Category Archives: Defense

Russia possibly mapping underwater internet cables in Mediterranean

Approximately one year ago, the Russian navy caused quite a stir by hanging around internet cables in the Atlantic for some period of time. The accusation was the Russians were mapping the cables in o

Source: Russia possibly mapping underwater internet cables in Mediterranean


The Kyrgyzstan Cyber Attack That No One Is Talking About


From IntelFusion:

“A colleague alerted me a couple of days ago to a massive DDOS attack against Kyrgyzstan ISPs which essentially shut them down on January 18, 2009. There are only 4 ISP providers for the entire country so this attack was clearly sending a message. Since the attacking IPs were Russian, and since the Russian government supports the current Kyrgyzstan President, I’m thinking that its a message to the opposition party.” … Continue reading →

A ‘Fifth-Generation’ War

“5GW is what happens when the world’s disaffected direct their desperation at the most obvious symbol of everything they lack, taking advantage of the tactics and battlefields pioneered by more highly organized fourth-gen warriors. The symbol is the United States, the world’s sole super-power. And the fifth-gen fighters’ weapon of choice is political “stalemate,” contends Marine Lt. Col. Stanton Coer, in a new piece inMarine Corps Gazette. “5GW fighters will win by … point[ing] out the impotence of secular military might. … These fighters win by not losing, while we lose by not winning.”

The battlefield will be something strange — cyberspace, or the Cleveland water supply, or Wall Street’s banking systems, or YouTube. The mission will be instilling fear, and it will succeed.

5GW is anchored in the global Islamic jihad espoused by Al Qaeda, Coer writes. But that doesn’t mean that fifth-gen warriors necessarily are clearly ideological, with aspirations of setting up alternative political systems. They’re opportunists, intent only on destruction. But even seemingly pointless violence can have a perverse logic, for the sudden, irrational destruction undermines the idea that nations — and especially the most powerful nation, the U.S. — are viable in the modern world.

So how do you beat a fifth-gen enemy? By not fighting, first of all. Beebe says ending the vortex of violence in Africa means alleviating “the conditions of human beings that create these insecurities across state borders.” In other words, focus on economic development, humanitarian assistance and communication, with nary an M-16 or Abrams tank in sight.

In Coer’s words, “success will vary inversely to exported violence.””

Source: Danger Room

And, because some part of this war is about cyberspace…

“According to Bloomberg — Lockheed Martin Corp. and Boeing Co., the world’s biggest defense companies, are deploying forces and resources to a new battlefield: cyberspace.”


INPUT’s Information Security Market Forecast 2008 – 2013 illustrates that demand for vendor-furnished information security products and services by the U.S. federal government will increase from $7.4 billion in 2008 to $10.7 billion in 2013 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.7%.

(Source: IntelFusion)

The Pentagon’s ‘Minerva Initiative’

Earlier this week, the Pentagon announced the first Minerva Research Initiative awards, which will fund social science research on key strategic issues.

Seven projects were selected out of a total of 211 proposals. The Pentagon will commit a total of up to $50 million to those research efforts. (Source: Danger Room)

CRS, What are the Benefits of an Office of Science and Technology Policy?

from ZIA

OSTP.jpgSecrecy News alerts us to a series of newly released Congressional Research Service reports related to national security policy. The leading report it of particular interest to the science and technology community, especially given the incessantObama transition chatter. The report is titled, “The President’s Office of Science and Technology Policy: Issues for Congress,” and it presents a thorough analysis of how the OSTP has been used, how it interacts with the executive, and its relationship with other S&T agencies (including the organizational chart of OSTP advisory councils, pictured at the right). Later in the report, however, CRS moves forward to consider how the future president might use the OSTP, asking the question: what are the pros and cons of having an OSTP at all? To that end, CRS comes to some very interesting conclusions:

From a presidential perspective, if the S&T adviser or presidential advisory committee is not committed to the President’s agenda and is not willing to represent the Administration’s perspective, the President may believe that high-level S&T advice will provide more harm than good. If the S&T adviser has a close relationship with the President, the S&T community may fear this will lead to the politicization of S&T and subvert the S&T adviser’s ability to provide independent advice. A historical review of presidential S&T activities since the F.D. Roosevelt Administration illustrates that a presidential S&T adviser or advisory committee may be placed in a challenging position when a difference in opinion exists between the President and the majority of the S&T community. The result may be dismissal or marginalization of S&T consideration from the White House inner circle.

