The development of all this technology leaves many questions about where vulnerabilities may exist. Every army tends be encumbered by planning to fight the last war. That is why the U.S. has sought to shift focus from all the resources poured into counter-terrorism to creating a larger navy to confront countries like China. Resources spent on vulnerable slow drones, for instance, have apparently left the air force without enough powerful stealth drones. Many armies haven’t rolled out new rifles in decades.
At the same time the cliché that no plan survives contact with the enemy should hang over the technological prophets. What happens when a hi-tech military like Israel has to face a more symmetric war, or when its technology is thrown into one? Rafael is working on directed energy weapons, like lasers and other measures. Trophy and the Spike line of missiles are meant to be used against peer adversaries. This ecosystem of weapons and technology doesn’t mean robots will replace people. However, it means that people will have a lot more information that has been sifted through by machines available to make faster decisions. This should reduce casualties and friendly fire incidents, as well as neutralize threats faster.
Seth J. Frantzman is a Jerusalem-based journalist who holds a Ph.D. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is the executive director of the Middle East Center for Reporting and Analysis and a writing fellow at Middle East Forum. He is the author of After ISIS: America, Iran and the Struggle for the Middle East (forthcoming Gefen Publishing). Follow him on Twitter at @sfrantzman.