"A Judas goat was a female who would be captured from the wild, tagged with a GPS tracking device, and then released to find other goats, especially lovelorn males.
The sharpshooters would take to the air again, track the Judas goat, find her hidden companions and gun them down, always leaving the Judas goat alive so that the whole process would begin again. Track, slaughter, repeat. The team eventually used 900 Judas goats over the course of a couple of years."
In the more general case, I don't think you quite appreciate how difficult counterinsurgency operations are, or how little tech affects them. Jets can drop some pretty nasty ordinance, but require targeting (the counterinsurgents _really_ don't want to damage infrastructure if they can avoid it) which they have trouble doing. Attack Helicopters are lean mean killing machines, but aren't great in urban environments and also need to PID their targets if the brass gives any fucks about civilian casualties. Tanks are great pretty much everything when it comes to conventional warfare, but _MUST BE SCREENED BY INFANTRY_. Looking at you, giraffe-man.
All this probably makes you think of drones (I'm going to only talk about large UAVs here), which are in fact a pretty useful asset to security forces. They can carry out assassinations, recon, target designation, gather intelligence, and all without risking pilots. However, in a large scale insurgency, they really aren't that useful in a tactical sense.
This is because of the simple truth that the only thing that can hold territory (especially cities) is infantry. A drone can't disperse a mob. A jet can't set up a checkpoint. An attack helicopter can't search a neighborhood for contraband. A tank can't rescue an informant in the middle of the night. Only infantry can do this.
And in spite of any training or technical advantages to date, an insurgent with a rifle can still kill infantry.
Asymmetric warfare is very difficult. The US military struggled for many years and spent huge amounts of money fighting insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan. Those are small countries compared to the US. Trying to fight an insurgency on home soil, without the support of a tax-paying public? Forget about it!
In the end I believe quite a bit of cash spread around Whitehall is what made the difference, though not everyone will agree.
In the US civil war there was much less of this for reasons unclear to me.
In Missouri, which didn't secede but had a lot of Southern sympathizers, this conscription wasn't really a thing, and there was lots of asymmetric warfare. It actually started in the 1850s in what would become Kansas. (There are good movies about this too: The Outlaw Josey Wales and Ride with the Devil.)
They kill 100 fighters for one death on their side, and have control over the natural resources they want. I don't see the bright side for the opposite party.
> Trying to fight an insurgency on home soil, without the support of a tax-paying public? Forget about it!
That's a better argument. But that would assume the revolution would last. The local population would not have money or food either, but wouldn't have the supply chain or the reserve the military have.
A. You don't have to be alone.
B. You can be armed.
C. You have more intelligence than a goat.
I think that, until we get to automated police forces, rebellion will still be possible.
Also, I've you looked at the body count on each sides ?
And in the end, don't the USA have the control of the local natural resources exactly as they wanted to ?
Urban combat is really painful for all involved. If it was like shooting goats from a helicopter wouldn't the conflict be over already?
The american are still here because they benefit from it.
Even in vietnam the US had a good ratio in terms of killing Vietnamese vs allied deaths. That doesn’t mean the US was winning.
Winning is not always necessary.
They had to literally carpet the entire island in poison dropped from hoppers carried by helicopters. For seven years after that, the island was combed daily by hunters with teams of trained dogs before they could finally declare it pest-free. This was the largest successful island pest eradication program in the world at the time.
Are these often just some guy/gal who buys some nice drones then starts offering those types of services with them? Are there regulations, licenses or anything these people should or need to have to be considered legit and operate these types of services legally?
Just overall curious how these 'drone specialist' operations come to be..
It's largely research (ie university) and private-ish conservation groups (eg WWF, ZSL) doing this. Typically we work with a partner in the country that we're operating in. Virtually all this sort of flying requires approval from the local government and aviation authority, so having someone local is vital. Plus you need access to the sorts of locations which you can't really get as an enthusiastic amateur. Conservation is a particularly difficult one to do because often the areas, like the Galápagos, are heavily protected. On the other hand there are places where you can fly with minimal restrictions (eg marine surveys) because there's minimal risk to the public. Conservationists have the best travel perks!
These drones are very often custom. Off the shelf devices are too closed or un-modifiable to be useful, but are fine for basic photographic surveys. Stuff breaks and you need to be able to field repair it. As soon as you start needing custom payloads, you need some expertise in drone development. It's cheaper for us to diy than it is to buy off the shelf, but only because we have engineers with experience to do it. We do have a couple of Mavics though, they're just nice pieces of kit. And there are lots of conservation groups who buy off the shelf drones for purely visual surveys.
So yes. Lots of regulations (we also have group members who liaise frequently with the CAA). It's increasingly difficult for amateurs or even small businesses to do this stuff. As soon as you want to start fiddling with hardware, you need to treat every drone like a proper aircraft. That means no modifications without signing off, proper operating procedures, pilots with currency requirements and so on. Most of it is legal protection, but it's there for a reason. Once you start thinking about extended or beyond visible line of sight...
As you mention, there are people who will fly drones as a service. There are less than there were, since drones are cheap and easy enough to fly that people do it themselves (illegally, usually). This is really limited to surveying and photographic work.
(Also was looking forward to the next article, about the rats scavenging from the drones and firing back...)
They could engineer the baits to look, smell, and taste especially unpalatable to the birds and iguanas there, or ship the baits in wrappings that rats could & would be able to penetrate, say a thick cellulose or cardboard wrap containing a single serve.
Typically the problem with baiting in this way is what happens when those animals die, and other animals eat the carcass. This isn't discussed either, but it sounds like a) local wildlife aren't big on scavenging dead animals, and b) the wildlife losses from this would be significantly smaller than from the rat infestation.
One way would be to make sure the amount of rat poison is precisely calibrated so that the rats will get to it first and not leave a lot behind for other animals to consume.
One way to lessen this effect would be to use doses so low that the rats will die but which would be diluted and metabolized by the time the animal actually dies.
The most popular rat poisons involve some sort of anti-clotting agent, to ensure a high mortality while keeping the animal alive long enough not to discourage other rats from eating the bait.
Overall the idea is probably to kill a higher percentage of the rats than of all the other species.
I believe (but I don't know for certain) that invertebrate scavengers may be immune to those poisons.
They left out the rats ;-)
DoC is the NZ department of conservation - we try to be a fairly green country!