Lara Seligman, excerpts:
American troops deployed in Syria are increasingly having to defend themselves against Russian jamming devices—electronic attacks with potentially lethal consequences, according to U.S. military officials and analysts.
Officers who have experienced the jamming—known as electronic warfare—say it’s no less dangerous than conventional attacks with bombs and artillery. But they also say it’s allowing U.S. troops a rare opportunity to experience Russian technology in the battlefield and figure out how to defend against it.
All of a sudden your communications won’t work, or you can’t call for fire, or you can’t warn of incoming fires because your radars have been jammed and they can’t detect anything,” said Laurie Moe Buckhout, a retired Army colonel who specializes in electronic warfare.
“[It] can be far more deadly than kinetics simply because it can negate one’s ability to defend one’s self,” she said.
In this complex, congested environment, the concern is that a miscommunication or inadvertent encounter could quickly escalate into a full-on war.
But this type of warfare also gives the United States a chance to learn about the latest Russian technology.