What Moscow Thinks About When It Thinks About War Robots
Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu made a significant announcement in mid-March 2018 at a domestic technology forum. “The serial production of combat robots for the Russian armed forces may start already this year,” he stated. Shoigu also implied, in response a question about whether remote-controlled unmanned systems would be... Read more
Fitzroy Maclean Fought the Nazis, Blew Up Forts and Met a King
Fitzroy Maclean, a Scottish aristocrat and adventurer, was born into a military family in Cairo in 1911, and was educated at Eton and then Cambridge – playgrounds of the British elite. He lived a long and remarkable life. “To some people, my life might seem one long adventure holiday,... Read more
Russian Precision-Guided Artillery Shows Off — With Helper Drones
A recent video released by the Russian Ministry of Defense shows Msta-S howitzers firing precision-guided shells. While the technology is hardly new, it has been less common in the Russian army compared to standard shells used en masse — which still holds a pride of place in Russian doctrine.... Read more
The Dynamite Cruiser Was Nearly as Dangerous to Her Crew as She Was to the Enemy
On June 13, 1898, the cruiser USS Vesuvius crept within one mile of the Cuban coastline and began launching explosives from her monstrous compressed-air cannons — quietly, as far as the Spanish soldiers ashore in their fort knew until the shells landed. The nighttime shore bombardment targeting Santiago was... Read more
What Happens to Us When Robots Fight Our Wars?
In December 2017, the third Future Ground Combat Vehicles Summit took place in Detroit, Michigan. The program featured an assortment of unmanned ground vehicles, ranging from robotic mine flails to vehicles that could one day carry electromagnetic railguns — all which promise to revolutionize the way we wage war.... Read more
The Namibian Army Is Struggling to Keep Its Lights On
Namibia’s small army is in trouble. In February 2018, the army sent at least 1,000 of its soldiers home, with the initial reason given that the government had run out of money to feed them and to pay for the water and electricity for seven military bases. On Feb.... Read more
China Wants Its Own Version of the X-37B Spaceplane
A Chinese company claimed it’s working on a reusable spaceplane similar to the U.S. Air Force’s secretive X-37B. Unlike the X-37B, which launches into orbit atop a Falcon rocket, the Chinese vehicle would blast off in mid-flight from under the wing of a large “mothership” aircraft. It’s unclear how... Read more
Report Shows No Protection for F-22 Pilot Who Raised Safety Concerns
A U.S. Department of Defense Inspector General report investigating allegations that the U.S. Air Force illegally retaliated against one of the pilots concerned about F-22 hypoxia issues reveals how difficult it is to protect military whistleblowers. In late 2011, Capt. Joshua Wilson and Maj. Jeremy Gordon — both F-22... Read more
Using Fake Facts to Make Us Afraid
When you see an immigrant or a foreign visitor, especially from a Muslim country, should your first thought be that you might be looking at a possible terrorist? Clearly, that’s how the Trump administration wants Americans to react. It was the message in the president’s first address to Congress... Read more
Colombia’s Private Killers
This article originally appeared at InSight Crime. A new report examines the relationship between private businesses and paramilitary groups during Colombia’s decades-long armed conflict, arguing that a post-conflict truth commission should investigate these potentially criminal dealings. The report, published on Feb. 26 by Colombian think tank Dejusticia, details 439 instances... Read more
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