Caglar Kurc Profile picture
7 Apr, 10 tweets, 2 min read
When making predictions on the future of warfare, we need to be very careful, especially if these predictions do not account for the context and implications of the dialectical nature of arms development.
The impact of Turkish drones in recent conflicts is undeniable. However, we also need to consider the other side, their capabilities, fighting doctrines, and training levels. Neither in Libya nor Syria, the power of the adversaries could not match the Turkish military.
I am also not sure whether Turkey's use of drones can be considered as a military innovation. It seems that Turkey is an effective user of drones, but not sure what it does is new or unexplored already by other states. I might be wrong.
In all the cases, the air defense structures were poor; soldiers were seemingly not well-trained. What would have happened if the adversary had a good air defense network? This question sits at the heart of drone usage in contemporary and future wars.
The possibility of fighting against well-structured air defense systems and contested air spaces drives drone development in the top-tier countries. This brings us to the second issue: development of counter-UAV systems.
Recent conflicts have shown the devastating effects of weak air defense structures. Lessons learned (I guess). Now, we are observing a race in developing counter-UAV systems. This will drive the drone technology further, thus increasing complexity.
As the complexity of drones increases, only a handful of countries would be able to build them. Could Turkey be part of this select group? Could Turkey develop stealth drones? We'll see.
Another important point about the future war is whether drones could change the contemporary war's fundamentals. Currently, drones have not altered the significance of cover, concealment, dispersion, small-unit independent maneuver, suppression, and combined-arms integration.
On the contrary, dispersion and concealment proved to be very important. Furthermore, the drone-centric approach to future wars overlooks the other parts of the military machine. Combined arms integration is a critical aspect and poses immense infrastructural capacity.
Finally, drones do not occupy enemy territory. Militaries still need soldiers, armored vehicles, and tanks to dislodge the resisting enemy. Armies still need to be good at the fundamentals to win a war. At this point, I am not as hyped as some observers on the change of war.

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