This jumped off the page to me, because by definition the OSTP should be committed to the promotion of good science, rather than the political ends of the President. CRS continues by presenting the alternative, which is that, “an S&T adviser who understands these sensitivities may be an asset to the Administration, providing confidential advice privately and speaking authoritatively on S&T-related issues for the Administration publically.” While these sensitives would certainly be an asset to the adviser, I shudder to think of the trade-off between political maneuvering and the promotion of a legitimate national security research agenda.

Photo: CRS

Commercial satellites alter global security

WASHINGTON — The secretive National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency is rushing to get the latest, high-definition satellite photos of Afghanistan into the hands of U.S. ground troops as they ramp up operations in the country’s tangled terrain.

ThreatsWatch: Relevant discussion about OSINT

From Open source intelligence (OSINT) is, for lack of a universally-accepted formal definition, information of value that you don’t have to steal with spies or technical means.

Continue reading →

Report: Counterterrorism should focus on open source intelligence

The new administration must broaden the scope of its counterterrorism activities, including a focus on collection of domestic and open source intelligence as well as traditional foreign intelligence, the Defense Science Board said in a report outlining the key priorities for incoming leaders. Continue reading →

Top Five National Security Research Challenges/Opportunites for the Next Adminstration

From ZIA – “These are merely a reflection of my own opinions and biases, and I welcome additional suggestions in the comments or e-mail.

  1. Quantum Cryptography – Quantum computing will completely change all aspects of information technology; however, its deepest consequence for national security could be in cryptography. Continue reading →

A Complete Platform for Geospatial Intelligence


ESRI will demonstrate the power and flexibility of its ArcGIS software platform to manage geospatial intelligence during the GEOINT 2008 Symposium, October 27–30, 2008, in Nashville, Tennessee.

National securitydefense, and intelligence professionals will see how the unique capabilities of geographic information system (GIS) technology integrate and share all elements of the intelligence workflow. The ArcGIS technology platform connects sensors, warfighters, analysts, and decision makers through a shared network of desktops, servers, mobile devices, and data appliances. This geospatially enabled intelligence permits agencies, through netcentric operations, to share data simultaneously throughout a community of interest the moment it becomes available. GIS technology allows agencies to select, fuse, and analyze complex intelligence data through a map-driven interface as they transform GIS knowledge into action. Continue reading →

Russia launches final satellites for its own GPS

Russia successfully launched a rocket on December 25 carrying the last three satellites to complete a navigation system to rival America’s GPS.
The military-run GLONASS mapping system works over most of Russia and is expected to cover the globe by the end of 2009, once all its 24 navigational satellites are operating.
Work on GLONASS — or Global Navigation Satellite System — began in the Soviet Union in the mid-1970s to give its armed forces exact bearings around the world.
The collapse of the Russian economy in the late 1990s drained funds and the plans withered, but President Vladimir Putin has ensured the project is now being lavishly funded from a brimming government budget.
Officials said GLONASS would mainly be used alongside the U.S. global positioning system, which Washington can switch off for civilian subscribers, as it did during recent military operations in Iraq.
First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said Tuesday’s launch would bring the GLONASS satellite fleet to 18 – the number necessary to provide navigation services over the entire Russian territory. He said the system would be available worldwide by 2010, for which it would need 24 satellites.
Europeans are also developing their own satellite navigation system, Galileo.
Source: Yahoo, Canada

One Soldier’s Opinion

via Blogs Of War:

“The media hasn’t really gotten on board with the whole Global War on Terrorism issue. What they seem to not understand is that this isn’t an “Iraq War.? It is a front in a global war. People think that if we just up and go that we’ll be happy and safe at home and the reality is that that’s probably not true. These psycho’s are everywhere in the world. And we are going to have to find them and get them everywhere in the world. If the bullets stopped flying in Iraq today my guess is that we’d be off to somewhere else real soon, to fight the same war, against the same enemy, on a different front. During World War II there were many fronts, but you didn’t see politicians protesting the war in Japan, or women chaining themselves to the White House’s fence because they’re son died on Iwo Jima. They understood that we were fighting a battle that needed to be fought, and because we were the only ones that could do it. It wasn’t about American pride or arrogance or money, it was much simpler than that. Bad people in charge equals a bad world. I am not bragging about the US Military (as I will occasionally do)—I am merely stating a fact that we have the largest, most hi-tech, sophisticated fighting force on the planet. And as such, it is our moral obligation to fight the bad guys in this war. That’s, in my opinion, why we came here in the first place and why we’ll go on to the next front when it pops up.”

and we can remember:

The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”  (Albert Einstein)