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May 23, 2015

Posts in "Drones"

February 20, 2015

Weekly Recap: Presidential Politics, Weaponry, Viagra (Again)

Syrian scholar and Muslim cleric Sheikh Muhammad Al-Yaqoubi listens as U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism Feb. 19. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Syrian scholar and Muslim cleric Sheikh Muhammad Al-Yaqoubi listens as U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism Feb. 19. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

  • Weaponry. Armed drone exports are an area for congressional intervention, but maybe not like you think. And the technical capabilities of other countries bombing the Islamic State group might be one of several problems with others getting involved.
  • Politics. We’ve spent some time on the other GOP presidential candidates’ foreign policy views, and turned our attention this week to Jeb Bush‘s.
  • Viagra. People seriously can’t seem to get enough of us writing about the Pentagon Viagra budget so it keeps making the weekly recap.
  • Elsewhere. There’s a permanent Secret Service boss on tap. Here‘s what the Atlantic says ISIS is about, and a counterpoint. And here‘s what a Russian cybersecurity firm says about the United States spying on foreign computers.

February 18, 2015

Congress Could Block Armed Drone Sales, But Probably Just Situationally

In this handout released by the U.S. Navy courtesy of Northrop Grumman, the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator lands after completing the first launch of an unmanned aerial vehicle from an aircraft carrier in, 2013 at Naval Air Staion Patuxent River, Md. ( U.S. Navy/Northrop Grumman via Getty Images)

In this handout released by the U.S. Navy courtesy of Northrop Grumman, the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator lands after completing the first launch of an unmanned aerial vehicle from an aircraft carrier in, 2013 at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. ( U.S. Navy/Northrop Grumman via Getty Images)

Congress is more likely to block individual armed drone sales deals overseas than to block a new policy announced Tuesday allowing expanded exports overall. (CQ.com story for subscribers) Full story

January 30, 2015

Weekly Recap: White House Drone, Super Bowl Drones, Budget Red Zone

A Kurdish fighter walks with his child in the center of the Syrian border town of Kobane, known as Ain al-Arab, on Jan. 28. Kurdish forces recaptured the strategic town on the Turkish frontier in a symbolic blow for the jihadists who have seized swathes of territory in a brutal onslaught across Syria and Iraq. (Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty Images)

A Kurdish fighter walks with his child in the center of the Syrian border town of Kobane, known as Ain al-Arab, on Jan. 28. Kurdish forces recaptured the strategic town on the Turkish frontier in a symbolic blow for the jihadists who have seized swathes of territory in a brutal onslaught across Syria and Iraq. (Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty Images)

The re-taking of Kobani was one of the things we didn’t cover this week. It wasn’t alone. Let’s catch up on our hits and misses. Full story

January 29, 2015

Security Takeaways From the Loretta Lynch Hearings

(Bill Clark/Roll Call)

(Bill Clark/Roll Call)

The transcripts of the Senate Judiciary nomination hearings for Loretta Lynch from Wednesday alone run 63,928 words. Although immigration has been the top issue the attorney general nominee has faced, she also has talked about torture, cybersecurity, surveillance and terrorism suspect detention in military vs. civilian courts.

Here are the highlights, with one of her answers in full: Full story

Fiscal 2016 Budget Preview: Intelligence

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., greets Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odiernoa, before a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing titled "Impact of the Budget Control Act of 2011 and Sequestration on National Security" on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., greets Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odiernoa, before a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing titled “Impact of the Budget Control Act of 2011 and Sequestration on National Security” on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

We haven’t seen as much leg on President Obama‘s fiscal 2016 intelligence budget proposal as we have on his defense budget, but then, we hardly ever see much of that classified spy agency spending. We do know a few things, however. Full story

January 28, 2015

Military Technology, Enforcement: Answer to White House Drone?

(via U.S. Secret Service)

(via U.S. Secret Service)

This week, a drone landed on the White House lawn thanks to a reportedly drunken pilot, causing a mild security panic. It got President Obama himself talking about the need to regulate drones in civilian airspace. And most everybody agrees that the behind-schedule Federal Aviation Administration regulations in the works would at least clarify some things, if the lawn crash doesn’t slow them down even more. But it might not be the best answer to the security threat posed by civilian drones. Full story

January 27, 2015

Iraq/Afghanistan, Drone Contractors Penalized for Alleged Misbehavior

A man walks past Composite Engineering Inc.'s BQM-167A, a remote controlled aerial target used for air-to-air tests,  at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) annual show in Washington, D.C. in 2011. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

A man walks past Composite Engineering Inc.’s BQM-167A, a remote controlled aerial target used for air-to-air tests, at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) annual show in Washington, D.C. in 2011. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

A pair of national security contractors are taking some serious financial heat from the federal government over some alleged misbehavior. Full story

January 16, 2015

Drone-Related Shortages Abound

Two months ago came news that there was a shortage of military drones. Thursday came news that there’s a shortage of drone pilots, too.

