CHINA LOOKS TO UNDERMINE U.S. POWER, WITH ‘ASSASSIN’S MACE’ (Source wired.com)
Could China wipe out an American military advantage with a simple black box? Joshua Cooper Ramo’s thought-provoking book *The Age of the Unthinkable *challenges all kinds of conventional thinking about everything from venture capital to military strategy. One section caught my eye in particular, about how the Chinese might neutralize American air superiority, using a type of weapon known an “Assassin’s Mace.” The specific device in question is an unassuming little case; how worried should we be? U.S. airpower depends on the ability to overcome surface-to-air missile (SAM) defenses, and one of the key weapons for this role is the AGM-88 High Speed Anti-radiation Missile (HARM), which homes in on radar emissions. The defenders can either turn off their radar, thus blinding themselves, or have it destroyed. This is where the black box that Ramo found at a military trade show in Zhuhai in 2002 comes in: “…packed inside were several thousand microtransmitters and when you plugged the device in and turned it on, it broadcast signals – 10,000 of them – on the frequency of a SAM site. From the perspective of an American pilot – or , more precisely, the perspective of his HARM missile looking for a ‘lock’ on a SAM radar signal – this meant an air-to-ground picture that looked like 10,001 SAM signals, only one of which was real…”
Ramo suggests that if defenders have these black boxes then the U.S. aircraft would be helpless against enemy SAMs, and air superiority would be lost at stroke. This is just one example of Beijing’s “Assassin’s Mace” family of weaponry that’s been much discussed in both Chinese and American military circles. The Pentagon defines the Maces as technologies that might afford an inferior military an advantage in a conflict with a superior power.
Trump, Kushner honor High Holy Days in call with Jewish leaders (Source politico.com) President Donald Trump and Jared Kushner, his son-in-law and senior adviser, on Friday marked the upcoming High Holy Days during a call with rabbis and other Jewish leaders, hailing the administration’s strong support for Israel. During the call the president expressed “deep admiration for the Jewish people” for enduring “unthinkable persecution” over the centuries, and praised the Jewish new year, which begins Wednesday, for its tradition of helping individuals to “rededicate your lives to the sacred values you hold dear.” The holiday, Rosh Hashana, begins 10 days of repentance ending with Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement. Trump, who has frequently vowed to remain a staunch ally of Israel, also reiterated his commitment to maintaining strong U.S. ties to the country going forward.“I am proud to stand with the Jewish people and with our cherished friend and ally, the State of Israel,” he said, according to a White House readout of the call. Trump also expressed a desire to achieve “significant progress” in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians before the close of the year.