• IranIran’s use of civilian planes to arm Assad could jeopardize $25B Boeing deal

    The $25 billion aircraft deal that Boeing recently struck with Iran could be jeopardized by Tehran’s continued support of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. Boeing’s jets will be sold to the state-owned Iran Air, which was sanctioned by the Treasury Department in 2011 partially due to its transport of “potentially dangerous Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)-related cargo” and “missile or rocket components” to Syria. A Western intelligence report seen by Reuters in 2012 noted that Iran continued using civilian aircraft to transport large amounts of arms and personnel to aid Assad.

  • Killer robotsLosing control: The dangers of killer robots

    By Bonnie Docherty

    New technology could lead humans to relinquish control over decisions to use lethal force. As artificial intelligence advances, the possibility that machines could independently select and fire on targets is fast approaching. Fully autonomous weapons, also known as “killer robots,” are quickly moving from the realm of science fiction toward reality. While the process of creating international law is notoriously slow, countries can move quickly to address the threats of fully autonomous weapons. They should seize the opportunity presented by the Convention on Conventional Weapons review conference, to be held this December, because the alternative is unacceptable: Allowing technology to outpace diplomacy would produce dire and unparalleled humanitarian consequences.

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  • HezbollahFormer IDF general: Hezbollah could fire 1,200 rockets daily into Israel during next war

    A former IDF general warned Israelis earlier this week that the next war with the Iran-backed Lebanese terror organization Hezbollah would lead to a barrage of rockets into Israel on an order of magnitude higher than anything Israel has yet faced. Major General (res.) Yitzhak Gershon said that the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah featured up to 160 rockets per day fired at Israel’s north. But given Hezbollah’s military buildup, “we need to expect up to 1,200 rockets in a day– it will be a completely different scenario from anything we’ve known.”

  • HezbollahReport: Hezbollah has more rockets than 27 NATO countries combined

    Any future war between Israel and Hezbollah will take a devastating toll on civilians due to the Iran-backed terrorist group’s practice of embedding its military assets in residential areas, military analysts say. Hezbollah currently has a stockpile of over 130,000 rockets, more than the combined arsenal of all NATO countries, with the exception of the United States.

  • Small armsGlobal small arms trade reached $6 billion in 2013

    The Small Arms Survey’s Trade Update 2016: Transfers and Transparency reports that the world’s “top” and “major” small arms exporters delivered at least $5.8 billion worth of small arms in 2013, an increase of 17 percent compared to the $5 billion worth exported in 2012. The United States exported a record $1.1 billion worth of small arms in 2013. Transfers of small arms to the United States ($2.5 billion) alone accounted for 42 percent of all imports.

  • ISIS & chemical weaponsISIS conducting chemical experiments on its prisoners

    In the ace of sustained attacks by coalition forces, ISIS has moved its chemical weapons labs to densely populated residential areas in Mosul — and is testing homemade chlorine and mustard gas on its prisoners held in different facilities in and around the city. ISIS has been working in chemical weapons for a while, relying on the expertise of scientists who served in the chemical weapons complex of Saddam Hussein, but also on Europeans with chemical degrees from leading European universities.

  • Chemical weaponsAssad's forces use sarin gas for first time since 2013 killing of 1,400 civilians

    The Assad regime has used sarin gas for the first time since 2013, dropping a sarin-filled bombs on ISIS fighters outside Damascus, a senior Israeli official has said. On 21 August 2013 the Syrian military used sarin and VX to kill 1,400 Sunni civilians in a rebel-held suburb of Damascus. In the wake of the attack, Russia and the United States pressured Assad to give up his chemical weapons arsenal and dismantle Syria’s chemical weapons manufacturing capabilities. Western intelligence services say that Assad likely disposed of his mustard and VX, in accordance with the deal, but that he chose to keep the sarin, the most lethal agent at his disposal.

  • In the trenchesDARPA Demo Day 2016: Game-changing technologies for the military services

    DARPA on Wednesday hosted DARPA Demo Day 2016 at the Pentagon, providing the Defense Department (DoD) community an up-close look at the agency’s portfolio of innovative technologies and military systems. DARPA program managers and numerous academic and private-sector project leaders demonstrated their ongoing work on more than sixty current DARPA programs.

  • GridMarine Corps, Sandia collaborate on microgrids and renewable energy planning

    The U.S. Marine Corps are the first boots on the ground in a crisis. On the front lines, they must be able to power up securely without plugging into utilities. They require nothing less than completely reliable and cost-effective energy independence. Researchers from Sandia National Laboratories are collaborating with the Marine Corps to increase their energy security and reduce fuel dependence through alternative technologies, including renewable energy and microgrids.

  • Chemical weaponsNew drug to combat the effects of nerve agents

    Sarin is a colorless, odorless liquid fatal even at very low concentrations. Serious sarin poisoning causes visual disturbance, vomiting, breathing difficulties and, finally, death. A ground-breaking study describes the development of a new drug which counteracts the effects of sarin gas.

  • CounterterrorismU.S. employs Israeli “roof-knocking” air strike tactic

    The U.S. military is now employing a controversial air strike technique called “roof-knocking,” which was widely used by Israel during the war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip in summer 2014. The approach involves dropping small munitions in the roof of a house in which terrorists are suspected to be hiding, or which is suspected of being a storing facility for terrorists weapons. The purpose of dropping the small, harmless munitions on the roof is to alert civilians in the house that they have a few minutes to escape to safety.

  • Cyber warfarePentagon “dropping cyberbombs” on ISIS

    Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work has said that the U.S. military is “dropping cyberbombs” on ISIS. Earlier this month, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced that the U.S. Cyber Command had been given its “first wartime assignment” – attacking and disrupting ISIS cyber infrastructure. in the last few months, the Pentagon has allowed more information to be published about the U.S. military’s cyberwar against ISIS. Work, describing the Cyber Command’s operations at a news conference, said: “We are dropping cyberbombs. We have never done that before.”

  • In the trenchesGeneral Dynamics completes USAF Space Fence radar array ground structure

    General Dynamics SATCOM Technologies earlier this month completed the construction and walk-through of the 7,000 square-foot radar receive array structure which is part of the U.S. Air Force Space Fence radar system. With the array structure complete, the General Dynamics Space Fence team will dismantle the 700,000-pound steel structure and ship it to Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands, for reassembly and integration into the Space Fence system.

  • Killer robotsPressure mounts to keep human control over killer robots

    Fully autonomous weapons would go a step beyond existing remote-controlled drones as they would be able to select and engage targets without human intervention. Although these weapons do not exist yet, the rapid movement of technology from human “in-the-loop” weapons systems toward “out-of-the-loop” systems is attracting international attention and concern. Countries should retain meaningful human control over weapons systems and ban fully autonomous weapons, also known as “killer robots,” Human Rights Watch and the Harvard Law School International Human Rights Clinic said in a new report. The concept of meaningful human control will be a centerpiece of deliberations at a week-long multilateral meeting on the weapons, opening 11 April 2016, at the United Nations in Geneva.

  • Robot warshipSea Hunter, world’s first robot warship

    At the Pentagon nowadays, you are starting to see robots everywhere. They dispose of bombs, and throw out the occasional first pitch. They help Marines improve their target shooting. And, if they are human-robot teams that entered last year’s DARPA Robotic Challenged Finals, they drive vehicles, use tools, open doors, climb stairs, and do all sorts of other things. Now another robot — one designed and built by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) — happens to be the very first robot warship.