8 December 2018

Iran: Suicide attack hits police post in Chabahar

Official says more than 40 people also wounded in the attack that targeted a police headquarters in key port city.
Chabahar in Iran's Sistan-Baluchestan province is located near the border with Pakistan 

Four policemen were killed and 42 other people were wounded in a suicide car bomb attack on a police headquarters in Iran's southeast on Thursday. 
The attack occurred in Iran's southern port city of Chabahar, state television Press TV reported, quoting security and local officials.

State media also reported shooting in the area, home to a Sunni Muslim minority in the largely Shia country, which has long been plagued by violence from both drug smugglers and separatists.
Rahmdel Bameri, governor of Sistan-Baluchestan province, said a bomb-filled vehicle was used to target the police station by the suicide attacker.

"Police stopped the explosive-laden car and started firing at the driver ... who then set off the explosion near the police headquarters in Chabahar," said Bameri.

Images posted online showed thick smoke rising from the sky in the area where the attack took place.
The SITE Intelligence Group reported that Sunni armed group Ansar al-Furqan claimed responsibility for the attack.

Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif accused a foreign power of involvement without naming a specific country.

"Foreign-backed terrorists kill and wound innocents in Chabahar. As we've made clear in the past, such crimes won’t go unpunished," Zarif said on Twitter.

India Acts East, Looks West – Analysis

By P. S. Suryanarayana

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Singapore in mid-November 2018 was an exercise in strategic autonomy. He gained time to carve a comfort zone for India in a proposed regional economic pact which will include China. He also signalled closer strategic rapport with the United States.

A major multilateral project of ASEAN is the planned Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). The pact will encompass all 10 members of ASEAN and six among its dialogue partners. With China, India and Japan, but not the United States, on board, RCEP is potentially the largest economic bloc in the East.

Being negotiated for several years so far, RCEP has now been put off for “conclusion” in 2019. Primarily, this followed ASEAN’s acceptance of India’s reservations based on its cost-benefit calculus at this stage.

A U.S. Ambassador Reflects on Afghanistan

by Ronald Neumann

If one year ago I returned from a trip to Afghanistan more hopeful than previously, my return this time highlighted the immensity of the challenges, the dangers to our nation of retreat, and yet a few bright spots difficult to properly assess. Elections, security and peace negotiations are the themes that dominate Kabul discussions. Each is messy, with head snapping contradictions that make most simple bottom line assessments at least partially wrong.

For background on what follows: My last yearly trip was July 2017. This November I spent a week in Kabul. The impressions that follow do not represent scientific sampling but, rather, nearly forty meetings with Afghan government officials, opposition figures, businessmen, women and men active in civil society, foreign diplomats and observers as well as American civilian and military officials. Many of these are people I have known for over a decade. What follows, then, is an impressionistic synthesis of what I heard.

After gains in Afghanistan, resurgent Taliban is in no rush for peace talks

By Pamela Constable

KABUL — Everyone, it seems, is pushing for peace in Afghanistan these days. President Trump’s special envoy is racing around the region, trying to drum up support for talks with the insurgent Taliban. The Russians, eager to get into the act, have hosted a conference on the issue. The Pakistanis, long accused of abetting the insurgents, insist they want to help end the war. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani hopes to win reelection in April as the man who brought peace to his country after 17 years.

The Taliban, however, seems to be in no hurry at all.

Last week, when Ghani laid out his upbeat vision of a “road map” to peace at a conference in Geneva, the response from the insurgents was scathing. They dismissed his government as a “powerless” foreign puppet and any discussion with its officials as a “waste of time.” They said they were waging a holy war against American “invaders” and would negotiate only with them.

China's dam-building rage is threatening the whole of Asia, and India has the most to lose


China clearly doesn't believe in equitable water sharing arrangements. But these are a must for Asia, which needs to avoid both Chinese domination and water wars.

China is the world’s biggest dam builder, with the country boasting more dams than the rest of the world combined. China is also the world’s largest exporter of dams.

In Nepal, where China-backed communists are in power, Beijing has just succeeded in reviving a lucrative dam project, which was scrapped by the previous Nepalese government as China had won the contract without competitive bidding. The reversal of the previous government’s cancellation of the $2.5-billion Budhi-Gandaki Dam project has come after Nepal’s communist rulers implemented a transit transport agreement with China, to cut dependence on India.

