Kim Jong-Un, the irascible supreme leader of North Korea who may or may not be a chipmunk disguised as an oversized human baby with an expensive haircut, is pretty much earth’s biggest Dennis the Menace — except, instead of a slingshot, he’s armed with a stable of ruthless assassins and an intercontinental ballistic missile that might be capable of reaching Alaska.
Crucial to Kim’s menacing image is his habit of regularly appearing in photos and videos alongside the weapons in North Korea’s arsenal. It’s a way of remind the world that his little finger is always on the trigger. That might not be such a good idea. See, Kim is a smoker. He’s also a bit reckless. As evidence, we present you this short video clip, in which the 33-year-old dictator can be seen puffing a cigarette just a few feet from an untested, liquid-fueled rocket engine:
Kim Jong-un just casually strolling around while the Hwasong-14 ICBM is erected is quite something. (Wouldn't want a VIP that close.) pic.twitter.com/a3FDIenZYU
While the chances of a cigarette igniting rocket fuel are low, it’s not a gamble anyone in their right mind would want to take. Missiles are expensive and explosions hurt. And, as Business Insider notes, liquid fuel is “volatile and dangerous in even the most controlled settings,” which is why today the U.S. uses the solid stuff to power its rockets.
But is anyone going to tell Kim to take his cigarette break somewhere else? Of course not. Nobodyputs baby in a corner. Nobody.
A small unmanned aerial vehicle built by service academy cadets is shown here flying above ground. This type of small UAV was used by cadets and midshipmen from the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Military Academy and the U.S. Naval Academy, during a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency-sponsored competition at Camp Roberts, California, April 23-25, 2017. During the competition, cadets and midshipmen controlled small UAVs in "swarm" formations to guard territory on the ground at Camp Roberts. (U.S. Air Force photo)
Drones have been used in conflicts across the globe and will play an even more important role in the future of warfare. But, the future of drones in combat will be different than what we have seen before.
The U.S. military can set itself apart from others by embracing autonomous drone warfare through swarming — attacking an enemy from multiple directions through dispersed and pulsing attacks. There is already work being done in this area: The U.S. military tested its own drone swarm in 2017, and the UK announced this week it would fund research into drone swarms that could potentially overwhelm enemy air defenses.
I propose we look to the amoeba, a single-celled organism, as a model for autonomous drones in swarm warfare. If we were to use the amoeba as this model, then we could mimic how the organism propels itself by changing the structure of its body with the purpose of swarming and destroying an enemy.
Soldiers from 4th Squadron, 9th U.S. Cavalry Regiment "Dark Horse," 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, are escorted by observer controllers from the U.S. Army Operational Test Command after completing field testing of the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) Sept. 24, 2018. (U.S. Army/Maj. Carson Petry)
The Army has awarded a $575 million contract to BAE Systems for the initial production of its replacement for the M113 armored personnel carriers the service has been rocking downrange since the Vietnam War.
President Donald Trump has formally outlined how his administration plans to stand up the Space Force as the sixth U.S. military service – if Congress approves.
On Tuesday, Trump signed a directive that calls for the Defense Department to submit a proposal to Congress that would make Space Force fall under Department of the Air Force, a senior administration official said.