The Buzz

Taiwan Needs to Maintain Observer Status at the World Health Assembly

Taiwan was regularly accorded observer status at the annual World Health Assembly (WHA) between 2009 and 2016. The assembly represents the premier international gathering for government officials and health professionals to discuss a wide variety of global-health concerns. Regrettably, the World Health Organization (WHO) did not invite Taiwan to attend the seventy-first WHA to be held May 21-26 in Geneva.

How China or Russia Could Trick a U.S. Spy Satellite

See the pretty Honda Civic in the photograph?

It's not really a Honda Civic. It's a Russian tank pretending to be an automobile.

See the American spy satellite? A computer analyzes its images, but the computer can be fooled by clever camouflage.

This is why the U.S. Navy wants to understand how to prevent computerized surveillance systems from being suckered into thinking that tanks are passenger cars.

The Pentagon Has a Plan to Use Robots to Patrol Cities

Mao Zedong famously advised guerrillas "to move among the people as a fish swims in the sea."

DARPA thinks it has the answer: use robots to spot the bad guys.

After all, one of the most dangerous tasks U.S. soldiers face is foot patrols in a hostile city. Enemies can hide in buildings and lurk in shadows. And just who is an enemy, and who is an innocent civilian, when everyone looks and dresses alike?

How the (Proxy) War Between Iran and Israel Started

At midnight on the Syrian-Israeli border on May 8–9, 2018 a multiple-rocket launcher system operated by the Quds force—an expeditionary special forces unit of the Iranian Revolution Guard Corps—fired a salvo of twenty unguided 333mm Fajr-5 rockets towards Israel. (You can see the apparent rocket launch here.) Four of the rockets were shot down by Israeli Iron Dome air defense system and the rest missed and landed in Syrian territory.

How Hitler Tried to Stack His Panzer Tanks to Stop Defeat (It Completely Failed)

Even in the dark days of March 1945, when the Third Reich was on the brink of collapse, its troops managed to exhibit that grim humor that enables frontline soldiers to endure the horrors of battle. As the panzer crews of mighty Tiger II tanks rumbled forward in the last German offensive of World War II in eastern Hungary, they joked about the difficulties they were having coming to grips with the enemy. A few of the 68-ton King Tigers sank up to their turrets in the mud produced by an early spring thaw.

Russia's 5 Biggest Nuclear Bomb Tests Ever

The Bomb represents the ultimate expression of might, so the biggest bombs express that power to its extremes. The United States and the Soviet Union built bigger and bigger bombs to deter each other. Eventually, Washington stopped testing such large weapons due to improved accuracy of their delivery methods. Only 3 percent of the superpowers' stockpiles consisted of nuclear weapons with yields greater than four megatons, but those weapons more than any others symbolize the terror of nuclear war.

This Stinger Missile Is Back

The FIM-92 Stinger surface-to-air missile has been a staple of America’s short-range air defense network since the 1970s. It also has been wildly successful on the export market, being used by almost every NATO country and U.S. ally. The U.S. Military is now upgrading their Stinger to the new FIM-92J and FIM-92K models to effectively counter all aerial threats in the near future. The J model includes substantial improvements in lethality, updated components to help extend the “shelf life” and decrease the maintenance cost of these missiles.

South Korea Just Launched Its New 'Aircraft Carrier in Disguise'

South Korea has launched its second amphibious assault ship.

On May 14, South Korean officials launched the second Dokdo-class helicopter carrier. The ceremony took place in Busan at the shipyard of Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction, the company that built the vessel. Among those in attendance were Defense Minister Song Young-moo and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Um Hyun-seong, according to local news outlets.

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