Monday, December 26, 2011

Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) Program in RC North Under Review (Afghanistan)

Early news reports indicate that the Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) program administered by Regional Command North (RC North) in four northern provinces of Afghanistan is under review.  The CIP program may either be closed down or its units and activities transferred to Afghan control. The CIP security guards are paid by ISAF using Commander's Emergency Response Program (CERP) funds.  The news accounts state that President Karzai was "unaware" these units were operating in the north and under the control of Regional Command North.  Visit the following link to learn more about the Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) program.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Avian Influenza - A Threat We Should be Ready For

Recent news reports have detailed the research conducted by Dutch virologists that created an extremely contagious strain of the avian influenza - sometimes called H5NI or "bird flu". Two things that are troubling about these reports is that the research was conducted in the first place and the willingness of the researchers to provide comprehensive details on how to replicate the experiments to scientific journals for publication. Just what we need - online instructions that terrorists can follow to create biological weapons. Read a concise explanation of this new development in "Making Avian Influenza As Contagious as Season Flu", Lawfare, December 23, 2011.

Sectarian Violence in Iraq May Start Again with U.S. Withdrawal

With the last U.S. troops in Iraq now home attention has turned to the situation in Iraq to try and gauge the future of that country. A big fear is that there will be a return to sectarian violence which saw its peak in 2006-2007. Many think that the Shias will attempt to consolidate its hold on the government and completely shut out the Sunnis from being able to participate. There is also the worry that the current Iraqi government will turn to Iran for more support thus increasing Iran's influence over Iraq. Another concern is a possible move against the Kurds in the north in an attempt to diminish the Kurds autonomy and control of oil in Kurdistan. Read the transcript from a recent discussion on Fox News entitled "Renewal of Iraqi Sectarian Violence", December 22, 2011.

Dim View of of Afghan Local Police (ALP) in Afghanistan by Critics is Unwarranted

Many observers of the war in Afghanistan are taking a hard look at the Afghan Local Police (ALP) effort of the Afghanistan Ministry of Interior that is supported by ISAF. Unfortunately, the conclusions they draw are off the mark - see "ISAF's Plans for Afghan Local Police Are Shortsighted", Trevor Keck, Foreign Policy Association, December 23, 2011. Critics too easily attach the label "local militia force" to the ALP. These same critics fail to recognize that the ALP is an Afghan security force selected from members of the local community and vetted at the district, provincial, and national level by authorities in the Afghan Ministry of Interior (MOI). The ALP members are equipped, trained, supervised, and paid by the Ministry of Interior. This differentiates the ALP from local militias organized and paid by regional warlords.

There are problems associated with the ALP - but if you look hard enough you will find problems with every aspect of the Afghan military, police, and government. ISAF has prepared a response to criticism of the ALP program by a recent Human Rights Watch report that can be read here. Not understood by critics is the strategic significance of gaining the support of the people at the local level through the introduction of security, governance and development. The ALP helps establish security at the local level thus aiding governance and development. It truly is a key to transition in Afghanistan. Learn more about the Afghan Local Police.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Counter Terror Expo in Washington DC (May 16-17, 2012)

The Counter Terror Expo 2012 will be held in Washington, DC on May 16-17, 2012.  The venue is the Washington Convention Center. The former head of the National Counterterrorism Center, Michael Leiter, will be the keynote speaker. The Counter Terror Expo focuses on the collective efforts and shared responsibilities of the Counter Terror community - Federal, State, Local and Private-sector partners to maintain critical homeland security capabilities.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Special Operations and the Afghan Local Police (ALP) - Important Key to Transition

A recent online post on the Foreign Policy web site cites the importance of the Afghan Local Police (ALP) program to the successful transition to Afghan security forces and exit of U.S. forces from Afghanistan. The post also poses a number of concerns of the Special Operations assisted ALP endeavor. Read the article in "Keeping control of bad choices", The AFPAK Channel, December 20, 2011. The author of The AFPAK Channel post, Rachel Reid, also co-authored a critical report about the ALP while working for Human Rights Watch entitled "Just Don't Call it a Militia" published in September 2011. A recent memorandum by ISAF on December 6, 2011 has responded to the Human Rights Watch piece and can be viewed here on the ISAF website.

Friday, December 16, 2011

CAAT is now COMISAF Advisory and Assistance Team

The Counterinsurgency Advisory and Assistance Team (CAAT) established in late 2009 has now been renamed the COMISAF Advisory and Assistance Team.  COMISAF is short for Commander International Security Assistance Force.  The CAAT was formed to assist in the overall counterinsurgency campaign in Afghanistan by advising and assisting commanders at all levels to enable effective and integrated counterinsurgency operations.  Learn more about the COMISAF Advisory and Assistance Team.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

SO/LIC Symposium & Exposition (Feb 2012) in Washington, D.C.

The Special Operations / Low Intensity Conflict Symposium and Exhibition will be held February 6-8, 2012 in Washington, D.C. A description is provided below taken from the NDIA website.
"The 23rd Annual NDIA SO/LIC (Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict) Symposium & Exhibition will examine the changing roles of Special Operations Forces (SOF) and General Purpose Forces (GPF) in the new world dynamic. As major combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan diminish, SOF and GPF will face new challenges. A continuing threat from global terrorists, popular uprisings and a rapidly shifting political landscape, the coming need to employ military forces in small teams across vast distances, and the likelihood of declining budgets all require SOF and GPF leaders to develop new synergies between their forces and with our Interagency partners. Speakers will discuss increasing interoperability between SOF and GPF, how to enhance the inherent capabilities of the SOF warrior, and how SOF, its enablers, and Interagency partners support global objectives in the new world dynamic."
Learn more about the conference at the link below:

Check our conference and exhibition listing for other related security  and defence events:

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Special Operations Glossary

A Special Operations glossary can be found online at the website. Check out the listing and explanation of terms and phrases used by special operators at the link below.

