longevity

Japan/China Relations, Iran, US Cybersecurity

Dated: 7 Nov 2014
Posted by Christine Chan
Category: International, Security, Uncategorized
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Japan/China Relations: China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi and Japanese National Security Advisor Shotaro Yachi agreed to a four-point agreement that acknowledged the existence of a dispute over islands in the East China Sea and called on both sides to gradually resume political, diplomatic, and security dialogue to improve relations.  Nearly everyone involved is likely to be cheered by the development, with one notable exception: the People’s Liberation Army.  China’s military is arguably the biggest beneficiary of the territorial tensions that have hovered over the East and South China Seas these past two years, with China’s navy and air force acting as the vanguard in confrontations with Japanese and other powers.  Now, with the proposed détente, the PLA may be concerned about the further erosion of its powers amid a corruption crack down and purging of its leaders.

Iran: Obama wrote a secret letter to Iran’s supreme leader, saying the U.S. and Iran have a shared interest in fighting ISIS, according to a WSJ report.  This comes as the nuclear negotiations are scheduled to wrap-up this month; with senior administration officials in recent days have placed the chances for a deal with Iran at only 50-50. While the emergence of ISIS has drastically changed both Washington’s and Tehran’s policies in the Middle East, it has also isolated allied nations such as Saudi and the UAE.

US Cybersecurity: recent report from DHS stating that the hacking campaign has been ongoing since 2011, but no attempt has been made to activate the malware to “damage, modify, or otherwise disrupt” the industrial control process. So while U.S. officials recently became aware the penetration, they don’t know where or when it may be unleashed.  Russia is also believed to be behind July’s cyberattack on JPMorgan Chase & Co. that compromised the names, addresses, phone numbers and contact information of over 83 million people. The company was unable to completely shut out its attackers until August.

Private Space, Threat Detection, COTS

Dated: 3 Nov 2014
Posted by Christine Chan
Category: International, Security, Technology
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Private Space: Investigators cited possible pilot error in the deadly explosion of Virgin Galactic’s space plane. The space plane was in development to conduct commercial passenger flights in space and occurred a few days after Orbital’s rocket exploded after lift-off.  The back-to-back accidents raise inevitable questions about the safety and reliability of the emerging private space industry. In related news, China celebrated the return of a moon probe, which successfully orbited the planet and returned to earth on Saturday.

Threat Detection: Researchers at Manchester Metropolitan University have developed scanners that find concealed weapons in real-time and instantly alert officials. The machines work at a distance of up to 20 meters/65 feet using low-power millimeter-wave radar signals that reflect off a weapon and back to the scanner.

COTS: The United Arab Emirates is in discussions with Textron AirLand about becoming an early customer for Textron’s new Scorpion jet, according to sources.  The Scorpion’s roots go back a decade to when entrepreneurs started developing so-called very light jets carrying four or five passenger that used composite materials, lean manufacturing techniques and off-the-shelf parts. More than half of the Scorpion prototype was built using parts developed for the Citation jet. Another 20% were acquired off the shelf.