Crimea 2.0: Will Russia Seek Reunification with Belarus

By Arkady Moshes

While speculation about whether Russia may repeat the Crimean scenario in Belarus should not be totally dismissed, exaggerated alarmism would not be appropriate either. Rather, Moscow’s policy is aimed at making sure that Belarus and its leadership remain critically dependent on Russia.

Public discussion on whether Moscow may embark on a policy leading to the annexation of Belarus in the mid-term future seems to be picking up momentum. In June this year, existing concerns were finally openly voiced by Belarus’s President Alexander Lukashenko, who said that if his country were unable to “endure”, it would “have to join another state”. Worse, “a war, like in Ukraine, may be unleashed”. Lukashenko did not name any names, but as observers immediately noted, there are not too many countries among Belarus’s neighbours that have recent experience of territorial expansion.

There Is No Grand Bargain With China

By Ely Ratner

In true showmanship fashion, U.S. President Donald Trump is keeping the world in suspense about whether he will soon double down on the United States’ trade war with China or call a truce. The big reveal will come after his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the margins of the G-20 in Buenos Aires later this week. Trump has at times been optimistic, telling reporters, “I think a deal will be made. We’ll find out very soon.”

Don’t believe the hype. Any agreement in Argentina will be a tactical pause at best, providing short-term relief to jittery stock markets and beleaguered U.S. farmers, but having no material or long-lasting effect on the slide toward a high-stakes geopolitical competition between the United States and China. The days when the world’s two largest economies could meet each other halfway have gone.

Can China and the United States Avoid War?

Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd —in his keynote address at the 
New China Challenge conference in October—considered the strategic competition 
between the United States and China. This article is adapted from his speech.

As Prime Minister of Australia, through the Australian Defence White Paper of 2009, I was proud to commission the largest peacetime expansion of the Australian Navy in its history—growing our surface fleet by a third and doubling the submarine fleet. That naval expansion had a strategic purpose in mind—namely, the change in the economic and military balance of power between China and the United States. The white paper concluded: 

Are China’s Trade Practices Really Unfair?


Even if China’s non-tariff barriers remain high, they are lower than in the past. In fact, current complaints about unfair Chinese trade practices are actually complaints about the mismatch between the slow pace of economic opening and the very fast pace of modernization.

BRUSSELS – The temporary truce reached by US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at the just-concluded G20 meeting in Buenos Aires should give both sides some time to reflect on the issues in question. And the most fundamental of those issues is whether American grievances against China – shared by many of the advanced economies – are justified.

To be sure, unilateral US measures are indefensible under global trading rules. But some pushback conceivably could be warranted if the advanced economies – which have already created an informal contact group of “China losers,” including representatives of the European Union, Japan, and the United States – are right that China has been engaging in unfair trading practices.

China’s Djibouti Base: A One Year Update

By Tyler Headley

Since its construction, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Support Base in Djibouti has become an increasingly important outpost in the Horn of Africa. The base’s geostrategic location yields insights into China’s machinations for the region.

Roughly two years ago, China’s negotiations with Djibouti for the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s (PLAN) first overseas military base successfully concluded. On July 11, 2017, the PLAN deployed ships from the South Sea Fleet to officially open the base. The opening ceremony on August 1, 2017 was followed a month and a half later with live fire exercises.

The True Origins of ISIS

Hassan Hassan

Most historians of the Islamic State agree that the group emerged out of al-Qaeda in Iraq as a response to the U.S. invasion in 2003. They also agree that it was shaped primarily by a Jordanian jihadist and the eventual head of al-Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The Jordanian had a dark vision: He wished to fuel a civil war between Sunnis and Shiites and establish a caliphate. Although he was killed in 2006, his vision was realized in 2014—the year isis overran northern Iraq and eastern Syria.

Narratives about the origins of Islamic State ideology often focus on the fact that Zarqawi and Osama bin Laden, both Sunni extremists, diverged on the idea of fighting Shiites and on questions of takfir, or excommunication. Such differences, the story goes, were reinforced in Iraq and eventually led to the split between isis and al-Qaeda. Based on this set of assumptions, many conclude that Zarqawi must have provided the intellectual framework for isis.

