02 Oct 2018

NASA celebrates 60 years of shooting for the stars

NASA celebrated its 60-year anniversary on the first of October, providing a reminder of technological and political changes that have occurred since that time. The agency had its roots in the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics that was itself founded in 1915, but was officially set up under the Eisenhower

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02 Oct 2018

State Department: Don’t forget about threat of nuclear terrorism

National security threats can often look like fads, where everybody’s attention is focused on the threat sector or buzzword of the day, whether “communism,” nuclear proliferation, overpopulation, “terrorism,” climate change, border security, or “cyber,” and everything else sits forgotten. While it is fairly obvious that one threat does not disappear

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02 Oct 2018

Is informationalization the modern equivalent of industrialization? How the U.S. Should Respond to China’s Informatization Strategy

Is “informationalization” the modern equivalent of industrialization? Chinese President Xi Jinping thinks so. In the same way that industrialization reshaped the economic structure of human life and interactions around the world, “informationalization” is transforming everything from everyday consumer products to military capabilities. This War on the Rocks commentary tracks the

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02 Oct 2018

China plans to be a world leader in Artificial Intelligence by 2030

China has clearly articulated its desire to be an AI leader on multiple fronts and now the South China Morning Post has produced a very detailed article discussing not on the the state of the field and China’s strategy to to take the lead, but also provides summaries of how

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01 Oct 2018

Russian airstrikes in Syria reportedly killed 18,000 people, Russia claims 85,000

In numbers that appear backwards, a UK-based war monitor has claimed that Russian airstrikes have killed over 18,000 people over the past three years, including around 8,000 civilians, 5,000 ISIS fighters, and 5,000 other rebel fighters. Russia, on the other hand, claims that it has killed far more “terrorists,” placing

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01 Oct 2018

Is ISIS buying valuable military equipment in Western Europe?

Studies have uncovered that several individuals used front organizations to purchase drones and equipment in Western Europe for shipment to ISIS. In one instance, two Bangladeshi brothers used their business activities in the UK, Bangladesh, Spain, Australia, the US, and Denmark to supply IT services and drones to ISIS. Elsewhere,

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01 Oct 2018

NAFTA deal now USMCA: US and Canada agree to replace trade pact

The leaders of Canada, Mexico, and the United States are touting the successes of the two recently-secured trade deals that will replace NAFTA and be known as the USMCA (United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement). The U.S. and Canada only just reached a deal late on Sunday, which will reportedly increase U.S. dairy

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01 Oct 2018

Why countries print money outside their borders: A look at the commercial currency print market

Around 11% of all bank notes made around the world are made by commercial, non-government companies, mostly based in North America and Europe. The largest two companies in the sector, shrouded in secrecy, each print currency for 140 and 100 central banks, respectively. Because making paper money is complex and

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01 Oct 2018

New army chief takes over as Thailand prepares for return of civilian rule

Thailand has a complex and regularly shifting political arrangement between the military, the monarchy, and a political class. Some have characterized this arrangement as a symbiotic relationship of the military and the monarchy, with a growing civilian bureaucracy. Since a coup in 2014, the Thai military has held the reigns of

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01 Oct 2018

To Whom Does Trump’s Arms Exports Policy Give Leverage? Debunking Key Arms Exports Assumptions

A War on the Rocks analysis examines the assumptions and traditional reasoning behind U.S. arms exports market (specifically the Trump Administration’s new Conventional Arms Transfer policy), that is typically seen as strengthening the U.S. economy, security, and providing it with influence on clients/allies. The analysis examines how Trump’s emphasis on

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