US intel officials see precision-strike, hybrid warfare as future hallmarks
By Daniel Wasserbly
A new US intelligence report endorses the US armed forces' projections that precision-strike weapons and hybrid warfare could potentially be major attributes of future conflicts.
The National Intelligence Council (NIC), in its fifth instalment in a series of reports intended to spur further thinking about and planning for the future, finds that advanced weapons could proliferate more widely than in the recent past.
In a section exploring potential scenarios, the report said the next 15-20 years could "see a wider spectrum of more accessible instruments of war, especially precision-strike capabilities, cyber instruments, and bioterror weaponry".
The document, 'Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds', was released publicly on 10 December.
It attributed possible increases in precision-strike weapons proliferation to the "commercial availability of key components, such as imagery", and noted that a nearly universal access to "precision navigation GPS data" means that state and non-state actors could have widespread access to precision-strike capabilities by 2030.
More precision-guided weapons mean that more potential adversaries could credibly threaten more critical infrastructure. This, the NIC said, could create "a fundamentally new security dynamic in regions like the Middle East with multiple contending forces".188 of 683 words
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