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Fighter aircraft will soon get AI pilots

#artificialintelligence

CLASSIC DOGFIGHTS, in which two pilots match wits and machines to shoot down their opponent with well-aimed gunfire, are a thing of the past. Guided missiles have seen to that, and the last recorded instance of such duelling was 32 years ago, near the end of the Iran-Iraq war, when an Iranian F-4 Phantom took out an Iraqi Su-22 with its 20mm cannon. But memory lingers, and dogfighting, even of the simulated sort in which the laws of physics are substituted by equations running inside a computer, is reckoned a good test of the aptitude of a pilot in training. And that is also true when the pilot in question is, itself, a computer program. So, when America's Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), an adventurous arm of the Pentagon, considered the future of air-to-air combat and the role of artificial intelligence (AI) within that future, it began with basics that Manfred von Richthofen himself might have approved of.


Hackers HQ and Space Command: how UK defence budget could be spent

The Guardian

A specialist cyber force of several hundred British hackers has been in the works for nearly three years, although its creation has been partly held back by turf wars between the spy agency GCHQ and the Ministry of Defence, to which the unit is expected to jointly report. The idea behind the new unit is to bring greater visibility and coherence to offensive cyber, a capability that the UK claims to have had for a decade but until recently has rarely acknowledged or discussed. Earlier in the autumn, Gen Patrick Sanders, the head of the UK's strategic command, said the military already had the capacity to "degrade, disrupt and destroy" enemies. Past operations include hacking into Islamic State systems in 2017 to understand how the terror group was operating a low-tech drone capability out of Mosul, which the military claims allowed it to understand how the drones were bought and how operators were trained. Creating a "Space Command" is a promise that was made in the Conservative election manifesto, and comes at a time when major military powers are rapidly showing an interest in space, largely because of the need to ensure the safety and security of satellites on which critical communications and location systems depend. The UK's new Space Operations Centre, based at the RAF headquarters in High Wycombe, comes less than a year after Donald Trump announced the creation of a new space force, arguing that "space is the world's new war-fighting domain," and that maintaining American superiority over Russia and China was "absolutely vital".


Trump Is Said to Be Preparing to Withdraw Troops From Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia

NYT > Middle East

But the president's aspirations have long run into resistance, as his own national security officials argued that abandonment of such troubled countries could have catastrophic consequences -- such as when the United States pulled out of Iraq at the end of 2011, leaving a vacuum that fostered the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Mr. Trump has also repeatedly pushed to withdraw from Syria, but several hundred U.S. troops remain stationed there, partly to protect coveted oil fields held by American-backed Syrian Kurdish allies from being seized by the government of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria. The current deliberations over withdrawals would not affect those in Syria, officials said. The plan under discussion to pull out of Somalia is said to not apply to U.S. forces stationed in nearby Kenya and Djibouti, where American drones that carry out airstrikes in Somalia are based, according to officials familiar with the internal deliberations who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Keeping those air bases would mean retaining the military's ability to use drones to attack militants with the Shabab, the Qaeda-linked terrorist group -- at least those deemed to pose a threat to American interests.


Fighter aircraft will soon get AI pilots

#artificialintelligence

CLASSIC DOGFIGHTS, in which two pilots match wits and machines to shoot down their opponent with well-aimed gunfire, are a thing of the past. Guided missiles have seen to that, and the last recorded instance of such combat was 32 years ago, near the end of the Iran-Iraq war, when an Iranian F-4 Phantom took out an Iraqi Su-22 with its 20mm cannon. But memory lingers, and dogfighting, even of the simulated sort in which the laws of physics are substituted by equations running inside a computer, is reckoned a good test of the aptitude of a pilot in training. And that is also true when the pilot in question is, itself, a computer program. So, when America's Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), an adventurous arm of the Pentagon, considered the future of air-to-air combat and the role of artificial intelligence (AI) within that future, it began with basics that Manfred von Richthofen himself might have approved of.