I’m Sorry for Creating the ‘Gerasimov Doctrine’


Everywhere, you’ll find scholars, pundits, and policymakers talking about the threat the “Gerasimov doctrine” — named after Russia’s chief of the general staff — poses to the West. It’s a new way of war, “an expanded theory of modern warfare,” or even “a vision of total warfare.”

There’s one small problem. It doesn’t exist. And the longer we pretend it does, the longer we misunderstand the — real, but different — challenge Russia poses.

I feel I can say that because, to my immense chagrin, I created this term, which has since acquired a destructive life of its own, lumbering clumsily into the world to spread fear and loathing in its wake. Back in February 2013, the Russian newspaper Military-Industrial Courier — as exciting and widely read as it sounds — reprinted a speech by Gen. Valery Gerasimov. It talks of how in the modern world, the use of propaganda and subversion means that “a perfectly thriving state can, in a matter of months and even days, be transformed into an arena of fierce armed conflict, become a victim of foreign intervention, and sink into a web of chaos, humanitarian catastrophe, and civil war.”

Is North Korea Exerting 'Asymmetric Leverage' Over China?

By Corey Bell

What if Pyongyang is using nuclearization as a means to alter the terms of its relationship with China?

The last few years have witnessed dramatic oscillations in the tenor and substance of the Sino-North Korean relationship. As is well known, the relationship suffered a deep dive in 2017 through to mid-2018 on the back of a number of North Korean missile and nuclear weapons tests — provocations that prompted China to publicly rebuke Pyongyang and even support sanctions against the hermit state. However, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Chinese President Xi Jinping have since met on three occasions, and these meetings have been followed by a series of lower level bilateral forums and increases in Chinese aid. The latter developments not only defied trends; they also surprised many well-credentialed analysts whom several month ago concluded that the special, so-called “blood alliance,” or “lips and teeth” relationship between these two neighbors, is no more. How or why did these experts get it wrong?

If we want to survive on this planet, we need to abandon the cause of the nation state


If we really care for the fate of the people who comprise our nation, our motto should be: America last, China last, Russia last.

The latest news from the border of Ukraine and Russia indicates that we already live in a pre-war situation – so what should we, ordinary people, do when the explosion of global madness looms?

What France's Unrest Means

by Scott B. MacDonald

The ongoing Yellow Vest movement is significant and could have long-lasting repercussions for France and the rest of Europe.

France is suffering from a round of public discontent in the form of the “Yellow Vests” ( gilets jaunes ), a spontaneous and generally leaderless wave of demonstrations and riots springing from the country’s rural areas and small-towns. Beginning in November, people showed up in large numbers to protest a green-friendly tax on gas and diesel fuels to discourage the use of automobiles and trucks. It was estimated by the Interior Ministry that on December 2 nd close to 136,000 people took to the streets, up from the previous weekend’s showing of 105,000. Although the Macron government on December 3 rd announced it was postponing the fuel tax rises for six months, the Yellow Vests are not done. Indeed, there are growing concerns that the movement can bring the economy to a halt, force political changes and factor in the European Union’s May 2019 European Union parliamentary elections. 

In the US-China Trade War, a Cease-fire Ends Nothing

By Phillip Orchard

Long-term economic competition is at the mercy of even longer-term geopolitical competition. 

Last Saturday in Buenos Aires, over grilled steak and Malbec one assumes were produced domestically, U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping reached something of cease-fire in the trade war. Four days later, it’s unclear whether they agree on what they agreed to. The official statements they’ve issued subsequently clashed in scope, tone and substance. Not that the finer points will make much of a difference for the next few years. The U.S. and China are just beginning what will surely be a long, ugly process of economic disintegration that will disrupt both countries and, given their economic influence, alter the structure of the global economy.

But when the dust settles, each will still have ample interest in doing business with the other, making a narrower yet mutually beneficial long-term arrangement possible in the future. The only way that changes is if the broader strategic competition with China dramatically intensifies, in which case the U.S. will have every reason to weaponize trade.

Mueller, Manafort And Assange – OpEd

By Margaret Kimberley

The Mueller investigation much more resembles a propaganda campaign whose goal is neither truth nor justice, but vilification of Russia in the pursuit of endless war.