Special Operations Glossary

Monday, December 12, 2011

Afghan Local Police (ALP) May Triple in Strength According to Admiral McRaven

The Afghan Local Police (ALP) may triple in strength according to Admiral McRaven - the commander of United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM).  Read more in "Tripling Afghanistan's community watch with AK-47s", CNN Security Clearance Blog, December 11, 2011.  Learn more about the Afghan Local Police (ALP).

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Reintegration of Afghan Insurgents a Slow Process

WASHINGTON, Dec. 8, 2011 – Permanently removing insurgents from the fight and reintegrating them into their Afghan communities is a gradual process that will take time, the International Security Assistance Force officer directing coalition support to that Afghan-led effort said today.

British Royal Marine Maj. Gen. David Hook, director of ISAF’s Force Reintegration cell, briefed Pentagon reporters today by video link from Kabul, Afghanistan.

The Afghan Peace and Reintegration program has so far helped 2,970 former insurgents rejoin Afghan society, Hook noted, and is working with another 1,200 fighters who represent “reintegration opportunities.”

While the program is nationwide and directed by the central government in Kabul, he added, it is implemented at the district and provincial level throughout Afghanistan. Most reintegrated former fighters, he said, have come from the nation’s northern and western provinces, but numbers in the southern and eastern areas are increasing slowly.
Read the rest of the story at "Afghan Reintegration Program will Take Time", U.S. Department of Defense, December 8, 2011.  Learn more about reintegration of insurgents.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Movie - "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy"

A new movie has been released entitled Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.  This should prove to be a classic and of great interest for those who work in or want to know more about the intelligence field; and of course, it should prove to be great entertainment for many more as well. The movie is based on the book Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John LeCarre and is set in the Cold War era when western agents and Soviet bloc agents were spying on each other. LeCarre is a former British intelligence operative who retired and became a famous writer of espionage novels. Read a recent movie review of the film by Peter Rainer in The Christian Science Monitor here. Click here to view a book review on Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Hope for Afghanistan? Assessment by Linda Robinson

Linda Robinson, a well-known author, has a piece in The AFPAK Channel blog on Afghanistan. She has visited Afghanistan four times this year (2011) and interviewed numerous military and civilian officials of the coalition and Afghan government.  Her assessment is spot on and a good read which will provide a great understanding of the current situation in Afghanistan.  Of note is her stance that we need to partner more with Afghan security forces, support the Afghan Local Police (ALP) program, and get the Afghan security forces engaged more in the counterinsurgency fight.  See her article entitled "Is there hope for Afghanistan?", The AFPAK Channel, Foreign Policy, November 29, 2011 at the link below:

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Irregular Afghan Forces in Afghanistan

The war in Afghanistan has seen a multitude of units and forces engaged in the fight.  Units from the Afghan National Army, Afghan National Police, ISAF, US military and other entities populate the battlefield.  Lesser known entities include the private security companies, contract organizations, and the various Afghan militias that are throughout the country.  Some of these more 'private' entities have a storied past. Read more in "After the US pulls out, will CIA rely on Afghan mercenaries", The Christian Science Monitor, November 16, 2011.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Afghan Local Police (ALP) - "Bad Guys" or "Worse Guys"?

A recent news article by Luke Mogelson entitled "Bad Guys vs. Worse Guys in Afghanistan" ( The New York Times, October 19, 2011) explores the benefits and problems associated with the Afghan Local Police (ALP). The ALP is a Ministry of Interior (MoI) program where local police are formed and trained at the community or village level in rural areas of Afghanistan. The coalition element responsible for oversight on the ALP is CFSOCC-A or Combined Forces Special Operations Component Command - Afghanistan. Mogelson's article, which is not entirely complimentary, is extensive and delves into the dynamics of ALP within Baghlan Province in northern Afghanistan. The ALP is an integral part of Village Stability Operations or VSO - the methodology that CFSOCC-A is using to help the Afghans implement security, governance, and development in a bottom-up approach.

British Ex-Marines Fighting Pirates off Africa Coast

A recent news report states that a large contingent of former British Marines are now being used as shipboard security guards on ships that transit the East Africa coast. The world shipping industry has suffered huge losses to Somali pirates preying on unguarded vessels. The ships are seized and then the crew, cargo, and ship are held for ransom. They are employed by a firm called Protection Vessels International Ltd. Read more in "Ex-Marines Fighting Pirates Off Africa as World Shipping Lanes Attacked", Bloomberg, October 18, 2011. Learn more about piracy and maritime security firms.

The Business Cyber Security Summit 2011 - London, UK (21-23 November 2011)

The Business Cyber Security Summit 2011 will be held on 21-23 November, 2011 at the Sheraton Park Lane Hotel in London. The summit brings together industry experts to discuss the latest solutions and strategies in order to combat this ever present danger. Learn more at the link below:

The Business Cyber Security Summitt 2011

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Book - The Afghan Solution - Inside Story of Abdul Haq

A new book is out about the early history of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan with a look at what could have happened. According to the author, Lucy Morgan Edwards, there was an opportunity to support Abdul Haq in the toppling of the Taliban regime without the extensive bombing campaign and use of Northern Alliance fighters. Abdul Haq, a well-known and respected mujaheddin fighter, had a plan to get top Taliban leaders and commanders to defect and establish a moderate government in Afghanistan. The Bush administration did not support Haq with the result that Haq's plan did not come to fruition. Instead, the Bush administration used the Northern Alliance in their plans to topple the Taliban (aided by the bombing campaign) and installed a centralized government under the corrupt Karzai supported by corrupt warlords from the Northern Alliance. The author asserts that the combination of the bombing campaign (which provided Afghans a rallying point to oppose the foreign invasion), posting of Northern Alliance warlords to key governmental and ministry positions (for the most part excluding Pastuns), and the attempt to impose a centralized government on a tribal based society would go a long way to ensuring a difficult road ahead for the U.S. in Afghanistan.

