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SOCOM Commander Gen. Richard Clarke on Increasing Use of Low-Cost Drones

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U.S. Army Gen. Richard Clarke, commander of Special Operations Command, has said low-cost technologies are shaping the modern battlefield and cited the militaries’ increasing use of quadcopters and larger unmanned aerial vehicles, the Department of Defense’s newswire reported Tuesday.

“When Russia is running out of them for Ukraine, and they’re going to Iran to go buy more, [that] should cause us all a bit of concern because you can see how valuable that they can be in the future fight,” he said during a discussion at the Aspen Security Forum.

To prevent adversaries from taking advantage of the use of low-cost air platform, Clarke underscored a need to have interagency talks about disrupting supply chains in addition to just defeating enemy drones. In addition, he called for a discussion on norms and authorities for using small unmanned systems.

Aside from drones, Clarke also talked about threats posed by cyber attacks and inexpensive chemical and biological weapons.

“As we go into the future, we have to be prepared for that eventuality … and look for methods to continue to combat it,” Clarke said.

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