Candace Owens slams intelligence agencies over allowing domestic terror to run rampant

FOX News

Trump 2020 communications director Tim Murtaugh weighs in on'America's News HQ.' Conservative activist Candace Owens on Sunday leveled harsh criticism against U.S. intelligence agencies for their supposed inability to root out domestic terrorism while simultaneously being able to "take out" terrorists overseas. "We're supposed to believe that our intelligence agencies can track and take out an Iranian terrorist (Soleimani) overnight but they can't manage to get to the root of ANTIFA and black lives matter-- well-funded domestic terrorist cells that have been operating unchecked for YEARS," she tweeted. Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Forces, was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad, Iraq on Jan. 3. Administration officials said the strike, authorized by President Trump, was conducted to deter imminent attacks on U.S. interests. Owens' comments follow an evening of unrest that came after the president's supporters were purportedly attacked at the so-called Million MAGA March in Washington, D.C. on Saturday. Many were quick to condemn the media's apparent lack of interest in covering the violence directed at supporters of the president.


A Navy SEAL, a Quadcopter, and a Quest to Save Lives in Combat

WIRED

Fifteen years ago, when I returned home after fighting in Iraq, a friend asked me to describe the bravest thing I saw anyone do. I had led a Marine platoon in the Second Battle of Fallujah, in 2004, and had seen plenty of heroism--Marines dragging their wounded off machine-gun-swept streets, or fighting room to room to recover a comrade's body. But none of these compared to the cumulative heroism of the 19- and 20-year-old infantrymen who placed their bodies across that fatal funnel--a doorway with a potential enemy inside--every day. Clearing the enemy from the city, house by house, was a game of Russian roulette played on a grand scale. You never knew who might be waiting on the other side of the door.


Could the Abrams live until 2030 and beyond?

FOX News

Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com. It destroyed Iraqi T-72 tanks in the Gulf War in now-famous tank battles, using highly accurate, long-range thermal sensors able to destroy targets without being seen itself. It patrolled the streets in Iraq in 2003. It is a major mechanized attack platform with massive amounts of fire-power and an "intimidating" presence when used as a psychological deterrent.


HealthITAnalytics: Machine Learning Can Streamline PTSD Diagnosis in Veterans - FedHealthIT

#artificialintelligence

"Using machine learning, researchers were able to cut six of the 20 questions used to diagnose post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) while still maintaining accuracy in a veteran population, according to a study published in Assessment." "PTSD impacts eight million adults in the US, the researchers stated, including hundreds of thousands of veterans of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, PTSD symptoms are also increasing among the general population, the team noted." "However, diagnosing PTSD is time-consuming – the process typically takes 30 minutes or more, which is too long for most clinical visits." "To streamline PTSD diagnosis, researchers from the VA Boston Healthcare System and the Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) set out to develop a machine learning tool that would make the process more efficient." "The team used data from the Structured Clinical Interview for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition (SCID-5) assessments of 1,265 veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan."


Killer Robots: Why We Should (Not) Worry About Them

#artificialintelligence

In 1997, The Simpsons prophesized that for future wars, "most of the actual fighting will be done by small robots" with soldiers only responsible to "build and maintain those robots." Though the cartoon's track record with predictions is debatable, few will argue that robots have played a critical role in combat over the past decade. Whether it is a Predator drone patrolling a No-Fly zone or a Packbot diffusing a bomb, robots have made their presence known on the battlefield. The U.S. military and coalition forces use the base, located in an undisclosed location, to launch airstrikes against ISIL in Iraq and Syria, as well as to distribute cargo and transport troops supporting Operation Inherent Resolve. The Predators at the base are operated and maintained by the 46th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron, currently attached to the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing.


Iran vows 'hit' on all involved in U.S. killing of top general

Boston Herald

The chief of Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard threatened Saturday to go after everyone who had a role in a top general's January killing during a U.S. drone strike in Iraq. The guard's website quoted Gen. Hossein Salami as saying, "Mr. Our revenge for martyrdom of our great general is obvious, serious and real." U.S. President Donald Trump warned this week that Washington would harshly respond to any Iranian attempts to take revenge for the death of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, tweeting that "if they hit us in any way, any form, written instructions already done we're going to hit them 1000 times harder." The president's warning came in response to a report that Iran was plotting to assassinate the U.S. ambassador to South Africa in retaliation for Soleimani's killing at Baghdad's airport at the beginning of the year.