Drone warfare has become an integral part of US military operations and they will continue to be, but in a potential near-peer conflict, they will not enjoy the operational freedom they currently do. They will no doubt be less effective against more advanced enemies but as our tech improves their roles may expand.
David Ignatius, a national-security commentator, sponsored a Washington Post Live event on the “Digital Transformation of the Military” on Veterans Day. It was sponsored by Raytheon, a major military contractor, but it was the most evident and least suspicious aspect of the whole thing. A prominent Washington consultant and two of her clients took the stage. Ignatius moderated a discussion on military technology with Michèle Flournoy, a co-founder of the consulting firm WestExec Advisors and a former Obama Defense Department official. She talked with former Google executive Eric Schmidt, and Brandon Tseng of the drone firm Shield AI was the following speaker. The panelists discussed the impact of artificial intelligence on combat, competitiveness with China, and new technologies that are pushing the boundaries.
The Army’s new software organizations’ heads said the military won’t always be completely reliant on contractors for software support, which is why in-house coders are needed. The Army Software Factory’s purpose is to increase the number of soldier coders among its ranks, using a more informal, less hierarchical structure than a conventional military organization. The first cohort of 25 soldiers arrived in January at Austin Community College in Texas. That group will be stationed at the company for a three-year cycle, during which time they will attend classes and gain software skills. The Army’s nascent software factory is being tested as a pilot program under Army Futures Command to see if it might be useful and if the service’s approach to software is adequate.
As the commandant’s Force Design 2030 attempt and the recently published Talent Management 2030 plan continue to transform the Marine Corps, cyber and information warfare Marines may be further enabled to use their electronic knowledge to produce important advantages for kinetic forces in the coming years, according to one official. Col. Brian Russell, who controls the II MEF Information Group, said Nov. 10 during a conversation as part of C4ISRNET’s CyberCon that the Marine Expeditionary Force Information Group (MIG) formation, which was fielded four years ago, has already taken major steps in teaching fellow Marines on how to perform despite cybersecurity threats as well as displaying MEF commanders how to mix a variety of kinetic and non-kinetic options.