• Private Military Companies

    USMC vs PMC

    What happens when you put two military forces within close proximity with each other, do not integrate C2, or otherwise share IFF resources? Is it called friendly fire when a US military force fires upon a US corporate force?

  • Unmanned Warfare

    Remote Sensing

    Remote-control and remote-sensing warfare is advancing each day. Add to my previous post on remote cameras this nugget of information: These ‘rocks’ … will be sent from an aircraft and will detect enemies by ‘listening’ to them from 20 to 30 meters. These sensors should be operational within 18 months and they should be cheap enough to leave them on the battlefield after they completed their tasks. Source: Roland Piquepaille and DefenseTech Closing and reducing the sensor-to-shoot window is but one element here, other dimensions are intelligence and security. Similar to the acoustic nets for submarines, these can be a force multipliers for recon and perimeter sentries, among other applications.…

  • War

    Criminal Funding of Terrorism Continues

    Terrorist groups have frequently relied on criminal acts to fund their operations. The short-lived era of state-sponsored terrorism has apparently ended with the latest wave of globalization. Terrorist organisations are forcibly less dependent on state or Wahhabite funds, depending on the cause and benefactor. Pecuniary resources are, of course, necessary to further any operation and as Bruce Hoffman notes, "terrorist campaign[s] [are] like a shark in water: it must keep moving forward…or die."

  • Terrorism

    Ignoring history doesn’t change it

    From: ABC News: U.S. Brochure Drops Arms-Control Deals. The brochure…lists milestones in arms control since the 1980s, while touting reductions in the U.S. nuclear arsenal. But the timeline omits a pivotal agreement, the 1996 treaty to ban nuclear tests, a pact negotiated by the Clinton administration and ratified by 121 nations but now rejected under President Bush. I don’t have time to comment yet, will add to this later, but this seems a bit revisionist. It is one thing to disagree and debate with valid (your perception may vary) arguments, but to ignore something with the hopes people will forget and move along? So many anecdotes, so little time.

  • War

    Make Law(fare) Not War(fare)

    From: INTEL DUMP – Bring ’em on. New Army War College journal piece says we should be worried about our enemies fighting us in our courts — I say "lawfare" is vastly preferable to "warfare". An excellent article from a must-read site.

  • Unmanned Warfare

    Remote (far and near) monitoring advances

    Looking for some remote monitoring? Two really cool options: the Mini Unattended Ground Imager (MUGI) and Eye Ball R1. First, the MUGI from Defense Tech: Buried Cameras for Hidden Foes. This neat device includes such hot features as a laser marker to "close the sensor-to-shooter cycle", the ability to leave physically unattended for long cycles, and of course, remote control. The notion of this forward air traffic controller is slick, but the in-place knowledge is still lacking, for those considering peppering the operational theatres with these. However, what if next to the fake rock hiding the camera in say an urban environment, there was a Batman-style cave garage for an…

  • Public Diplomacy

    Guides to Britain, Iraq (for WWII GIs but also for today)

    Before returning from a term at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, a friend gave me a book a great little book: Instructions for American Servicemen in Britain 1942. This was issued to American GIs headed for the to-be-UK and is full of great little bits. Here are but a few of them: "The British have theatres and movies (which they call "cinemas") as we do. But the great place of recreation is the "pub". The English language didn’t spread across the oceans and over the mountains and jungles and swamps of the world because these people were panty-waists. [The] British [are] reserved, not unfriendly. It is always impolite to criticize…

  • War

    Foreign Affairs – Pitch Imperfect – Sanford J. Ungar

    In an era when public opinion and perceptionmatter, when social networks are more important than military networks, and the resulting interconnections can form terrible insurgencies, why are we not acknowledging the power of media? The demise — or cutbacks if you’re an optimist — of the VOA inspite of a proven track record is short sighted. A full frontal cultural and media attack, sublte and not sublte, is necessary to counter perceptions and understandings of the West. Link: Foreign Affairs – Pitch Imperfect – Sanford J. Ungar. Summary: The Voice of America — the United States’ best tool of public diplomacy — is being subjected to systematic cutbacks, even as…