• A Massachusetts company develops a system which helps soldiers pinpoint the location of sniper fire; system has been successfully used in Iraq and Afghanistan

  • David Petraeus, head of the .S. Central Command, says that without “crushing” the illegal trade in weapons and drugs which sustains terrorism and piracy, it will be difficult to defeat them

  • Close Quarters Combat // Tzviel (BK) Blankchtein

    A police officer or soldier approaching a criminal or a terrorist would be in dire straits if the bad guy were to grab the officer’s weapon, thus leaving him defenseless; retaining one’s weapon is thus key, and here is a discussion of how to do it

  • During the past fifteen years many Somalis have left the country in search of work; many found jobs in major European and Middle eastern ports; some of them now serve as eyes and ears for the pirates back home, providing information about ships’ cargo, routes, and security on board

  • Trend

    The U.S. military is shifting more emphasis and resources toward combating terrorism and helping civilian authorities, both at home and abroad, cope with man-made and natural disasters; institutions tend to overshoot, and the Pentagon should not forget that the United States must still prepare to fight and win conventional wars

  • Somalia depends on food donations for its people to survive; trouble is, these food shipments are among the prime targets of pirates; donors respond by recreating the Second World War-era idea of maritime convoys

  • The owners of the German cruise ship Columbus decided on a new way to deal with piracy off the coast of Somalia: The 246 passengers were flown to Dubai to await the ship — and the ship itself, with but a skeletal crew, sail at top speed through the dangerous waters of the Gulf of Aden, hoping to avoid being raided by pirates

  • Moving military units from theater to theater is a challenge for the military’s lift capabilities; an integral part of such capabilities is the ability to refuel aircraft in mid-flight, which is dangerous; researchers offer a way to use laser to recharge the plane’s batteries; for now the system is limited to surveillance UAVs, but the developers envision it being used for larger planes

  • The U.S. Department of Defense will have an increased role in domestic U.S. security; a Pentagon plan calls for up to 20,000 uniformed troops inside the United States by 2011 trained to help state and local officials respond to a nuclear terrorist attack or other domestic catastrophe

  • An independent commission of experts, set up by Congress as part of the recommendations by the 9/11 commission, concludes that terrorists will most likely carry out an attack with biological, nuclear, or other unconventional weapons somewhere in the world in the next five years

  • The commando-style attacks that killed some 200 people in Mumbai, India, last week began with a small-scale amphibious invasion that bears uncanny resemblance to recent pirate attacks off the African coast

  • The Pentagon has spent more than $14 billion so far to find way effectively to counter IEDs; it has even created an agency — the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization — to do the work; still, there are about 1,400 IED attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan every month, and about 350 attacks in other parts of the world; a congressional panel notes progress in countering IEDs but says much works remains

  • Seventeen pro-democracy, anti-terror groups from South Africa, Britain, and the Middle East which have an online presence will gather in New York to exchange notes

  • The $100 million project was launched after 9/11; the facility would eventually receive video footage from 3,000 cameras posted in and near the financial district, an area of about 1.7 square miles

  • The Strait of Malacca between Malaysia and Indonesia, and the Gulf of Aden, are among the most sensitive choke points in global commerce; trouble is, the stable, the comparatively wealthy Southeast Asian countries that line the Malacca Strait have committed their naval and coastal forces to stamping out hijackings and piracy, but the Gulf of Aden is bordered by poor or dysfunctional countries like Djibouti, Yemen, and particularly Somalia

  • Raytheon awarded contract for exploratory nuclear detection research… Navies may get tougher on piracy after tanker seizure… U.S. donates nuclear detection equipment to Nigeria

  • Trend

    Forget Captain Kidd, wooden legs, or treasure maps; modern pirates are equipped with supercharged speedboats, large-caliber weaponry, and all the radio intercept technology they need to identify and locate valuable ocean-going booty; on 9/11 we saw what damage a jumbo jet could do when used as a weapon; how about a supertanker as a weapon?

  • The war against terrorists has two characteristics: It is fought in populated areas — big cities or remote villages — and the death of noncombatants offer terrorists propaganda victories; smarter bombs aim to address these problems

  • Ammonium nitrate mixed with fuel oil commonly is used as an explosive in mining and has been used by terrorists — such as Timothy McVeigh in Oklahoma; DHS proposes to regulate its use

  • Piracy off the Somali coast is becoming a serious problem; so far this year there have been 81 pirates attacks in the region, including 32 hijackings