• 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.

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • The Challenge of Cheap Drones: Finding an Even Cheaper Way to Destroy Them

    The sudden proliferation of inexpensive drones in Ukraine is a revolution in warfare. While they vary in size and capability, the  economics of defense are particularly stressed by the very cheapest ones, those adapted from civilian models or made with commercially available components.

  • Hydrogen Power Takes Drones to the Next Level

    Most drones run on electric batteries and can stay aloft no more than about 45 minutes when carrying just a few kilograms. HevenDrones has another solution.

  • 5 Technologies Keeping Cargo Ships Safe in Turbulent Times

    Due to Houthi attacks on cargo ships in the Red Sea, worldwide shipping is in trouble and the global supply chain faltering. These technologies can help.

  • Military AI: New Book Anticipates a World of “Killer Robots” — and the Need to Regulate Them

    As artificial intelligence advances, the weapons of war grow evermore capable of killing people without meaningful human oversight, raising troubling questions about the manner today’s and tomorrow’s wars will be carried out, and how autonomous weapons systems could weaken accountability when it comes to the potential violations of international law that attend their deployment. 

  • Taking Robots and AI to War at Sea

    Emphasizing that combination of AI and autonomous systems working in concert with crewed platforms—and with critical human oversight ‘on the loop’—is the logical path to meet a potential challenge of a much more capable and assertive adversary with ambitious plans across the Indo-pacific, and with a potential ability to interfere with Australia’s critical maritime trade.

  • Diving into Nuclear Submarines

    In 2021, the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia formed a partnership, dubbed AUKUS, which will allow the Royal Australian Navy to purchase several nuclear-powered submarines in an effort to modernize their fleet. Building a nuclear submarine program from scratch is anything but easy, so the MIT Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering has created a course for the Australian Submarine Agency.

  • Small, Cheap and Numerous: A Military Revolution Is Upon Us

    Only the most hidebound will be ignoring the revolution in military affairs under way in Ukraine and the Red Sea. For want of a better name, call it the cheap-drone revolution. A big change in military affairs has long been predicted, one in which big, costly and scarce weapons would be challenged by things that would be small, cheap and numerous. In the Middle East and especially in Ukraine, the revolution is upon us.

  • U.S. Lawmakers Push for Limits on American Investment in China Tech

    U.S. lawmakers renewed calls Wednesday to pass bipartisan legislation that would restrict American investment in Chinese technology. A pending bill, H.R. 6349, would target specific technology sectors, like AI and quantum computing, which are empowering China’s military development and surveillance.

  • How the Drone War in Ukraine Is Transforming Conflict

    From drones that fit in the palm of the hand to drones weighing more than 1,000 pounds (454 kilograms), Ukraine has built and acquired a diverse fleet of remotely piloted aircraft to complicate and frustrate Russia’s advances. The constantly evolving scope of this technology and its ever-growing use signal not only the potential for drones to level the playing field in the Russia-Ukraine war, but also their ability to influence how future conflicts are waged.

  • As the World’s Conflicts Spread, Should You Be Digging a Bunker? How to Think About the Future of War

    How concerned should we be about the possibility of future global chaos and disorder unlike anything most of us have experienced? If the many warnings currently circulating are to be believed, then the answer looks grim. The world might be in a moment of dramatic and uncertain transformation, congested with new actors, technologies, tactics and terrains. Moreover, there might be one timeless lesson from the history of war and international politics: Politicians and policymakers make strategic errors and miscalculations which can have unforeseen consequences.