• UNC shooting has these things in common with other campus shootings

    The 30 April shooting at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte follows a familiar pattern of mass shootings at college campuses in the United States. If authorities better understood these patterns, they may be able to prevent future shootings.

  • The why, how, where, and what of earthquake early warning

    Earlier this year, Los Angeles became one of the first cities in the country to roll out ShakeAlert – a dedicated earthquake early warning system. Advanced warning of an earthquake has long been a goal for everyone from seismologists to local governments. Especially in cities like Los Angeles, located along the notorious San Andreas fault. But what about cities like Seattle?

  • What helps, or prevents, U.S. military interventions from achieving their goals?

    Using an original data set of 145 ground, air, and naval interventions from 1898 through 2016, a new report identifies those factors that have made U.S. military interventions more or less successful at achieving their political objectives. The United States has successfully achieved its political objectives in about 63 percent of the interventions, but the levels of success have been declining over time as the United States has pursued increasingly ambitious objectives.

  • U.S., Russia, China race to develop hypersonic weapons

    Russia and China have recently touted their progress in developing hypersonic vehicles, which fly much faster than the speed of sound, which is 767 mph. Hypersonic missiles are rocket-boosted to high altitude and may be launched from land, sea or air. Over the past 60 years, U.S. interest in hypersonic vehicles has waxed and waned. Now it seems the U.S. is back in the hypersonic effort in a serious way.

  • Using AI in future hypersonic systems

    A test launch for a hypersonic weapon — a long-range missile that flies a mile per second and faster — takes weeks of planning. So, while the U.S. and other states are racing to deploy hypersonic technologies, it remains uncertain how useful the systems will be against urgent, mobile or evolving threats. Sandia National Laboratories thinks artificial intelligence and autonomy could slash these weeks to minutes for deployed systems.

  • World military expenditure reaches $1.8 trillion in 2018

    Military spending in Ukraine and several other Central and Eastern European countries rose sharply in 2018, largely in reaction to perceived threats from Russia, a leading research institute says. Total world military expenditure rose to $1822 billion in 2018, representing an increase of 2.6 percent from 2017, according to new data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

  • Transnational organized crime and national security

    Traditional organized crime, ranging from the Italian-American mafia to street gangs, has long been a target of American law enforcement efforts. Eric Halliday writes in Lawfare that unlike purely domestic organized crime, transnational organized crime, defined by the Justice Department as groups that pursue criminal activities across geographic boundaries, has profound national security implications. The FBI warns that transnational organized crime poses a diverse array of national security threats related to border security, government corruption both in the United States and abroad, energy and “strategic material” markets around the world, and “logistical and other support to terrorists and foreign intelligence services.”

  • How artificial intelligence systems could threaten democracy

    U.S. technology giant Microsoft has teamed up with a Chinese military university to develop artificial intelligence systems that could potentially enhance government surveillance and censorship capabilities. The advent of digital repression is profoundly affecting the relationship between citizen and state. New technologies are arming governments with unprecedented capabilities to monitor, track and surveil individual people. Even governments in democracies with strong traditions of rule of law find themselves tempted to abuse these new abilities.

  • Nonviolent ways to exploit Russian vulnerabilities

    Russia’s use of information warfare and its conventional military arsenal make it a formidable opponent, but the state also has significant weaknesses that could be exploited, according to a new report.

  • The psychology behind solving cold-case homicides

    Probing unsolved crimes from years or decades ago is a challenge for any police officer. But the task is made even more difficult because the very term “cold case” puts a dampener on expectations of success, according to a university criminologist whose latest book calls for a new investigative mindset in detectives who are assigned to re-open case files.

  • Lasting U.S. preeminence: A review of Michael Beckley’s “Unrivaled”

    The Economist last year proclaimed that the “Chinese century is well under way,” and that China is on its way to replacing the United States as the new global “hegemon.” Tufts University’s Michael Beckley says: Not so fast. He argues not only that U.S. preeminence is safer than most contemporary commentary would have one believe, but also that it is more resilient: “Unipolarity is not guaranteed to endure,” he concludes, “but present trends strongly suggest that it will last for many decades.”

  • Planned burns can reduce wildfire risks, but expanding use of ‘good fire’ isn’t easy

    Prescribed burns can decrease the potential for some of the large, severe fires that have affected western states in recent years. As scholars of U.S. forest policy, collaborative environmental management and social-ecological systems, we see them as a management tool that deserves much wider attention.

  • Rapid DNA technology ID’ed California wildfire victims

    Amid the chaos and devastation of a mass casualty evet, medical examiners often provide closure as they identify victims in the aftermath, but their ability to do this quickly can vary depending on the size, scope, and type of disaster. Such challenges were the case following the Camp Fire wildfire that killed eighty-five people and devastated communities in Paradise, California, in the fall of 2018. S&T’s Rapid DNA technology became the first resort as it provided identifying information in under two hours when dental records and fingerprints weren’t available.

  • Abundance of DNA evidence insufficient to prevent wrongful convictions

    As we enter an era in which DNA evidence is routinely used in criminal investigations, errors that led to wrongful convictions—including mistakes later corrected with DNA tests—may seem to be fading into history. This, however, is not true, says an expert.

  • The darker side of the dark web: Weapons trade

    Debates over gun regulations make headlines across the world, but there’s an underground operation for weapons that has drawn very little attention – until now. Researchers crept into the dark web to investigate how firearms are anonymously bought and sold around the world.