A few minutes short of noon, local time, on February 12, an underground blast in a remote corner of North Korea sent seismic waves worldwide, leaving clear recordings on thousands of seismometers. Some of these seismological recorders belong to clandestine intelligence-gathering networks in the service of individual nations. You and I will probably never see the data gathered by these networks, but we don't need to. Primarily to monitor earthquakes within active fault zones, thousands of seismometers around the globe record ground motion and distribute that information to the public.
Month: February 2013
After a long hiatus, the Godot of US-Iran diplomacy may finally arrive in 2013, in light of the reciprocal overture at the recent Munich Security Conference, featuring the signs of a new approach to Iran articulated by Vice President Joe Biden.
Last week, the Washington Post reported that "purchase orders obtained by nuclear researchers show an attempt by Iranian agents to buy 100,000 … ring-shaped magnets" and that such "highly specialized magnets used in centrifuge machines … [are] a sign that the country may be planning a major expansion of its nuclear program." As evidence, the Post's Jo
Four years ago, President Barack Obama called preventing nuclear terrorism a top security priority. But even though he said in his State of the Union speech last week that Washington “would continue leading the global effort to secure nuclear materials that could fall into the wrong hands,” the United States is only marginally safer from that threat today than it was at the beginning of his first term.
With increasing reports of cyber attacks on US banks, oil facilities, power plants, and even military systems, it comes as good news that the Obama administration is crafting policy on cybersecurity. In Tuesday’s State of the Union address, the President said that “America must … face the rapidly growing threat from cyber attacks,” and urged Congress to pass legislation that would help it do so.
In India and Pakistan, leaders have rarely weighed the consequences of their actions. Instead, they have simply reacted to events and circumstances.
After launching a rocket in December and vowing to conduct a third nuclear test, North Korea followed up last week by saying it would take measures “stronger than a nuclear test” and releasing a bizarre YouTube video that appeared to depict a rocket attacking an American city. (The video has since been removed from YouTube; excerpts and commentary can be watched here.)
No country owns the North Pole or the expanse of the Arctic Ocean surrounding it. The Arctic region has a population of about 4 million, including more than 30 distinct groups of indigenous people using dozens of languages; they have lived there for more than 10,000 years. The area also has a unique and diverse ecosystem that includes fish, marine mammals, birds, land animals, and a thriving web of bacteria, viruses, algae, worms, and crustaceans that live in sea ice.