conclusion is that a punitive action of the magnitude and
extraordinary precision of the initial air campaign would have been sufficient response to
Hezbollah's action on July 12th, which was not the first one of this
kind. Israel's reactions were on previous occasions based on this
concept -- a short time demonstration of firepower on Hezbollah and,
when Syria was still present, also on Syrian targets.
The Defense Department has released its annual report on China's military strategy and modernization, which seems focused on information warfare and joint forces. The People's Liberation Army has its own information warfare units, who are being trained to develop viruses to disrupt enemy computers and networks, while protecting its own. The units are part of China's goal to gain "electromagnetic dominance" early in any conflict. The report also offers detailed information about China's growing defense industrial base, which includes missile and space, shipbuilding, and aircraft production.
In the near term, China is developing its anti-access capabilities so it can deter any "third party" from interfering in a conflict with Taiwan. That would include preventing said third party from deploying to the area, including using sea, air and land forces to conduct long-range interdiction of carrier groups and expeditionary forces trying to interfere.
Next week I'm speaking at (and blogging on) IQPC's conference on military aircraft survivability in London. In the process of researching my presentation, I found this fascinating account of physicist Freeman Dyson's World War 2 experiences with the operational research branch of Royal Air Force Bomber Command.
Arriving in 1943 as the bomber offensive hit high gear, Dyson applied hard statistics to bomber losses. At the time, only a quarter of bomber crews survived a 30-mission tour. What kept them going was the belief that it was inexperienced crews who "got the chop" and that once the first few missions were behind them they were more likely to survive.
The U.S.-led international force in Iraq is failing miserably, and if U.S. and other NATO-led forces keep considering the operations in Afghanistan to be a war that's being fought, rather than a massive humanitarian and social effort on the part of the Western countries, the danger for Afghanistan is "really quite considerable."
That gloomy warning is from John Simpson, the seasoned World Affairs Editor of Britain's BBC. He articulated it at the recent Defence Leaders Forum held near The Hague on the initiative of Microsoft, NATO and the "Beeb", where I was the only outside journalist reporting.
The New York Times reports today on the tricky business of identifying the source of nuclear materials in the event of an attack. The article spotlights a series of senior White House meetings on the subject.
Every week, a group of experts from agencies around the government — including the C.I.A., the Pentagon, the F.B.I. and the Energy Department — meet to assess Washington’s progress toward solving a grim problem: if a terrorist set off a nuclear bomb in an American city, could the United States determine who detonated it and who provided the nuclear material? So far the answer is maybe.
Development of RAFAEL's Trophy Active Protection System (APS) has been completed, including integration of the system into current AFVs as well as the introduction of reloading systems, positioning the Israeli active protection system as the first system available in the West. Initial systems are expected to go into new-production and currently deployed Merkava tanks as well as the new Merkava-based armored Infantry Fighting Vehicles (Namer). While the system has been approved for production, procurement of the first lot is still awaiting funding allocation. RAFAEL is expected to deliver the first systems for the first IDF Merkava MK4 late 2007 or early 2008. After the conflict in Lebanon last summer, Active Protection Systems were identified as a critical complement for the protection of main battle tanks such as the Merkava Mk4. The Trophy active protection system creates a hemispheric protected zone around the vehicle where incoming threats are intercepted and defeated.
Ok, this isn't about technology, but it's Friday so here's a fun item from The Times newspaper about how an informal dinner hosted by the Egyptian Foreign Minister, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, was ruined by a lady in a revealing red dress.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is calling for a review of the country's military forces as part of a larger effort to make Japan a greater influence in the world and international peacekeeping missions. The change would require a constitutional amendment. Japan's current constitution, written by U.S. occupying forces in 1947 prohibits the country from maintaining a military for warfare or from using force in settling international disputes. The announcement came in a speech by Abe on the 60th anniversary of the constitution and as two newspaper polls show increasing public support for military expansion.
The news on Monday that a 36-day security sweep in Baghdad turned up a cache of identity cards and passports highlights one of the most important capabilities in biometrics: assured access. If you're going to establish secure areas in which to operate, whether a physical area such as the Green Zone, a network or some database, you have to be certain that the people getting in aren't working for the enemy.
But the Associated Press reported on Monday that Operation Arrowhead turned up two identity cards that would give the holder access to the Green Zone and another ID card with access to the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.
How did these cards get into the hands of insurgents? That question hasn't been answered. In fact, during a press conference with reporters on Monday, Army Col. Steven Townsend, commander of the 3rd Stryker Brigade that led the mission, never even mentioned the ID cards. Although, to be fair, he did say that as a result of the operation "3,200 roadside bombs have been prevented, 42 terrorists were jailed, and enough weapons and explosives were captured to outfit an enemy infantry battalion."