PENTAGON CITY: We’ve all heard about social media and its influence on international affairs and national security. The Arab Spring blossomed when a Tunisian man’s self-immolation was shared online and sparked uprisings that have yet to subside. But you don’t really think of social media as a useful tool for detecting weapons and their use. After… Keep reading →
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WASHINGTON: What began with a tiny artificial island built by China to stake a concrete claim in the South China Sea is fast on its way to becoming 600 acres of at least seven islands spread across the South China Sea. One of the most impressive is so-called Fiery Cross Island, the permanent structure above complete with… Keep reading →
WASHINGTON: Apple, Amazon, and Google long since outstripped the Pentagon in information technology. But as the military and intelligence community try to take advantage of commercial IT innovation, especially in cloud computing, they have run into harsh limits. Security, long-range bandwidth and the sheer volume of data have created problems for the Pentagon that current commercially… Keep reading →
WASHINGTON: How well did the American Intelligence Community do in its most fundamental job: providing strategic warning of war and major strategic events to the president when it came to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and ISIL’s invasion of Iraq? The heads of the Central Intelligence, Defense Intelligence, National Geospatial Intelligence and National Security agencies claimed today… Keep reading →
In this exclusive exit interview with Breaking Defense contributor James Kitfield, the outgoing chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, talks about metastasizing Islamic terrorism, his struggles to reform intelligence-gathering, and the risk of lurching from crisis to crisis in an Internet-accelerated world. – the editors. “Disruptive.” That’s how Michael Flynn’s enemies… Keep reading →
TAMPA: It’s the stuff of science fiction: intelligence analysts hands spinning a shimmering virtual globe and pulling strands of complex streams of data over it to build a three-dimensional planning model which they can share with soldiers on the battlefield. It’s clear the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency is nowhere near deploying such capabilities, but its… Keep reading →
AUVSI: Imagine a featherweight aircraft built of composites boasting an enormous 160 foot wing, swathed in solar cells that can take off at 20 mph and remain aloft for five years. Yes, five years. The plane would fly at 65,000 feet, above most air traffic aside from the odd U-2 zooming past. It would, without… Keep reading →
ORLANDO: Gen. Keith Alexander, head of the National Security Agency and Cyber Command, told a standing-room-only crowd at the annual Geoint intelligence conference last year that the NSA and its sister intelligence agencies could save one third or more on their information technology costs by moving to the so-called cloud.
Given that Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said last year that the intelligence budget cuts over the next decade would be in the “double digits” — our best information is that the cuts are around $25 bilion over a decade — the pressure is on for Alexander to deliver. Keep reading →
ON A TRAIN SOMEWHERE ON THE EAST COAST: Imagine a soldier, wearing mufti, traveling through Syria in a rattletrap taxi. He’s a spy, dressed in a suit, going to meet an agent who says he can offer rebels the Syrian government’s order of battle.
The soldier, an Army intelligence officer fluent in Syrian and Iraqi Arabic, has spent 18 months cultivating the source, a senior official in the telecommunications company owned by the brother of Syria’s president. The son of a general, the agent has grown disillusioned by two years of civil war and wants to help end his country’s agony. His information could help the rebels break the regime’s back. Keep reading →