Any military draw down, such as what we’ve seen in Iraq and will experience in Afghanistan, is an especially hazardous time. The asymmetric enemy, ever adaptive and certainly emboldened, is alert to any hint of slackened security. Combat arenas are experiencing an ominous uptick of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and shoot-and-scoot attacks.

As U.S. conventional forces draw down in Afghanistan, Special Forces are tasked with multiple responsibilities. Special Forces personnel reportedly now must help watch forward-operating and air bases, staging areas, truck parks, ammunition depots and other facilities.

To enable this, personnel employ a burgeoning array of command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) technology to gain timely, actionable intelligence on enemy movements, and beyond-the-wire situational awareness.

More than ever, the watchwords are “small,” “light,” “durable,” and “energy-efficient.” Instrumentalities and applications range broadly and include Android mobile devices and other tablets, micro-mini comms units, satellite-orientation and uplink capabilities, electronic warfare/counter-electronic warfare, and cyber solutions.