Adaptations and Exploits in 21st Century Warfare: SAMs from TOWs, Payload Augmentation of Drones

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Mostly I deal in Bird-World– I’m interested in the Long Game.  But this a Frog-World article for Luke and Memlik Pasha– they are tabletop gamers and the Long Game is invisible to them.  Maybe this will help.  I love science fiction– its my hypoth that scifi is how we test drive the future before it gets here.  So many of my thinkpieces reflect themes and memes from Scifi.

In Cixin Liu’s Dark Forest the US attempts its last ever ground invasion/regime change in South America:

Modern high-tech weapons might be useful against point targets, but for area targets, their performance is no better than conventional weapons and their cost and limited quantity make them essentially nonfactors…low-cost high-tech exploits…Diaz’s thousands of guerilla teams were armed with a total of two hundred thousand of them [cruise-style missles], mass produced for just three thousand dollars apiece.

But the Islamic State can do Diaz one better– with found weapons (ghanima) and repurposed weapons.  Here’s what IS got from Mosul in 2014– three divisions worth and three arms depots.

“You lost approximately three divisions worth of equipment and probably at least three depots in that area,” Anthony Cordesman, a security analyst at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, told The Wall Street Journal.

IS recently seized an important arms depot at Deir Ezzor but theres no info on the captured mecha and ordnance– US wont release that anymore.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the militants captured areas just north of the city on Monday, including an army base and an arms depot in the village of Ayash. Another opposition activist, Omar Abu Leila, says ISIS fighters captured Ayash, which is just north of another town that ISIS captured over the weekend.

The amount of arms, ordnance and mecha that IS controls is probably classified information that the US wont divulge…but maybe I will take that on as a research project over spring break.  It should be interesting.

Currently the global economy is circling the drain while the US desperately tries to cover up just how bad the situation is, and IS is adding GPS and altimeters to TOWs and payloading drones.  The problem with high-tech is it can always be exploited and mass produced.  I’d sure like to know how many TOWs IS has in possession right now, and how many arms depots IS has captured…not to mention the contents of each depot.

I bet someone has those stats, but they arent sharing.

3 thoughts on “Adaptations and Exploits in 21st Century Warfare: SAMs from TOWs, Payload Augmentation of Drones

  1. If you are such a ‘math head’ and such a scientifically minded person, how could you support a counterproductively irrational ideology that is IS? A strain of ideas that recklessly promotes the apocalypse? With monkey-like feel-good ‘us vs them’ mentality – the same kind of thinking you shame the West for having against the ME?

    If you are true scientist, true sci-fi person – you must be familiar with the Fermi Paradox and Great Filter (

    Did it ever occur to you that humanity may soon wipe out the entire biosphere with nuclear weapons and bullshit dreams of apocalypse? This is what makes #IS and #Imperialism a dangerous cocktail mix for species annihilation. The so called ‘counter-narrative’ you so aptly speak of, should be both anti-religious and anti-imperialist. (Reminds me of Jesus of Nazareth)


    • IS isnt the one with the nukes. IS is simply a civilizational immune response to endless attempts by western powers to impose secular democracy on muslim populations.

      I have been thinking about Fermi Paradox a lot this week since I just read Cixin Liu Dark Forest.
      If u have read the book then Earth is a microcosm of the universe, and US is the Hunter in the Dark Forest trying to wipe out an emergent civilization as a precautionary measure.


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