The Real Threat Is Surprise Attacks

Please see my new article in Israel Defense called, “The Real Threat is Surprise Attacks.

The element of surprise can overcome most defenses. This can happen whether through an insider threat or through new and stealthy technologies. Already in August 2018, two explosive-laden drones were used to attack the president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro. Similarly, last year, in the movie, Angel Has Fallen, we saw the president of the United States attacked by a swarm of drones. While this is a great threat in and of itself, I believe that the greater threat lies in the miniaturization of the drones, in some cases, drones with the size, shape, and function of insects.


Unfortunately, Yigal Amir used the element of surprise to assassinate the prime minister of Israel. Now there are other high-tech threats like miniaturized, weaponized drones. There is no excuse for us not to be on the lookout for and to be prepared to defend against these, so that our leadership and our democracies are duly protected. Surprise is a big advantage in warfare, but we must be one step ahead, so that we are prepared to defend against these as well as to turn the tables and effectively employ the continued element of surprise against our relentless adversaries.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

NATO Is Asleep At The Wheel

So this is the dumbest military strategy I have ever heard. 


NATO is planning a “rapid deployment force” of at least 30,000 troops, 30 naval ships, and 360 planes to fight off a Russian invasion.


Sounds good?


The only problem is that this rapid reaction is planned to occur “within 30 days” of being put on an alert. 


Gee, a lot can happen in 30 days. 


It took only a little over two weeks for Russia to invade and annex Crimea in 2014 in a blitzkrieg that completely took the West by surprise. 


NATO continues to be shockingly unprepared for a Russian land grab.


Further, the 4,600 troops stationed on “forward deployment” and the 5,000 additional “spearhead force” to come to their aid “within 10 days” is again completely inadequate and ridiculous. 


Israel won the 1967 War in just 6 days against invading armies from Egypt, Jordan, and Syria, and Israel again halted the advancing Egyptian army in the 1973 Yom Kippur War in just 3 days. 


With modern weaponry, Wars are fought and won in days–not months and years anymore. 


The long deployments we’ve had in Iraq and Afghanistan are not traditional wars, but wars of attrition again terrorism and dictatorships. 


If and when there is a war with the “Great Bear,” it will be fought and won–OR lost in days–as well. Russia will act with stealth and speed and a ferocity that we remain blind to. 


And I fear that when we are ready to fight back, it will be way too little too late–like in Crimea–and all that will be left–after the European lands are gone–is more meaningless sanctions that Russia will retaliate against, tit-for-tat, anyway. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Easy Solution to Axis of Evil

Missile.jpeg

So there is an easy solution to the hellbent destruction of the Axis of Evil…


North Korea and Iran are sworn to the destruction of the U.S. and it’s allies. 


Repeatedly, they sponsor global terrorism, abuse human rights, violate agreements against proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, conduct nuke tests, and missile launches. 


Instead of destroying the missiles immediately upon launch or on the launchpad, which is a nice start…


Let’s just do this:


– When North Korea launches, let’s redirect the guidance system on the missile to Tehran. 


– And when Iran launches their missiles, let’s redirect it toward Pyongyang. 


We don’t have to fire a single volley. 


Let the evil ones destroy each other and have a gangbusters time doing it. 😉


(Source Photo: here with attribution to Pixabay)

Last Man Standing Wins

Medieval Fighting

So it has always amazed me how until modern times, armies would line up and face-off on the battlefield to basically bash each others skulls in. 


Whether in medieval times or in the civil war…it goes something like this. 

– Red coats line up on this side. 

– Blue coats line up on that side. 

– Everyone pull out their weapons.

– Scream your bloody heads off.

– And run towards each other swinging. 

– The last man standing from either side is the winning army!

How brilliant is that? 


Basically, mass suicide for both sides (like trying to take the hill running straight into machine gun fire). 


These days, there is a notion at least of using stealth, smart bombs, and sending in drones or robots, so as not to risk real people’s lives unnecessarily. 


But I guess that takes the fun out of it–can’t slice and dice and smash the enemy with your bare hands.


