• INSIDER THREATInternational Partnership Focuses on Insider Threats

    By Kenny Vigil

    Insider threats can take many forms. They are real, and if not identified, they can be costly and damaging.

  • ARGUMENT: MARTIME SURVEILLANCEOutsourcing Surveillance: A Cost-Effective Strategy to Maintain Maritime Supremacy

    Persistent surveillance is one of the most valuable types of surveillance missions. But, Josh Portzer and Aaron Stein write, “Persistent surveillance is a challenging problem for two reasons: capacity and cost. In today’s budgetary climate, “simply increasing U.S. military capacity is not tenable. [But] by increasing the number of sensors globally, the Department of Defense would not only gain valuable, near-persistent surveillance data in areas of interest at (relatively) affordable prices, but also would enjoy the option of gray-zone operations given the strategic ambiguity that outsourcing provides.”

  • ARGUMENT: RESPONSES TO POLITICAL VIOLENCEHow Do Civilians Respond to Political Violence?

    When conflict breaks out, civilians inevitably suffer. But they do not react uniformly, with some fleeing, others staying, and still others joining the fray. Civilians’ perceptions of their own agency often shape their behavior. Aidan Milliff writes that this understanding has implications for policy: The United States and other countries, in their efforts to help civilians who face political violence, should focus more on changing these civilians’ perceptions.

  • RADIOLOGICAL RESPONSEPreparing U.S., Partners for Radiological Response

    By Paul Menser

    After the September 11th attacks, security professionals worried that terrorists might detonate a “dirty bomb” – an explosive device enhanced with radiological source materials. Responders for this type of event had to be trained.

  • GAZA WARThe Path to Peace in Gaza Lies in Defeating Hamas

    By Justin Bassi

    Israel cannot continue living with a Hamas-controlled Gaza. The untenability of having Hamas on Israel’s border has long been clear. However, to dismantle and disarm the group was always going to involve grievous civilian bloodshed and the inflaming of anti-Israeli opinion—a prohibitive proposition for Israel prior to 7 October. Yet now Israel finds itself facing this task anyway, which is a reminder to the world that tolerating the intolerable—even grudgingly, because the alternatives are too difficult—is never sustainable in the long term. This was demonstrated on 7 October.

  • TERRORISMRegional Security Analysts Say Africa at Risk of Drone Terrorism

    By Timothy Obiezu

    African terrorist groups are using global affiliations to acquire and modify drones for their own needs. Though the drones are not yet being used to launch attacks, the growing use of drones by terrorist groups is only a question of time, and analysts worry that in the long run, they could change the balance of power with governments.

  • CHINA WATCHJapan Military Aid Expands Southeast Asia Footprint

    By Julian Ryall

    A new security assistance scheme is allowing Japan to expand its role in helping smaller countries like the Philippines cope with China’s military ambitions.

  • GAZA WARHamas Isn’t the First Military Group to Hide Behind Civilians as a Way to Wage War

    By Benjamin Jensen

    Using places and things civilians need, like hospitals, as a means to fight a war is considered a weapon of the weak. It is a way to use another side’s values against it. I think it is clear that Hamas has – in this war and historically – tried to embed themselves and weapons in places civilians live or visit, in order to make it more difficult for the Israelis to target them. But using civilians to further a military advantage is not a new phenomenon.

  • ARGUMENT: CYBERWAR SCAREIs the Fear of Cyberwar Worse Than Cyberwar Itself?

    Unrealistic cyberwar expectations could hold the insurance industry back, and that’s the real economic security problem. The “hyperbolic characterization of cyberwar is likely a bigger problem than the threat of cyberwar itself. The problem is one of economic security,” Tom Johansmeyer writes.

  • CHINA WATCHThe Chinese Military’s Skyrocketing Influence in Space

    By Ashley Lin

    China has already begun leading the world in military satellite launches, sending 45 defense-related satellites into orbit in 2022. That was 15 more than the US sent into orbit. While the People’s Liberation Army’s space plans are not reliably disclosed to the public, its actions make it clear that China has found its way to space, and it plans to stay.

  • GAZA WARCivilian Deaths and Proportionality in the Israel–Hamas War

    By Rodger Shanahan

    Hamas invites civilian casualties by its positioning of military assets, and now that it knows that Israel’s risk tolerance is well beyond anything it has seen before, it likely sees outcries over more civilian casualties leading to a ceasefire as its only chance of survival. And Washington hopes that Israel can inflict grievous damage on Hamas before the White House will have to acquiesce to public opinion and back some kind of ceasefire. Israel, Hamas and Washington are all accepting of civilian casualties in Gaza—they only differ in how many and why.

  • CLIMATE & SECURITYClimate Change Is a National Security Risk

    By Renee Cho

    Climate change is affecting practically everything on Earth, from natural systems to human endeavors. National security is no exception. The U.S. Defense Department recognizes that climate change is a “threat multiplier” as it exacerbates existing environmental stresses and security risks.

  • CHINA WATCHHunt for Answers Continues Over Chinese Ship's Suspected Role In Damaging Baltic Pipeline

    By Reid Standish

    A Chinese ship suspected of damaging an underwater gas pipeline and two telecom cables in the Baltic Sea is returning to China through the Russian Arctic as Finnish investigators continue to search for answers about the vessel’s role in the incident.

  • ARGUMENT: FAILURE OF IMAGINATIONAl-Aqsa Storm Heralds the Rise of Non-state Special Operations

    The surprise, brutal 7 October attack by Hamas has sent shockwaves around the world. Israel’s surprise was deeper than a combined intelligence and operational surprise. Leo Blanken, Ian Rice, and Craig Whiteside write that “It was failure of imagination.” What Israel missed “is the growing democratization of technology, which is rapidly providing new and dangerous capabilities to non-state actors.”

  • GAZA WARWhat the Israel Defense Forces Can Expect When It Enters the ‘Gaza Metro’ Tunnel System

    By Christopher Morris

    Israel’s military commanders will know that this is unlikely to be a simple operation. Among the factors complicating their mission of eliminating Hamas is the “Gaza Metro”, a vast network of interconnected tunnels within the region. Having invested heavily in subterranean infrastructure over the years, Hamas is counting on this network to aid its survival in the coming weeks. These tunnels are defended, booby-trapped and likely to be populated with human shields and hostages as well as fighters, they will be challenging for even a well-equipped and capable attacking force.