January has been a hell of a month for Defense Tech: traffic is through the roof, reader participation is way up, and the quality of material is at an all-time high. So here are the top five most popular posts for the month.
The Law Catches Up To Private Militaries, EmbedsSince the start of the Iraq war, tens of thousands of heavily-armed military contractors have been roaming the country -- without any law, or any court to control them. That may be about to change, Brookings Institution Senior Fellow P.W. Singer notes in a Defense Tech exclusive.Navy's Deadly New Darts David Hambling reveals a fearsome piece of hardware: a modified satellite-guided bomb, releasing thousands of darts, each carrying a payload of a powerful chemical called DETA.Electric Lasers Shoot Mortars, Gain StrengthReal-life laser weapons continue to inch closer to reality. Two recent examples: Raytheon says its "prototype solid-state Laser Area Defense System successfully detonated 60-millimeter mortars." And Northrop Grumman is opening up a new "directed energy production facility" for building high energy, solid-state lasers.Second Nork Nuke Test Coming?I was skeptical when I heard the news that "senior defense officials" now think North Korea has "put everything in place to conduct a [second nuclear] test without any notice or warning." But the wonks over at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies are warning us: believe the hype.China Space Attack: UnstoppableChina has shown it can destroy a satellite in orbit. What could the U.S. do to stop Beijing, if it decided to attack an American orbiter next? Short answer: nothing.And here, in no particular order, are ten posts that didn't get quite as many clicks, but really show off the best of the work being done at Defense Tech HQ:
"Non-Lethal" Viruses to "Neutralize" CitiesInside a Cold War plan to develop "biological agents" -- including ones that can lead to "inflammation of the brain, coma and death" -- for "incapacitating" enemies on the battlefield or "neutralizing hostile cities."Cop Tech Key to Iraq Fight?All the talk is about more U.S. troops. But if there's going to be a shot in hell of winning the war in Iraq, it'll be up to the Iraqi police. And those cops will need to be equipped with the latest crime-fighting gear.Mr. Plow Eagerly Awaits Nuclear WarStep off, Al Gore! Eric Hundman has found a quick fix to global warming. All we need is a handful of nuclear weapons.Behind the Ethiopian BlitzDavid Axe examines how Ethiopia's tiny air force, which just four years ago was in danger of implosion, spearheaded the effort to drive Islamist militias out of southern Somalia.Real Iraq Surge: Electronic Attack?Any U.S. military surge in Iraq will be far more than a troop increase. It'll include a slew of new technologies to interrupt and infiltrate insurgent networks. Iran's Super Missile Will Defeat Great Satan, Steal Your GirlfriendRobot Economist looks at the Iranian claims, paroted by the U.S. press, that Tehran has a radar-evading, multiple-warhead rocket. New Army Camos: No Place to Hide?The Army's new uniform was supposed to blend into every environment -- from deserts to jungles to cityscapes. Has it lived up to the promise?Merc Chopper Shot DownBlackwater should've seen it coming, that one of their copters in Iraq was bound to get blown out of the sky. David Axe explains. Behind China's Sat-Killer TestSix posts, covering everything you wanted to know about Beijing's strike against a satellite, more than 500 miles up.200 Years of "Mind Control"Countless thousands of people complain today about the government taking over their minds. But the problem goes way back -- to 1810, David Hambling explains. And not all of the claims are completely crazy.