Middle East military heavyweights Israel, Iran on collision course over Syria

In this photo released by Lennart Preiss/MSC 2018, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, holds a part of a downed drone during his speech at the Munich Security Conference, MSC, in Munich , Germany, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018. (Lennart Preiss/MSC 2018/dpa via AP)

 

Iran and Israel are on a collision course over Tehran’s expanding footprint in Syria, raising the odds of a direct clash between the region’s two military heavyweights that could quickly draw in other combatants.

With Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement, Iran’s most potent military ally, emboldened by their success in upholding Syrian President Bashar Assad, Israel is growing more and more wary of being attacked by missiles not just from southern Lebanon but also from inside Syria.

Israel has been sporadically bombing Hezbollah positions in Syria for the past three years. But the situation reached new heights this month when what Israel said was an Iranian armed stealth drone was intercepted and downed over Israel and an Israeli F-16 fighter jet was in turn shot down by anti-aircraft fire from inside Syria during a retaliatory airstrike. Continue reading

U.S. military could lose next war, report says

A study from the Rand Corp. warns that the U.S. military forces are poorly structured and argues that the military must reform its structure and strategies to better deal with challenges. (Associated Press) Photo by: Andreea Alexandru

 

A new study by the Rand Corp. is warning that U.S. military forces are poorly structured to meet the threats posed by China, Russia and other states, as well as the continuing war against Islamic terrorism.

The study, “U.S. Military Capabilities and Forces for a Dangerous World,” presents the stark conclusion that the American military needs to reform its structure and war fighting plans to better deal with military challenges.

Put more starkly, assessments in this report will show that U.S. forces could, under plausible assumptions, lose the next war they are called upon to fight, despite the United States outspending China on military forces by a ratio of 2.7 to 1 and Russia by 6 to 1,” the report said. “The nation needs to do better than this.” Continue reading

California regional intel center warns local officials to prepare for nuclear attack

Long Beach Port in Los Angeles.

 

Southern California should have its nuclear attack response plans in place, the Los Angeles-area Joint Regional Intelligence Center said in a bulletin issued last month.

The bulletin, dated Aug. 16, was issued after North Korea’s July test of an intercontinental ballistic missile that some analysts said could reach the U.S. West Coast. Continue reading

America Is Losing the Cyber Information War

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New strategies, tactics needed to fight influence, propaganda warfare threats, Senate told

The United States faces a growing threat of information warfare attacks and needs new strategies and organizations to counter it, national security experts told Congress this week.

John C. Inglis, former deputy director of the National Security Agency, said cyber attacks are only one form of influence, propaganda, and disinformation attacks being waged in the cyber war of ideas.

“Cyber warfare, in my view, is not a standalone entity,” Inglis told a Senate subcommittee hearing Thursday. “When you’re talking about information warfare, it’s at that top-most stack, and it does not necessarily comprise of an exchange of tools or an exchange of literal warfare. It is, in fact, a conflict of ideas.” Continue reading

Japan & Australia consider submarine deal that could rattle China

TOKYO/SYDNEY (Reuters) – Japan will get the chance to pursue an unprecedented military export deal when its defense and foreign ministers meet their Australian counterparts in Tokyo next month.

Japan is considering selling submarine technology to Australia – perhaps even a fleet of fully engineered, stealthy vessels, according to Japanese officials. Sources on both sides say the discussions so far have encouraged a willingness to speed up talks. Continue reading