The The Afghan Solution: The Inside Story of Abdul Haq, the CIA and How Western Hubris Lost Afghanistan

Monday, October 17, 2011

Funding for National Cybersecurity Office in Question

It appears that the Republicans and Democrats can't agree on how to fund the National Protection and Programs Directorate office. Currently it is part of the Department of Homeland Security. The office is responsible for defending civilian computer networks from hackers and was established under law in 2002 as part of a congressional DHS authorization bill. Learn more in "Homeland Security cyber protection office's fate is up in the air", Nextgov, October 14, 2011.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Close Look at the Afghan Peace and Reintegration Program (APRP)

The United States Institute of Peace has posted a publication on its web site entitled "Impact or Illusion? Reintegration under the Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Program". The APRP, as it is sometimes called, has been in existance for over one year. The Afghan APRP aims to reintegrate insurgents (Taliban and others) back into Afghan society promising jobs, financial incentives, security, and a clean slate. Results have been dissappointing. You can read online or download the publication, wrote by DeeDee Derksen, here on the web page of the United States Institute of Peace.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Night Vision Devices Provide Edge to U.S. Troops Fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan

A recent article posted on the Defense Industry Daily web site provides us with information on how night vision technology is giving U.S. troops an edge in the fight against insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The article examines how night vision works, how the technology has matured over the years, and how the military has adapted the technology for military purposes.  Read the article entitled "Through a Glass, Darkly: Night Vision Gives US Troops Edge" (October 4, 2011).  Learn more about night vision technology.

Friday, October 14, 2011

A Special Forces Team's Approach to Village Stability Operations (VSO)

A team leader for a Special Forces team currently in Afghanistan has posted a paper on the Small Wars Journal web site that explains how his detachment is conducting Village Stability Operations (VSO). Village Stability Operations is one of the primary missions of CFSOCC-A and the CJSOTF-A in Afghanistan.
"This paper is an effort to demonstrate my team’s approach to VSO using the principles and TTPs that numerous articles have recently highlighted in the July-September issue of Special Warfare Magazine. It illustrates the practical application of the principles of VSO in the current operational environment and details exactly how these principles appear through the prism of the Military Decision-Making Process. This is the product of the team’s assessment, planning, execution, after action review and refinement process over the last 150 days of VSO operations in an austere and isolated location."
Read the paper entitled "One Team's Approach to Village Stability Operations", Small Wars Journal, September 4, 2011.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

SOCOM to Acquire CCM Special Ops Boats for SEALs

USSOCOM (MacDill AFB, Florida) will soon be acquiring high-speed special operations boats for its Special Operations Forces (SOF). The boats, called the Combatant Craft, Medium Mark 1 or CCM Mk1, will be a replacement for the current Naval Special Warfare (NSW) Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIBs). Read more about the CCM program in "US SOCOM's CCM Fast Boats", Defense Industry Daily, October 10, 2011.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Building Afghan Security Forces

An article recently posted on the AFPAK Channel examines the US military training mission in Afghanistan.  The author, Andrew Exum, examines the historical context, things we have done wrong (invade Iraq reducing resources to Afghanistan), and things we have done right (the CJSOTF-A's Village Stability Operations or VSO program).  Read more in "Struggling to Build Afghan Security", The AFPAK Channel, Foreign Policy, October 6, 2011.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Contractor Casualties in War Zones Unacknowledged

In a recent opinion piece David Isenberg has written an article about the casualties that contractors have incurred while supporting military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The point of his article is that the casualties are not tracked in the same way that military casualties are tracked - thus not giving full credit to the contractors contributions. This also lowers the human cost of the war - in terms of what the general public understands as the death toll. Read more in "Contratistas Desaparecidos", Huffington Post, October 10, 2011.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Iraq Military Training Plan Still Up in Air

We are seeing less and less news about the war in Iraq as the drawdown continues in that country. The continuing fight in Afghanistan continues to dominate the news in military circles. However an important event that recently took place is the Iraqi refusal to grant immunity to U.S. military personnel who would remain after December 2011. At the same time the Iraqis have requested a continuing training mission for its armed forces. The U.S. is scrambling to find a solution to that vexing problem. Read more in the article below.

"U.S. seeks to redraw Iraq training plan", The Washington Post, October 8, 2011.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Is Counterinsurgency Working in Afghanistan?

A recent news report examines our counterinsurgency doctrine as applied to Afghanistan to determine if it is working. The report is essentially an interview of the director of the U.S. Army's Counterinsurgency Center - Lt. Col. John Paganini - who has recently returned from a tour in Afghanistan. Some of the questions posed include:

Is COIN working?
How do you counter Taliban intimidation?
How do you bring Pastun leadership into the process?
How long before we win the counterinsurgency fight in Afghanistan?
How do you apply the doctrine of counterinsurgency to Afghanistan?
How has COIN changed from the beginning of the Afghan War to present day?
Are we in the 'clear, hold, or build' phase of COIN?
What is the value of foot patrols?
Are counterterrorism and counterinsurgency competing or complementing strategies?
Is there a shift to counterterrorism?

Read Lt. Col. Paganini's answers in the news article.

"10 Years of Counterinsurgency in Afghanistan - Is It Working?", ABC News, October 8, 2011.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

U.S. Drones Hit with Computer Virus

Danger Room at has a very interesting article about the Air Force drone fleet being infected with a computer virus.  Read the article here "Computer Virus Hits U.S. Drone Fleet", October 7, 2011.