Per Deborah Lee James, secretary of the Air Force…

The number of Air Force pilots needed to fly a growing number of missions worldwide has not kept up with demand. There are currently 988 Predator and Reaper pilots, but the Air Force is supposed to have 244 more drone pilots, James said, and not as many new pilots are coming in annually to replace the 240 who leave the drone force each year.

“This is a force that is under significant stress from what is an unrelenting pace of operations,” said James.

Oh, and “the sensor operators, the maintenance teams and the intelligence analysts” who are part of the drone-related workforce are also under stress, according to the Pentagon.

December 29, 2014

National Security in the New Year

New Year's Eve numerals arrive in Times Square prior to installation atop One Times Square, at Times Square on Dec. 16. (Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

New Year’s Eve numerals arrive in Times Square prior to installation atop One Times Square, at Times Square on Dec. 16. (Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

There are big changes afoot in 2015: a new Congress, a new Pentagon chief, an evolving battlefield. Here’s a look ahead to some of the developments you can expect, as covered here in 2014 by Five By Five. Full story

December 19, 2014

Weekly Recap: Pakistan, Cuba, Russia

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHoLEEQSy7c

If you look carefully, you can see Gen. Ray Odierno and other national security/foreign policy figures joining in on a farewell “We’ll Meet Again” song for the Colbert Report. We’ll bid you our own farewell for the week with a recap of what we wrote about at Five By Five, and some highlights from elsewhere, too. Full story

December 17, 2014

Spy Blimp Opens New Front in Security Vs. Privacy Debate

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QEozkZNIdo

The argument gets tiresome because it’s not necessarily either/or, of course, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t sometimes a conflict: “Security vs. privacy” is back at it with the media getting a peak Wednesday in Maryland at the new spy blimp (technically, aerostat) meant to detect incoming cruise missiles on the East Coast. Full story

November 18, 2014

Not Enough Drones? And Are More Coming, Or Not?

A  drone flies over Kobanii, as seen from near the Mursitpinar crossing on the Turkish-Syrian border Oct. 22. (Gokhan Sahin/Getty Images)

A drone flies over Kobani, as seen from near the Mursitpinar crossing on the Turkish-Syrian border Oct. 22. (Gokhan Sahin/Getty Images)

According to one story, there might be a military drone “shortage.” And the recently announced Pentagon “offset strategy” suggests an increased reliance on them in the future. But also, there might not be enough money or political will for them. Full story

By Tim Starks Posted at 2:30 p.m.
Budget, Drones, War

November 13, 2014

Video: Iranian Drone That America Thinks Is Stupid

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9kPMROh48M

Iran has been gloating this week about its replica drone of the American version downed in 2011. The Pentagon is not impressed. Full story

By Tim Starks Posted at 2:56 p.m.
Drones

October 10, 2014

Weekly Recap: Syria Air Strikes, Operation Blue Spoon, Hawk Vs. Drone

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhDG_WBIQgc

This week, we recap the subjects in the headline, plus some Guantanamo, some politics, some cybersecurity, some Iran and more. Full story

September 30, 2014

Homeland Security Drones Fly Away From Border, Coasts 1/5th of the Time

A Predator drone operated by U.S. Office of Air and Marine (OAM), taxis towards the tarmac for a surveillance flight near the Mexican border in March of last year. (John Moore/Getty Images)

A Predator drone operated by U.S. Office of Air and Marine (OAM), taxis towards the tarmac for a surveillance flight near the Mexican border in March of last year. (John Moore/Getty Images)

Customs and Border Protection drones operated along U.S. borders and coasts 80 percent of the time over the last three years — but strayed 20 percent of the time into restricted airspace due to things like malfunctions, or else entered into Federal Aviation Administration-approved airspace for things like disaster missions.

That’s according to the Government Accountability Office, which also found that the Department of Homeland Security’s CBP has put in place procedures for complying with civil liberties and privacy laws and standards. Full story

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