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If like us you’re currently hooked on the third season of Game of Thrones, then no doubt you’re excited by the prospect of this weekend’s finale. Yes, believe it or not, ferocious battles, military strategising and political manoeuvering does tend to draw our interest. We like the escapism. After all, a fantasy drama featuring dragons and giants is a million miles from the real world. Right?
One of our followers has contributed this chart, drawing parallels between George R. R. Martin’s characters and real world influencers. A fair assessment?…
Tim Manhire, who spoke at our Caribbean Basin Coastal Surveillance and Maritime Security Summit (CABSEC) on the European Union’s SEACOP programme is taking part in a charity fundraiser – the Iron Butt challenge. As those who met him at the conference may know, he was the lucky recipient of a kidney transplant 9 years ago and a life-long Harley enthusiast. He is taking part in this charity event with his mate Adey, who survived a heart attack.
They will be riding to every Harley Davidson Dealer in England and Wales in a 6 day round trip. The journey starts in Southampton heading for Plymouth and visiting 26 Harley dealers covering over 1500 miles ending back in Southampton. All of the donations will be split 50-50 between their 2 charities.
If you are interested in donating to these two worthy causes, or reading about their personal stories in more detail please visit
Our forthcoming AFSEC conference will follow on from the CABSEC conference that Tim spoke at and will be held in Casablanca on the 25-27 February 2014. CABSEC focused on the drug routes out of Latin America, through the Caribbean Basin to North America and Europe.
AFSEC – the African Nations Coastal Surveillance and Maritime Security Summit will look at where these routes make land fall on the other side of the Atlantic and make their way into Europe. The conference will also look at other regional specific issues around transnational organised crime, terrorism and piracy to deliver a high-level strategic summit focused on regional security priorities. If you would like to register your interest for this conference, please email the team at email@example.com.
During the campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq, IED attacks on coalition troops climbed to the top of the threat ladder, owing to their prolific presence, their ability to be made easily and cheaply, and their fundamentally effective results.
Along with the drawdown, there is now a realisation that the theatre in which the IED remains a serious threat is anywhere and everywhere. In the months and years to come, homeland security measures will be faced with an increasing need to detect and defeat a device that requires little sophistication to take lives.
The question is whether the lessons and training methods refined in the deserts of the Middle East can be transposed to urban environments and the civilian response teams that often oversee them.
This year’s 7th annual Counter IED conference will be going further to assess the IED in the context of homeland security. Ahead of the conference, a day of interactive workshops will meet some of these issues head on, allowing professionals involved in this domain to both converge and converse openly on the topic.
The first two-hour workshop will explore training and retraining – looking at the broad scope disciplines, processes and capabilities that need to remain fresh as emerging asymmetric threats arrive at our doorstep. Mr Zach Kramer, C-IED SME, JMRC US Army Europe, will lead the discussion.
Following this, Mr Robert Shaw – who has trained ISAF forces and other authorities worldwide – will helm a must-attend session on predicting the future of EOD, assessing how the technologies and countermeasures will likely evolve and advising those involved in the discussion on how to use that information.
Finally, delegates will be treated to a visual walkthrough guide to attacking the network, arguably the key to closing down terrorist actions on a large-scale but also a more convoluted task than diffusing a physical bomb. Professor Caroline Kennedy-Pipe will help delegates address the challenge of crossing national boundaries, linking terrorist cells to organised criminals and ultimately undermining the “tangled web” of modern violent extremism.
Don’t want to miss out? Visit www.CounterIEDevent.com.
Alternatively, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone +44 (0) 207 368 9737.
Modern defence systems are required to gather, disseminate and store more information than ever before. The challenge of meeting the technology demand in a cost-effective manner is one that is shared by all governments and military organisations.
To solve this problem, military information leaders will assemble in Brussels, to get to grips with the latest strategies and equipment, which will enable global armed forces to assess the rapid increase in digital data.
The Defence IT 2013 conference, taking place in June, will build on the success of Defence IQ’s information technology portfolio, which includes the renowned annual Cyber Defence & Network Security (CDANS) conference. The full Defence IT conference agenda is available to view at
Defence IT 2013 will include key presentations from several EU and UK MoD programme leaders. With the budget for improving IT infrastructure in the European Commission reaching into the billions, Defence IT will provide the platform where government agencies seek to engage with leading solution providers.
