• Jan. 6 Was an Example of Networked Incitement − a Media and Disinformation Expert Explains the Danger of Political Violence Orchestrated Over Social Media

    The shocking events of Jan. 6, 2021 were an example of a new phenomenon: influential figures inciting large-scale political violence via social media, and insurgents communicating across multiple platforms to command and coordinate mobilized social movements in the moment of action. We call this phenomenon “networked incitement.” The use of social media for networked incitement foreshadows a dark future for democracies. Rulers could well come to power by manipulating mass social movements via social media, directing a movement’s members to serve as the leaders’ shock troops, online and off.

  • Ukraine, Gaza, and the U.S. Army’s Counterinsurgency Legacy

    It makes perfect sense for American military organizations to study both the war in Ukraine and the war in Gaza, and to draw insights from both. But as the U.S. Army studies these two wars for insights, let’s drop the “learned” from the phrase “lessons learned.” Lessons learned assumes that an insight—a “lesson”—from these current wars can also, at the same time, be “learned”—that is, incorporated into the training and strategies of another military. This is a highly problematic assumption.

  • The Organized Crime Threat to Latin American Democracies

    Latin America’s democracies and democrats don’t get enough credit for weathering inequality, violence, and economic stagnation. Miraculously, only two of the region’s former democracies, Venezuela and Nicaragua, have collapsed into full-fledged authoritarianism. In no other part of the world have so many democracies held up under such pressures for so long. Governments have learned to manage many threats, but they are failing to curb the growing power of organized crime.

  • Plagues, Cyborgs, and Supersoldiers: The Human Domain of War

    How have advancements in biotechnology affected warfighting, and how could they do so in the future? Can the human body itself be a warfighting domain? Can the body itself be an offensive or defensive weapon?

  • Legal Questions Answered and Unanswered in Israel’s Air War in Gaza

    The Israeli Air Force’s (IAF’s) bombing of Gaza since Oct. 7, 2023, has been widely criticized for the extreme level of civilian deaths, the choices of weapons used, and the way in which those weapons have been employed. Marc Garlasco writes that the Israel Air Force (IAF) dropped a staggering number of bombs on Gaza, and, what’s more, many of these bombs were “dumb bombs” which cause wide-area damage. Garlasco writes that that question “is how the IAF is assessing proportionality, which is the amount of civilian harm acceptable for a military target. To date, that appears to be heavily skewed to a point where Israel will accept extreme levels of civilian harm for questionable military value.”

  • How Tennessee’s Justice System Allows Dangerous People to Keep Guns — With Deadly Outcomes

    Michaela Carter was one of at least 75 people killed in domestic violence shootings in Nashville since 2007. Nearly 40% were shot by people who were legally barred from having a gun.

  • Self-Assessment: Setting Expectations on the Russo-Ukraine War

    The question of the expectations surrounding this war has become an issue in itself. Has an optimism bias pervaded the commentariat? Did pro-Ukrainian sympathies lead to playing down Russia’s inherent strengths and failing to appreciate Ukraine’s vulnerabilities? There was certainly more optimism surrounding the Ukrainian position at the start of the year than there was at the end — largely because of the meagre returns from Ukraine’s intensive efforts to liberate more territory.

  • Fiasco: How Trump’s 2018 Decision Facilitated Iran’s Nuclear-Weapons Program

    The 2015 nuclear deal between the world powers and Iran made it impossible for Iran to build nuclear weapons for at least twenty years – from 2015 until about 2035. Critics of the deal, lamenting the deal’s sunset clauses, said they were worried about Iran being (relatively) free to build an infrastructure for nuclear weapons in 2030-2035, once some of the deal’s clauses were set to expire. It was a legitimate concern. But the answer to that perceived weakness in the deal was not the answer Donald Trump gave in May 2018: to unilaterally withdraw from the deal and thus make it possible for Iran to build its first bomb in 2024.

  • Reports Analyzing the Police Response to a Mass Shooting Can Leave Unanswered Questions — if They’re Released at All

    Communities often rely on after-action reviews of mass shootings for a comprehensive and independent assessment of what happened. But even if an after-action investigation is released, a lack of national standards leads to wide variability in the detail of information in reports, an investigation found.

  • The Bureaucratic Fix to the Military Recruitment Crisis

    Declining recruitment numbers are vexing nearly all branches of the U.S. military. Removing a medical bottleneck could dramatically streamline recruiting for applicants and personnel.

  • Iran Triples Production of Enriched Uranium

    Iran has tripled its production of uranium enriched to 60 percent, after slowing down of production earlier this year, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported on Tuesday. Iran, free of the restrictions it accepted as part of the 2015 deal, is now producing about 9 kg a month of uranium enriched to 60 percent.

  • Research on Extremism in the U.K. Hobbled by Skewed Research Environment

    A new report, analyzing the research environment in the U.K. within which research on extremism takes place, found that there are problems in studying extremism and communicating the findings of studies of extremism. These problems have caused gaps in the knowledge base around extremism in the U.K. and a lack of research on specific extremist movements, especially Islamist extremism.

  • Leveraging Artificial Intelligence in Explosives, Narcotic Detection

    DHS S&T is applying emerging technologies in the development of artificial intelligence / machine learning technologies – and searching for ways to use these technologies to identify dangerous compounds, like those found in explosives and narcotics.

  • Congress Bans Pentagon from Using Chinese Port Logistics Platform

    The U.S. Congress has passed legislation that would ban the Pentagon from using any seaport in the world that relies on a Chinese logistics platform known as LOGINK. LOGINK, by tracking cargo and ship movements, lets Beijing monitor America’s military supply chain, which relies on commercial ports.

  • Tainted Applesauce Pouches May Have Been Intentionally Contaminated: FDA

    Cinnamon applesauce pouches available at Weis, WanaBanana, and Schnucks have been pulled from shelves after they were found to be contaminated with lead. The FDA says it currently believes the adulteration is “economically motivated.”