• The challenge of deterrence in today’s world

    The challenge of deterrence — discouraging states from taking unwanted actions, especially military aggression — has again become a principal theme in U.S. defense policy. But the landscape has changed: Many potential adversaries are significantly more capable than they were a decade or more ago, and the risks of actually fighting a major war are more significant than ever. This makes it even more imperative to deter conflict.

  • Coastal surveillance benefits from enterprise information sharing

    Initially, DHS S&T wanted to empower maritime responders with better surveillance technology. Adding more radars and cameras alone was expected to make the difference, but further evaluation of the input from operational sponsors told a different story—it extended the benchmark for what S&T was asked to provide. Today, the Integrated Maritime Domain Enterprise - Coastal Surveillance System (IMDE-CSS) has evolved well beyond the initial information-gathering requirement into an information-sharing capability.

  • Waco: how the siege became a symbol of government oppression

    A 51-day confrontation between the FBI and the Branch Davidians – a small offshoot of the Seventh Day Adventists – came to a tragic end outside Waco, Texas on 19 April 1993. Controversy still rages over whether the Davidians started the fire in order to commit mass suicide, or if it was the FBI’s assault which was responsible for the inferno. Researchers have described the siege as a “critical incident” – an event that highlights and exacerbates existing fault lines in society. “Waco” has therefore become cultural shorthand for expressing tensions within American politics and culture.

  • The deaths of 76 Branch Davidians in April 1993 could have been avoided – so why didn’t anyone care?

    Throughout the 6-week ordeal near Waco, Texas, media coverage of the ATF raid and FBI siege depicted the Branch Davidians as a cult with David Koresh exercising total control over mesmerized followers. It was a narrative that federal law enforcement agencies were happy to encourage, and it resonated with the public’s understanding of so-called “cults.” The story that has emerged is much more complex – and makes one wonder if the tragedy could have been avoided altogether.

  • Portable device to sniff out trapped humans

    The first step after buildings collapse from an earthquake, bombing or other disaster is to rescue people who could be trapped in the rubble. But finding entrapped humans among the ruins can be challenging. A new, inexpensive sensor is light and portable enough for first responders to hold in their hands or for drones to carry on a search for survivors.

  • Following destruction of Hamas terror tunnel, Israel reveals secret of underground defense

    Following the discovery and destruction of the longest and deepest terror tunnel extending into Israeli territory, over the weekend, the IDF revealed a new “laboratory,” where it employs advanced technology to detect tunnels.

  • IDF: Iranian drone shot down over Israeli airspace in February was armed with explosives

    The Israeli military said that the Iranian drone that entered into Israeli airspace in February was armed with explosives and demonstrated “an Iranian intent to carry out an attack” inside Israel. According Air Force Chief of Staff Brigadier General Tomer Bar, the drone was an advanced model and had a signature that Israel had not previously encountered.

  • Webhose takes aim at the Dark Web

    Fans of the popular TV show “Mr. Robot,” which dives deep into the world of shady hackers and the Dark Web that lurks beyond its better-known counterpart, take note: An Israeli startup is serving notice that the hidden is now visible and even your bitcoins won’t shield you from the long arm of the law.

  • Fake news and subversion: Waging war without firing a single shot

    Propaganda by way of “fake news” is one way a nation can wage war without firing a single shot. Another is through tactics of subversion and coercion, in which a country intentionally keeps neighboring countries weak in order to advance its own foreign policy interests. “Think of this as a replacement for direct force and warfare of another kind. Countries can advance their own interests without using direct force or taking over territory,” says a researcher.

  • German company defies U.S., continues sending Iran parts used in Syria chemical attacks

    A German company involved in Syrian chemical attacks has defied a warning from the United States and continues trading with Iran. A Syrian photographer had found parts made by German company Krempel in Iranian-produced chemical rockets that were used in chemical warfare against Syrian civilians in January and February.

  • Federal funding moves ShakeAlert closer to reality

    A recent boost in federal funding will move the ShakeAlert earthquake early warning system closer to completion. The omnibus spending package allocates $12.9 million for continued development and limited public rollout of the system. It also appropriates $10 million for capital costs to add more earthquake sensors and improve system infrastructure.

  • Spike in London murders can’t be reversed by New York-style police crackdown alone

    A spike in murders in London that saw more people killed in the city in February and March than in New York, has provided newspapers with some sensational headlines. Of the more than 50 murders to have taken place in London so far in 2018, the vast majority are the result of knife crime. While comparisons between murders in New York and London make for a good story, simplistic headlines based on one-dimensional readings of statistics can be seriously misleading.

  • Scientists call for more science in forensic science

    With forensic science facing mounting scrutiny as it plays an increasingly prominent role in the administration of justice, scientists are calling on the scientific community at large to advocate for increased research and financial support of forensic science as well as the introduction of empirical testing requirements to ensure the validity of outcomes.

  • Dozens killed in Syrian army chemical-weapons attack on rebel-held town

    More than seventy civilians have been killed and more than 500 injured by a poisonous gas attack launched by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces against the rebel-held town of Douma. Syrian army helicopters had dropped several barrel bombs filled with chemicals on Douma, in eastern Ghouta, the last rebel-held stronghold in Syria. The Syrian army used both chlorine and nerve agents in the attack.

  • Israeli strike unrelated to Syria’s chemical attack

    Israeli warplanes flying over Lebanon launched missiles at a Syrian regime airbase in the desert east of the city of Homs. Israel has attacked an Iranian command-and-control center at the airbase back in February. The attack on T-4, or Tiyas, was not related to the Saturday Syrian army chemical weapons attack against civilian neighborhood in the town of Douma. Rather, it is part of an on-going, intensifying Israeli campaign against the growing Iranian military presence in Syria.