Over the past year, a primitive type of WarBot has become a formidable battlefield weapon: the small unmanned aerial system. The threat materialized in October 2016 when a drone booby-trapped by the Islamic State killed two Kurdish soldiers. Within a few months, the Islamic State was flying tens of aerial bombardment missions each day, displayed the capability to drop grenades down the hatches of tanks, and reportedly flew up to a dozen aircraft at a time. The threat was so severe that the Mosul offensive nearly stalled.
Since 2001, the landscape of warfare has drastically changed. Drones, armed non-state actors, and private security firms have become common on the battlefield, and their influence continues to evolve and grow. While their involvement in the future of warfare is uncertain, more than likely they will be as commonplace in future conflicts as tanks, airplanes, and submarines are today. In his latest book, Claude Berube offers readers a vivid glimpse of this possible future.