The U.S. Army’s new laser canon can blast drones out of the sky, even in fog.
In simple terms, the laser makes an incredibly powerful, highly focused beam of light and aims it at a moving target. Light equals heat, and, after enough heat has been transferred, the target is compromised and crashes or blows up.
A new report on global attitudes about the U.S. from the Pew Research Center shows something that isn’t terribly surprising: American drone strikes are unpopular around the world (only Israel approves U.S. drone strikes more than the U.S.). What is surprising, however, is the unusually large gender gap in attitudes about one of the Obama administration’s signature national security tools.
“Gender gaps are also often seen in global surveys over the use of military force, with women far less likely than men to say that force is sometimes necessary in the pursuit of justice,” wrote Bruce Stokes, Director of Global Economic Attitudes at the Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project, in a blog post about the project. “But the gender difference over drone strikes is unusually large.”
These satellite images show a remote airstrip deep in the desert of Saudi Arabia. It may or may not be the secret U.S. drone base revealed by reporters earlier this week. But the base’s hangars bear a remarkable resemblance to similar structures found on other American drone outposts. And its remote location — dozens of miles from the nearest highway, and farther still to the nearest town – suggests that this may be more than the average civilian airstrip.
[via Danger Room]
Even casual divers know that diving too deep, or surfacing too quickly, can cause a host of complications from sickness to seizures and even sudden death. Now the Pentagon’s scientists want to build gear that can turn commandos into Aquaman, allowing them to plunge into the deeps without having to worry as much about getting ill. (Orange and green tights sold separately.)
According to a list of research proposals from the U.S. military’s blue-sky researchers at Darpa, the agency is seeking “integrated microsystems” to detect and control “warfighter physiology for military diver operations.” Essentially it comes down to hooking divers up to sensors that can read both their bio-physical signs and the presence of gases like nitric oxide, which help prevent decompression sickness, commonly known as “the bends.” If those levels dip too low, the Darpa devices will send small amounts of the gases into divers’ lungs to help keep them swimming.
More @ Danger Room!
Top-secret janitor. Pollster to the spies. Classified comic book artist. Any organization sufficiently large is bound to have the odd job opening within it. But few organizations are as freakin’ colossal as the U.S. military intelligence industrial complex, with an estimated 4.9 million Americans holding security clearances today. Which means there are thousands of unconventional positions to fill at any given moment.
Here are some of the wilder military and intelligence “help wanted” ads we found online. Some classifieds are for truly wacky jobs. Others are for slightly more standard positions — but presented in an odd way.
Like many in the press, nearly every national politician, and lots of members of Petraeus’ brain trust over the years, I played a role in the creation of the legend around David Petraeus. Yes, Paula Broadwell wrote the ultimate Petraeus hagiography, the now-unfortunately titled All In. But she was hardly alone. (Except maybe for the sleeping-with-Petraeus part.) The biggest irony surrounding Petraeus’ unexpected downfall is that he became a casualty of the very publicity machine he cultivated to portray him as superhuman.
Wired reporter Spencer Ackerman tells us how he was drawn into the cult of David Petraeus.