Friday 5th of June 2020

the "lego" warfare — a new name for official guerrilla warfare with more explosive toys...

supersoldiers   In the secretive labs of the Pentagon, top military minds are working on a new fighting style.

Their novel vision for warfare isn’t about making bigger, faster, or even higher-tech kit. It is about getting numerous smaller, cheaper, perhaps lower-tech systems and deploying them in a radically new way.

The official term is Mosaic Warfare, but some strategists liken it to Lego.

“Like Lego blocks that nearly universally fit together, Mosaic forces can be composed together in a way to create packages that can effectively target an adversary’s system with just-enough overmatch to succeed,” says a Mitchell Institute study (pdf), released in September.

Mosaic warfare is the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)’s solution to China’s growing military prowess.

China’s generals have honed their military to cripple the U.S. military’s brain and nervous system—a strategy known as Systems Destruction warfare. They have also invested heavily in long-range missile systems and anti-aircraft systems that threaten U.S. carriers and jets.

In war-gaming carried out by U.S. analysts, China often defeats the United States in some scenarios of Pacific warfare.

With its aircraft carriers, jets, and command systems no longer able to guarantee dominance, the U.S. military is revamping across the board.

Lego Wars

America’s most potent weapons systems pack multiple capabilities. The F-35, for example, is a missile launcher, radar sensor, stealth reconnaissance, targeting system and much more rolled into one.

With Mosaic warfare, instead of a limited number of the latest high-tech toys, military commanders would have the strategic equivalent of countless building blocks. Some would be unmanned.


Everything in the military toolkit—such as radar, radar sensing, jamming, missile launching or cyber capabilities—would be separated into these blocks, ready to be stuck together.

These can be assembled at will to fit each scenario, creating unique plays for each situation.

“Like the ceramic tiles in Mosaics, these individual warfighting platforms are put together to make a larger picture, or in this case, a force package,” says a statement on the DARPA website.

DARPA first unveiled the Mosaic concept in August 2017, and has since been developing it, through testing with wargaming scenarios. It has started to develop the information technology that could potentially hold together the tiles.


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lesson of the roman genetic map (updated)... in democracy is getting weirder...


The Fabian Society had been named in honour of the Roman general Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus (nicknamed “Cunctator", the "Delayer"). His strategy sought victory against the far superior Carthaginian army under Hannibal — through persistence, harassment, and wearing the enemy down by attrition rather than pitched open battles. Fabius is recognise as the father of guerrilla warfare.



existential danger

Doomsday Clock officials have warned that Earth is the closest it's ever been to a possible man-made catastrophe due to “existential danger” posed by two major threats: climate change and nuclear war. At the same time, the formation of a new US military branch and the subsequent militarization of space may speed up the clock. 

Prof. Karl Grossman, a professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury joined Radio Sputnik’s Loud and Clear on Thursday to discuss the Doomsday Clock’s new reading and provide thoughts on why he believes Trump’s Space Force must be stopped.

“To bring the Doomsday Clock to a hundred seconds to midnight is ominous,” Grossman told hosts Brian Becker and John Kiriakou. He highlighted that officials with the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the non-profit group which manages the Doomsday Clock, blamed world leaders for allowing the “international political infrastructure for managing these problems, both climate change and issues of nuclear war … to erode.”


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one piece of the ruskie" lego"...

Russia's military has tested a new ultra-light anti-aircraft system, dubbed Gibka-S. The new vehicle passed the state trials with flying colors, knocking down mock targets with pinpoint accuracy.

Footage of the trials was released by Russia's Defense Ministry early on Thursday. The short video shows the Gibka-S vehicle firing missiles at several drone targets – and hitting all of them.

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a fast piece of lego...

High in the sky over northwestern China, a wedge-shaped unmanned vehicle separated from a rocket. Coasting along at up to Mach 6, or six times the speed of sound, the Xingkong-2 “waverider” hypersonic cruise missile (HCM) bobbed and weaved through the stratosphere, surfing on its own shock waves. At least that's how the weapon's developer, the China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics, described the August 2018 test. (China did not release any video footage.) The HCM's speed and maneuverability, crowed the Communist Party's Global Times, would enable the new weapon to “break through any current generation anti-missile defense system.”

