Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP
My imagined transcript of the exchange in Beijing between Chinese President Xi Jinping and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un:
XI: C’mon, just say you want “denuclearization.” You don’t have to mean it.
KIM: But, honored leader, won’t I look weak, and inconsistent with the unalterable and proven leadership principles of late President Kim Il-sung and late General Secretary Kim Jong Il?
XI: (Shakes head and smiles avuncularly) No, L’il Kim, you will stride largely on the world stage. This is an opportunity your mighty forebears would seized had they seen the welcoming hand of history outstretched before them. It is the right choice to make based on reality.
KIM: OK, OK, I’ll say it. (Pauses) But what if Trump tries to hold me to it?
XI: Little grasshopper, listen now and believe me later. Trump is like the hobbled donkey of the ancient proverb. He’s probably not going to be in power a year from now. But even if he is, he is so erratic, he will have moved on to other crises. This pronouncement buys you time, gives you much prestige, and pulls the United States into negotiations. Who knows what might happen at the table of negotiation? Trump is a reckless capitalist bandit, and in a difficult political position at home. Who knows what he might give you when he rolls dice? Bonus for you: You can use Trump’s quite unstable style to drop hints that will scare the dickens out of the South Korean regime in the process. And if Trump is not forthcoming? Well, then, you can play the talks out for years until he is tossed onto the ash-heap of history.
Islamic state members walk in the last besieged neighborhood in the village of Baghouz, Deir Al Zor province, Syria February 18, 2019. (Reuters/Rodi Said)
NEAR BAGHOUZ, Syria (Reuters) - The Islamic State appeared closer to defeat in its last enclave in eastern Syria on Wednesday, as a civilian convoy left the besieged area where U.S.-backed forces estimate a few hundred jihadists are still holed up.
U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 317th Airlift Wing walk to waiting family members and friends after stepping off of a C-130J Super Hercules at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, Sept. 17, 2018 (U.S. Air Force/Airman 1st Class Mercedes Porter)
The U.S. Air Force has issued new guidelines for active-duty, reserve and National Guard airmen who are considered non-deployable, and officials will immediately begin flagging those who have been unable to deploy for 12 consecutive months for separation consideration.
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.