Galactic Warfighters: recreating photos of US soldiers in battle using Star Wars action figures

Matthew Callahan's Galactic Warfighters series poses Star Wars action figures in scenes that recreate war journalism from US operations, captioned with AP-style slugs that conjure up the human cost of the battles hidden by the inscrutable armor of the Empire. Read the rest

The U.S. Navy now has an unmanned drone warship. Could it be hacked at sea?

The U.S. Navy and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) are now testing a new unmanned drone warship.

The first Navy drone ship is a 132-foot ACTUV (Antisubmarine warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel) known as Sea Hunter, which cost around $120 million to build. The military says more can now be produced for $20 million or so each. But some are concerned that with no humans at the controls, these “robot ships” could be hacked, pwned remotely, and used by America's enemies to attack the United States.

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That hospital we bombed in Afghanistan in 2015? Not a war crime, says Pentagon

U.S. forces bombed a Doctors Without Borders-run hospital in Afghanistan last year, destroying it and killing and injuring scores of medical personnel and patients. But the air strike didn't amount to a war crime because it was caused by "unintentional human errors, process errors, and equipment failures," and “other factors,” U.S. military authorities said today.

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Riot Control Robot Unveiled in China Looks Ominously Like a 'Doctor Who' Dalek, May In Fact Be One

“China's first intelligent security robot debuts in Chongqing,” reads the headline in the Chinese Communist Party official newspaper People's Daily. The riot control robot has a name, “AnBot,” and it's freaking everyone out even more than your regular garden variety riot control robots because the damn thing looks like a Dalek from Doctor Who. And nothing good comes from a Dalek.

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Watch: Kurds take out a "suicide bomb truck" as it hurtles toward them

Amazing footage from Syria shows an armored truck, apparently loaded with explosives and driven by a suicide bomber, hurtling toward a low ridge held by Kurdish fighters. After failing to stop it with small arms, they roll out an anti-tank missile launcher and blow the crap out of it. Comparisons with Mad Max are not entirely appropriate... but they really did get the pyrotechnic effects right in that film, didn't they? Read the rest

Powerful photographic portraits of Veterans For Bernie Sanders

My photographer friend Clayton Cubitt, whom I met here in the Boing Boing comments a decade ago, did an amazing project to support the campaign of U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

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Turns out the U.S. military really is dropping “cyber bombs” on ISIS

There's been an awful lot of talk about “cyber pathogens” and “cyber bombs” lately from the mouths of American officials discussing terrorism, and how we will vanquish it. President Obama mentioned “cyber ops” against Islamic State terrorists in one recent address. Today, we know a little more about what was behind last week's cyber-hawkish hacking headlines.

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U.S. military claims to be dropping 'cyber bombs' on ISIS

America's military forces are dropping "cyber bombs" on Islamic State terrorist groups for the first time, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work told reporters accompanying him on a military flight on Tuesday.

The ISIS internet attacks, whatever the particulars really may be, are part of a stepped-up coordinated effort to put increasing pressure on the militant organization.

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Obama touts nuclear arms reduction record, but he's failed to reduce US nukes stockpile

Obama is touting his record on reducing nuclear arms, but he's been a dismal failure at reducing the US's stockpile, writes Freedom of the Press Foundation's Trevor Timm at the Guardian today.

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Online casino bankrolls largest-ever, ruinously expensive war in Eve Online

Eve Online ("spreadsheets in space") is the infamously intricate massively multiplayer space trade/conquest game where real cash can be exchanged for in-game currency , making the battles fought there consequential in a way that sets it apart from other games. Read the rest

Top ISIS leader killed by U.S. Not the first time we've killed him, either.

The Pentagon says U.S. forces have killed a top Islamic State commander in Syria, as part of a series of military actions targeting ISIS leadership and its storage sites for explosives. U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter delivered the news on Friday.

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Changing Minds: NPR series on people who’ve rethought convictions in an era of polarization and extremism

Boing Boing pal Isabel Lara writes to give us a heads up about a new NPR series, “Changing Minds.” NPR launched the project this week and it looks at stories of people who’ve changed their positions in what has become a cultural moment of partisan polarization and extremism. The stories so far focus on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

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Watch a submarine crack through pristine ice in the Arctic Circle

Last week, the United States Navy launched exercises at the new Ice Camp Sargo in the Arctic Circle. Seen above, the nuclear submarine USS Hampton surfaces through the ice. It's a majestic sight, but let's not forget the goal here:

"(This exercise) is our continued commitment to the development of undersea warfare capabilities and tactics in all areas of the world," said Rear Adm. Jeff Trussler, commander, Undersea Warfighting Development Center. "Our superiority in delivering effects in and from the undersea domain to the operational commanders is dependent on the regular exercise and demonstration of these capabilities."

I'd imagine that as the polar ice caps melt, and possible energy reserves are uncovered, the region will quickly become a new battleground. Sadly.

"Navy Submarines Arrive in Arctic for Ice Exercise 2016" (US Pacific Command)

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Putin orders most Russian troops out of Syria, citing “overall completion” of military goals

Vladimir Putin says Russian troops will begin withdrawing from Syria starting Tuesday, the day which marks 5 years since the start of Syria's bloody civil war. Putin's pledge is a move to help advance U.N.-brokered peace talks that resumed today.

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How would you explain the difference between war and terrorism to a space alien?

Author and former CIA officer Barry Eisler spoke at the Association of Former Intelligence Officers opposite ex-CIA and NSA director Michael Hayden on Monday. In front of about a hundred former CIA, FBI, and NSA operatives, Eisler talked about bulk surveillance, whistleblowing, and why intelligence professionals need to take especially great care not to let propaganda pervert their intelligence.

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Plummeting oil prices and 13 years of official looting leave Iraq on the brink

For 13 years, Iraq's post-Saddam elites have run amok, looting the country's riches while creating a pervasive culture of corruption that spreads all the way down -- only the continuous injection of new money from the country's oil-fields kept the whole thing from collapsing. Read the rest

Killing people with drones is working out great for America, says ex CIA chief

Michael Hayden sure does love him some drone-killing.

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