I never was a "shooter." Although at one point we experimented with "weaponeering cryptology," our mission more often than not was to provide support to the guys pressing the button or pulling the trigger. Sometimes we would be on the same platform, other times supporting from a distance. Anyway... the idea is to provide target support, eyes on target, to the shooters. You guys make the tough calls on when and how to engage.
Say say you want to keep the enemy from getting his "eyes on target" against you...
Let's make two assumptions (1) you are at the forward edge of the battle area (2) any of the observation platforms below has the capability to provide some real-time data (video, voice, data) feeds to another location. The capability is what's important.
Engage these targets? Yes or no?
1. Manned unarmed reconnaissance aircraft?
2. Unmanned armed reconnaissance aircraft (UAV)?
3. Unmanned unarmed reconnaissance aircraft (UAV)?
4. Unmanned electro-optic system (think video camera on a border fence)?
5. Fixed observation post (you see the guy with optics)?
6. Concealed forward observer with a radio?
7. Observer with electro-optics (video camera)? (think the guy who films IED attacks)
8. Observer with electro-optics (video camera)? (think the guy transmitting to Al-Manar TV)
Update: I posted this before the Israeli strike on the UN positions. The musings are simply about whether shooters should attempt to distinguish between whether someone observing and reporting on them is friendly. Regarding the UNIFIL KIA, while technically not friendly fire, I do not believe that the Israeli forces intentionally targeted them. Belmont Club, as usual, provided a superlative analysis of the why the intentional targeting claim doesn't hold water.
Back to Mudville.