Robert Mueller is the hero of the “resistance.” Yet the over the top Mueller love is a result of Democratic Party and corporate media gas lighting more than it is evidence of collusion with Russia. Well placed pundits and official mouthpieces say that the investigation of the president is winding down. But at the same time Mueller is winding things up with the help of his establishment partners as they try to prove the unprovable.

Mueller nullified his plea agreement with Paul Manafort, a man guilty of cheating on his taxes and having the bad sense to ally himself with Trump and company. Manafort was convicted of bank and tax fraud, not of colluding with the Russian government. He was stupid enough to contact witnesses before his trial and he ended up in jail for his trouble. The feds have already used asset forfeiture to take his fortune. It is difficult to believe that he would add to his troubles by lying to Mueller.

Beyond INF: Missiles, Networks, & The New Trench Warfare


There are times and places in the history of war in which improvements in firepower force anyone in range to take cover instead of advancing, as machineguns and howitzers did a century ago on the infamous Western Front. The fundamental difference today is the width of the killing zone would be measured, not in hundreds or thousands of yards, but in hundreds or thousands of miles

WASHINGTON: Fifty-nine days from now, assuming no change of heart by Trump or Putin, the United States will formally kick off the six-month process to end the INF arms control accord, potentially eliminating the final obstacle to a new era of long-range smart missiles. The massive shift in post Cold War arms control would have the potential to turn future battlefields into the kind of bloody stalemate not seen since World War I. But that stalemate could be good news for the United States.

Q&A: UN needs almost total reform, says Geneva chief

By Paula Dupraz-Dobias

GENEVA — For some, 2018 may represent the beginning of the undoing of the global rules-based system set up after the end of the World War II. A year after announcing its departure from the Paris Agreement on climate change, Washington continues to disengage with the United Nations — withdrawing from the Human Rights Council and cutting funds to programs such as UNRWA, the U.N. agency that supports Palestinian refugees. Meanwhile, the United Kingdom is close to exiting the European Union in March 2019 and the World Trade Organization is finding its authority challenged.

“We have to do it together; otherwise, we shall all die together.”— Michael Møller, director-general, U.N. Geneva office

The Economy of the Future Won’t Rely on Money

Elvia Wilk

Stefan Heidenreich believes that some day, money will seem like an ancient religion. In his recent book Money: For a Non-money Economy, the German philosopher and media theorist speculates on how the money-based global economy could soon transition to an entirely different system based on the algorithmic matching of goods and services. Such a system could match people with what they need at a given moment without relying on the concept of a stable, universal price — and, just possibly, do away with the vast inequities caused by the market.

If you find the idea of an economy without money hard to imagine, you’re not alone. As the saying goes, it’s easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism. But that very difficulty proves Heidenreich’s main point: We have to imagine what may sound like wild possibilities now in order to steer the future before it’s upon us. Getting rid of money could lead to what he calls a “leftist utopia” of equal distribution — or it could enable mass surveillance and algorithmic control on a whole new scale. Faced with the second option, Heidenreich says, we have no choice but to try to envision the first.

The Ravishing Art of Alchi

David Shulman

Peter van Ham’s Alchi, the third volume of a monumental trilogy published by Hirmer on the Buddhist art of western Tibet, must be one of the finest art books ever produced. Its subject, the site of Alchi, sits on the bank of the Indus River in Ladakh, in the high mountain ranges to the east in what is now the Indian state of Kashmir, some thirty-five miles northwest of the capital city of Leh. Unlike Guge, the subject of van Ham’s second volume, Alchi is relatively accessible—good roads now connect Alchi to Leh and (a little less smoothly) to the haunting monastery of Lamayuru, still farther to the north and west.

One of the side effects of climate change will be the end of U.S. hegemony

By Stephen M. Walt

U.S. President Donald Trump has said, “I don’t believe” climate change is real. Guess what? The global environment doesn’t care. The condition of the planet will be determined by the laws of physics and chemistry, not by Trump’s tweets, denials, bluster, or relentlessly head-in-the-sand approach to a rapidly warming planet. Trump will no longer be with us by the time the worst effects are realized, of course; it is future generations who will suffer the consequences.

