Showing posts with label Military Matters. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Military Matters. Show all posts

8 April 2018

Why The Army’s New Palantir Contract Won’t Fix Battlefield Intelligence

by Capt. Iain J. Cruickshank

Palantir has a great reputation for use on the battlefield, especially for counter-IED functions, and has attained an almost legendary status among some analysts and communities in the Army. When compared to the Distributed Common Ground System – Army (DCGS-A), its success is not surprising; most users of DCGS-A would agree that it is problematic. In particular, Palantir has a much friendlier user interface than DCGS-A, and its Gotham system is excellent at linking reports or other pieces of intelligence together. But Palantir’s Gotham system, the model for a new battlefield intelligence system, is susceptible to quickly becoming the next DCGS-A. Without some important changes, Palantir’s software will not satisfy battlefield intelligence needs and be doomed to repeat the failures of its predecessor.

Army’s Signals Corps: Cyber soldiers’ diamond jubilee events to showcase skills, challenges


The Army’s Signals Corps will hold a cyber security symposium and an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) exhibition on November 28 and 29 at the BMICH to mark 75 years of the unit’s service to the nation. The announcement came at a ceremony on Wednesday to launch the logo and website for the diamond jubilee year. Addressing the ceremony, Army Commander Mahesh Senanayake outlined the important role played by the Signals Corps in combating cyber security threats and providing ICT solutions and digital support to the Army.

US Would Fight Without Air Support for Weeks if War With Russia Began

By Matthew Cox 

Senior U.S. Army officials on Monday mapped out a plan to dramatically increase the range of the service's artillery and missile systems to counter a Russian threat that would leave ground forces without air support in the "first few weeks" of a war in Europe. The Army has named long-range precision fires as its top modernization priority in a reform effort aimed at replacing the service's major weapons platforms. "We've got to push the maximum range of all systems under development for close, deep and strategic, and we have got to outgun the enemy," Gen. Robert Brown, commanding general of United States Army Pacific Command, told an audience during a panel discussion on "improving long-range precision fires" at the Association of the United States Army's Global Force Symposium in Huntsville, Alabama.

7 April 2018

NSC Readies Major Overhaul in US Arms Exports

By PAUL MCLEARY

Call it, Sell American. The Trump administration’s National Security Council is readying a slew of proposals to cut bureaucratic red tape and reduce the long timelines normally involved in international arms sales. The plan, dubbed the Arms Transfer Initiative, picks up on work started under the Obama administration, while adding a Trumpian element to the proposal that is described by administration officials as both promoting his America First philosophywhile ensuring that allies are better able to provide for their own security.

7 Big Pentagon Numbers in the $1.3 Trillion Spending Deal

By Michael Rainey 

The Department of Defense is one of the biggest winners in the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill working its way through Congress, with the Pentagon receiving $700 billion for the current fiscal year, a $61 billion increase from 2017. House Speaker Paul Ryan emphasized the Pentagon funding Thursday, calling the spending package “the Trump-Jim Mattis budget,” a reference to the secretary of defense. The base Pentagon budget for fiscal year 2018 is $590 billion, with an additional $65 billion for the defense component of the Overseas Contingency Operations fund and the remainder appropriated to defense-related activities in other federal agencies. The total is $80 billion higher than the funding levels defined by the 2011 Budget Control Act, which lawmakers agreed to bust through this year and next. Some critics have charged that the spending caps imposed by the Budget Control Act have resulted in serious maintenance problems for the military.

‘The Art of War’: As relevant now as when it was written

by Peter Harris

The Art of War has rightly become one of the world’s most influential books on military strategy. Written well over two thousand years ago in China, but not translated into English until the beginning of the twentieth century, it is now studied in military academies around the globe. Indeed, its relevance has been reconfirmed in the twenty-first century. For Sun Tzu, and for any strategist, of course, the best strategy is the one that delivers victory without fighting. “Troops that bring the enemy to heel without fighting at all - that is ideal,” he advised. Those who soldiered during the Cold War - or any war, for that matter - can certainly attest to the wisdom of Sun Tzu’s observation; however, those who remained in uniform beyond 9/11 would caution that, unfortunately, it is not always possible to prevail against one’s enemies without resort to arms.

US Army’s Futures Command sets groundwork for battlefield transformation

By: Jen Judson  

In his keynote address to the AUSA Global Force Symposium, Army Secretary Mark Esper explains why the service considers modernization to be so important. It’s the beginning of a new era in Army acquisition in which soldiers might not have to wait 10 years or longer to see a new weapon or capability in the field, but instead could get modern, new systems in their hands within just a few short years. That’s at least what service leaders tasked to come up with new road maps for the Army’s top modernization priorities are thinking is possible.  The newly vigorous pace is fueled by the frustration created by years of painful acquisition blunders, sluggish bureaucratic processes and wasted dollars, all on top of the fact that near-peer adversaries like Russia haven’t waited to develop weapons systems that would create serious dilemmas for the U.S. Army and its Middle East-tuned equipment if it had to face off in a conflict.