For decades, the U.S. military—and its adversaries—have coveted missiles that travel at hypersonic speed, generally defined as Mach 5 or greater. Intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) meet that definition when they re-enter the atmosphere from space. But because they arc along a predictable ballistic path, like a bullet, they lack the element of surprise. In contrast, hypersonic weapons such as China's waverider maneuver aerodynamically, enabling them to dodge defenses and keep an adversary guessing about the target.

Since the dawn of the Cold War, the Pentagon has periodically thrown its weight behind the development of maneuverable hypersonic weapons, only to shy away when technological hurdles such as propulsion, control, and heat resistance proved daunting. “You see a flurry of activity, a lot of investment, and then we conclude it's a bridge too far,” says aerospace engineer Mark Lewis, director of defense research and engineering for modernization at the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD). “The community was underfunded and largely forgotten for many years,” adds Daniel DeLaurentis, director of Purdue University's Institute for Global Security and Defense Innovation.

Now, DOD is leading a new charge, pouring more than $1 billion annually into hypersonic research. Competition from ambitious programs in China and Russia is a key motivator. Although hype and secrecy muddy the picture, all three nations appear to have made substantial progress in overcoming key obstacles, such as protecting hypersonic craft from savage frictional heating. Russia recently unveiled a weapon called the Kinzhal, said to reach Mach 10 under its own power, and another that is boosted by a rocket to an astonishing Mach 27. China showed off a rocket-boosted hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV) of its own, the Dongfeng-17, in a recent military parade. The United States, meanwhile, is testing several hypersonic weapons. “It's a race to the Moon sort of thing,” says Iain Boyd, an aerospace engineer at the University of Colorado, Boulder. “National pride is at stake.”

This new arms race promises to upend strategic calculations. Russian officials have cast nuclear-armed hypersonic craft as a hedge against future U.S. prowess at shooting down ICBMs, which could undermine nuclear deterrence.

China's military, in contrast, sees hypersonic weapons (as well as cyberwarfare and electromagnetic pulse strikes) as an “assassin's mace”: a folklore term for a weapon that gives an advantage against a better-armed foe, says Larry Wortzel, a senior fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council who serves on the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. If tensions were to spike over Taiwan or the South China Sea, for instance, China might be tempted to launch preemptive strikes with conventional hypersonic weapons that could cripple U.S. forces in the Pacific Ocean, Wortzel says. China's hypersonic weapons, he warns, “seem deliberately targeted at upending the tenuous strategic stability that has been in place since the end of the Cold War.”

For now, maneuverability at hypersonic speeds makes the weapons nearly impossible to shoot down—“unstoppable,” as a headline in The New York Times put it last summer. But, “Unstoppable today does not mean unstoppable tomorrow,” says Shari Feth, a materials engineer at the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA). She's at the vanguard of U.S. efforts to field countermeasures against hypersonic weapons. “There are technologies that could be developed that could be used for a more robust defense,” Feth says. “But we have more work to do to get there.”

THE UNITED STATES has spent decades trying to get hypersonic flight right. The first vehicle to exceed Mach 5 was a two-stage rocket, dubbed Project Bumper, launched in 1949. After four failed tests, the V-2 rocket lifted off from a missile range in New Mexico, releasing a second-stage sounding rocket that attained Mach 6.7.

Project Bumper and subsequent efforts laid bare the daunting challenges. “This is a very unforgiving realm,” says Lewis, who served as chief scientist of the U.S. Air Force from 2004 to 2008. “You're flying under extraordinary conditions”—extreme velocities, forces, and temperatures. The hypersonic threshold of Mach 5 is arbitrary, but at those speeds, he says, “temperatures start to get high enough to worry about.”

The heating depends on factors such as the vehicle's speed and contours. When a space shuttle returning from orbit hit the upper atmosphere at Mach 25, its blunt leading edges heated to 1400°C, which a skin of carbon-carbon composites helped it withstand. Newer hypersonic craft tend to have sharper edges—in part to assist with maneuverability—that can exceed 2000°C. Turbulence can make things worse. At hypersonic speeds, the boundary layer around the vehicle thickens, and a smooth, laminar flow can suddenly break up into eddies and swirls that cause temperature spikes on the vehicle's skin. “We've devoted a lot of fundamental research to figure out when that occurs,” Lewis says. A vehicle's survival, he says, requires resilient superalloys and ultra–high-temperature ceramics. And perhaps novel coolants. For example, a team at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory has devised a liquid sodium system that drains heat from a leading edge through continuous evaporation and condensation.

