Hey, that appeasement policy towards
is working real well, isn’t it? In exchange for not seriously contesting any
of their illegal actions in the China South China Sea
they’ve now decided to begin seizing our drones. USNI News website reports that the Chinese
seized a US unmanned underwater glider (Littoral Battlespace Sensing Glider -
LBSG) in international waters while it was being recovered by a ship operating 50 miles northwest of US (1). The US
has filed protests and requested that the Chinese return the drone but if the
Chinese didn’t return our EP-3 until long after they had stripped it of all
interesting technology, they’re certainly not going to return a drone. Subic Bay, Philippines
History teaches us, with unfailing certainty, that appeasement encourages aggression. Appeasement, however, is not the subject of this post. I just wanted to throw yet another failure in the face of the Chinese apologists and appeasers among you.
Back to the post …
This incident is the beginning of what will become a trend of unfriendly nations seizing or destroying our unmanned vehicles in international airspace and waters. Why? Why not? We’re not going to respond. If we wouldn’t respond to the seizure of two manned riverine boats by
, we’re certainly not going to respond to the seizure
of unmanned vehicles. Our enemies know
this so they won’t hesitate to seize the opportunity to deal the Iran a black eye, trumpet their success to their people,
and garner some free technology. US
During the Cold War, aircraft were shot at and down from time to time. If countries were willing to do that then let’s face it, no one is going to bat an eye at capturing or destroying unmanned vehicles. We’re going to see an open season on unmanned vehicles.
I’ve stated repeatedly that unmanned vehicles will have only a limited role in combat, being too easy to find and destroy, and it appears that they will have a limited role in peace as well. The LBSG was a relatively unsophisticated drone. Will we risk our most sophisticated unmanned vehicles near enemy waters and airspace knowing that they are subject to routine seizure? I doubt it. We’d be idiots if we did.
Does anyone think the Chinese will hesitate to sink or seize that nifty new DARPA ACTUV (Anti-Submarine Warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel) that’s supposed to follow enemy subs around?
Thanks to our passive, appeasing policies, I see a future of unfriendly state-sponsored UAV bounty hunters!
(1)USNI News website, “Updated: Chinese Seize U.S. Navy Unmanned Vehicle”, Sam LaGrone,