Send in the Quadcopters: Arm Ukrainian Citizens with Simple Drones
In a recent Facebook post, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense called upon citizens in Kyiv to help monitor the city for Russian soldiers—and particularly people with drones. “Do you have a drone? Then give it to an experienced pilot! Or do you know how to fly a drone? Join the joint patrol with Unit 112 of the Kyiv City Special Brigade!” It’s a great idea with tactical and strategic implications—and the United States and allied countries should help by sending simple commercial drones and spare parts to Ukraine. It wouldn’t cost much either: cheap off-the-shelf drones available on Amazon can be less than $100 (though higher-end drones can easily run a few thousand dollars each).
Such drones allow defenders to put eyes in the air, to look above buildings, trees, and other obstructions that limit line of sight, providing priceless information about an enemy’s location and forces. Drone operators can track Russian troop movements and activities, revealing vulnerable units…