Friday, October 7, 2011

APRP Meeting Presents Reintegration Process to Afghan ANA Religious and Cultural Affairs Officers

News Article Posted on UNAMA Web Site
APRP meeting brings ANA officials and UN experts together
"5 October 2011 - More than 30 Afghanistan National Army (ANA) Religious and Cultural Affairs (RCA) Officers and the United Nations experts convened on 27 September 2011 in the Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Programme (APRP) meeting at the Gambiri military camp in Laghman province. The report on this project can be found on UNDP website."
Read the rest of the article here on the UNAMA web site.  Click here to learn more about the reintegration program in Afghanistan.

Four Main Concerns for Future of Afghanistan

An article on the AFPAK Channel (Foreign Policy) focuses on four problem areas facing the nation of Afghanistan - Pakistan's assistance to the Taliban and other insurgent groups, poor governance by the Karzai regime, future economic prospects, and questions of continued support by the international community. The author of the article is Omar Samad - the former Ambassador of Afghanistan to France and Canada. Read his article - "Afghanistan at a Critical Juncture", The AFPAK Channel, October 6, 2011.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

2011 ACFE Asia-Pacific Fraud Conference in Singapore (October 23-25, 2011)

The 2011 ACFE Asia-Pacific Fraud Conference will be held in Singapore on October 23-25, 2011.  The location of the conference is Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.

Short description of conference:

The 2011 Asia-Pacific Fraud Conference provides you with cutting-edge anti-fraud training and education that is global in scope, but with a uniquely Asian perspective. Learn from leading practitioners and representatives from some of the region’s top companies about the challenges they face and the strategies they have used to overcome them in this economically dynamic part of the world. You will also have numerous formal and informal networking opportunities with fellow anti-fraud professionals, providing you new perspectives and new resources upon whom to call for ideas and inspiration. Join us for our first conference in Singapore and give yourself an edge in the fight against fraud.

Organiser: Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE)

Secured Cities Conference, Baltimore, Maryland - November 10-11, 2011

The Secured Cities Conference will be held in Baltimore, Maryland on November 10-11, 2011. The Secured Cities conference brings together key partners in urban security to include city management, law enforcement, transit security, and others to facilitate knowledge sharing and dialogue necessary for a city to create a holistic emergency safety and security plan. Topics presented include funding for city camera projects, municipal video security strategy, privacy issues, effects that camera systems have on crime, and more. Click here to view a listing of upcoming security conferences.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Taliban Interdiction of Cell Phone Service in Afghanistan

According to a recent news article the Taliban are using modern methods to aid their insurgency. Every evening much of the cellphone service within Afghanistan disappears. The Taliban have successfully pressured the Afghan cell phone companies to turn off the cell phone signals at night. This accomplishes many objectives for the Taliban. It shows the Afghan public that the Taliban can still influence Afghan society and depicts the Afghan government and security forces as unable to fix the security situation and provide basic services. If a cellphone company does not turn off its tower at night then the Taliban will bomb or burn the cell tower down and it will cost the phone company about $225,000 to repair. 

Read more in "Taliban Using Modern Means to Add to Sway", The New York Times, October 4, 2011.  Click here to read more news about the war in Afghanistan.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

First MC-130J Combat Shadow II Delivered to AFSOC

A new version of C-130 is being delivered to the Air Force. The air special ops folks have received the first of twenty MC-130J Combat Shadow II aircraft. Read more in "U.S. Special Ops receives aircraft",, October 4, 2011.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Secret Drone Bases Established in Middle East and Africa

The Washington Post reports that the U.S. has established secret drone bases where UAVs such as armed predators can operate from in the war against terror.
"The Obama administration is assembling a constellation of secret drone bases for counterterrorism operations in the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula as part of a newly aggressive campaign to attack al-Qaeda affiliates in Somalia and Yemen, U.S. officials said.  One of the installations is being established in Ethi­o­pia, a U.S. ally in the fight against al-Shabab, the Somali militant group that controls much of that country. Another base is in the Seychelles, an archipelago in the Indian Ocean, where a small fleet of “hunter-killer” drones resumed operations this month after an experimental mission demonstrated that the unmanned aircraft could effectively patrol Somalia from there."
Read the rest of the article here in "U.S. assembling secret drone bases in Africa, Arabian Penisula, officials say", The Washington Post, September 20, 2011.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Collection of News Articles About Reintegration of Insurgents in Afghanistan - (APRP)

The Afghan War News website has compiled a collection of news articles about the Afghan Peace and Reintegration Program (APRP) currently being conducted by the Afghan government.  The reintegration program is designed to turn Taliban fighters away from the insurgency and coax them to pledge support to the Afghanistan government.

Solar Energy in Afghanistan

Afghanistan has an energy problem. There is not enough electricity generated and most of that goes to the urban areas. The rural areas suffer from a lack of energy. Although there are ambitious programs to build dams and electrical generation facilities - the bottom line is that many rural areas will not see this energy in their areas for many years - due to extreme poverty and the ongoing insurgency. Afghanistan needs a source of renewable, sustainable energy. Solar powered energy offers promise in Afghanistan to meet the needs of the remote village and community areas. Visit the link below for a listing of organizations promoting solar energy, firms developing solar energy programs, companies manufacturing solar panels, and publications and news articles about solar energy in Afghanistan.

Armoured Vehicles Asia Conference & Exhibition (Oct 19-21, 2011)

The Armoured Vehicles Asia Conference & Exhibition will take place in Singapore on October 19-21, 2011.
  • Learn how Asian nations are planning to modernise their armoured vehicle fleets
  • Gain insight into different procurement methodologies used throughout Asia
  • Build relationships with your regional defence force colleagues
  • Explore the capability enhancement options available to your armoured vehicle fleet
  • Discuss operational lessons learned from those that have recently returned from combat zones

Click the link below for a comprehensive listing of conferences, seminars, and exhibitions that relate to the topics of security and defense.


