• Armed conflictAn Avalanche of Violence: Revealing Predictable Patterns in Armed Conflicts

    New research finds that human conflict exhibits remarkable regularity despite substantial geographic and cultural differences.

  • PERSPECTIVE: Cyber conductIsrael, Cyberattacks and International Law

    Recently, several cyberattacks have hit Israeli companies. While Israel has not yet publicly attributed the attacks to any foreign state, media outlets report that Israeli cybersecurity experts have tied the operations of the main hacker groups behind these attacks—BlackShadow and Pay2Kitten—to Iran. Tal Mimran and Yuval Shany write that in response, Israel seems to be increasingly turning toward international law to guide its approach to hostile activities in cyberspace

  • Perspective: Cyber conductIsrael, Cyberattacks and International Law

    Recently, several cyberattacks have hit Israeli companies. While Israel has not yet publicly attributed the attacks to any foreign state, media outlets report that Israeli cybersecurity experts have tied the operations of the main hacker groups behind these attacks—BlackShadow and Pay2Kitten—to Iran. Tal Mimran and Yuval Shany write that in response, Israel seems to be increasingly turning toward international law to guide its approach to hostile activities in cyberspace

  • New age assassinationsGuns, Drones and Poison: The New Age of Assassination

    By Paul Maddrell

    We are living in the greatest-ever age of assassination as states, fearful of the twin threats of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, are using increasingly sophisticated intelligence to track and kill dangerous people and deprive other states of dangerous knowledge.

  • Battlefield trainingVirtual Reality Battlefield Technology Designed to Train Military Leaders

    Researchers have developed battlefield simulation technology that they used to produce a virtual reality tour of the D-Day beaches in Normandy, France. Their work is part of the FORCES (4S) – Strategy, Security and Social Systems Initiative at Purdue University. The initiative supports the use of social scientific research in strategy and security activities to shape long-range and global military, political and organizational decision-making.

  • Mystery weaponCause of Mystery Illness of U.S. Diplomats in U.S. Embassies in Cuba, China

    Government personnel and their families at the U.S. embassy in Havana, Cuba, in late 2016 and the U.S. consulate in Guangzhou, China, in early 2017 began suffering from a range of unusual — and in some cases suddenly occurring — symptoms such as a perceived loud noise, ear pain, intense head pressure or vibration, dizziness, visual problems, and cognitive difficulties, and many still continue to experience these or other health problems. A new scientific report says that directed, pulsed radio frequency energy appears to be the most plausible mechanism in explaining these cases, especially in individuals with the distinct early symptoms.

  • PERSPECTIVE: Robot assassinsHow Easy Is it to Build a Robot Assassin?

    Someone—almost certainly Israel—recently assassinated Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the leading scientist behind the Iranian nuclear program. The latest reporting from Iran suggests that the assassins employed a remotely controlled machine gun mounted on a pickup truck. So how hard is it to build such a tool? How expensive? Nicholas Weaver writes that “Unfortunately, the answer is “hard but doable” and “not much money”—with the further complication that in a few years, it will probably be possible to pick up the necessary equipment online from vendors like Banggood.”

  • Military technologyA New World of Warcraft

    By Leda Zimmerman

    In the past decade, high tech tools have proliferated in the world’s fighting forces. At least 80 nations can now deploy remote-controlled drones. Will the widespread use of digitally enhanced arsenals prove a destabilizing, if not destructive, element in the complex struggles among states? Not necessarily, argues MIT assistant professor Erik Lin-Greenberg.

  • CyberwarFrom Cold War to Gray War: Internet Conflict Intensifying

    By Jamie Dettmer

    A former top security adviser to Boris Johnson has revealed that Britain has launched recently a series of covert cyber-based attacks on Russian leaders and their interests to “impose a price greater than one they might have expected” for their cyber-offensive against the West. Other allied powers, including the U.S., are doing so, too, say Western intelligence officials in what is becoming a “like-for-like” cyber-conflict with the Kremlin in the so-called the “gray space,” the gap between normal state relations and armed conflict.

  • Chemical weaponsNew Information on Syria’s Chemical Weapons Program

    A new report offers the most comprehensive investigative report to date on Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Centre (SSRC), the entity at the heart of Syria’s chemical weapons program. The report contains new information on how the Syrian government orchestrated attacks using sarin, a banned nerve agent whose use is considered a war crime.

  • China Reports Spike in U.S. Surveillance Flights

    By Ralph Jennings

    A reported spike in U.S. military flights over the seas near China reflects Washington’s drive to understand and deter Chinese expansion in contested waters, analysts say. U.S. military surveillance planes flew off China’s coast 60 times in September, more than in July or August, according to Chinese state-backed research organization South China Sea Strategic Situation Probing Initiative’s website.

  • 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.