In this paper, CNAS Associate Fellow Kelley Sayler analyzes the proliferation of unmanned systems—particularly UAVs—within the framework of the increasingly contentious issue of area-denial/anti-access weapon systems in the Asia-Pacific generally, and in China’s near-abroad specifically. Contending that current UAV platforms are inadequate against well-equipped militaries (as opposed to nonstate actors), Sayler overviews development programs and emerging technologies that would benefit the United States both as standalone elements, and as a means to enhance legacy systems for the changing threat environment. Sayler concludes that current restrictions on exports of armed and/or stealthy UAVs degrade the capacity of even trusted allies to share the burden of wartime ISR capability in the Asia-Pacific and thus simplifies potential enemies’ targeting calculus.
North Korea threats raise Olympic security fears
By Dr. Patrick M. Cronin
America Is Not Going to Denuclearize North Korea
By Dr. Mira Rapp-Hooper
Trump's coming hard line on China
By Ely Ratner
Is the U.S. ready for China’s ‘space militias’?
By Adam Routh