Topics under discussion include, enterprise application platforms, Big Data, Cloud Computing, online learning, codification and standardisation. Additionally, the workshop day on 20th June 2013 will focus on the tools and applications required to visualise data and how to develop information systems for situational awareness.
Belgian Minister of Defence, Pieter De Crem, hailed Defence IQ’s CDANS conference as “an exceptional platform to discuss new ideas and initiatives; to identify benchmarks, as well as to coordinate existing capabilities”. A post-show report highlighting key findings of the conference, alongside insight on CNI-targeting malware and regional digital security strategies is available to the Defence IT community at
Further information on Defence IT, including the agenda, speaker lists and topics to be discussed are available online at
, where you will also be able to register for the conference.
Notes to editor:
Defence IT will be taking place in Brussels, Belgium between 18-20 June 2013. If you would like a press pass for the conference, please contact Samantha Tanner at email@example.com or call +44 (0) 207 368 9300.
With the official bilateral visit of UK Defence Minister Philip Hammond to Libya last week, there comes the news of the “reborn” nation finally opening up its defence coffers with reports of a $4.7 billion budget approval designed specifically to modernise the rusting armed forces, following decades of underfunding and the overthrow of a paranoid regime.
While the British defence industry is certainly on the books to help begin the rebuilding of air defence infrastructure taken out by NATO two years ago, other nations are also being consulted on delivering rapid upgrades to Libyan forces during this time of vulnerability. Defence IQ confirmed with the Libyan Air Force that consultations with Russia and Italy are underway to provide new trainer aircraft. Meanwhile, the fleet of Libyan C-130s that have been embargoed in the US for over 40 years are finally being discussed, but the Libyans are veering away from the offer to trade them in for a C-130J replacement.
Those involved in air systems would do well to keep their ears open as other ministers book flights to the Middle East over the coming months. A country that once commanded one of the biggest forces in the region wants to return to its old glory, and unlike many nations across the world today with similar dreams, Libya has the resources to make it happen.
Interested in the integration of modern military air weapons and systems? Network with decision-makers in London this May at Air Integration 2013.
Margaret Thatcher, the British Prime Minister from 1979 – 1990, passed away on Monday morning leaving behind a legacy few others could equal. A divisive figure and political enigma, the first woman Prime Minister will be revered by many as the Iron Lady who protected British sovereignty on the Falkland Islands in 1982.
She sent 27,000 men and over 100 ships to the remote islands near the Argentinian coast. Following the successful defence of the islands some weeks later, she said:
“What the Falklands proved was that we could still do it, and do it superbly. There was a feeling of colossal pride, of relief, that we could still do the things for which we were renowned. And that feeling will stay with us for a very long time.”
Despite brash calls from Argentina’s President Cristina Fernández over the last 12 months for the islands to fall under her government’s control, the Falklands are, and will remain, British. Last month a referendum was held with 99.8% of islanders voting to preserve the status quo under British rule.
Even as a reluctant foreign policy premier, Thatcher’s alliance with U.S. President Ronald Reagan also provided a united front in the Cold War with the Soviet Union. The Iron Curtain eventually fell in 1991, 13 months after the Iron Lady resigned from office following a leadership challenge from Michael Heseltine.
Love or loathe, respect or revile; Thatcher deserves to be recognised as a true giant of British politics and an icon of 20thcentury independence. She was a heck of a character; a pioneer, a visionary and fearless antagonist. A grocer’s daughter.
Margaret Thatcher the person will not be forgotten. Nor should the democratic, sovereign values she stood for in the Falklands be.
That feeling Thatcher talked about is still with us. But only just.
Despite the latest cinematic adventure celebrating a successful joint personnel recovery operation thanks to the collaborative work of Canadian and U.S. agencies, we must not forget the far less successful endeavour to rescue others during this time.
In this article, James P. Farwell explores the long-term impact of Operation Eagle Claw, the aborted personnel recovery effort that cost lives and careers, including that of President Jimmy Carter. Could a single question that went unasked have turned this tragic story into a Ben Affleck worthy sequel?
Decades may have passed since this misstep, but personnel recovery remains a burning issue today with recent experiences in Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa demonstrating the importance of effective planning.
As such, many in the global personnel recovery field will be gathering in London for the annual Joint Personnel Recovery conference this May, where topics of discussion will range from training operators in isolated situations and developing the capability to rescue military and non-military alike from behind enemy lines.
