As part of his August column in Fast Company on the future of DIY warfare, contributing writer Greg Lindsay interviewed me on possible future disruptions in the global arms trade. In his article, “The DIY Terminator,” Lindsay points to my recent column on the topic in Current Intelligence, citing the possibility of both makers and insurgents alike gaining increasingly sophisticated manufacturing capability in areas ranging from unmanned surveillance to small satellites to traditional armaments:
“We’ve come to a point where you put together a parallel system to the U.S. Department of Defense,” says Smith. And also to the point where the DoD is soliciting the hobbyists themselves to be the next generation of weapon designers via DARPA’s crowdsourcing effort, UAVForge. “If I were at a major arms contractor, I would be worried about being disrupted,” Smith says.
He wonders if the world is headed toward “peak arms,” in which open source, distributed, low-cost tools fatally undermine big-ticket weapons sales in all but a few cases (most of them involving the Strait of Taiwan). And that goes double for non-state actors, e.g. roll-your-own NGOs and drug cartels. “The era of large scale, run-and-gun DIY micro-warfare is just around the corner,” Smith concludes.
It was a fun and wide-ranging conversation. Thanks, Greg!