6 April 2018

Patriot Missiles Are Made in America and Fail Everywhere

BY JEFFREY LEWIS

On March 25, Houthi forces in Yemen fired seven missiles at Riyadh. Saudi Arabia confirmed the launches and asserted that it successfully intercepted all seven. This wasn’t true. It’s not just that falling debris in Riyadh killed at least one person and sent two more to the hospital. There’s no evidence that Saudi Arabia intercepted any missiles at all. And that raises uncomfortable questions not just about the Saudis, but about the United States, which seems to have sold them — and its own public — a lemon of a missile defense system.

OVERCOMING THE DEATH OF MOORE’S LAW: THE ROLE OF SOFTWARE ADVANCES AND NON- SEMICONDUCTOR TECHNOLOGIES IN THE FUTURE DEFENSE ENVIRONMENT


The spectacular growth of computers and other electronic devices created from silicon based integrated circuits has swept all competing technologies from the marketplace. Moore’s Law, which states that the density of transistors within an integrated circuit, and therefore its speed, will double every two years, is expected to end before 2025 [1] [2] [3] as the minimum feature size on a chip bumps into the inherent granularity of atoms and molecules. While there are a number of promising technologies that may move clock speeds into the 10s of GHz, switching speeds in silicon will eventually reach a limit. Figure 1 shows that clock speed has already plateaued [4]; performance improvements are now dependent on better instruction pipelines and multicore architecture.

How a new Army team plans to modernize the network

By: Mark Pomerleau 

After 17 years of war against low-tech adversaries, Army leaders understand that the next fight will be against high-end threats and recognize the need to modernize. One of the critical modernization points is the Army’s tactical network, which leaders have determined won’t stack up against sophisticated enemies who can detect electronic signatures, jam signals and conduct cyber attacks. Now, a newly established cross functional team is focusing on two priorities to meet these challenges: the unified tactical network and coalition interoperability.

Enhancing the grunt: Sophisticated new tech means greater responsibility, heavier load

By: Shawn Snow

Marines with 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment test Step In Visor and Low Profile Mandible during Urban Advanced Naval Technology Exercise 2018 (ANTX-18) at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, March 19. (Lance Cpl. Rhita Daniel/Marine Corps) Marines equipped with sophisticated optics, ops-core helmets, tablets and sensors move swiftly from room to room, clearing buildings in a futuristic urban environment. As autonomous and remote-controlled ground vehicles provide security and overwatch, it’s a redolent image of elite special operators amid a high-speed raid. But in reality, its part of an exercise aboard Camp Pendleton, California, and these Marines are grunts with Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment.

How to Start a War in 5 Easy Steps

BY STEPHEN M. WALT

Is the United States on the road to war? The number of people who think so seems to be growing, especially after President Donald Trump fired several of the grown-ups who were reportedly tempering his worst instincts and proceeded to elevate hawks such as CIA Director Mike Pompeo and John Bolton, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Writing in the New York Times Magazine this past Sunday, Robert Worth portrays Defense Secretary James Mattis as the sole voice of reason in Trump’s new “war cabinet” and highlights the risks of conflict with Iran, North Korea, and maybe a few other countries. How nervous should we be, and how might we tell if Trump is really serious about war or not?

Skeptics Ask: Can Army Field Armed Robots By 2024?

By SYDNEY J. FREEDBERG JR

What mission does the Army really need armed robots for -- expendable scouts, perhaps, or supplementary fire support? And does buying robots for that role really offer more tactical value than spending the same money on mundane upgrades to, say, self-propelled artillery? BAE’s Armed Robotic Combat Vehicle (ARCV), originally developed for the Future Combat Systems (FCS) program, a potential model for the Army’s new initiative. Can the Army develop a Robotic Combat Vehicle within six years? Some of the experts we spoke to were deeply skeptical, including veteran congressional staffers badly burned by past acquisition disasters. Some, however, said the Army’s goal was achievable — but the early models will require a lot of human oversight, especially when it’s time to pull the trigger.

5 April 2018

Russia Employs New ‘Hybrid War’ Methods Against Georgia

By Giorgi Menabde

The Moscow-backed authorities of separatist South Ossetia released, on March 23, Georgian citizens David Gerkeuli and Iosif Gundishvili (Imedinews March 23). The two men had been arrested by South Ossetian KGB agents (the special service of this breakaway republic still carries the old Soviet name) and Russian border guards (Kavkazsky Uzel, March 22). Gerkeuli and Gundishvili were accused of “violating the state border of South Ossetia.” Relatives of the detainees told reporters that they were going to church when the agents seized them in an ambush. The arrested were released after the family paid a fine (Imedinews, March 23).