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Special Operations Summit in Tampa, Florida (December 12-14, 2011)

The Special Operations Summit will be held on December 12-14, 2011 in Tampa, Florida. 
"IDGA’s Special Operations Summit will provide the latest in mission and operational priorities for special operations equipment and solutions from the commanding officers themselves. This event will take a closer look at military strategies for unconventional warfare including Special Forces and counter insurgency operations. Due to increasing challenges, acquisition decisions are currently being made, as well as new requirements for industry."
Learn more about this summit at the link below.

Find out about other related conferences and events at the link below:

Friday, September 30, 2011

Military Radar 2011 Conference (Oct 26-28, 2011) London

The Military Radar 2011 Conference will be held in London, United Kingdom on October 26-28, 2011.  The conference offers a comprehensive and influential speaker panel and introduces the next generation of radar technology.

The following link will bring you to a listing of other security and defense related conferences.   Security and Defense Conferences

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Airborne Early Warning and Battle Management (AEW) Conference (January 17-18, 2012)

The Airborne Early Warning and Battle Management Conference (AEW) will be held in London, UK on January 17-18, 2012.  Find out more about this event at the link below:

Learn about other defense and security conferences at the link below:

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Adm McRaven Endorses Afghan Local Police (ALP) in Recent Testimony

U.S. Special Operations Commander Admiral McRaven recently testified before a House Armed Services subcommittee on a number of topics concerning USSOCOM. One of these topics was the hope that the U.S. military and Afghan government has in the Afghan Local Police (ALP) initiative that is currently underway in Afghanistan. His favorable comments can be seen in the article at the following link (see second to last paragraph) in "Special Operations Forces Heart the CIA; Concerned About Budgets", Ares (a Defense Technology Blog), Aviation Week, September 23, 2011.

Executive Protection Information

Find out more about how to protect yourself.  Learn about executive protection training, firms that provide bodyguards, and where to seek employment.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Michael Furlong Resigns From Air Force - Implicated in Secret Spy Network in Afghanistan

Michael Furlong, a civilian employee of the U.S. Air Force, has resigned from his position. He was implicated in a secret "information gathering" operation that some say crossed the line into "intelligence gathering". Read more in "Official resigns over alleged spy ring", San Francisco Chronicle, September 27, 2011.

Future Artillery Jordan Conference (21-23 Nov 2011)

The Future Artillery Jordan conference will take place in Amman, Jordan on November 21-23, 2011. This conference has a number of renowned speakers from the armed forces of many different countries attending and presenting. You can learn more about this conference at the link below:

To view a listing of other security and defense conferences  hit the link below:

Monday, September 26, 2011

Book Review - Counterstrike: The Untold Story of America's Secret Campaign

Michael Waltz has wrote a comprehensive book review of a recent book by Eric Schmitt and Thom Shanker entitled Counterstrike: The Untold Story of America's Secret Campaign Against Al-Qaeda. The book . . .
" . . . traces the evolution since 9/11 of U.S. counterterrorism strategy within the military, intelligence agencies, and law enforcement, the results of which are now at work in combating al-Qaeda and its affiliates worldwide. Schmitt and Shanker do a thorough job of pulling together all of the bits and pieces of the efforts across the myriad agencies."
The book review can be read on The AFPAK Channel blog of Foreign Policy Magazine here - "Counterstrike".  You can also purchase the book on at the link below.

Counterstrike: The Untold Story of America's Secret Campaign Against Al Qaeda

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Afghan Clean Energy Project (ACEP) May be Discontinued; USAID Funding Cut

It appears that the Afghan Clean Energy Project (ACEP) will see reduced funding over the next few years. This was a highly regarded alternative energy program that USAID, in conjunction with other partners, was funding and implementing. But with the drastic cuts in the budget it appears that this worthwhile program - among others - will discontinue.  Click here to learn more about solar energy power projects in Afghanistan.

Rough Sailing for the Greyside Group

One security firm that tries to maintain a low-profile during its operations is the Greyside Group. However things don't always go to plan. A group of five of its employees were recently arrested in Mozambique for unauthorized possession of weaponry. The small security detail had no documentation for the weapons when they arrived at the airport in Nampula, Mozambique (aaaahhhh the paperwork or was it the lack of a bribe?). It seems that the security detail was hired by the German shipping company NSB to assist in the search (and recovery?) of a hijacked NSB vessel. There are a number of firms that provide maritime security for shipping that have conducted similar operations. Read more in an article entitled "American Security Team Arrested in Nampula By Mozambique Police", The Maritime Executive, September 22, 2011. You can learn more about the Greyside Group at their website


Ah. Don't trust the initial reports.  Evidently Greyside Group says the report is inaccurate and there were no weapons involved. See the links below:

Change of Command at Rule of Law Field Force - Afghanistan

The Rule of Law Field Force - Afghanistan (ROLFF-A) had a Change of Command ceremony on September 14, 2011. The ROLFF-A is charged with assisting the Afghanistan government with the process of establishing "rule of law" within Afghanistan - a difficult if not impossible task. Learn more about attempts to assist the Afghans in building the rule of law in Afghanistan.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Killer Elite Movie (Based on "The Feather Men")

A new movie release called The Killer Elite is generating some controversy.  It is an action film with some big name actors.  It appears that movie is based on a book entitled The Feather Men by Sir Ranulph Fiennes that detailed the murder of some SAS soldiers that had served in the Middle East.  Read a review of the movie here.  Learn more about the book previously published as The Feather Men which is now on sale at as The Killer Elite.