And make no mistake: Those consequences are going to significant. As reported over Thanksgiving weekend, the latest U.S. government “National Climate Assessment” report makes it abundantly clear that rising average temperatures are going to have far-reaching and damaging effects. The report was a collaborative effort by 13 federal agencies, and it offers a sobering portrait of our likely future. Storms will be more intense and dangerous. Agricultural productivity will decline. Certain diseases and pests will be more numerous and bothersome, and heat-related deaths will increase significantly. Trump may not believe it, but what he does or does not believe is irrelevant, except as it affects what we do (or don’t do) today and thus how serious the problem is down the road.

The Introspection and Rebuilding of Al Qaeda

Drew McClean

September 11, 2001 is the date that changed how the world perceives Islamist terrorism. The terrorist group responsible for these attacks was Al Qaeda, which was spearheaded by a Saudi national named Osama Bin Laden. On that day, Bin Laden demonstrated that the world’s only superpower is susceptible to attack on home soil, using civilian aircraft to wreak carnage and murder 2,977 innocent people. From that day, it took the United States and her allies almost 10 years to locate and neutralise Bin Laden. During that time however, Al Qaeda was able to establish a global brand that other jihadist militant groups throughout the Middle East, Africa and Asia swore allegiance to. Affiliates were established in Iraq, the Maghreb, Arabian Peninsula and recently the Indian Subcontinent, with the latter three still active today. The terrorist group’s planning and activities have subsequently not been confined to one theatre of operations. Al Qaeda has not been significantly weakened since the death of Osama Bin Laden and has been able to continue their jihad due to their belief system. The following will be detailed as to how this has transpired, covering Al Qaeda’s recalibration before and after Bin Laden’s death, the rise of the Islamic State, their current activities, and Bin Laden’s enduring influence within Al Qaeda and amongst aspiring jihadists.

The terror–cyber–crime nexus and terrorists’ innovation

Isaac Kfir

The reasons for that include the complexity of the international financial system, some states’ reluctance to enforce existing measures, and terrorist groups’ ability to innovate and diversify to obtain new sources of funds and hide what they have.

While the terror–crime connection is very old (from Russian anarchists in the 19th century to the US Weathermen in the 1970s), new technologies mean that we now face a terror–cyber–crime nexus.

Islamic State promoted what Magnus Ranstorp has called ‘microfinancing’ of the caliphate and encouraged ‘gangster jihad’, enabling it to amass nearly US$6 billion in 2015 (including about $500 million from oil and gas, $360 million from ‘taxes’ and extortion, and $500 million from looting bank vaults in Mosul).

An Assessment of the 2018 U.S. Department of Defense Cyber Strategy Summary

By Doctor No

Doctor No has worked in the Cybersecurity field for more than 15 years. He has also served in the military. He has a keen interest in following the latest developments in foreign policy, information security, intelligence, military, space and technology-related issues. You can follow him on Twitter @DoctorNoFI. The author wishes to remain anonymous due to the work he is doing. The author also wishes to thank @LadyRed_6 for help in editing. Divergent Options’ content does not contain information of an official nature nor does the content represent the official position of any government, any organization, or any group. 

Summary: On September 18, 2018, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) released a summary of its new Cyber Strategy. While the summary indicates that the new document is more aggressive than the 2015 strategy, that is not surprising as President Donald Trump differs significantly from President Barack Obama. Additionally, many areas of adversary vulnerabilities will likely be taken advantage of based upon this new strategy.

High-Energy Laser Systems and the Future of Warfare

By Jason Sattler

One of the defense world’s newest and most promising innovations is the High Energy Laser Weapon System. It is the most advanced and capable concept for a tactical, ground-based defensive laser system, capable of being mounted on a variety of air, land, or sea-based platforms. Of course, lasers themselves are not a new technology. Lasers have been studied and tested for military use for decades. Recently, companies such as Lockheed-Martin, Boeing, and Raytheon have taken this existing technology, scaled it down, and adapted it for a variety of platforms with a new purpose: to shoot down weaponized drones and small munitions. This new mission set for the tactical laser offers the military a drone-killing weapon system that could keep the U.S. ahead of the power curve on the modern battlefield, especially in the fight against non-state actors and armies increasingly using drones for combat operations. Such new weaponry would ensure U.S. and coalition troops engaged in irregular warfare can maintain tactical air supremacy. America’s adversaries are developing new techniques like swarming and obtaining cheaper technology like commercially available drones to overcome, or at least deny, the preponderant American overmatch in the burgeoning field of unmanned vehicles in all domains.