For more information on how to be a part of this important conference, visit www.JointPersonnelRecovery.com
Following recent indications that the Shamoon virus (aka Disstrack) that targeted and disrupted about 30,000 Saudi Aramco workstations last year was “worse than originally believed”, new information has been dropped onto the desk at Defence IQ.
John Bumgarner, Chief Technology Officer at the U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit, has forwarded a summary report on the Unit’s research findings that suggest a more likely source to be an extremist Islamist group based in Saudi Arabia – or at the least, not an Iranian hacker, as initially suspected.
While the findings are still circumstantial and could of course have been designed to throw forensic analysts off the scent, the evidence at hand is compelling.
The report was initially circulated at the end of last year to a number of government agencies but has been made public for the first time to Defence IQ, entitled Decapitating Saudi Aramco with the Sword of Justice.
Bumgarner will be speaking at the annual Cyber Defence & Network Security (CDANS) conference in London next week, where a number of senior government and military personnel will be joining commercial solution providers, academia and others to discuss faster progress in this field.
Find out how to attend here.
Defence IQ, London UK 15/01/2013
Senior military decision makers and industry heads will be gathering in Paris at the end of the month to discuss how operating environments are shaping new platform and upgrade requirements for both emerging and established military powers within the airborne early warning and battle management environment.
Defence IQ’s 12th annual Airborne Early Warning & Battle Management conference is widely regarded as the most well respected and independent forum targeted at the AEW&BM community. Each year provides the top military speakers, cutting edge themes and industry solution developments. This year’s agenda is no different and is available at
Ahead of the conference, programme leaders from the US Navy and Northrop Grumman Corporation have detailed the progress on the E-2D Hawkeye in an exclusive interview ahead of the company’s involvement in Paris. Listen to the full interview with Bart LaGrone, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems vice president for the Airborne Early Warning and Battle Management Command and Control (AEW/BMC2) programmes, and the new USN programme manager for the E-2D, Captain John “Chet” Lemmon at
See who you could meet at Airborne Early Warning & Battle Management by viewing the 2013 delegate list, which is available to download now from the event website.
Notes to editors:
If you would like to attend Airborne Early Warning as press, please get in touch with Samantha Tanner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Airborne Early Warning & Battle Management 2013 is sponsored by Northrop Grumman and Saab.
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By Alex Stephenson, Defence IQ’s man in Brazil
What breaks a company is lack of money, not lack of management or leadership. The same applies to criminal gangs. Imprisoning individuals is almost completely ineffective compared to denying a criminal organisation the proceeds of their activity. Concerning narcotics, one method is to interdict air, sea and land cargoes of substances – an alternative is to prevent the flow of the financial incentive in the other direction. No one sells a product if they cannot receive payment. A complete approach to narcotics includes both these elements.
But, there is a crime more profitable than narcotics. The sale of unknown vulnerabilities in computer software to criminal organisations who can exploit these weaknesses either to cause damage or steal intellectual property. So significant is this threat that it was contextualised as the threat of the modern era, paralleled by the nuclear threat of the cold war. A cyber threat to remain potent needs to remain unknown and then deliver chaos. An explicit parallel to the Hiroshima bomb; a capability unknown until it was deployed was drawn.
Linking both cyber security threats and counter narcotic threats I understood there to be three key takeaways:
- These are evolving risks, much like a game of chess they require continual attention, calculation and execution.
- Simplistically there are two approaches that can be used in tandem; tackling the problem and tackling the incentive – money makes the world go round
- Finally, the importance of sharing information, helping partners and collaborating.
This last point is perhaps the most important. Too often perhaps there is a concern about sharing information about a problem. Perhaps this is because there is a national sensitivity around admitting there is a problem. However, if it is happening on your patch it is probably happening on your neighbour’s and by working together the intelligence picture becomes more complete and hopefully solutions begin to appear.
It is a great privilege for me to be able to attend this conference by kind invitation of USSOUTHCOM and the Brazilian Ministry of Defence. Later during this weeklong conference I will be delivering two presentations, one to the Caribbean Regional Intelligence Conference and one to the Central American Regional Intelligence Conference. The subject of this presentation will be the Caribbean Basin Coastal Surveillance and Maritime Security Summit 2013.