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Showing posts from April 13, 2016

Squad X: How much will it change U.S. Army?

The U.S. military has launched a program to equip its front-line soldiers with the latest battlefield technology. The Squad X initiative would give an Army or Marine Corps squad new computerized weapons, the latest smartphone-style communications and even easy-to-use robot helpers. The program aims to help the troops “have deep awareness of what’s around them, detect threats from farther away and, when necessary, engage adversaries more quickly and precisely,” according to Army Maj. Christopher Orlowski, who’s managing the Squad X effort on behalf of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Pentagon’s cutting-edge science department.

Squad X is still just a concept. It’ll be up to Orlowski, other DARPA officials and the defense industry to determine exactly what technology the program includes. But one thing is clear: The government wants to profoundly change the way squads move, communicate and fight.

The problem is, the military has tried these sorts of technical advances before…

Syrians ‘suffer greatly, flee stray shells’ in Turkey’s trans-border crackdown on Kurds

Civilian casualties are on the rise in the northeastern Syrian town of Qamishli, which is next to the Turkish city of Nusaybin. The area has been locked in Ankara’s intense anti-terrorist operation against Kurdish militias for months. It has also impacted Kurds in Syria.

Operations against the PKK in the Nusaybin district in the southeastern Turkish province of Mardin have intensified over the past month as Ankara continues its military crackdown on the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). At the same time Ankara, in a clear violation of international law, continues to target the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Unity Party (PYD), which is linked to the PKK as well as the People’s Protection Units (YPG) which fight Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) in Syria. Military actions on the Turkish side of the border over the past few weeks had been spilling over into Northern Syria and the town of Qamishli, which before the conflict had over 180,000 people living inside its walls. As shelling contin…