China races to build drones and the largest surveillance network. Why Israel is on terror watch list. Neo-Nazis try to hide in plain sight. And more.
►The race is on. “U.S. military successes with drones have changed strategic thinking worldwide and spurred a global rush for unmanned aircraft ,” The Washington Post reports. Their use of cheap weapons, reconnaissance abilities, and ease of use, could make drones the standard for many applications, experts think. Now more than 50 countries have purchased drones or have started their own development programs – with China on the fast track. Five years ago China, showed its first drone at an air show. Now every Chinese military manufacturer has a drone research arm.
►In May, a Department of Homeland Security report listed Israel as a country that was a “Promoter, Producer, or Protector’ of terrorists , The Algemeiner reports. Last week, a DHS spokesperson clarified that the list doesn’t fault the government’s policies, but looks at the likelihood that a person from that country could have ties to terrorists. Many countries on the list, like Israel, have problems with radical Muslim terrorist groups. Also on the list are U.S. allies Turkey, Bahrain, Philippines, and Morocco.
►The President’s Afghanistan exit plan will involve a “mini-surge” of special operations units to aid U.S. troops in a smooth departure from the country. “Defense analysts have said of late that the reduction of conventional troops likely will place a heavier burden on clandestine units, such as SEALs, and Army Rangers and Green Berets,” Stars and Stripes reports. Military sources told an Australian newspaper that 16 special forces personnel are the equivalent of 100 conventional troops.
►The Department of Defense is training commanders to mitigate major domestic disasters to avoid some of the problems experienced during Hurricane Katrina. The commanders would have the authority to lead active duty and National Guard troops , a power that would have helped fix response delays, The Army Times reports. During Katrina, there was no one commander. Active duty troops and National Guard troops follow two different chains of command, so there were often delays and duplication of efforts. The DoD plans to make sure that there is at least one “dual-status” commander in every state who can take the lead in a domestic emergency situation.
►Neo-Nazis are looking for better ways of concealment in society, by ditching the bald heads and distinguishable clothing , according to a report by Germany's Interior Ministry and General Security Services. The report says the number of neo-Nazis is up, but the number of neo-Nazi-related crimes is down, reports Ynet. The report also says Germany remains a target of radical Islamist groups citing the rise in terror threats over the last year.
►In other news, Law enforcement in Alabama say the Secure Communities program is near perfect for catching repeat offenders. • Cisco Systems Inc. will assist China in building one of the largest and most sophisticated video surveillance systems . Five-hundred thousand cameras will watch a half-million intersections over 400 square miles. • The KnownCrew program adds new measures to screening airline pilots. • Boeing is considering a plan to use multiple sources for parts to be able to sustain production in the event of another disaster like the recent tsunami in Japan.