Last weekend, I watched people who like to fight the old fashioned way, dress up in medieval gear, take their sides on the field in the park, and go at it. 


They had swords, and clubs, and javelins, and bow and arrows, and more.  


They even had roles, and one guy I talked to was actually the king for one side of the fight–and apparently you have to earn that role in battle and in council vote. 


On the battlefield then the people get together and go at it hitting each other with some pretty scary weapons that fortunately are (mostly) padded, but still they seemed to get some pretty good zets!


Honestly, it sort of looked like a lot of fun and good exercise, but probably (more than) a little dangerous too. 


I saw one combatant coming off the field, taking off his outfit as it was pretty hot out, and he literally had layers of shielding on, so aside from seeing them take hits again and again, I could see that they felt they needed the protection. 


What was also interesting watching this–and I understand sometimes they get about 150 people on the field at a time to go at it–is that people seem to really want to go back in time to the way things were…more natural, more real, and even more deadly–up close and personal!


We are so much in a virtual world or like Elon Musk (CEO of SpaceX and Tesla) said living in a simulation, that there is just a wild yearning and craving to get back to nature, basics, and what’s tangible and real. 


Even if it means bashing heads on a hot Summer’s day…and reenacting the times of lore…put your smartphones down and pull out your swords and clubs–it’s a new day and age. 😉 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Drone Warfare: Integration At Its Best

Drone Warfare: Integration At Its Best

I learned a lot about Drone Warfare reading and thinking about “The Killing Machines” in The Atlantic by David Bowden.

The benefits of drones for military use are numerous:

– Stealth: Drones can be relatively small (some are now even the size of bugs) and they can survey from vehicles that are aerial, terrestrial, underwater, or I would imagine, even subterranean. In a sense, even a spy satellite is a type of drone, isn’t it?

– Persistent: They can hover unmanned over enemy territory for not only hours, but also days at a time, and switching in replacement drones can create a virtually continuous stream of surveillance for months or years, depending on the need.

– Powerful: The sensors on a drone can include high-definition cameras, eavesdropping devices, radar, infrared, “and a pixel array so dense, that the device can zoom in clearly on objects only inches wide from well over 15,000 feet above.” Further, with features like Gorgon Stare, multiple cameras linked together can view entire cities in one feel swoop.

– Long-range: Drones can function doing reconnaissance or surveillance far away and deep into enemy territory. With drones, no one is too distant or remote as to be untouchable.

– Lethality: Drones can carry missiles such as The Hellfire, a “100-pound antitank missile” and other weapons that can act expediently on information without the need to call in additional support.

– Precise: Drones can hit targets with amazing precision–“It targets indiscriminate killers with exquisite discrimination.”

– Safety: Drones carry out their work unmanned with (or without) controllers stationed at safe distances away–sometimes thousands of miles back at the homeland.

– Expendable: Drones themselves are throwaway. As with a bee, a drone is more or less useless when disconnected from the hive. Similarly, a military “drone is useless as an eyeball disconnected from the brain,” since drones function only as an extension of back-end satellite links, data processors, intelligence analysts, and its controller.”

Overall, the great value of drones is their integration of technologies: vehicles, global telecommunications, optics, sensors, supercomputers, weapon systems, and more.

To me, between the questions of fairness, legality, and privacy–drones are being given a bum rap.

– Fairness: Just because one side has a technology that the other doesn’t, should not mean it’s wrong to use it. This is what competition and evolution is all about. I remember learning in school, when children would complain to the teacher that something was unfair, and the teacher would reply, “life is unfair!” This doesn’t mean we should use a shotgun approach, but rather use what we got, appropriately.

– Legality: Is it legal to kill targets rather than apprehending them, trying them, and otherwise punishing them? This is where sincere deliberations come in on whether someone is a “lawful target” (e.g. enemy combatant), “imminent threat” (e.g. self-defense), whether other alternatives are viable (e.g. collateral damage assessments), and will killing them do more hard than good to foreign relations, influence, and even possibly breeding new hate and terror, rather than quelling it.

