End of Blitz Era for ISIS?
- ISIS is starting to suffer [AP] setbacks [NYT] in Iraq and Syria. Killing their momentum might go some way to dispel their mystique and make it harder for them to recruit and motivate jihadists. But in August during the battle for control of the Mosul dam they’ve shown they were willing to remain mobile rather than stand ground they couldn’t keep.
- The Pentagon’s Joint IED Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) is on their way back to Iraq [Defense One], as insurgents continue to make heavy use of roadside bomb attacks.
- The New York Times reported in detail last month how US troops were exposed to old chemical weapons in Iraq between 2004 and 2011, but didn’t receive adequate care. This has led the Pentagon to acknowledge that more than 600 people were exposed to chemicals during that campaign.
- Egypt awarded a 2nd contract to Swiftships Shipbuilding for 6 35m patrol boats, according to the company. They’re very similar to the ships operated by Iraq. Research firm Business Monitor International projects swift growth in Egypt’s military spending, but one wonders where the money is supposed to come from.
- HII CEO Mike Petters is worried [USNI] about delays in carrier overhaul and construction contract awards by the US Navy.
Latest Data Breach
- Home Depot admitted yesterday [USA Today] that hackers had been able to steal 53M email addresses in addition to millions of credit card numbers and emails that the company said back in September had been harvested by third parties. Malware was installed on self-checkout registers via credentials stolen from a vendor.
- Poland wants to procure [AFP] armed UAVs to be able to counter surveillance drones whose use helped Russia designate artillery targets in Ukraine. UAVs to fight UAVs is an interesting idea, though air defense systems like Poland’s GROM and its planned NAREW are better. There have been rumors of Polish interest in the MQ-9 Reaper for some time now, but weapons like DRS’ Spike mini-missile could give smaller platforms an anti-UAV role as well.
- Today’s video, from Stratfor, discusses Russia’s options after the latest elections in Ukraine: