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Defense Technology Monitor - No. 23
Bulletins - December 7, 2017
 

China's cyberforce set to surge;
The Marines embrace additive manufacturing;
How coal may fuel a defense tech boom;
A facelift for the U.S. EW technology;
Those other directed energy weapons

 
Beyond Super Soldiers and Battle Suits
Articles - December 5, 2017
 

Science fiction is always fascinating to follow, because at least some of the ideas presented in the genre do become reality over time. The concept of "super soldiers" is a case in point. Although the protagonists in Marvel's iconic Avengers comic books (and now movies) are still a long way from being realistic, we are unquestionably trending in that direction. Thus, the character of Captain America is a soldier enhanced by the government using a special serum to make him stronger, faster and more resilient, while Iron Man is an operator encased in full body armor that affords him super human strength, advanced weapons, and extrasensory systems. Even though such enhancements are still a stretch, performance drugs, exoskeletons, and other new technologies are increasingly augmenting - and expanding - the capabilities of today's warfighters.

 
Defense Technology Monitor - No. 22
Bulletins - December 1, 2017
 

Wirelessly charging drone subs;
The Pentagon's new EW strategy;
Reconsidering "Rods from Gods";
The hazards of hacked robots;
New military applications for AI

 
US Would Be Wise To Prepare For EMP Attacks On Its Cities
Articles - November 29, 2017
 

Imagine that a hostile nation - say, North Korea - fires a nuclear-tipped missile at the United States. The missile detonates in the upper atmosphere above a major American city such as Los Angeles, releasing a cascade of charged electrons that damages and destroys all technology and electrical systems within line-of-sight of the explosion. Vital infrastructure on the country's Western seaboard is incapacitated. Large swathes of California and parts of Nevada lose power. Stores, social services and emergency functions that rely on electricity begin to break down, as disorder spreads and the death toll climbs.

 
Iran Strategy Brief No. 9: Targeting Iran's Revolutionary Guards
Policy Papers - October 19, 2017
 

The passage this summer of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, a wide-ranging legislative package that imposed new economic pressure on Russia, Iran and North Korea, reignited the debate over U.S. policy toward the Islamic Republic. The relevant provisions of the Act require the White House, pursuant to Executive Order No. 13224, to formally designate the totality of Iran’s clerical army, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), as a terrorist organization by no later than October 31st of this year. In his October 13th speech on Iran policy, President Trump confirmed that he will do so...

 
Kim Would Regret War
Articles - September 27, 2017
 

North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un seems bent on making it easier for the United States to go to war. If he draws first blood, it may be the last thing he ever does.

On Monday, North Korea's foreign minister Ri Yong Ho said that his country has "every right to make countermeasures, including the right to shoot down United States strategic bombers even when they are not inside the airspace border of our country." Pyongyang has reportedly moved interceptor aircraft closer to the flight path of U.S. bombers that have been patrolling North Korea's periphery. Ri said that attacking U.S. forces was legal since "it was the U.S. who first declared war on our country," apparently referring to statements from President Donald Trump.

 
Defense Technology Monitor - No. 21
Bulletins - September 26, 2017
 

U.S. Navy 3D prints submersible;
Has China developed "hack proof" communications?;
A new way to hack computers;
Self-healing robots on horizon;
Tech leaders fight for UN ban on killer robots

 
Defense Technology Monitor - No. 19
Bulletins - August 31, 2017
 

Artificial intelligence: The NGA's new top analyst;
Hacking the human brain;
ABL reborn...on a drone;
How Russia can hack the U.S. electric grid

 
Our Climate Is Our Security
Articles - August 1, 2017
 

Climate change has historically been a controversial topic, and former President Barack Obama was sharply criticized for addressing it during his time in office. However, the issue may be losing some of its political toxicity of late. More and more professionals and politicians on both sides of the aisle have begun speaking openly about the linkage between the environment and America's national security.

 
Defense Technology Monitor - No. 18
Bulletins - July 25, 2017
 

Bionic spy dragonfly;
With an eye on Russia, U.S. focuses on electronic warfare;
A military focus on electromagnetic weapons;
Navy rail gun almost ready to launch;
Prepping for space warfare

 
Defense Technology Monitor - No. 17
Bulletins - June 22, 2017
 

Military lasers and the law;
Making a better special operator:
Hiding tankers in plain sight;
ABL 2.0?;
The future of drone warfare: Autonomous engagement

 
Russia Reform Monitor - No. 2127
Bulletins - April 18, 2017
 

Political repression on the rise in Crimea;
A new way to expand Russia's citizenry

 
Defense Technology Monitor - No. 15
Bulletins - March 29, 2017
 

Washington, Tokyo plot future of missile defense;
DARPA's new drone catcher;
IBM's Watson works to bolster cybersecurity;
Atmospheric laser shield in the works;
Drone operators to get AI "wingmen";
ISIS drone innovations complicate battle in Iraq

 
Defense Technology Monitor - No. 14
Bulletins - March 14, 2017
 

The Pentagon's new project: Longer-lasting drones;
3D printing with super materials;
The evolution of drone warfare;
The ethics of future war;
From parlor games to cyberspace

 
China's Aircraft Carriers: Full Steam Ahead?
Articles - February 7, 2017
 

I first visited Hainan Island six years ago, part of an annual exchange of delegations my think tank, the American Foreign Policy Council (AFPC), has been conducting with China since 1994. Led by former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Richard Myers, the January 2011 delegation chose Hainan Island for the customary "second province" visit following the obligatory deluge of meetings in Beijing. 

 
Defense Technology Monitor - No. 12
Bulletins - January 17, 2017
 

Army considers tech upgrades for combat vehicles;
A new way to defeat drones;
New EMP defense discovered;
Chinese phones spy on U.S. consumers;
Non-nuclear EMP versus North Korean drones

 
High Energy Lasers: Applications for Ballistic Missile Defense
Policy Papers - December 20, 2016
 

For decades, ballistic missile defense (BMD) has been among the most controversial dimensions of national defense. Since the termination of the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2002, the extensive proliferation of ballistic missiles on the world stage has prompted the gradual emergence of an international consensus supporting the acquisition of ballistic missile defense capabilities. The proliferation of ballistic missiles is abetted by the present, low cost of creating a formidable offensive ballistic missile capability—a feature which has provided aspiring weapons states with new opportunities to acquire strategic capabilities...

 
China's Drone Grab and the Dangers of 'Strategic Ambiguity'
Articles - December 20, 2016
 

Last week the USNS Bowditch, an unarmed U.S. Pathfinder-class survey ship manned by a civilian crew, was shadowed by a PLA Navy (PLAN) Dalang-III-class salvage and rescue vessel as it operated 50 nautical miles (nm) northwest of the Philippines’ Subic Bay. As the Bowditch maneuvered to recover an unclassified “ocean glider” Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV) gathering hydrographic data, a smaller ship was launched by the PLAN vessel to capture the UUV. Just 500 meters away, the Bowditch established radio contact but the Chinese vessel left the area with a simple reply: “We are returning to normal operations.”

 
Defense Technology Monitor - No. 10
Bulletins - November 28, 2016
 

Bridging the capabilities cap;
Laser countermeasures begin to emerge;
Drone tracking, a new Pentagon priority;
Russia's new invisibility cloak;
Falling behind in the space arms race;
DARPA develops unhackable code

 
Defense Technology Monitor - No. 8
Bulletins - October 11, 2016
 

Drones, coming soon to a lab near you;
Russia's robotic revolution;
A new military mission: Countering robotic sensor systems;
Mind control and drone fleets
How Russia plans to take the high ground

 
Assessing US-India Defense Relations: The Technological Handshake
Articles - October 6, 2016
 

In the words of U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, two “handshakes” now define the increasingly intimate Indo-U.S. defense partnership. The “strategic handshake” was examined in detail in my last article for The Diplomat. We will now turn our attention to the “technological handshake,” shorthand for the growth in arms sales, technical cooperation, and defense co-production and co-development.

 
Defense Technology Monitor - No. 7
Bulletins - July 27, 2016
 

Cyber command to enhance training Ops;
How to cripple the U.S. electrical grid;
Israel develops land battle drone;
NATO and the importance of cyber;
Is A.I. the future of aerial combat? 

 
Defense Technology Monitor - No. 6
Bulletins - July 6, 2016
 

China's answer to U.S. lasers;
European missile defense moves ahead;
Space assets and the fight against ISIS;
Another step forward for Iron Dome;
Railguns becoming a reality;
China takes aim with new missile 

 
Strategic Primer - Drones
Policy Papers - June 20, 2016
 

Remotely Piloted Aircrafts (RPAs, or drones) are playing an increasingly important role in modern warfare, and performing a growing nunmber of surveillance and reconnaissance missions at home and abroad. This Primer describe how the United States, as well as our allies and our enemies, are using drones, discusses challenges posed by RPAs, and offers recommendations for future defense planning. 

