USIP's Science, Technology & Peacebuilding Roundup

United States Institute of Peace

Center of Innovation for Science, Technology and Peacebuilding

Weekly News Roundup, January 20 - 26, 2011

Table of Contents

Stan McChrystal's Very Human Wired War
A defense group [held] a conference on the latest technology to link up troops and rapidly spread wartime information. In a rare speech [Stanley] McChrystal praised the "aggressive use of technology." But "by far the hardest part" of networked warfare, he said, was "to create a culture" that gets different military and civilian units linked up by technology fighting as a team. In other words, the technical network won't work without the social one.
See the full article (Wired, Spencer Ackerman, 1/26/11)
[Return to top]

Air Force's 'All-Seeing Eye' Flops Vision Test
It's the one of the most revolutionary - and one of the most chilling - weapons to come out of America's decade of conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. Gorgon Stare, a new "all-seeing" camera system for aerial drones, is meant to watch over a "city-size" area, while also simultaneously sending video feeds to dozens of "customers" on the ground. There's just one problem. Gorgon Stare doesn't work as promised, at least according to the Air Force squadron whose job it is to test the new system.
See the full article (Wired, David Axe and Noah Shachtman, 1/24/11)
Click to read about USIP's upcoming event "Afghanistan: The Nexus between Disarming and Rebuilding Armed Forces" on February 3 at 10:00am.
[Return to top]

Will the Cyber Worm Turn?
If Stuxnet was responsible for slowing Iran's nuclear development, then it accomplished over a period of a few months what the United States and its allies have failed to do in years of talks, threats and sanctions. It also achieved that goal without a shot being fired, buying more time for negotiators to try to persuade Iran to stop its bomb-making efforts. That's the encouraging side of the story. The other side is that Stuxnet demonstrates heretofore unseen capabilities of cyber attackers, many of whom aren't playing for our side.
See the full article (Los Angeles Times, 1/23/11)
[Return to top]

China's New Stealth Fighter May Use US Technology
Chinese officials recently unveiled a new, high-tech stealth fighter that could pose a significant threat to American air superiority - and some of its technology, it turns out, may well have come from the U.S. itself. Balkan military officials and other experts have told The Associated Press that in all probability the Chinese gleaned some of their technological know-how from an American F-117 Nighthawk that was shot down over Serbia in 1999.
See the full article (AP, 1/23/11)
[Return to top]

Stuxnet: Cyber Attack on Iran 'Was Carried Out by Western Powers and Israel'
Tom Parker, a US-based security researcher who specialises in tracing cyber attacks, has spent months analysing the Stuxnet code and has found evidence that the virus was created by two separate organisations. The hard forensic evidence supports the reported claims of intelligence sources that it was a joint, two-step operation.
See the full article (Telegraph, Christopher Williams, 1/21/11)
[Return to top]

Taiwan, China Boost Science Collaboration
The top science bodies of China and Taiwan have agreed to meet once a year to promote exchanges and cooperation between researchers, officials said on Thursday. Taiwan's National Science Council said its members met counterparts from the Chinese Academy of Sciences at a forum in Beijing last week, adding that the forum will now become an annual event.
See the full article (AFP, 1/20/11)
[Return to top]

Virtual Haven Set Up for Combat Vets
One of the best things about virtual reality is that it isn't real - and the Pentagon is taking advantage of that fact by offering a virtual realm that can take combat vets and their loved ones through the whole cycle of post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD and depression are thought to affect 10 to 30 percent of the U.S. military personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
See the full article (MSNBC, Alan Boyle, 1/20/11)
[Return to top]

Did we miss anything?

Share this: FacebookDeliciousDiggMySpaceStumbleUponGoogleMicrosoftYahoo! BookmarksLinkedIn| Forward this to a Friend