAVs and drones is a great way to spread the thinking out (a new toy can get the creative juices going in lots of people), but right now the big problem is the Air Force. They are trying to gain control of ALL UAVs since they fly. They seem to think that you MUST have qualified pilots working these things or they will all crash.

    Never mind that pesky fact that the Army uses E4s to pilot their UAVs…

    Reply
  43. blackpine

     /  May 29, 2007

    I hate the Air Force. What if you just ignored them? Or classified the drone as a reusable launch a guidance stage for missiles? They can’t keep the army from getting missiles can they?

    Reply
  44. Alex

     /  May 29, 2007

    Mike,
    Yes, I guess I did miss it – but other than slow steady wars (something democracies have little patience for) I don’t see how the tactics you describe beat the Indians or the Scots. Well – at least in my historical opinion. The American Indians got beat by disease, ecological change, aggressive land grabs and the inability to unite and fight back against a common foe. So I may have been taking your example too literally when I didn’t see what you were referring to.

    As for the UAV issue…I know the answer to why the Air Force is acting the way it is and it’s because they can see the writing on the wall. If they don’t control the UAVs they no longer exist. The F-35 is very likely to be THE LAST manned fighter jet the US produces. Eventually the fighter jock of old will cease to exist and any able body with good hand-eye coordination will be able to do air missions – air superiority, ground support, and recon. The only manned aircraft the Air Force will have left will be cargo transports. Ultimately they are threatened and in this war they have gotten shafted on R&D budgets and war costs. The majority of supplemental spending goes to Army and USMC – Navy gets next batch and what is left over goes almost solely to pay the gas bill for the aircraft in the skies. The Air Force is feeling very threatened and therefore is acting the way it is. They have already started voluntary separations for O1 to O4 ranks, and the mighty research labs they have are also feeling very tight budgets. Finally most of their material funds they have are spent on keeping the aircraft they have flying. Very quietly they have already retired the F117, they have wings falling off of A10s, and lots of other problems are hitting them very hard.
    If I was in a corner like this – I might start fighting back too.

    Reply
  45. Mike

     /  May 29, 2007

    Well Alex, the Indians were also beaten by steady campaigning in conjuction with everything else. The Indian Wars were a good case study for some counter-insurgency techniques (isolate them, removing their mobility and destroy their support network, or translated put them on reservations, take away their horses and make sure they depend on the government for food by killing the buffalo, not a strategy that anyone really thought out but that what it was in the end and it worked very well).

    And you are correct about why the Air Force in up in Arms over UAVs. But they are having some severe problems justifying stuff (why do you need a pilot who we spent x million training when the Army and Marines did it for aout $25K?) and the army and marines have the support right now (they are fighting and using their high dollar toys, the AF isn’t for the most part).

    Reply
  46. Alex

     /  May 30, 2007

    Thanks for explaining what you meant about the Indian wars, but I think that we will have a very hard time removing the enemies mobility and support network in Iraq, but I could be wrong.

    Now that you mention the USMC training someone with about 25k to fly a drone….I wonder when the Navy pilots might side with the Air Force. It’s just a matter of time before they get replaced as well, including the carriers as we know them. Carriers will still be needed for the UAVs, but smaller sizes would work. So both USMC pilots (Harrier pilots) and Navy “Top Gun” pilots will be out of work as well.

    Makes me also wonder when the rest of the world will follow suit. Probably won’t happen for another 10-15 years though, unless the planes all completely fall apart before then.

    Reply
  47. Mike

     /  May 30, 2007

    The navy is big on UAVs. You can use them on all kinds of ships and get lots of bang for the buck. The plan is the navy will start building hybrid carriers that carry both F35s and UAVs, and eventually just have a UAV carrier. The Navy is really trying to look long term for UAV and seems to understand that the days of the pilot Top Gun types are numbered. The F14 was retired just last year and that was a sign to many that the Navy is admitting that UAVs are the way to go. The F14 was retired BEFORE the replacment was built, which is pretty much unheard of, so many consider that to be some forward thinking.

    Reply
  48. blackpine

     /  May 30, 2007

    Subsurface an SWO run the Navy, not aviators. I can’t think of a single Fighter Pilot admiral. Plus they have a lot more non fighter aviators. Airforce is nothing but aviators with the top of the hierarchy being fighters. They won’t get better until their Space Warfare group stages a quiet coup, anda non aviator is running the Air Force.

    Reply

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