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Iraq, UAVs, Pakistan

Dated: 18 Aug 2014
Posted by Christine Chan
Category: Uncategorized
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Iraq: Militants retreated from some of their positions around Mosul dam, the latest front across Iraq where Kurds have gained in recent days with the aid of stepped-up U.S. air attacks, advisers and weapons, and a controversial new ally: fighters from a Kurdish guerrilla force, the PKK, that Washington considers a terror organization.  Last week, PKK commanders said they met U.S. advisers dropped on Mount Sinjar to assess the humanitarian crisis there and had “constructive discussion”, the DoD has denied this.  This comes as alliances and the power structure within the region continue to rapidly shift, as evidenced with allegations of US collaboration with Iranian interests, the Free Syrian Army nearing destruction, and the Islamic state controlling an area the size of Jordan.

UAVs: According to security specialists and at least one network security company the new threat from the sky will be posed by network-hacking drones.  The ability “to sniff out mobile devices and their unique identifiers, perhaps even establishing rogue network access points in the sky could be used to hack sensitive government or corporate networks.”

Pakistan: Cricketer-turned-politician, Imran Khan called for widespread civil disobedience in Pakistan, is urging supporters to stop paying taxes and utility bills in a bid to oust the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.  He also warned that after two more days of protesting in the capital, he would no longer be able to stop his supporters from storming the prime minister’s house.  Some local media reported the crowd at closer to 20,000 and experts expect the military to step if things spiral out of control.

Ukraine, Iran-US Relations, ISR Breakthrough

Dated: 14 Aug 2014
Posted by Christine Chan
Category: Uncategorized
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Ukraine: A convoy of more than two hundred Russian aid trucks headed in the direction of Rostov early Thursday, raising speculation that the group would attempt to enter Ukraine through separatist territory instead of an official Ukrainian border. Meanwhile, Donetsk, the rebel stronghold, faced heavy shelling Thursday.

Iran-US Relations: The U.S. and Iran—longtime competitors for influence in Iraq—have found themselves on the same side as both rush to reinforce the Kurdish Peshmerga in the north of the country in its fight against the militant group Islamic State. A reporter witnessed Kurdish commanders meeting with Iranian advisers close to where U.S. advisers had huddled with Peshmerga and Iraqi air force chiefs earlier this week while John Kerry in June said he wouldn’t rule out cooperating militarily with Iran.

ISR Breakthrough : University of California Santa Barbara researchers have demonstrated a system for two unmanned vehicles to see through thick concrete walls using only Wi-Fi signals. Potential applications include search-and-rescue operations and surveillance.  One robot measures the wireless transmissions of the other robot that is in the broadcast mode. Each wireless transmission passes through the unknown area, and the objects attenuate the signal depending on their material properties and locations.