This morning the U.S. published its National Military Strategy (NMS) for 2011 which called for 'full-spectrum' deployment of U.S. power and an imperceptible nod to the rise of soft power in countering foreign aggression, in all its forms. This week also, the first in a new generation of drones, this one the X-47B (Northrop Grumman), had its test flight.
Drones represent another step level development in the American-led Revolution in Military Affairs, a strategic initiative that was first proposed by Russian military chiefs, until they rapidly ran out of money at the end of the Cold War [for an overview of the development in this thought see Gregory, D. (2010) 'War and peace', Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 35, pp.154-186]. The technology in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles is advanced - you've seen the Chinese trumpet their stealth fighter to the media, but their drones (they do have some) are of a less impressive functionality. The NMS is particularly forceful in its language against China - and with this technological advantage, it is easy to see why Mullen, of the Joint Chiefs, can still beat his drum. For further information on drones see the excellent dronewars blog. The MOD has thus far acquired three Reapers and has funded its own Taranis project with test flights due to start this year.
Further to my discussion previous on the U.S. government voting on an internet kill switch and how to work hot wars in cyberspace, at the Munich Security Conference this coming Friday, a "Geneva Convention" for the internet is to be discussed. The media will run with all the cyberspace stories from the conference, so expect 'security in the cloud' to be the hot topic in the weeks to come.