WASHINGTON: A senior Pentagon official said today that NATO isn’t prepared to fend off attacks by swarms of small drones and short-range missiles, like those that struck Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities.

“We’re seeing asymmetric investments in things like swarming UAS technology, like unmanned aerial systems that really fly more like the cruise missiles,” John Rood, under secretary of defense for policy said. “It’s a serious problem.” Rood didn’t specifically mention the Saudi attacks, but the parallels are clear. He pointed to the type of assaults Russia launched in Ukraine, and Iran in Saudi Arabia earlier this month.

Speaking at a Center for European Policy Analysis event in Washington, Rood said the threats from such weapons and tactics have developed faster than NATO’s ability to rework missile defense and radar systems to detect smaller, faster-moving objects.