 
 
Defense Technology Monitor - No. 5
Bulletins - June 17, 2016
 

Rise of the bio bot drones;
The Pentagon's micro UAVs
A new kind of submarine hunter;
Missile defense looks left of launch;
Blimp funding deflated

 
Defense Technology Monitor - No. 4
Bulletins - June 3, 2016
 

Penetrating the Pentagon's network;
Protecting power grids through fingerprinting;
Part man, part machine?;
How to down drones;
The Pentagon focuses on cyber-hardening

 
South Asia Security Monitor - 391
Bulletins - May 3, 2016
 

Indo-Russian defense deal in trouble;
India IS recruiter killed in drone strike;
PAK defense minister to visit Russia;
Ghani threatens UNSC action over Pak-Taliban links;
Air Force drone strikes now outnumber manned strikes

 
Defense Technology Monitor - No. 1
Bulletins - February 19, 2016
 

Legal questions about laser weapons;
Russia's A2AD strategy;
New drone capabilities needed;
Hardening future fighters;
Hackers turned out the lights in Ukraine

 
Iran's Perilous Nuclear Lesson for North Korea
Articles - January 13, 2016
 

North Korea made international news last week when it declared that it had successfully carried out an underground test of a hydrogen bomb. The announcement touched off fevered speculation in Washington about the nature of the test itself (among other things, the yield is believed to have been to small to have been a thermonuclear device), as well as its larger geopolitical significance.

 
Understanding Cybersecurity - Part 5 | Military Cyber Operations
Policy Papers - November 10, 2015
 

 What is the role of cybersecurity in the conduct of war and ongoing security operations? Policymakers, academics, and journalists often think of cybersecurity as a single domain problem. That is to say, they view cyber operations as taking place solely within its own domain—one that is separate from land, sea, air or space. This perspective, however, overlooks the fact that computer systems and networks pervade society and the physical environment, and are present to some degree in all physical environs and across the three levels of war (strategic, operational, and tactical). Modern militaries employ forces in a “joint” manner, combining the specific platforms and technologies of different services to achieve a more effective force. National security policymakers should similarly see both kinetic and cyber capabilities as part of a broad set of tools available to achieve their objectives. Thinking of cybersecurity as a limited or separate space, wholly distinct from the other domains of conflict, limits the potential for understanding its strategic utility...

 
Time To Refocus On The EMP Threat
Articles - August 19, 2015
 

In late July, the US Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs assembled a number of top experts to discuss a critical threat to the homeland: electromagnetic pulse (EMP).

 
Missile Defense Briefing Report - No. 337
Bulletins - June 23, 2015
 

Missile defense for the Gulf;
Ukraine seeks BMD as a hedge against Russia;
In the Army, a focus on integration;
Beijing, Moscow make missile moves

 
Russia Reform Monitor - No. 1966
Bulletins - March 25, 2015
 

Russia's military posture a growing threat to the U.S.;
Crimean development slows amid economic downturn

 

 

 
Protecting the Warfighter in an Austere Budget Environment
Policy Papers - September 24, 2014
 

Winston Churchill is often quoted as saying, “Gentlemen, we have run out of money. Now we have to think.” A similar statement is attributed to Ernest Rutherford, a New Zealand physicist often cited as the “father” of nuclear physics. Regardless of who uttered this quote, many believe it appropriately summarizes the state of America’s defense establishment today. “Fiscal austerity” is the environment in which national security decisions are made...

 
Security and Defense Dimensions of the Asia Pivot
Policy Papers - May 14, 2014
 

There is no question that the United States faces significant and increasing security challenges in the Asia-Pacific region, including the growing threat posed by ballistic missiles and their payloads. It is fair to argue that China is increasingly confident and assertive in addressing its perceived national interests, supported by its expanding military might and power projection capabilities. From appearances, it is also reasonable to assert that North Korea is not on a path to openness, reform, and reconciliation with its neighbors. As such, it is critical that the United States provide for its national defense in the Pacific...

 
Missile Defense Briefing Report - No. 322
Bulletins - February 20, 2014
 

North Korean missile threat prompts long-term Guam defense;
Amid diplomacy, growing concern over Iranian capabilities;
China strengthens space weapons with an eye toward the U.S...;
...While sending message with nuclear missile drill;
American assistance for Poland's defense;
Back to the drawing board for U.S. interceptors?

