• Germany and Nuclear Weapons: A Difficult History

    Donald Trump’s suggestion that, should he become president again, the U.S. will no longer abide by NATO’s principle of collective defense, has sent shockwaves through Europe. German politicians have been discussing whether French and British nuclear weapons would suffice as a protective shield or whether Europe needs new nuclear weapons.

  • Cult of the Drone: At the 2-Year Mark, UAVs Have Changed the Face of War in Ukraine – but Not Outcomes

    Unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, have been central to the war in Ukraine. Some analysts claim that drones have reshaped war, yielding not just tactical-level effects, but shaping operational and strategic outcomes as well. Mounting evidence, however, suggests that drones have delivered some tactical and operational successes for both Ukraine and Russia. Yet they are strategically ineffective.

  • Are Drones Revolutionizing Warfare? They Do Not, Skeptics Argue

    Drones have been employed by both sides to the Russia-Ukraine war on unprecedented scale. The prevalence of drones in Ukraine and other recent conflicts has led some observers to conclude that drones are revolutionizing warfare, while other analysts argue that drones are incremental improvements to existing technologies. These drone-skeptics contend that drones are not fundamentally shifting the character of war.

  • Trump-Biden Spat on NATO Highlights Divide on America’s Role in the World

    Former President Donald Trump doubled down on his threat that, if elected, he would not defend NATO members who don’t meet defense spending targets. Biden, who has made strengthening coalitions against adversaries the central tenet of his foreign policy, advocates for more international cooperation overall. “Trump is breaking Republican orthodoxy entirely, not only with his isolationism, but with his pandering to autocrats,” said Kristine Berzina of the German Marshall Fund research group.

  • Trump’s Threats Lead to Reflections in EU Over Nuclear Weapons

    Trump’s latest threats that he will take the U.S. out of NATO have gotten EU politicians and military experts talking about a European nuclear deterrence without Washington. Others are warning of a risky, hasty debate, and seek to downplay chances of a major stateside shake-up. Some suggest that France “Europeanize” its nuclear capabilities.

  • Attributing Biological Weapons Use

    Why is attribution of BW use important? During a biological incident, including BW use, what evidence might provide valuable information to facilitate attribution? What is the state of the science for determining the origin of a biological incident, including BW use? What capabilities does DoD possess or could it develop to facilitate attribution of BW use?

  • Gunfire, Screams, Carnage: As Mass Shootings Proliferate, Training Gets More Realistic

    First responders and law enforcement agents have for decades used simulations to train for mass casualty events such as shootings or natural disasters, especially after the Columbine school shooting in 1999. But in recent years, as mass shootings have become increasingly common in the United States, the simulations have become more and more realistic. Now, law enforcement and medical workers experience the sights, smells and sounds of gun violence to prepare for tragedy.

  • Maritime Power Shapes the World Order – and Is Undergoing a Sea Change

    Western global leadership was the result of centuries of sea mastery. Controlling the global ocean enables the projection of military power all over the world, as well as securing the free flow of goods at sea. The prosperity and security of trading nations strongly depend on the stability of the global maritime supply chain and thus on freedom of navigation. But now Western maritime superiority is being challenged by other rising powers and by insurgent groups.

  • The Iran Threat Geiger Counter: Reaching Extreme Danger

    The Iran Threat Geiger Counter from the Institute for Science and International Security measures on a regular basis Iran’s hostile actions and intentions toward the United States and U.S. allies, and its capability to turn these hostile intentions into action through the potential or actual construction of nuclear weapons. As with the radiation levels measured by a Geiger counter, any level above zero represents a degree of danger. Since May 2023, the date of the last edition of the Counter, the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear program has increased dramatically.

  • U.S.-North Korea Arms Control Talks or Denuclearization? Analysts Are Divided

    As Pyongyang continues to bolster its nuclear and missile programs while refusing to engage with Washington, analysts are divided on whether the U.S. should continue pursuing denuclearization or consider possible arms control options.

  • U.S. Raids in Iraq and Syria: How Retaliatory Airstrikes Affect Network of Iran-Backed Militias

    Iran’s “forward defense” strategy – focused on addressing threats externally before they become ones within its borders – would suggest that Iran will continue to support proxies through weaponry, funding and tactical knowledge to reduce the influence and legitimacy of the U.S. and its allies in the region. This underscores the delicate balance required in responding to Iranian-backed aggression – aiming to safeguard U.S. interests while preventing an escalation into a wider regional confrontation.

  • Mexico’s Lawsuit Against U.S. Gunmakers Has Cleared a Big Hurdle

    A federal law protects American gun manufacturers against most lawsuits, but an appeals court has allowed Mexico’s case to move forward. The Mexican government accusing America’s largest gunmakers of aiding and abetting the trafficking of weapons across the border.

  • Police Departments Are Turning to AI to Sift Through Millions of Hours of Unreviewed Body-Cam Footage

    Body camera video equivalent to 25 million copies of “Barbie” is collected but rarely reviewed. Some cities are looking to new technology to examine this stockpile of footage to identify problematic officers and patterns of behavior.

  • Directed Energy: The Focus on Laser Weapons Intensifies

    There a growing interest in directed energy weapons, once considered in the realm of science fiction. How to separate the considerable hype about these futuristic-sounding technologies from their more-nuanced impacts on the real-world battlefields of today and tomorrow?

  • New Low-Tech Innovation for Emergency Squad Communication

    Researchers developed a web-based automated dialing solution enabling civil defense units to communicate with each other during emergencies without Internet service. This low-tech ability is critical for times when connectivity is down; for squads comprised of ultra-Orthodox (haredi) Jews, who often do not have smartphones; and for older first responders who may be less technologically savvy.