Gunnar Counselman, the CEO of Fidelis, Inc., and I coauthored this piece. Gunnar served as a Human Intelligence Officer in the Marine Corps and was deployed to Bosnia, Iraq, the Horn of Africa, and Central America.
Thirty-eight thousand feet over Raqqa, Syria, the C-130’s loadmaster acknowledges the command from the cockpit and executes his orders. With the flip of a switch, he deploys the three codeword-classified containers out the plane’s rear hatch. If everything goes to plan, a routine effort on his part is about to have an extraordinary impact not only on the murderous regime below, but also upon the future of human conflict. The last time a game-changing invention of this magnitude was deployed in war, the aircraft that deployed it was the Enola Gay and the target was Hiroshima. But the staff sergeant is too busy with his post-deployment checklist to wonder what controversies will accompany this moment in the history books.