Douhet, Brodie, & Cyberspace

James Torrence

Cyberspace is the newest domain of warfare.[1] In cyberspace, the attacker has the advantage over the defender.[2] Cyberspace is unique because it “offers state and non-state actors the ability to wage campaigns against American political, economic, and security interests” without requiring a physical presence.[3] The 2017 United States National Security Strategy says that “America’s response to the challenges and opportunities of the cyber era will determine our future prosperi­ty and securi­ty.”[4] However, in the 2006 United States National Security Strategy, the word “cyber” is mentioned one time in parentheses.[5] The rapid rise of cyber from not being a part of the National Security Strategy to a determinant of American prosperity and security means that policymakers have little or no experience developing cybersecurity strategy. To develop an effective foundation for the creation of cybersecurity strategy, cyber policymakers must learn from a historical example when a new domain of warfare, rapidly evolving technology, and an environment dominated by the offense presented challenges to conventional defense.

CNAS RELEASES NEW REPORT “BUILDING THE FUTURE FORCE: GUARANTEEING AMERICAN LEADERSHIP IN A CONTESTED ENVIRONMENT”

Washington, D.C., March 29, 2018 – A new study from the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) examines how the spread of advanced technologies and operational concepts has enabled state competitors to contest U.S. military primacy. It closes with recommendations for assuring an American military advantage to the year 2025 and beyond. In “Building the Future Force: Guaranteeing American Leadership in a Contested Environment ,” Shawn Brimley, Jerry Hendrix, Lauren Fish, Adam Routh, and Alexander Velez-Green assess competitors’ pursuit of information dominance; integrated naval, air, and missile defenses; and long-range strike capabilities. The authors evaluate next how these developments, both independently and in conjunction with one another, may complicate U.S. efforts to find, fix, and finish enemy targets in a future war. The report closes with recommendations for overcoming or sidestepping these complications.

The U.K.'s 'Fusion Strategy' Warfare Doctrine Looks Familiar

by Leonid Bershid

Modern warfare is, in part, about marketing. So, in its National Security Capability Review , the U.K. government chose a glitzy, tech-sounded new-age name: "fusion strategy." That may have part been to avoid the term "hybrid warfare" often applied to today's Russian warfighting. The difference is subtle but important. "Call it non-linear war (which I prefer), or hybrid war , or special war , Russia’s operations first in Crimea and then eastern Ukraine have demonstrated that Moscow is increasingly focusing on new forms of politically focused operations in the future," British Russia expert Mark Galeotti wrote in the blog post that launched (to the author's lasting regret) the inaccurate term "Gerasimov Doctrine." He was referring to the 2013 speech by General Valery Gerasimov, chief of the Russian General Staff. In it, Gerasimov dissected a purported Western war strategy, employing propaganda and economic warfare to soften up the adversary for military action by special forces aided by private military companies and domestic opposition. He argued that Russia should preempt these efforts, rather than copy them. 

The U.K.'s New Warfare Doctrine Looks Familiar

Leonid Bershidsky 

Modern warfare is, in part, about marketing. So, in its National Security Capability Review, the U.K. government chose a glitzy, tech-sounded new-age name: "fusion strategy." That may have part been to avoid the term "hybrid warfare" often applied to today's Russian warfighting. The difference is subtle but important. "Call it non-linear war (which I prefer), or hybrid war, or special war, Russia’s operations first in Crimea and then eastern Ukraine have demonstrated that Moscow is increasingly focusing on new forms of politically focused operations in the future," British Russia expert Mark Galeotti wrote in the blog post that launched (to the author's lasting regret) the inaccurate term "Gerasimov Doctrine." He was referring to the 2013 speech by General Valery Gerasimov, chief of the Russian General Staff. In it, Gerasimov dissected a purported Western war strategy, employing propaganda and economic warfare to soften up the adversary for military action by special forces aided by private military companies and domestic opposition. He argued that Russia should preempt these efforts, rather than copy them. 

4 April 2018

12 trends that leaders at the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command are watching

By: Mark Pomerleau   

By 2025, the Army sees ground troops conducting foot patrols in urban terrain with robots—called Squad Multipurpose Equipment Transport vehicles—that carry rucksacks and other equipment. Unmanned aircraft could serve as spotters, according to the Army’s new strategy for robotic and autonomous systems. (US Army) As the political landscape changes in Europe, the Army is considering new ways to solve problems related to weapons of mass destruction, cyberattacks, and electronic warfare. At the AUSA Global Force Symposium in Huntsville, Alabama this week, Jerry Leverich, who works in Army’s Training and Doctrine Command directorate of intelligence, outlined 12 trends and technologies that his organization is watching to help with that role.

Army Outlines Futures Command; Org Chart In Flux

By SYDNEY J. FREEDBERG JR.

Army Multi-Mission Launcher (MML) test-fires a Longbow Hellfire.

AUSA GLOBAL FORCE SYMPOSIUM: Army Futures Command is meant to unify modernization efforts now scattered across the bureaucracy. But to create the new command, the Army must rip some existing organizations apart. The Army’s challenge is to close more gaps than they create. In the Army’s biggest reorganization since the 1970s, AFC will take over unspecified elements of Army Test & Evaluation Command (ATEC), Research & Development Command (RDECOM) from Army Materiel Command (AMC), and 
at least parts of Army Capability Integration Center (ARCIC) from Training & Doctrine Command (TRADOC).