International Fighter, London, UK - Nov 8-10, 2011

International Fighter is a conference and event that is "widely recognized as the world leading, independent forum for the fighter community . . " that provides an authoritative view of future developments and acquisition priorities.  A number of highly regarded speakers will be presenting at the conference.  The conference takes place on November 8-10, 2011 at the Royal Air Force Museum in London, UK.  Click here to learn more about the event -

Click here to view a listing of other defense and security conferences -

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Britain and Counterinsurgency - Puncturing the COIN Myth

The British are lauded for their vaunted expertise in counterinsurgency operations in past military ventures in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.  However a recent document posted on the Strategic Studies Institute website of the United States Army War College has a different viewpoint. The document is entitled "Puncturing the Counterinsurgency Myth: Britain and Irregular Warfare in the Past, Present, and Future" by Dr. Andrew Mumford.  The brief Synopis posted reads like this:
"This monograph holds that an aura of mythology has surrounded conventional academic and military perceptions of British performance in the realm of irregular warfare. It identifies 10 myths regarding British counterinsurgency performance and seeks to puncture them by critically assessing the efficacy of the British way of counterinsurgency from the much-vaunted, yet over-hyped, Malayan Emergency to the withdrawal of combat troops from Iraq in 2009. It challenges perceptions of the British military as an effective learning institution when it comes to irregular warfare and critically assesses traditional British counterinsurgency strategic maxims regarding hearts and minds and minimum force."
Hmmmmm.  I wonder what my Brit SAS friends would say?

If interested in the document click on the link below:

Click here to view other articles about counterinsurgency.

Security Contracting Firms Descending on Libya

As the rebels in Libya consolidate their hold on the country others are looking for business opportunities.  Those "others" include some security companies with extensive experience in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The operational environment in Libya is a fluid situation that requires flexibility. Read more about security contracting firms in Libya in "As Libya War Winds Down, Security Consultants Tout Iraq, Afghan Experience", Bloomberg News, September 22, 2011.  Learn more about security firms that provide security contract services in dangerous places.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Cyber Warfare Europe 2011 (Berlin, Sep 26-29, 2011)

The Cyber Warfare Europe 2011 conference will be held at the Berlin Marriott Hotel in Berlin, Germany on 26-29 September 2011.  Senior officers, leading industry contractors, and government staff will gather to discuss the latest cyber issues.  The conference " . . . will focus specifically on the challenges, strategies, and solutions facing smaller European militaries and governments as they formulate national strategies to keep their defensive and offensive cyber capabilties up to date and in-line with the international community".  Learn more at this event at  See a listing of other security and defense related conferences at the link below:

Sunday, September 18, 2011

IMO Issues Guidance on Security Guards to Counter Somali-Based Piracy

"Further interim guidance on the use of privately contracted armed security personnel (PCASP) on board ships to counter Somali-based piracy has been approved by an IMO intersessional working group. The Intersessional Maritime Security and Piracy Working Group of the Maritime Safety Committee, which met at IMO Headquarters in London from 13 to 15 September 2011, approved a Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) circular for dissemination . . . "

Read more at the link below:

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Night Vision Equipment

Have you ever wanted to know more about night vision equipment?  Our Internet page on night vision equipment will explain how these NVDs work, who manufactures them and where to buy them.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Internet Resources on Village Stability Operations

Take a look at the past history of attempts to provide security at the local, grass-roots level in Afghanistan.  Village Stability Operations (VSO) is one such program.  Learn more at the link below:

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

International Terrorism and Organized Crime Conference (Aug 1-5, 2011) Anaheim, California

The 2011 International Terrorism and Organized Crime Conference will be held at Disneyland in Anaheim, California on August 1-5, 2011.  The Asian Gang Investigators Association of California will be hosting the event. 
"The conference is designed to provide 36 hours of updated information on Terrorism and Organized Crime investigations along with supplying data on gangs and other criminal groups impacting society today. It will furnish attendees with training in how to deal with these types of investigations as well as how to combat them. The training is directed toward all levels of law enforcement, including street officers, detectives, educators, and administrators. The conference will be comprised of lectures, presentations and handout materials from internationally and nationally recognized experts in terrorism and organized crime investigations."
Learn more about the conference at the link below.

Visit the link below for a complete listing of conferences relating to terrorism, defence or security.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Calendar of Security Conferences

Click on the link below for a comprehensive listing of security conferences dealing with the security industry, personal security, national defense, and terrorism.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

FPED VIII - May 17-19, 2011 in Stafford, Virginia

The Force Protection Equipment Demonstration will be held May 17-19, 2011. The event is sponsored by a number of government agencies and it showcases physical security products and equipment.  Click on the following links to learn more about FPED VIII or upcoming security conferences.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC) - Tampa - May 17-19, 2011

The Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC) will be held in Tampa, Florida on May 17-19, 2011.  The theme of the conference is "Special Operations Forces: Setting the Course".  Here is a blurb from the NDIA website on the conference: 
"The increasing complexity of today’s global environment demands that Special Operations Forces, now more than ever, obtain the necessary skills and are equipped with the right capabilities to respond wherever and whenever needed.

This year’s Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC) will offer multiple venues sharing USSOCOM perspectives on SOF’s core capabilities to "understand, communicate, move, and engage" while achieving U.S. strategic goals.

Plenary sessions with key senior leaders and dedicated track sessions with experts of the special operations community from across the acquisition spectrum; including requirements, operations, acquisition, and technology; will address SOF’s current challenges, trends, and interests in support of SOF global missions.

This conference promises to provide a forum for collaboration and positive, proactive networking between all key stakeholders from industry, academia, professional organizations, and government agencies supporting the special operations enterprise. The technology exhibition will showcase new and emerging technologies and products developed by industry’s innovators.

