• Israel prepares for possible Hezbollah naval commando attack

    The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is preparing for a possible Hezbollah incursion using marines and other naval commandos in the country’s north. A group of commandos could try to infiltrate north of Nahariya while protected by mortar and anti-tank fire from Lebanon, the IDF believes. It also believes that Hezbollah will attempt to capture Israeli territory and hold it, even temporarily, in order to declare a victory against Israel.

  • SideArm prototype catches full-size drones flying at full speed

    Few scenes capture the U.S. Navy’s prowess as effectively as the rapid-fire takeoff and recovery of combat jets from the deck of an aircraft carrier. The ability to carry air power anywhere in the world, and both launch those aircraft to flight speed and bring them to a stop over extremely short distances, has been essential to carriers’ decades-long dominance of naval warfare. To help provide similar capabilities—minus the 90,000-ton carriers—to U.S. military units around the world, DARPA’s SideArm research effort seeks to create a self-contained, portable apparatus able to horizontally launch and retrieve unmanned aerial systems (UASs) of up to 900 pounds. The self-contained, portable apparatus can be used to launch and retrieve unmanned aircraft from trucks, ships, and fixed bases.

  • Should we really be so afraid of a nuclear North Korea?

    The common thinking is that North Korea’s nuclear program poses a threat to global peace and diverts economic resources from an impoverished population. North Korean leaders are depicted in the Western media as a cabal of madmen who won’t be satisfied until Washington, Seoul, or some other enemy city is turned into a “sea of fire.” But it also pays to consider what sounds like a perverse question: could a North Korean bomb actually benefit both the country’s people and the world at large? As far as Pyongyang is concerned, its militaristic strategy has worked: It has kept the Kim government internally stable, the population dependent on the government, and the country’s enemies at bay. Accepting the country’s nuclear status, rather than trying to head it off with sanctions and threats, could bring it back to the diplomatic bargaining table.

  • Helping Marines make faster, better combat decisions

    Battlefield commanders face many scenarios requiring fast decisions — attacking an enemy position, evacuating injured warfighters, navigating unfamiliar terrain. Each situation pushes leaders to make quick yet informed choices. To enhance these decision-making capabilities, especially for small-unit leaders, the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines (2/6) — “The Spartans” — recently held a weeklong exercise called Spartan Emerging Technology and Innovation Week at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. The event featured various training technologies to accelerate the development of decision-making skills.

  • NATO must more firmly counter Russia's cyber-weaponry: U.K defense minister

    NATO must begin to compete on the cyber-battlefield to counter Russian hacking aimed at undermining democracy in the United States and Western Europe, the British defense secretary, Sir Michael Fallon, has said in a speech earlier today (Thursday, 2 February) at St. Andrews University, one of the main centers for Russian studies in the United Kingdom. In his harshest and most pointed criticism yet of Russia, he accused Moscow of targeting the United States, France, Germany, Holland, Bulgaria, and Montenegro.

  • Report: German intelligence believes Iran tested nuclear-capable cruise missile

    In addition to a ballistic missile test that Iran itself revealed, Germany believes that Iran also test-fired a Sumar cruise missile, which could have a range of 2,000-3,000 kilometers (1,250-1,875 miles) and could reach Germany at its maximum capability. In its test, the Sumar successfully traveled 600 kilometers (375 miles), a little less than half the distance to Israel.

  • U.S. warns Iran about ballistic missile test

    Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, said the administration is putting Iran “on notice” after Iran tested a ballistic missile, in what may be a violation of a UN resolution. Flynn told reporters that the Trump administration “condemns such actions by Iran that undermine security, prosperity and stability throughout and beyond the Middle East that puts American lives at risk.”

