Popping the Iranian Cork in the Strait of Hormuz

Eight major maritime chokepoints, through which oil tankers transit, exist globally. Seventeen million barrels of oil daily pass through one of them – the Strait of Hormuz.

Located off the coast of Iran, situated between the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf, uninterrupted oil flow through it provides an energy lifeline for Asia and Europe.

Little publicized, however, is this: In a 2002 effort to keep the Strait open against Iranian forces, the U.S. Navy was soundly defeated – losing sixteen ships in the process!

Fortunately, this effort was only a war game called “Millennium Challenge” – an exercise that cost $250 million and took two years to prepare. But so shocked were war gamers at this result, they immediately changed the rules of the game to effect a different outcome. Continue reading

Cyber attack ‘war game’ to test London banks

(Reuters) – Thousands of staff across dozens of London’s financial firms will be put through a “war game” scenario on Tuesday to test how well they can handle a major cyber attack.

In one of the largest exercises of its kind in the world, the test dubbed “Waking Shark II” will bombard firms with a series of announcements and scenarios, such as a major attack on computer systems hitting stock exchanges and unfolding on social media. Continue reading

How to Defeat the Air Force’s Powerful Stealth Fighter

Day by day, America is losing its edge in military superiority. Alarm bells should be ringing.

The fast, stealthy F-22 Raptor is “unquestionably” the best air-to-air fighter in the arsenal of the world’s leading air force. That’s what outgoing Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz wrote in 2009.

Three years later, a contingent of German pilots flying their latest Typhoon fighter have figured out how to shoot down the Lockheed Martin-made F-22 in mock combat. The Germans’ tactics, revealed in the latest Combat Aircraft magazine, represent the latest reality check for the $400-million-a-copy F-22, following dozens of pilot blackouts, and possibly a crash, reportedly related to problems with the unique g-force-defying vests worn by Raptor pilots.

The results were a surprise to the Germans and presumably the Americans, too. “We were evenly matched,” Maj. Marc Gruene told Combat Aircraft’s Jamie Hunter. The key, Gruene said, is to get as close as possible to the F-22 … and stay there. “They didn’t expect us to turn so aggressively.”

Gruene said the Raptor excels at fighting from beyond visual range with its high speed and altitude, sophisticated radar and long-range AMRAAM missiles. But in a slower, close-range tangle — which pilots call a “merge” — the bigger and heavier F-22 is at a disadvantage. “As soon as you get to the merge … the Typhoon doesn’t necessarily have to fear the F-22,” Gruene said.

It remains to be seen whether the Raptor and its AMRAAM missiles can reverse these trends. If long-range tactics fail, the F-22 force could very well find itself fighting up close with the latest fighters from China, Russia and other rival nations. And if the Germans’ experience is any indication, that’s the kind of battle the vaunted F-22s just might lose.

Full article: How to Defeat the Air Force’s Powerful Stealth Fighter (Danger Room)

War Game: Israeli Air Strike Deals Severe Blow to Iran Nukes

In a simulation war game featuring Israelis in senior positions, Israel loses 10 fighter jets in a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities and manages to set back the Iranian nuclear program by seven years. An angry President Barack Obama takes no steps against Israel but also refuses to intervene on its side.

In the war game, conducted by Makor Rishon newspaper, the strike takes place on October 16, 2012, just three weeks before the U.S. election.

Full article: War Game: Israeli Air Strike Deals Severe Blow to Iran Nukes (Arutz Sheva)

Richard Clarke: All U.S. Electronics From China Could Be Infected

 

Well, it’s been pretty obvious for a while now that China’s been hacking into some  of America’s most important businesses and government agencies and stealing reams of data. We’ve heard countless reports about Pentagon info being stolen orabout critical data on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter being plucked from defense contractors networks — with China being the main suspect.

Here’s what Clarke Recently told Smithsonian Magazine:

“My greatest fear,” Clarke says, “is that, rather than having a cyber-Pearl Harbor event, we will instead have this death of a thousand cuts. Where we lose our competitiveness by having all of our research and development stolen by the Chinese. And we never really see the single event that makes us do something about it. That it’s always just below our pain threshold. That company after company in the United States spends millions, hundreds of millions, in some cases billions of dollars on R&D and that information goes free to China.…After a while you can’t compete.”

But Clarke’s concerns reach beyond the cost of lost intellectual property. He foresees the loss of military power. Say there was another confrontation, such as the one in 1996 when President Clinton rushed two carrier battle fleets to the Taiwan Strait to warn China against an invasion of Taiwan. Clarke, who says there have been war games on precisely such a revived confrontation, now believes that we might be forced to give up playing such a role for fear that our carrier group defenses could be blinded and paralyzed by Chinese cyber intervention. (He cites a recent war game published in an influential military strategy journal called Orbis titled “How the U.S. Lost the Naval War of 2015.”)

Full article: Richard Clarke: All U.S. Electronics From China Could Be Infected (Defense Tech)