SOFIC 2011 will provide a truly ground-breaking and insightful forum committed to directly support our nation's premier specialized forces and set the course for SOF moving forward."
Find out more about the conference here:

Click the link below for other conferences on security and defense:


Monday, April 4, 2011

Irregular Warfare Summit 2011

The 2nd Annual Irregular Warfare Summit 2011 will take place in Washington, D.C. on May 23-25, 2011.  Some of the speakers include MG David Morris (Director of the Joint Irregular Warfare Center), RDML Sinclair Harris (Director of Irregular Warfare - USN), and others.
"IDGA’s 2nd Annual Irregular Warfare Summit will present latest advancements for concepts, capabilities, requirements and the lessons learned from recent Irregular Warfare efforts. This event will take a closer look at military strategies for irregular warfare including special forces and counter insurgency operations. Due to increasing challenges, acquisition decisions are currently being made, as well as new requirements for industry." 
Learn more about this at the following link:

Sunday, March 20, 2011

2011 ILEETA Conference and Expo - April 11-16, 2011

The 2011 International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association Conference and Expo will be held in Wheeling, Illinois on April 11-16, 2011.  Click on the links below for more information about the conference.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Physical Security Equipment Tradeshow May 17-19, 2011

Although a long way off, this event is worth putting on your calendar.  The Force Protection Equipment Demonstration will take place in May 17-19, 2011 at Stafford, Virginia.  Read more about this event in "Force Protection Equipment Demonstration set for next year in Virginia", Government Security News, June 30, 2010.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Raymond Davis Works for CIA - Was Former Special Forces and Security Contractor

Officials have confirmed that Raymond Davis, arrested in Pakistan for shooting and killing two Pakistanis who were trying to rob him, is an independent contractor working for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).  Davis is a former member of U.S. Army Special Forces and was at one time a security contractor working for Xe Services supporting the CIA.  Many retired or former members of Special Forces work under contract for the agency in a variety of roles.  Davis was reportedly assigned to Lahore, Pakistan and was operating there as part of the CIAs Global Response Staff.  The Global Response Staff is responsible for providing security for agency employees and facilities around the world.  Read more in "U.S. officials: Raymond Davis, accused in Pakistan shootings, worked for CIA", The Washington Post, February 21, 2011 and in "Raymond Davis Is CIA Contractor and Former Blackwater, U.S. Officials Say", ABC News, February 21, 2011.

Asymmetric Warfare Group (AWG) Lightens Load for Warfighters in Afghanistan

The secretive Asymmetric Warfare Group (AWG) based on Fort Meade, Maryland conducts research, provides instruction, and advises military organizations and units in Afghanistan.  The AWG is composed of members of the armed services and are from a variety of units; however, many of their members are Special Forces Soldiers.  One of their special projects is to lighten the load that infantrymen carry in Afghanistan.  The mobility of the Soldier is dramatically reduced due to the large assortment of military gear worn and carried.  The gear is considered "essential" to military leaders for safety and force protection - and mission accomplishment.  Granted, some of this equipment is "high-speed, low-drag, and lightweight"; but 100 lbs of lightweight gear still weighs 100 lbs!  Body armor and helmet are one of the heaviest items worn.  Then there is the additional stuff like water, ammunition, radios, batteries for the radios, GPS systems, night vision devices, medical supplies, emergency signaling devices, knee pads, elbow pads, food, and more.  It doesn't take much for a Soldier to end up carrying 100 pounds of gear when he goes on patrol.  Now put this Soldier into a mountainous terrain like the Korengal Valley in northeastern Afghanistan and you have a problem.  The enemy, who knows the terrain, can scoot around in sandals, a weapon (which he can cache until needed), and some ammunition.  He might have one person in his patrol who carries a light radio.  Our infantrymen are simply out-maneuvered on the battlefield when they are on foot. 

Read more about what the Asymmetric Warfare Group is doing to help out the Soldier in "Lighting the load for soldiers", Standard-Examiner, February 19, 2011.  Click on the following link to learn more about the Asymmetric Warfare Group (AWG) -

Friday, February 18, 2011

MG Joseph Votel to Head up Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC)

MG Joseph Votel has been nominated by President Obama to head up the secretive Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC).  Vote will replace Navy Vice Admiral William McRaven - whose next job is unknown.  Info from the Fayetteville Observer.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

MARSOC Has New Job Specialty MOS for Special Operators

The Marine Special Operations Command (MARSOC) has been given the green light for keeping many of its MARSOC trained operators.  MARSOC now has a new MOS for its operators which will allow them to stay with MARSOC as a career instead of rotating back to a Marine line unit.  This will be a huge jump forward for MARSOC as it will be able to keep special operators with unique skills, language expertise, and valuable specialty training (HALO, combat diver, explosives) within its ranks.  Many in the Special Forces community saw this lack of a special operator job specialty as a limiting factor on the professionalism of Marine special operators.  Read more in "Amos OKs new MOS for MARSOC", Marine Corps Times, February 14, 2011.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Project Lawrence - Special Operations Beefs Up Language Program

USSOCOM is embarked on an effort to increase its operators' language proficiency.  To do this U.S. Army Special Forces and U.S. Navy SEALs are increasing their language training courses.  In addition, SOF are creating female engagement teams or Cultural Support Teams made up of females with some specific military occupational specialties.  Read more in "Wanted: More 'Lawrences of Afghanistan' and Female Special Operators", National Defense, February 8, 2011.

Vickers Before Senate for Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Nomination

"WASHINGTON, Feb. 15, 2011 – Two of President Barack Obama’s nominees for key Defense Department posts appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee today as part of their confirmation process.

Michael G. Vickers, nominated to be undersecretary of defense for intelligence, and Jo Ann Rooney, the president’s choice to be principal deputy undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, both pledged to support Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates’ “efficiency initiatives” to cut unnecessary expenditures and redirect the savings to support the wars and warfighters and their families.

