• DetectionMarine Organisms as Underwater Detectives

    Because marine organisms observe changes in their environment using a combination of senses, they offer unique insights into the underwater world that are difficult to replicate using traditional engineering techniques. DARPA wants to leverage marine organisms for persistent monitoring and detection of underwater vehicles to bolster shores and harbors protection.

  • BOOKSHELF: U.S. Security RequirementsBeyond 9/11: U.S. Security Needs in the 21st Century

    By Peter Dizikes

    The year 2020 has featured an array of safety and security concerns for ordinary Americans, including disease and natural disasters. How can the U.S. government best protect its citizens? That is the focus of a new scholarly book with practical aims, Beyond 9/11: Homeland Security for the Twenty-First Century, The volume features chapters written by 19 security experts, and closely examines the role of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which was created after the September 2001 terrorist attacks on the U.S.

  • DisinformationSOCOM, U.S. Air Force Enlist Primer to Combat Disinformation

    Information overload is one of the most pressing challenges facing the U.S. military. Every day, humanity creates 2.5 quintillion bytes of new data, and less than one percent of the total amount of global data has ever been analyzed. Primer secures Phase II SBIR contract to enhance its natural language processing platform to counter disinformation.

  • ExtremismRebuttal: Ukraine Is Emerging as Critical Node for White-Supremacy Extremists

    By Mollie Saltskog and Colin P. Clarke

    Foreigners are still networking, training and fighting on both sides of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, cultivating skills and connections that strengthen the transnational white-supremacy extremist networks of today—which, though far from monolithic, are more violent, more organized and more capable than even five years ago.

  • Argument: Chemical weaponsHow Putin Borrowed a Page from Assad’s Chemical Weapon Playbook

    Russia use of Novichock to poison opposition leader Alexei Navalny highlights a problem against which Western countries have not yet been able to devise an effective policy: the use of chemical weapons by authoritarian regimes against domestic regime critics. Preventing Russia, or any other autocratic ruler, from using poisons against domestic opponents is a tall order, Gregory D. Koblentz writes, but “Understanding the motivations of authoritarian leaders, and the intensity of their concerns about regime security, however, is the first step towards devising an effective strategy for deterring their use of chemical, and possibly someday biological, weapons against their own people.”

  • EMP attacksCombatting Potential Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack

    Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) weapons have the potential to disrupt unprotected critical infrastructure within the United States and could impact millions over large parts of the country. DHS says it continues to prepare against evolving threats against the American homeland, most recently highlighting efforts to combat an EMP attack.

  • Optimal social networksOptimal Social Networks of No More Than 150 People

    “It takes a network to defeat a network,” wrote retired Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, in his book Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World. U.S. Army researchers agree, and in a new research they argue that new rules of engagement on the battlefield will require a deep understanding of networks and how they operate according to new Army research. Researchers confirmed a theory that find that networks of no more than 150 are optimal for efficient information exchange.

  • Explosives detectionNext-Generation Explosives Trace Detection Technology

    Explosive materials pose a threat whether they are used by domestic bad actors or in a theater of war. Staying ahead of our adversaries is a job that DHS DOD share. The two departments’ research and development work is no different.

  • CybersecurityNew Detection Method to Protect Army Networks

    U.S. Army researchers developed a novel algorithm to protect networks by allowing for the detection of adversarial actions that can be missed by current analytical methods. The main idea of this research is to build a higher-order network to look for subtle changes in a stream of data that could point to suspicious activity.

  • Bomb-sniffing locustOne Step Closer to Bomb-Sniffing Cyborg Locusts

    Researchers found that they could direct locust swarms toward areas where suspected explosives are located, and that the locusts’ brain reaction to the smell of explosives can be read remotely. Moreover, a study found locusts can quickly discriminate between different smells or different explosives. “This is not that different from in the old days, when coal miners used canaries,” says a researcher. “People use pigs for finding truffles. It’s a similar approach — using a biological organism — this is just a bit more sophisticated.”

  • RobokillersLethal Autonomous Weapons May Soon Make Life-and-Death Decisions – on Their Own

    With drone technology, surveillance software, and threat-predicting algorithms, future conflicts could computerize life and death. “It’s a big question – what does it mean to hand over some of the decision making around violence to machines, and everybody on the planet will have a stake in what happens on this front,” says one expert.

  • AIMight Technology Tip the Global Scales?

    By Leda Zimmerman

    Benjamin Chang, a fourth-year MIT graduate student, is assessing the impacts of artificial intelligence on military power, with a focus on the U.S. and China. “Every issue critical to world order — whether climate change, terrorism, or trade — is clearly and closely intertwined with U.S.-China relations,” says Chang. “Competition between these nations will shape all outcomes anyone cares about in the next 50 years or more.”

  • The Russian connectionWhat Is Russia's Vagner Paramilitary Group and What Was It Doing in Belarus ahead of Vote?

    By Irina Romaliiskaya Robert Coalson

    The Vagner Group is one of the best-known of several Russian private paramilitary organizations which have come into being over the past decade. The organization is widely believed to be controlled by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a longtime associate of Vladimir Putin who once served as the Russian president’s chef. Vagner’s operations have always been held in close secrecy, in part because mercenary activity is illegal under Russian law and in part because the group is widely believed to operate in close cooperation with Russian military intelligence.

  • China syndromeIs West Turning Away from Nixon's Approach to China?

    By Jamie Dettmer

    In 1972 US President Richard Nixon shocked the world, and many in his administration, by announcing his intention to normalize relations with Communist China. Forty-eight years on, America and China are embarking on another perilous voyage, filled possibly with even greater uncertainty than encountered in the 1970s. Western powers fear Beijing is out to re-shape the liberal world order, subscribing to a growing view that not only does the Chinese Communist Party want to ensure its continued rule at home but to make China the number one global power.  

  • China syndromeThe Long Haul: China's Grand Strategy

    China has delineated specific objectives regarding economic growth, regional and global leadership in evolving economic and security architectures, and control over claimed territory. In several cases, these objectives bring China into competition, crisis, and even potential conflict with the United States and its allies. The authors of a new report on U.S.-China competition make the case that the kind of country China becomes, and the way that its military evolves, is neither foreordained nor completely beyond the influence of the United States or U.S. military.