 
The Not-So-Definitive Syrian Red Line
Articles - May 21, 2013
 

In January 1950, Secretary of State Dean Acheson gave a speech on U.S. East Asia policy at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Acheson spoke about the American "defensive perimeter" on the far Pacific Rim, from the Aleutians to the Philippines. Unfortunately, he left South Korea outside of his red line.

 
Redrawing Syria's Red Line
Articles - May 1, 2013
 

For better or worse, governments tend to be defined by their handling of foreign crises. Weather one well, and you project an image of strong, principled leadership, much like the way Margaret Thatcher's government managed its dispute with Argentina over the Falkland Islands. Dither or delay, and you telegraph an air of provocative weakness. (Think Jimmy Carter and Iran.)

 
Obama’s Dim Prospects For Reviving The Russian ‘Reset’
Articles - April 30, 2013
 

President Obama and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, recently set a September date for bilateral discussions. The goal is to mend ties between the U.S. and Russia, badly frayed by the recent passage of tit–for–tat human rights sanctions, and attempt to put the administration's "reset" of relations with the Kremlin back on track. The White House has already suggested disarmament, Iran, North Korea and Syria as the main topics for the talks.

 
With North Korea's Nuclear Test, U.S. Must Prepare For The Worst
Articles - February 13, 2013
 

When the South Korean government collected and analyzed the debris from North Korea's mid-December launch of a rocket into space, it made two new—and disturbing—discoveries. The first was that, while the rocket technology used by Pyongyang was partly Chinese in origin, it appeared to have been largely "home grown." The second was that the range of the rocket fired by the North was greater than originally believed, and perhaps as much as 6,000 miles in distance.

 
Iran Democracy Monitor - No. 131
Bulletins - February 6, 2013
 


Iran adapts to western sanctions...:
...or does it?;
With an eye towards election, a new order of battle

 
Chuck Hagel's Troubling 'Global Zero' Nuclear Arms Stance
Articles - January 15, 2013
 

During the tenure of the Bush administration, the United States entered into numerous agreements with many countries, including our Cold War adversary Russia, to deal with the growing danger of nuclear terrorism.

 
U.S. and Russia in a new standoff
Articles - August 22, 2012
 

Tucked away in what is colloquially known as the “post-Soviet space,” the tiny, landlocked Central Asian republic of Tajikistan seems like an unlikely strategic prize. Yet a potentially significant geopolitical tug of war is brewing there between the United States and Russia. The stakes of this unfolding contest are high and involve continued Western access to Central Asia and, quite possibly, the political future of at least part of the region.

 
 
Eurasia Security Watch - No. 265
Bulletins - August 1, 2012
 

Israel weighs possible attack on Syria's chemical arsenal; U.S. hopes for new military base in Tajikistan...; ...while Russia simply hopes to remain; A way out for Assad; Sectarian violence surges in Iraq

 
Eurasia Security Watch - No. 263
Bulletins - July 13, 2012
 

King Abdullah takes another stab at reform; Egyptian power struggle intensifies; Free Syrian army requests international intervention; The Palestinian Authority's (ongoing) financial crisis

 
China Reform Monitor - No. 978
Bulletins - July 10, 2012
 

Washington grants China a waiver from Iran sanctions;
China Defense Minister opposes DPRK provocations

 
China Reform Monitor - No. 977
Bulletins - July 6, 2012
 

No U.S. invitation to China for world's largest naval exercise;
PRC and ROC reassert claims to Spratlys to counter Vietnam

 
Reading Pakistan, By The Numbers
Articles - July 6, 2012
 

Is Pakistan an enemy of the United States? For the past two years, the Obama administration has doggedly maintained that the South Asian nation remains a vital American ally, even as it has grappled with what it itself admits is a "complicated" relationship.

 
Eurasia Security Watch - No. 262
Bulletins - July 3, 2012
 

Questions remain about Morsi's authority; Turkey contemplates options after Syria downs warplane; Where have all the Kyrgyz children gone; U.S., Israel to hold 'dress rehearsal' for potential military conflict with Iran

 
Iran Democracy Monitor - No. 121
Bulletins - July 3, 2012
 

The logic behind the IRGC's expanding empire; Iran struggles with addiction; Iran bolsters naval capabilities...; ...As regional neighbors scramble to adapt; Iran's latest ploy to skirt sanctions