• Ray-guns used to be limited to sci-fi or to a movie studio’s special effects department; not any more: Northrop Grumman develops an electric laser which reaches 105 KW in power — 5 KW beyond the 100 KW the military says is the minimum necessary for a laser to be operationally useful; the day of an effective defensive system against Katyusha rockets and other projectiles nears

  • Analysis // Grant Lally

    The dissident republican splinter terror groups which killed two British soldiers and a Northern Ireland police officer this weekend hope to re-ignite sectarian violence in the province; far from igniting a new civil war, the attacks brought together Protestant and Catholics; for the sake of Northern Ireland’s stability and future, however, the unresolved policing issue should be addressed soon

  • U.S. Terrorist Watchlist reaches 1 million entries; since many individuals on the list have several entries owing to the different ways in which their names may be rendered, the number of individuals on the list is about 400,000

  • Good news corner

    A unique experiment: a combination of private money, government support, and intellectual leadership is helping to build the first private research school for science and engineering in Pakistan

  • Pakistan perplexities

    There have been five U.S. UAV strikes inside Pakistan since President Obama took office; more than 100 people have died as a result of these attacks; the administration expands the geographical scope of the attacks, and equips the Reaper UAV with new and deadlier munitions

  • U.S. director of national intelligence tells lawmakers that “It often takes weeks and sometimes months of subsequent investigation [to identify the source of a cyber attack]… And even at the end of very long investigations you’re not quite sure who carried out the offensive”

  • The U.S. government has spent more than $50 billion since the 2001 anthrax attacks to beef up U.S. defenses against biological attacks; there has not been another attack so far, but the cost of hoaxes and false alarms is rising steeply

  • Trend

    New RAND report says that organized crime and terrorists turn to film piracy for financing their activities; in Malaysia, a pirated DVD costs 70 cents to make and sells on a corner in London for $9, more than 1,000 percent markup

  • There are many stories about CIA-operated UAVs flying missions inside Afghanistan; we note that the U.S. Army has begun to operate its own killer UAVs against insurgent forces in Iraq

  • Eye on Afghanistan

    The UAVs Canadian forces are using in Afghanistan will soon do more than surveillance duty; Canada has leased Heron UAVs from Israel for the purpose of using them in offensive operations

  • Pentagon selects Lockheed martin to replace L-3 to provide maintenance and critical infrastructure support to U.S. Special Operations Command

  • Country watch: Moribund Mexico

    Mexico is spinning out of control; narco-terrorists have infiltrated the Mexican government, creating a shadow regime that complicates efforts to contain and destroy the drug cartels; Mexico ranks behind only Pakistan and Iran as a top U.S. national security concern — but above Afghanistan and Iraq

  • As a result of the Mumbai attacks, the Indian private security industry has been growing by leaps and bounds; already the country’s private security force numbers 5 million, 1.3 million more than India’s police forces

  • Eye on Afghanistan

    Lt. Gen. (Ret.) David Barno, the former head of coalition forces in Afghanistan, says Afghan war will last until 2025; testimony before a congressional panel opens window to Obama administration’s counterinsurgency approach to war

  • Pakistani perplexities // Analysis

    Using information partly supplied by the FBI, Indian police says the ten Islamist militants who rampaged through Mumbai spoke to their handlers in Pakistan during the attacks via mobile phones connected to Callphonex, an Internet telephony provider based in New Jersey; communication was facilitated by Col. Saadat Ullah of Pakistan Army’s Special Communications Organization (SCO), an offshoot of the signals corps

  • New Mexico company awarded a contract to develop the “foam-based vehicle arresting system,” which could stop a car or a truck before it gets close enough to do real damage

  • As I Was Saying // Ben Frankel

    The U.S. military and elements in the Pakistani national security establishments collaborate much more closely than in the past; the strategy of General David Patreus and the new Obama administration is to recognize that Pakistan is a fractured, divided country, and to work with those elements closer to us

  • To improve on X-ray and millimeter-wave scanning and go beyond group profiling, some suggest screening passengers for hostile intentions

  • Eye on Afghanistan -- Analysis // Ben Frankel

    A 7 February UAV strike on targets inside Pakistan killed 30; it was the fifth such attack since the beginning of the year — and the second since Obama took office; there were two things different about this attack: Its main target was a Pakistani insurgent leader, and it was launched from inside Pakistan

  • Eye on Afghanistan

    Shamsi airbase lies in a sparsely populated area about 190 miles southwest of the city of Quetta; it is also 100 miles south of the border with Afghanistan’s southern province of Helmand and about 100 miles east of the border with Iran