In Afghanistan, war is increasingly waged by robots, unmanned aircraft and remote control. In this video a soldier based at Ghundy Gar, a dusty hillside combat outpost in the Zhari district of western Afghanistan, launches the Raven, a remote-controlled surveillance craft that resembles a hobbyist’s toy — but costs $25,000.
Such automation has become crucial to the U.S.-led coalition’s counterinsurgency strategy, which seeks to reduce the number of civilian casualties in Afghanistan in an ongoing effort to not only defeat the Taliban militarily, but also to win the hearts and minds — and support — of average Afghans.