– Privacy: The issue of privacy comes less into play with military matters and more with respect to domestic use for law enforcement and other civilian uses (from agriculture to urban planning). The key is protect citizens from being unduly monitored, tracked, and scrutinized–where freedom itself is under big-brother attack and we all become mere drones ourselves in a national hive of complacency and brainless obedience.

Rather than scaling back drones use, I liked Mary Ellen O’Connell vision of new drones “capable of delivering a warning–‘Come out with your hands up!’ and then landing to make an arrest using handcuffs.”

This is the promise of technology to learn from mistakes of the past and always bring possibilities of making things better in the future. 😉

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Don McCullough)

This Tape Will Self Destruct In Five Seconds

This Tape Will Self-Destruct In Five Seconds

Ever since the 1960’s airing of Mission Impossible, where each episode started with the instructions for a dangerous mission on a tape recording, which ended with “This tape will self-destruct in five seconds,” have we all recognized the need for self-destructing devices to safeguard information.

This message has been honed over the last three decades with compromising security incidents:

1979: Iranian demonstrators stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and according to UMBC “the incinerator broke” as personnel tried to destroy sensitive documents and they had to revert to shredding.

2001: A Chinese J-8 fighter aircraft collided with a EP-3 U.S. Intel aircraft which according to CNN was “likely equipped with highly sensitive equipment” and landed on the Chinese island of Hainan providing China the opportunity to board, disassemble, and study the equipment before it was returned three months later.

2011: Iran captured an RQ-170 Sentinel Drone and USA Todayreported on Iran’s claims that “all files and boards of the drone were copied and used to improve Iran’s unmanned aircraft.” Also in 2011 in the assault on Osama Bin Laden, a secret stealth helicopter that took a hard-landing had to be destroyed before special forces pulled out–however according to the New York Times, “a surviving tail section reveal modifications to muffle noise and reduce the chances of detection by radar” was left behind providing others the opportunity to learn about our sensitive technologies.

Additionally, as ever more advanced technology continues to enter the battlefield the threat of its capture and exploitation becomes increasingly concerning.
In this context, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced the start up of a new program on 28 January 2013 called Vanishing Programmable Resources (VAPR).

VAPR is intent on developing technologies for “transient electronics…capable of dissolving into the environment around them.”

The goal is that “once triggered to dissolve, the electronics would be useless to any enemy that comes across them.”

According to Armed Forces International, along with the destruction of the electronics would be “taking classified data with it.” Thereby preventing the enemy from using captured information to develop countermeasures or reverse engineer their finds.

Transient electronics are intended to be rugged on the battlefield but able to be destroyed on command, perhaps by biomedical implants that release “a few droplets of [a self-destruct] liquid” or other means.

Whether self-destructing in five seconds or slightly more, the need to preserve our sensitive battlefield technologies and the intelligence they contain has never been more vital. 😉

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Mike Licht)

Hiding Yourself In Plain Sight


I remember hearing that sometimes the best way to hide is in plain sight–just where no one would think to look.

Now there is a new clothing line being introduced by Adam Harvey for Stealth Wear that hides you using your own clothes.

According to Slate (11 January 2013), the clothing line is envisioned to have:

– Anti-drone hoodies and scarfs: These will be made with special metalized material that can shield you from things like drone thermal imaging technology, and I would imagine could also help against facial recognition along the lines of a prior project CVDazzle that uses face-painting and hair styling for concealment.

– XX-shirts: These cover your upper body and can shield you from x-rays. I wonder how this will impact TSA scanning at airports?

– Pocket-blocks: A cell phone pouch made from “signal attenuating material” to prevent tracking and interception.

Don’t confuse this stealth wear clothing line with a Canadian company called StealthWear that makes a different type of protective clothing–padding for jackets, forearms, shoulders, torso, and so on for those working in “aggressive educational environments.”

The new Stealth Wear, however, is a concept for a high-tech fashion line designed to provide counter surveillance and more personal privacy–in this sense, it’s really the anti Big Brother.

With more and more cameras, imaging machines, facial recognition, drones, and other surveillance tools out there–I suppose it is not surprising to see a cultural backlash in terms of everyday surveillance protection clothing coming to the fore. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)