Vickers has been assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict since 2007. In that time, he noted, his office saved money by paring down joint intelligence operations centers, which had grown to include thousands of personnel at every command, as well as streamlining other efforts."
Read the rest of the article in "Senate Considers Nominees for Pentagon Posts", U.S. Department of Defense, February 15, 2011.

Read his biography at the link below.


Inquest on Death of British Aid Worker (Norgrove) in Afghanistan Finds Use of Grenades a Mistake

An inquest has determined that an elite SEAL unit tasked with the rescue of British aid worker Linda Norgrove from Afghanistan Taliban was flawed.  The biggest mistake was the use of grenades during the raid - which was the cause of death of Norgrove.  Read more in "Mistakes by US special forces led to death of aid worker Linda Norgrove, inquest finds", The Telegraph, February 15, 2011.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Locksmith Links, Tools and Resources

Our companion website - SecurityInfoNet - has published a new page entitled "Locksmith Resources, Links, Tips, Guides and Information"

There are links to all aspects of the locksmithing world to include locksmith associations and organizations, locksmith directories, manufacturing and product listings, educational opportunities, books on locksmithing, locksmith tools, magazines, history of locksmithing, locksmith blogs, locksmith museums, home security products, and frequently asked questions. 

Check the page out at the link below!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Border Security Expo 2011

The 5th Annual Border Security Expo will be held in Phoenix, Arizona from February 15-16, 2011.  This is the nation's leading conference on international border security.

See a listing of terrorism, defense, and security conferences for 2011.

Friday, February 4, 2011

TechSec Solutions - Feb 13-15, 2011 in Florida

The TechSec Solutions conference will be held in Delray Beach, Florida on February 13-15, 2010.  The conference will discuss the impact of IP on the security marketplace and show you the advances in security technology.  Highlights include cloud computing, school security integration, retail intelligence, wireless security, and more.

Click here to view other security conferences for 2011.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Silk Underwear May Protect Soldiers from IEDs

"Talk about a sensitive mission: The Army is experimenting with heavy silk underwear to find a way to protect soldiers' groins and abdomens from bombs that they step on in Afghanistan, where militants have been planting improvised explosive devices by the thousands. Protection of troops' lower bodies has become a priority in the past year as more soldiers and Marines patrol on foot to push out Taliban fighters and protect villagers, the Pentagon says." 
Read the rest of the article in "1st-class protection for privates", USA Today, February 3, 2011.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Listing of Security Firms by State

Are you looking for a list of security firms in your state?  Consult our listings of locksmiths, security guards, investigators, and installers of security systems.  Security professionals are listed by state.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Use of Aerial Drones by US Law Enforcement for Surveillance a Privacy Issue

The military has been using drones (sometimes called Unmanned Aerial Vehicles  or UAVs) for a number of years with great effectiveness in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere.  That technology is now creeping into law enforcement here in the United States.  While a tremendous aid to law enforcement agencies the use of drones is also of concern for privacy advocates.  Read more in "Domestic use of aerial drones by law enforcement likely to prompt privacy debate", The Washington Post, January 22, 2011.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Private Military Corporation (PMC) Providing Training to Somali Troops - Saracen International

A private sector effort financed by several Arab Gulf states is now training Somali troops in hopes of quelling the rampart piracy off the coast of Somalia.  The Somali pirates have been operating out of ports along Somali's coast for the last 20 years.  While many governments have been cooperating in organizing naval task forces that operate on the ocean none have ventured onto the land mass of Somalia to root out the pirates.  Many analysts agree that the best way to stop the piracy is to get on the ground and go after them.  Enter Saracen International - a secretive private sector security and military type business.  Read more in "Blackwater founder trains Somalis", Yahoo! News, January 20, 2011.

Personnel Recovery Training - "The Way Back"

For those interested in survival, escape and evasion, or personnel recovery topics a new film might be of interest.  The actor Ed Harris is starring in a film called "The Way Back". The film is based on a true story of an American who escapes a communist gulag.  Read more in "For Ed Harris, 'The Way Back' was a long, welcome road", USA Today, January 19, 2011.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

TechSec Solutions 2011 -- Delray Beach, Fl -- February 13-15, 2011

"TechSec Solutions conference is the IP-focused event where you form partnerships and find solutions. Whether you are an end user, integrator, installer, manufacturer or other security professional, TechSec brings you all together in an environment conducive to learning and integrating leading-edge technology.

TechSec Solutions 2011 will be held in Delray Beach, FL, February 13-15th. The premier conference on IP security technology offers an unparalleled schedule of speakers and forums in which to discuss the market's most pressing issues. In 2011, we discuss real world problems the end user community is experiencing on a regular basis and the solutions used to solve them."

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Iraq War News Website

A new website that covers the war news from Iraq has appeared.  It has web pages on current news, military websites, government websites, general info on the Iraq War, blogs on Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), maps, and history of the Iraqi War.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Smart Phones Under Development in U.S. Army

Smart phones are now under development that will provide infantrymen in battle situation awareness of the battlefield.  Read more in "Smart phones offer soldiers an ISR edge", Army Times, January 8, 2011.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Gorgon Stare - New Drone to Deploy to Afghanistan

This winter the Air Force will deploy a new drone to Afghanistan that has some excellent capabilities above and beyond the UAS's that are now there.  The new drone, called the Gorgon Stare, is named after a mythical Greek creature whose eyes could turn people to stone.  The UAS will be able to transmit images from multiple cameras to users at viewing stations on the ground.

"With Air Force's new drone, 'we can see everything'", The Washington Post, January 2, 2011.  Read more news on the Afghanistan War.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

ESA Summit - January 10-13, 2010 - Irving, Texas

The ESA Leadership Summit will take place January 10-13, 2010 in Irving, Texas.  This is an opportunity for security integration and monitoring company executives to connect with each other and meet with manufacturers, distributors and service providers.  Click on the link below for more information.