Friday, May 16, 2014

Pentagon sending two long-range Global Hawk drones for operations from Japan - Free Beacon

...China opposes U.S. surveillance flights and there are concerns the Chinese might try to shoot down one of the aircraft by claiming the right to enforce its unilaterally imposed air defense identification zone over the East China Sea.

Methods contemplated for disrupting Global Hawk flights, according to the article, include electronic jamming of onboard spy sensors, disrupting communications and control links between the Global Hawk and its satellite relays, and using airborne warning and control aircraft to direct jet interceptors to the drones where they could be shot down with air-to-air missiles.

Chinese military writings also indicate Beijing is planning to use cyber attacks to take control of Global Hawks in flights.

“Regardless of whether it is a Global Hawk or an RQ-170 stealth [drone], it is afraid of seven things: electronics jamming; camouflage deception, being dazed by smoke screens; mid-air intercepts; airborne early warning; attack platforms and mid-air ambushes,” the Chinese military report said. “If effective barrage jamming can be implemented by the opponent, then the operational effectiveness of the [drone] will be partially or totally lost.”

Drones are key systems involved in China’s island and maritime disputes in the region for the past several

-bth: this article is worth reading in full despite being poorly written,  it cites an article out of Japan without identifying it and it references a Chinese study on how to take down drones but again does not identify the source it quotes from.  Irritating.  Anyway, one could see unfolding the prospect of attacks on drones occurring from China against Japan or in reverse.  This does not bode well for peaceful relations and it would seem to me that an early indicator of conflict would be the disappearance of recon drones over disputed sea lanes.  ... Food for thought.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Is the Kremlin rallying Russians for a new 'USSR-lite'? - CSM

... as the crisis in Ukraine grew, official rhetoric has talked more about defending ethnic Russians, now trapped in foreign countries as a result of the Soviet breakup – and threatened with discrimination or worse from non-Russian authorities. "Official nationalism hasn't changed, but in the mass media it's becoming more about race. When they speak of nationality now, they mean ethnicity," says Alexander Verhkovsky, director of the independent Sova Center in Moscow, which tracks extremist movements. That could hold future implications for several former Soviet republics, such as Kazakhstan and Moldova as well as Ukraine, where substantial pockets of Russians live. "What has really changed is the idea of expansionism has appeared in our authorities' discourse. Never before was it said that Russia has a mission to restore some parts of the lost empire. Now we've actually done that, in Crimea," says Mr. Verkhovsky. But he adds that the changes are tactical, and that he doesn't believe Putin is trying to create a full-fledged neo-Soviet ideology. Nikolai Petrov, a professor at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, agrees. "An ideology needs to be oriented toward the future. But what we're seeing is many incoherent elements, mostly celebrations of historical triumphs and appeals for people to work together as they did in the war. But restoring the glorious past is hardly a plan," he says.