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How Cyberwarfare and Drones Have Revolutionized Warfare - NYTimes.com


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The nature of war has changed:

Just as aircraft carriers allowed naval battles to extend their strike distance to the point of aircraft versus aircraft warfare, drones are increasing the strike distance of the military. Nanorobots will further increase the ability to deal precise damage. Drones are often the preferred choice of policymakers because they place no American lives at risk.

Cybertechnology also extends the reach of the military, with the Stuxnet attack on Iran’s nuclear weapons program serving as a prime example. Thanks to the Internet, cyberwarriors can reach immediately not only into the Web-connected world, but also into computers without direct Internet access – all without putting Americans in harm’s way.

But these advances will require policymakers to rethink the economic, political and moral calculus for when and how to deploy robots, or when to commence a cyberattack. Not only do the advanced technologies eliminate the problems with having troops die on foreign soil, but they also greatly decrease the cost of weapons. Weaponized drones are far less expensive than manned jets. Drone costs will continue to fall and their capabilities will continue to increase as robotics technology advances. Why buy the costly F-35 fighter jet when the military can instead buy a fleet of weaponized drones?

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