60 Cybersecurity Predictions For 2019

I’ve always been a loner, avoiding crowds as much as possible, but last Friday I found myself in the company of 500 million people. The breach of the personal accounts of Marriott and Starwood customers forced us to join the 34% of U.S. consumers who experienced a compromise of their personal information over the last year. Viewed another way, there were 2,216 data breaches and more than 53,000 cybersecurity incidents reported in 65 countries in the 12 months ending in March 2018.

How many data breaches we will see in 2019 and how big are they going to be?

No one has a crystal ball this accurate and it’s difficult to make predictions, especially about the future. Still, I made a brilliant, contrarian, and very accurate prediction last year, stating unequivocally that “there will be more spectacular data breaches” in 2018.

Is near-instant satellite imagery almost here?

Mike Gruss 

Amazon Web Services unveiled Nov. 28 a new product named AWS Ground Station, which includes parabolic antennas at 12 locations across the globe. Those ground stations can download imagery data as satellites pass overhead and then push that information to the cloud at faster speeds than traditional ground stations.

Meanwhile, leaders from satellite imagery company DigitalGlobe said in tests they were able to move imagery data from the ground station to the cloud in less than a minute. Using today’s technology, that task takes about an hour.

Combined, the speed of the new ground stations and the expected launch of DigitalGlobe’s constellation of next-generation imagery satellites in 2021 would offer a new level of immediacy to customers.

The government must define ‘emerging technology’ to protect it

By: Brandon Knapp  

The Department of Commerce is fast-tracking efforts to identify and establish export controls on “emerging technologies” deemed essential to the national security of the United States.

The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking Nov. 19, kicking off a 30-day public comment process on a rule that would impose export restrictions on a host of broadly defined new technologies, including artificial intelligence, machine learning algorithms, biotechnology, microprocessor technology and robotics.

The purpose of the notice is to solicit public feedback on how to properly define and identify these emerging technologies and to determine the degree to which they are essential to U.S. national security.

Hypersonic weapons: A threat to Stability

‘A particular urgency attaches to defence at this very moment, for the weapons are now being tested may determine America’s ability to survive.’1

William Borden’s words from 1946 that reflect his thoughts and concerns about the V2 would sit comfortably inside the pages of the latest US National Defence Strategy which also links technological advances as threats to prevailing security threats. Borden believed the V2 would quicken the tempo of war and magnify the advantage of the attacker over the defender.2Forty years earlier, in a fictional look into the future, H.G. Wells’ ‘War in the Air’described how America’s North Sea Fleet was attacked and destroyed in short order by German airships which bore down on a nation that was ‘unwarned and unprepared’.3Technology can be seductive, especially to those who believe in quick victories and winnable wars and the lure of hypersonic weapons may well prove to be irresistible to those who believe in and seek that particular ‘silver bullet’. This paper will argue that although there is a compelling technological case for suggesting that hypersonic weapons will affect the existing stability between states and alliances, they will fail to do. As seductive as it is, Freedman points out, technology’s influence on warfare has invariably been shaped by the political context at the time.4We must also be mindful of man’s ability to adapt and innovate when faced by any threat, be that asymmetric methods or using technology of their own. Hypersonic weapons are already taking their place on a noteworthy and lengthy list of weapons that promised to revolutionise warfare; it is a list that already includes Wells’ airships and the V2.

Forget The Terminator: Robotics For Logistics 1st, Combat 2nd


Despite heated talk of killer robots and powered armor, the unsexy truth is that artificial intelligence, robotics, and exoskeletons will be hauling ammo and helping mechanics long before they’re ready for frontline combat. So don’t think about the Terminator or Iron Man: Think about Sigourney Weaver’s power loader lifting crates in Aliens.

That may come as a relief for robophobes. But it also means the US military could benefit from high technology for lower-risk missions, today. Seizing this low-hanging fruit would streamline the support roles in the rear that take up most troops’ time, enabling faster deployment and more aggressive maneuvers — even as it helps refine the technology, concepts, and ethics for lethal frontline combat later.