The problem: The US Army — purveyors of all things camouflage green — thinks that spy planes are too slow for recognising remote battlegrounds. The solution: Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles loaded with weaponised spy bots. The side-effect: World War III.
See, the US Army is right. ICBMs are the fastest way to deploy ISR-Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance-spy bots. They only take minutes to launch and reach a target anywhere in the world. Loading them with spy bots will provide with access to real-time data about any conflict area, in virtually no time:
ISR platforms delivered from missiles can potentially provide battlefield information that is only seconds old when transmitted from long ranges. This information is particularly valuable since it is so current. It provides the potential for striking a very mobile enemy before he has time to alter his position.
But then, ICBMs usually carry a much dangerous load: nuclear warheads. You can be sure that the the Russians — or the Chinese or the North Koreans — won't be happy about detecting an ICBM launch off Alaska. That's exactly the reason why other similar efforts pioneered by Darpa were scrapped. The US Army boffins, however, say they have a plan to avoid the confusion: Use a different kind of ICBM.
How different that missile could be? A ballistic missile is a ballistic missile. They follow a trajectory across oceans and continents to open and drop whatever load they have, being that nukes, spy bots or cotton candy. Then, the Army also says that they want the spy bots to be fully armed, just in case they want to strike seconds after they find the enemy.
See, that still doesn't sound like a good idea to me. Like the old Russian proverb says: "If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, looks like a duck, it's a nuclear missile." [Wired]