Editor’s Note: Wikistrat’s latest community-wide simulation, “The Future of Drones”, has just launched and will run from July 18th to July 29th.
Drones are rapidly becoming “the gun that won globalization” or “settled” the many “frontiers” associated with that historical phenomenon’s incredibly fast expansion – in its modern form – over the past two to three decades.
Like this modern expression of globalization, drones arrive with a distinct American pedigree and initial applications (the so-called “Long War”). But, as with any aspect of globalization, these technologies and applications quickly mutate beyond such origins into something far larger and more profound, essentially reshaping the future landscapes of conflict, law enforcement, social control, and government itself. The temptation here is to resort to fatalistic Orwellian projections (“It all represents a huge extension of government power!”), but in truth, we are just at the beginning of a very long and highly fluid legal/political tussle over the proper uses of drone technologies – with virtually nothing “carved in stone” at this time.
In this simulation, Wikistrat asks its strategic community to tell the specific story of ways in which one future application of drone technologies (air/maritime/land unmanned vehicle) reshapes political, economic, social, security, environmental and legal landscapes. The focus here is on tracking imagined secondary/tertiary/beyond consequences – in effect, helping the reader to understand the appearance and feel of a future world full of drone applications.
Want to participate in simulations like these? Apply for membership to the analytic community here.