Author Topic: Why the Army needs a drone branch: Embracing lessons from Ukraine  (Read 183 times)

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Offline rangerrebew

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Why the Army needs a drone branch: Embracing lessons from Ukraine
In this op-ed, Army Lt. Col. Robert Solano argues the need for the US military to boldly embrace how it approaches uncrewed systems.
on February 22, 2024 at 1:02 PM
The conflict in Ukraine has shown that uncrewed systems are no longer the future of war, but the present. The proliferation of drones has led Ukraine to dramatically change its approach to the technology, and in this new op-ed, US Army Lt. Col. Robert Solano argues that it’s time for the Pentagon to do the same.

The recent decision by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine to establish a separate branch within their armed forces dedicated to drone systems signals a significant shift in military strategy, and reflects an evolving battlefield where uncrewed systems play a pivotal role. This move, grounded in the hard-learned lessons of Ukraine’s ongoing conflict, should prompt a broader conversation about the future of warfare and the role of technology within it.

It also begs the question: Should the United States follow suit and establish its own service focused on uncrewed systems, regardless of operational domain? Or is there a different approach that better fits America’s military system but still allows uncrewed capabilities to reach their full potential?

Zelenskyy’s initiative is groundbreaking because it positions a drone systems force as a distinct entity alongside Ukraine’s established military branches. The United States military has traditionally categorized its forces based on operational domains — land, air, sea and, most recently, space — with the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Space Force, respectively. While the 2019 establishment of the Space Force illustrates the US military’s willingness to adapt to new operational realms, creating a separate service branch for uncrewed systems would represent a significant shift from this domain-based structure.
The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.
Thomas Jefferson