The Labor Day Weekend news cycle was occupied by news that President Barack Obama is seeking formal Congressional approval to deploy military assets against Syria for the use of chemical weapons. The President has declined to put “boots on the ground,” and for good reason: The video below (from a year ago) suggests that US surveillance via drone is well along:
Interestingly, it does appear that the American public favors unmanned (as opposed to manned) air operations in Syria.
In many ways, cruise missiles – the likely weapon of choice should any military assets be deployed in Syria – are an original generation of drones. An interesting description of their capabilities:
Cruise missiles can be launched from airplanes, submarines, ships or from launching vehicles on land. More than 70 nations have cruise missiles. Cruise missiles come in number of variations. The simplest cruise missiles have a range of approximately 100km.
The missile uses Digital Scene Matching Area Correlation system to match what it sees on the ground with a digital image of its target.
The missile has been the US weapon of choice in international military incidents since 1991. According to the US military the missile is 90 percent accurate.
The cruise missile technology is being refined and now the missiles will be able to circle the target and send live images back to base.
The missile could also be redirected or can also be reprogrammed in case the target is missed or already destroyed. The most commonly used cruise missile is Tomahawk cruise missile.
It is often said that the law lacks technology. With Syria, it is technology that must wait for lawmakers to decide how to proceed.