  • Mobile handheld devices to share battlefield information at multiple classification levels

    Troops in remote regions around the world often struggle to operate with limited networks for data sharing and communication—an encumbrance that is amplified when U.S. troops need to share classified or otherwise secure data with each other and coalition partners. DARPA’s Secure Handhelds on Assured Resilient networks at the tactical Edge (SHARE) program aims to create a system where information at multiple levels of security classification could be processed on a single handheld device

  • U.K. to develop laser directed energy weapons

    The U.K. Ministry of Defense (MOD) has awarded £30 million contract to produce Laser Directed Energy Weapon (LDEW) Capability Demonstrator to U.K. Dragonfire consortium, led by MBDA. The project will assess innovative LDEW technologies and approaches, culminating in a demonstration of the system in 2019. The contract will assess how the system can pick up and track targets at various ranges and in varied weather conditions over land and water, to allow precision use.

  • Israel’s coming chemical weapons crisis

    One of the more iconic and sobering elements of Israeli reality were the gas masks distributed on the street or at post offices to every citizen after Saddam Hussein fired SCUD missiles at Israel during the 1991 Gulf War. They continued to be distributed until early 2014, when the Israeli government decided to end the practice in the wake of an international deal to disarm Syria of its chemical weapons stockpiles. Now, nearly three years later, the issue has resurfaced as a direct result of the Syrian civil war—in particular, the threat from both Hezbollah and the Islamic State.

  • With proliferation of small arms, absence of war does not equal peace

    The proliferation of small arms across many regions of Africa affected by conflict – or adjacent to chronic conflicts – have brought misery, but it has also provided a means for lawless groups to supplement the meagre rewards of nomadic pastoralism through raiding or other forms of violence. Governments in conflict or former conflict zones often have vested interests in maintaining informal armed groups beyond the army and other state security forces — for the entrenchment of political elites, the garnering of rents through armed extortion, or as potential weapons against hostile neighbors. The over-arching problem, according to one researcher, is that “Ending the war is not enough. The issue is to escape the inter-war situation maintained and reproduced by the state.”

  • Syrian opposition: Israeli airstrike hit chemical weapons intended for Hezbollah

    An Israeli air raid on a depot controlled by the Syrian regime two weeks ago hit a supply of chemical weapons being transferred to the Iran-backed terror group Hezbollah, a spokesperson for a Syrian opposition group said Sunday. Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman obliquely suggested last week that Israel was responsible for the strike and that the target had been Hezbollah-bound chemical weapons; other Israeli leaders have made it clear in public statements and conversations with foreign leaders that they will act to prevent Hezbollah from acquiring “game-changing” weapons or strengthening its positions on Israel’s borders.

  • Israeli defense minister suggests Hezbollah was smuggling chemical weapons

    Israel is working hard to keep chemical weapons out of the hands of the Iran-backed terror group Hezbollah, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman told a Knesset committee Thursday. His comments to the Knesset seemed to suggest that at least one of the strikes Israel carried out the same day at the Mazzeh military airport near Damascus was in order to stop Hezbollah from acquiring chemical weapons.

  • $19 million to develop drugs to treat victims of chemical weapons attacks

    First used by the German military against Allied troops in the First World War and in subsequent wars including the Iran-Iraq conflict during the 1980s, chemical weapons were more recently used by the Assad regime in Syria and by ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded Rutgers University a five-year grant for more than $19 million for research that would lead to the development of drugs to treat toxicity from chemical agents used in a terrorist attack.

  • Swarming robots to help small urban ground units

    Urban canyons — with their high vertical structures, tight spaces, and limited lines of sight — constrain military communications, mobility, and tactics in the best of times. These challenges become even more daunting when U.S. forces are in areas they do not control — where they can’t rely on supply chains, infrastructure, and previous knowledge of local conditions and potential threats. to help overcome these challenges and increase the effectiveness of small-unit combat forces operating in urban environments, DARPA has launched its new OFFensive Swarm-Enabled Tactics (OFFSET) program. OFFSET seeks to develop and demonstrate 100+ operationally relevant swarm tactics that could be used by groups of unmanned air and/or ground systems numbering more than 100 robots.