Radio-controlled flying toys have shot down Maverick, Goose and the whole Top Gun culture

Drones make up a third of the Air Force and the bulk of the future of air war

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Military nanosatellites would provide at least as good a view, and might also carry weapons of their own that could be fired remotely in the same way Hellfires are fired from Predators.

International treaties limit the amount to which satellites can be armed and used as weapons, but don't forbid it all together.

The increasing competition between China and the U.S. is accelerating the U.S. move toward unmanned aircraft and satellites.

The reason is the same as the reason to use drones in even the uncontested airspace of Afghanistan: It's too expensive to send a $30- or $70- or $200-million fighter and a pilot whose training and upkeep cost millions into a gauntlet of guided but unmanned missiles that cost less than the gas it would take to fly an F-35 for a month.

A DoD report titled Priorities for 21st Century Defense (PDF) sketches a range of strategic changes that would make an industrial-warfare-fighting WWII-era general blanche.

Small units, smart weapons, high mobility, partnerships with indigenous governments and military forces are the top-line strategies.

Photo Credit: 

Reuters.com

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