Pilots, maintainers and support personnel from the active duty 388th and Reserve 419th Fighter Wings and 12 F-35A Lightning II jets will travel to Kadena Air Base for six months as part of the U.S.’s ongoing security presence in the area, known as a theater security package. This is the second deployment of the F-35As stationed at Hill AFB, following a short show of force in RAF Lakenheath earlier this year.
The face of conflict is changing. While leaders like Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump still see conflict in the traditional light, many of their peers - and certainly the next generation - see conflict differently: Cultural, Economical, and Ecological. The kinetic warfare of the 19th and 20th century is a relic of past generations, a fact never more poignant than after recent speeches by three prominent politicians across two countries.
Ambiguity in cyberspace and the legality of hacking and manipulating sovereign nations; does it benefit the attacker, or the victim? We've all but survived the potential catastrophe of the 2016 election, and the Russian interference within it, but what does that mean for the future of cyber and psychological warfare throughout the world?
Two weeks ago, the U.S. launched 59 Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAMs) against Shayrat Air Base in Homs Province in response to a recent chemical attack carried out by the Russian-Backed Assad Regime. The attack was unsuccessful by most military measures. In fact, as far as Assad is concerned, militarily nothing has changed for the worse.
So why risk so much for a largely ineffective strike against an airbase? Why use TLAMs against hardened targets when B-2s would have made more sense? Why deploy a carrier group to the East Sea? To send a message to North Korea.
On November 25th, Sony Picture Entertainment was hacked by a group calling itself the Guardians of Peace, where millions of records of passwords, social security numbers, e-mails, salaries, and other extremely sensitive information was released to the public. The exact scope of the data extracted from Sony is hard to fully grasp but, so far, the following information has been released to the public:
- 47,426 Social Security Numbers
- 3,000 employee records with salaries, benefits, passports, and contact details
- 600+ plain text passwords, IP addresses, root certificates and other IT data
- Financial reports, acquisition strategies, and budgeting forecasts
- 19,944 e-mails.
- 4,013,780 anti-piracy take-down notices
And while this is a staggering amount of information to be lost, it's a relatively insignificant event for the vast majority of Americans; yet we find ourselves equating the event to 9/11 and promising swift and equitable retribution on some fairly shaky evidence.