High air speeds also pose challenges for engines on HCMs, which unlike HGVs have their own power plants. HCMs use a supersonic combustion ramjet, or “scramjet,” to accelerate. “It's the simplest type of jet engine you could ever imagine … just an open tube” in which air mixes with fuel, Lewis says. “It's also perhaps the most complicated type you can imagine because of the extreme conditions under which it operates.”

At hypersonic speeds, air molecules spend milliseconds in the engine tube—scant time for fuel and air to mix properly. And when a vehicle pitches and yaws, airflow into the engine changes, which can result in uneven combustion and thrust. Tweaks to get a better burn have ramifications for, say, how the aircraft withstands shock waves. “Everything is incredibly coupled. You are designing a fully integrated vehicle,” Lewis says. It took the United States 46 years to realize its first working scramjet: NASA's $230 million X-43a, an uncrewed vehicle that flew in 2004.

HGVs pose other challenges. The rocket that carries the glider reaches speeds far greater than those of an HCM, meaning engineers must use materials that are even more resistant to heat. Still, HGVs are easier to maneuver because they lack a scramjet, with its acute sensitivity to pitch and yaw. “It almost becomes a religious discussion—rockets versus air breathing,” Lewis says. “The ultimate answer is we probably want both.”

The United States has not yet fielded either. After decades of fits and starts, any advantage that U.S. hypersonic R&D once held has largely eroded away. Its wind tunnels and other testing infrastructure are aging. And challenges such as tweaking designs to ensure engine walls don't melt have slowed progress on scramjets, Lewis says. “Today we are further away from routine scramjet flight than we were 10 years ago.”

FROM A BASE in the Ural Mountains on 26 December 2018, Russia's armed forces launched a ballistic missile carrying an HGV called Avangard. After separating from its carrier in the stratosphere, the HGV zigzagged 6000 kilometers across Siberia at a searing Mach 27, Russian officials claimed, then smashed into a target on the Kamchatka Peninsula. Afterward, a beaming Russian President Vladimir Putin called Avangard “the perfect New Year's gift for the country.” Russia's defense ministry announced last month that it has put the nuclear-armed HGV into combat duty—allowing Putin to claim that Russia is the first country armed with hypersonic weapons.

Russian boasts along with Chinese advances have sounded the alarm in the United States. Congress will pour more than $1 billion into military hypersonic research this year and has created a new university consortium to do basic studies. “Our work on hypersonics has really ramped up,” says Jonathan Poggie, an aerospace engineer at Purdue. His team models low-frequency shock waves “that pound on a vehicle like a hammer.”

The rising military stakes have prompted the Pentagon to consider classifying some basic hypersonic research. DOD “is very concerned about educating our enemies,” Poggie says. “They are in the middle of trying to draw these red lines,” Boyd adds. But, “If we overclassify,” he warns, “there are a number of domino effects. You'd be stifling innovation. Inevitably, that means fewer new ideas.”

A veil of secrecy is also descending in Russia, which has produced “a rich body of hypersonic literature,” Lewis says. Security officials there recently charged two scientists with treason for sharing findings with European collaborators; the data had been approved for release but then declared secret 5 years later (see sidebar, p. 136).

China, in contrast, has been surprisingly open about its research. “The Chinese are trying to establish prestige in the field,” Lewis says. The nation has invested heavily in facilities, including sophisticated wind tunnels and shock tubes that use blast waves to study hypersonic flows. “Ten years ago, they were duplicating what others had done,” Boyd says. “Now, they're publishing innovative ideas.” At a 2017 hypersonic conference in Xiamen, China, Chinese scientists presented more than 250 papers—about 10 times the number presented by U.S. researchers.

“You see papers you'd think they wouldn't publish in the open literature,” Poggie says. One is a recent analysis from the China Aerodynamics Research and Development Center showing that the plume of ionized gas, or plasma, left by a hypersonic vehicle is more visible on radar than the vehicle itself. That implies radar could give early warning of an incoming weapon.



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Need for speed

Richard Stone

Science  10 Jan 2020:

Vol. 367, Issue 6474, pp. 134-138



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Gus note: Liquid sodium is use as a primary coolant (at around 700º Celsius) for fast breeder nuclear reactors (plutonium reactors). 

transparent walls...

The US Army is currently accepting white papers on commercially available technologies that could be used by soldiers to “detect, identify, and monitor persons, animals, and materials behind multi-leveled obstruction(s) from a long standoff range.”

