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Equipment & Capabilities Relevant capabilities and equipment are table stakes for winning those hearts and minds.

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Old 09-10-2014   #1
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Default 21st Century Tech Intel & the Internet

In a backyard in Aleppo, Syrian rebels built a tank for urban combat. All it took was an Android smartphone to download a do-it-yourself manual.

They patched together some rusty car parts, with a Game Boy console and flatscreen television controlling a machine gun. The result: a weapon smaller than a Mini Cooper, an ideal alternative in narrow alleys to the 70-ton Abrams tank the U.S. used in Iraqi deserts and Afghan valleys.

From Aleppo to Ukraine’s Donetsk, combat and war planning are moving to urban settings where Internet access facilitates 21st-century guerrilla tactics. With 1.5 million people a week migrating to cities -- mostly in the developing world -- the new battlefields will be slum-ridden yet wired megalopolises such as Lagos and Mumbai, where insurgents and crime bosses can exploit technology to control lawless rings of territory.
A scrimmage in a Border Station
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Old 09-10-2014   #2
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Saw this last year:

Of all the things I never thought I would write in the same sentence, “Remote Control” and “Sturmgewehr 44″ must be at the top of the list. The above photo shows a Syrian rebel controlling a Sturmgewehr 44 with a wired joystick. A cheap CMOS video camera with a Component video output is mounted behind the scope (at the correct distance to account for eye relief) and is wired into a LCD screen.

Excluding the batteries and motors, the electronics could be purchased for less than $200 on ebay. They are the same type of components used by amateur drone hobbyists to remotely fly aircraft at extreme distances, although they use wireless transmitters and receivers rather than wired connections. In this application wired communications probably give the operator longer range through thick concrete walls than a cheap 2.4ghz/5.8ghz video system would (and it cannot be jammed, or worse, hacked into).
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Old 09-10-2014   #3
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The rapid technological progress and world-wide spread in some areas as well as vast economies of scales make a lot of interesting adaptions possible. It is pretty much impossible to keep on top of all the clever adaption and there is certainly a great deal still to discover and to learn. Lots of possiblities out there.

For example micro and mini drones have become far more available through the rise of smartphones with it's high performance and yet cheap sensors. With every more capable batteries and smaller cameras and an increasingly large specific knowledge base with a lot of sharing as well as industry support they should become increasingly attractive for armed groups. Now drones like that and drones like the big heavily armed things are completely different beasts but even the former might become soon a 'force multiplier' among others. Personally I wonder if commercial, possibly modified* trail cameras have already been used in armed conflicts. They are quite in rage here among hunters.

*It might be a good idea to eliminate any signature like flash. In urban areas there should be enough backligh, while in open terrain one at ground level angled upwards could work well most of the time. Of course there is much scope for clever schemes behind the information gathering and the communication. Different settings on when and how the 'warnings' and the material gets sent would make a lot of sense. So in an urban it might send it over e-mail on after a couple of minutes of shooting a series of pics sending a couple of them over the 'net. In a forest area not far friendly forces it might get sent right away over MMS. It should be relatively easy to integrate it into data management system.

In one case one guy which I know with a passion for electric stuff had one camera stolen put a new relatively obvious one out in the same area with a GPS tracker in it and neatly camouflaged GPRS one pointed at it. The thief tried it again and got unmasked. Simple, yet effective.
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Last edited by Firn; 09-10-2014 at 09:11 PM.
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Old 09-10-2014   #4
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New Russian APC seen in the Ukraine:

New Russian APC's in Bryanka/Luhansk Oblast. 8 of them towards Debaltseve yesterday
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