Train Derailments Involving Hazardous Chemicals Keep Happening | Iraq War’s Failures Are Still Misunderstood | Fear of Future Quantum Hacks, and more

The Iraq War’s Failures Are Still Misunderstood  (Samuel Helfont, War on the Rocks)
The United States invaded Iraq 20 years ago under false pretenses. Historians and social scientists have spent two decades investigating what went wrong. George W. Bush and other senior officials in his administration claimed former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. They also claimed that the Iraqi government had ties to nefarious groups such as al-Qaeda. Together, these two things posed an unacceptable threat to American security. Yet, once the American-led coalition toppled the Iraqi regime in 2003, it quickly became evident that there were no weapons of mass destruction or active ties to Osama bin Laden.
The narrative around the war is also controversial. Did the Bush administration actually believe that Saddam Hussein was a threat that had to be eliminated with military force, or did prominent U.S. officials simply cite the intelligence as a public justification for a war because they were eager to use the anger from 9/11 to remake the Middle East?  
Either way, historians are now tasked with finding out what happened. Their sometimesprovocative findings have often been buried in dense academic tomes or, in some cases, exiled from polite conversation due to the political toxicity of anything that might be seen as lending support for a disastrous and ill-conceived war. This has left popular discourse to partisans on all sides looking to score political points rather than investigate the past. As a result, much of the debate in the national security community remains rooted in long-dispelled narratives or even factual inaccuracies. Despite the conventional wisdom touted in recent retrospectives, Saddam did not pursue a strategy of ambiguity around his weapons of mass destruction programs to deter Iran. Neither did his Arab nationalist ideology prevent him from working with people like Osama bin Laden. Indeed, much of the current conventional wisdom suffers from the same sort of groupthink as the intelligence failures it criticizes; it coalesces around easily digestible but flawed analysis. The 20-year anniversary of the war provides the perfect occasion to take stock of what we now know about these most infamous of intelligence failures.

How Fear of Future Quantum Hacks Could Expose Sensitive Data Now  (Nicolas Ayala Arboleda, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists)
Quantum computers that can crack standard encryption algorithms may arrive in a few years, a few decades, or maybe never. However, they are already having a significant impact. A new cryptographic arms race is developing around quantum computers, in a dynamic that threatens much of the modern world’s digital infrastructure.
Governments and big tech companies are frantically searching for ways to apply and counter the power of this technology. Most notably, they are developing encryption schemes that would be resistant to cyberattacks from quantum computers, also known as post-quantum encryption schemes. The challenge: Quantum-resistant algorithms can be vulnerable to conventional hacking.

Implementing a New Model for Management of Large Wildland Fire Incidents  (USFA)
Implementation for a new model to manage large wildland fire incidents is being worked on by the Fire Management Board, National Multi-Agency Coordinating Group and National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) Executive Board.
The model is based on Complex Incident Management Teams (CIMTs) assisting local land management agencies with response to wildland fires of both Type 2 and Type 1 complexity to meet the needs of the incident.