According to a recent request for information (RFI), such see-through technology would allow soldiers “to map the structure and detect hidden rooms, passages, alcoves, caches, etc. including those underground.” The project is being collaborated on by the Army’s Special Operations Forces; Combat Capability Development Command; Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate; and Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C5ISR).

The RFI describes the potential technology as a “Sense Through the Wall (STTW) System.” The purpose of the technology, which will “track, locate, isolate, range, and count personnel and animals in a building or structure,” includes “rapidly discriminating between friend and foe” by accessing their biometric data, the document adds. 

The technology would also be used to locate any traps, explosives or hidden weapons within structures and garner data that can create three-dimensional maps of structures.

The RFI also notes that the technology will need to perform “through dense foliage.”

“All of the data will need to be displayed on a wireless tablet using avatars/icons or Cursor on Target (CoT) to make sense of the sensor data,” the RFI adds.

According to the Defense Technical Information Center, a CoT is “a simplified messaging format that is rapidly gaining acceptance throughout the military as an enterprise integration solution.”

During his State of the Union address Tuesday, US President Donald Trump boasted about the strength of the US military.

“To safeguard American liberty, we have invested a record-breaking $2.2 trillion in the United States military. We have purchased the finest planes, missiles, rockets, ships and every other form of military equipment, and it’s all made right here in the USA,” Trump said.

Congress has also approved a $738 billion defense spending bill for fiscal 2020.


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the budget for end of the world...

The Budget for America’s Future, presented by the U.S. government, shows what the Trump Administration’s priorities are in the federal balance sheet for fiscal year 2021 (which begins October 1 of this year).

Above all, it cuts social spending: for example, it cuts the allocation required by the Department of Health and Human Services by 10%. While these same health authorities report that the flu alone caused about 10,000 deaths in the US from October to February out of a population of 330 million. This information is being killed by the major media, which on the other hand are sounding the global alarm for the 1,770 deaths due to the coronavirus in China, a country of 1.4 billion people that has been able to take exceptional measures to limit the damage of the epidemic.

One cannot help but be suspicious of the real objectives of the harassing media campaign, which is sowing terror over all things Chinese, when, in the motivation of the US budget, it is stated that "America has before it the challenge coming from resurgent rival national states, notably China and Russia".

China is accused of "waging an economic war with cyber-weapons against the United States and its allies" and of "wanting to shape the Indo-Pacific region, which is critical to US security and economic interests, in its own image". To ensure that "the region is free of the evil Chinese influence", the US government is funding the "Global Engagement Center for Countering Chinese Propaganda and Misinformation" with $30 million. In the context of "growing strategic competition", the US government states that "the Budget gives priority to funding programs that increase our war advantage against China, Russia and all other adversaries".

To this end, President Trump announced that "to guarantee internal security and promote US interests abroad, my budget requires $740.5 billion for National Defence" (compared to $94.5 billion for the Department of Health and Human Services).

The military allocation includes $69 billion for overseas war operations, more than $19 billion for 10 warships and $15 billion for 115 F-35 fighters and other aircraft, and $11 billion for potentiating land-based armaments.

For the Pentagon’s science and technology programmes $14 billion is required for the development of hypersonic and direct energy weapons, space systems and 5G networks.

These are just a few items in a long list of spending (in public money), which includes all the most advanced weapons systems, with colossal profits for Lockheed Martin and other war industries.

In addition to the Pentagon’s budget, there are various military expenses included in the budgets of other departments. In fiscal year 2021, the Department of Energy will receive $27 billion to maintain and modernize its nuclear arsenal. The Department of Homeland Security will also receive 52 billion dollars for its own secret service. The Department of Veterans Affairs will receive $243 billion (10% more than in 2020) for retired military personnel.

Including these and other items, U.S. military spending will exceed $1 trillion in fiscal year 2021. United States military spending has a driving effect on that of other countries, which, however, remain at much lower levels. Even taking into account only the Pentagon’s budget, US military spending is 3 or 4 times higher than China’s and more than 10 times higher than Russia’s. The US military spending is the largest single contributor to the global economy. Thus "the Budget ensures US military dominance in all areas of warfare: air, land, sea, space and cyber space," says the White House, announcing that the United States will soon be able to produce 80 new nuclear warheads a year at two sites.

"America’s future" may mean the end of the world.

Manlio Dinucci


Roger Lagassé


Il Manifesto (Italy)



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