Category: security

The Soviet Navy versus Russia’s

Despite the collapse of oil prices, Russia has remerged onto the global stage as a major player, in the aftermath of the conquest of the Crimea. Russia’s involvement in Syria, for example, reversed the course of that conflict, which was sliding towards the government’s defeat. Before the recent ceasefire was declared the government was on …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2016/03/the-soviet-navy-versus-russias/

The U.S. Drone Fleet

Warfare is changing rapidly, with the development not only of drones in the air, but also in other services. For example, the US. navy is increasingly interested in sub-hunting drones as a possible means to hunt other nations’ ballistic missile submarines. What is remarkable, however, is how fast the change has taken place within the …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2016/03/the-u-s-drone-fleet/

The Magic of Number Stations

One of the world’s enduring mysteries is the nature of number stations, which are shortwave radio stations that broadcast random lists of numbers, morse code, or strange bursts of sound, such as the odd beeps on Russian station UVB-76. Nobody knows what the purpose of the number stations is for certain, but we do know …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2016/03/number-stations/

Security, fear and Stuxnet

Roman Poroshyn’s brief book (156 pages) provides an excellent overview of Stuxnet within the larger context of cyber-warfare and espionage in the Middle East. Unlike another book on the same topic, Kim Zetter’s Countdown to Zero, it is not based on extensive interviews, nor does it focus in as great a depth upon the process …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2016/02/book-review-of-stuxnet/

Seymour Hersh and Syria

Few investigative journalists have as impressive a history covering international issues as Seymour Hersh. His current article, Military to Military, in the London Review of Books harshly criticizes current U.S. policy in Syria for being too critical of Russia, too supportive of Turkey, and most of all, unsuccessful. The piece is well worth reading. Shawn …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2016/01/seymour-hersh-and-syria/

Book Review of Lords of Secrecy

Scott Horton’s book¬†Lords of Secrecy is a passionate, angry, well-written and disturbing look at how U.S. national security agencies have undermined congressional oversight, and consistently violated the law. At the core, this book argues that the growth of the national security bureaucracy has outgrown the ability of Congress to provide oversight, and fundamentally threatens democracy. …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2015/12/book-review-of-lords-of-secrecy/

Security and a strange cyberattack

In¬†Countdown to Zero Kim Zetter describes a 2010 cyberattack on the Iranian nuclear program. In a brilliant piece of computer engineering, the control units for centrifuges that enriched uranium were forced to slow and fail. The attack was so carefully planned that even after it began the Iranians were initially unable to diagnose the problem. …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2015/11/countdown-to-zero-a-book-review/

Climate Change and the Middle East

I’ve blogged before regarding the argument that a disastrous drought helped to feed the conflict in Syria. It’s worth revisiting the topic, however, based on a report edited by Caitlin Werrel and Francesco Femia at the Center for Climate and Security.The report, “Climate Change and the Arab Spring,” was published in February 2013, and makes …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2015/10/climate-change-and-the-middle-east/

Thucydides, fear and China

Over the last 15 years a veritable cottage industry has arisen to describe similarities between 1) contemporary East Asia and Europe before World War One and 2) the potential for conflict between the United States and China, based on the work of Thucydides. Often scholars make both points, which is the case with Graham Allison’s …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2015/09/thucydides-and-china/

Ghost Fleet: a book review

P.W. Singer and August Cole have written a techno-thriller based on a Chinese invasion of Hawaii, in a strange replay of Pearl Harbor. As with Tom Clancy’s work, there are multiple points of view, moral black and whites, and the technology is at times as much of a star as the main characters. Yet this …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2015/09/ghost-fleet-a-book-review/