6 minor things that predict major wars - We Are The Mighty
Intel

6 minor things that predict major wars

Once a war kicks off, it’s generally easy to recognize. But war planners want to know about these things ahead of time so they predict what might be coming. While moves like large military exercises on a border are a dead giveaway that an invasion might be imminent, smaller things can give intel analysts a clue as well.


Here are 6 surprisingly minor things that can predict a major conflict:

1. Industrial diamonds and mineral prices

 

6 minor things that predict major wars
Industrial diamonds are used in tools and manufacturing equipment because of their how hard they are. Photo: R. Tanaka CC BY 3.0

 

Who knew diamonds could predict wars? Back when World War II was just a fight between Germany and Poland about whether Poland got to keep being a country, Hitler was promising everyone that it was a limited, one-time thing. But the other countries knew he was full of it because, among other things, diamond prices were climbing.

Industrial diamonds are ugly things used in heavy duty drills, grinders, and other machinery. They’re essential to properly machining large weapons of war and the price was high because Germany was buying a lot of them plus tons of metals, like enough to create a blitzkrieg-capable army. A short time later, that army was rolling across Dutch fields.

David E. Walker wrote “Adventure in Diamonds” about the rush by British and Japanese teams to secure Amsterdam’s diamond stocks during the German invasion.

2. Missing uniforms and other supplies

 

6 minor things that predict major wars
If all of your uniform tops suddenly go missing, then watch out. Photo: US Marine Corps Sgt. Jamean Berry

 

Another thing the Dutch found suspicious ahead of the Nazi invasion was a higher than normal disappearance rate of uniforms and other supplies. Some items always go missing and sometimes things really do fall off of trucks, but a sudden jump should get analysts worried.

When German paratroopers started landing in the Netherlands, some of them were wearing Dutch uniforms that had gone missing. Wearing an enemy’s uniform is a war crime, but that only matters if the side guilty parties are on loses. If your uniform is missing, it may be forgetfulness, or it may predict something scarier.

3. Suspicious demonstrations

 

6 minor things that predict major wars
Photo: HOBOPOCC CC BY-SA 3.0

One of the things Ukraine noticed before of the shadow invasion of the Donbas region was a sudden increase in Pro-Moscow agitation in the east of the country and apparent ties between the agitators and Russian propaganda outlets.

Russian special operators and soldiers now cross into the area from time-to-time to make sure separatists forces are able to resist Kiev’s military, keeping the nation off-balance and allowing Russia a generally free hand.

4. Increased tourism

6 minor things that predict major wars
Photo: Pixabay/meineresterampe

A spike in tourism is usually just a good sign for the economy, but combined with any other indicators that a war is looming, it’s a decent bet that some of those tourists are spies.

Ahead of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Japanese spies were sent to scout Pearl Harbor while posing as tourists and they fed sensitive information back to the Japanese Navy.

5. Local weapon prices

6 minor things that predict major wars
Photo: US Marine Corps Cpl. Daniel Wulz

When it comes to local conflicts, warlords and smaller armies are sometimes equipping their forces right before the fight. This drives up the costs of weapons, especially AK-47s. Intel analysts and concerned citizens can watch those prices and see if a brush fire war or uprising is likely.

For larger nations, observers watch the overall size of the arsenal. If Russia starts producing more cruise missiles than normal, they’re probably going to be firing some soon.

6. Computer activity

6 minor things that predict major wars
Photo: Capt. Kyle Key

 

In the modern day, hacking is a tool of war that is sometimes used on its own or in conjunction with a kinetic attack. Either way, the cyber assault is usually preceded by the tests of cyber defenses and the collecting of information on targets.

This activity can be spotted ahead of time, and cyber defenders know that an uptick in probing attacks is a solid prediction of worse to come. Russia collected information on an oil pipeline before overpressurizing the pipeline and causing an explosion in Turkey, and it also probed Ukrainian defenses before shutting down a power grid there for six hours in Jan. 2016.

Intel

Army-Navy Spirit Video: ‘As Long As We Got Our SDBs’

One of the greatest rivalries in college football is Army vs. Navy. And Midshipman Rylan Tuohy has stepped up the game.


Whether on the field or cheering their teams along, both Army and Navy take winning this particular game very seriously. And the rivals are calling each other out through clever videos such as Rylan’s Suit and Tie parody. Six points to Navy for this one. Rylan is just as talented a singer as he is a United States Naval Academy midshipman.

Intel

The top 5 bizarre weapons of World War II

The military often concocts some amazingly innovative technologies for use on the battlefield, but that’s not always the case.


As a video from This is Genius shows about weapons developed during World War II, there were plenty of projects that were much more bizarre than they were innovative.

There were the short-range rockets developed by the U.K. that were supposed to snag on enemy planes with cables and the Soviet bomb dogs that were trained to attack German tanks. They didn’t always work out as planned.

Check out the video for more

Intel

This hilarious video reveals why Marines prefer Camp Pendleton to 29 Palms

A simple glance at a map would tell you all you need to know. Camp Pendleton is on the southern California coast with San Diego, Los Angeles, and Orange County just a short drive away. By contrast, Twentynine Palms is in a remote desert location akin to being stuck on Tattooine.


But there’s more to like about Camp Pendleton than fun outside the base.

Check out this Terminal Boots video:

 

Intel

Emotional video shows the pain for Russians as their government hides its war in Ukraine

Vice News journalist Lucy Kafanov traveled to Russia to learn about soldiers who fought in Ukraine, and she found graves and families of fallen soldiers willing to talk with her about Russia’s “ghost war.”


She spoke with different Russians impacted by the secret deployments to the region, including a mother who lost her son, an uncle whose nephew was crippled, opposition leaders who have been beaten or silenced, and activists. In this emotional documentary, the truth is revealed about a war the Kremlin denies is even happening.

You can read more at Vice News. The full documentary is available below:

NOW: The US military took these amazing photos in just one week-long period

OR: ‘The Fighting Season’ nails the gritty realities of the Afghan War

Intel

Congress creates a new special operations and intelligence subcommittee

Congress has created a new subcommittee on military intelligence and special operations.

Part of the House Committee on Armed Services, the Subcommittee on Intelligence and Special Operations will have jurisdiction over the policy, programs, and accounts that are related to military intelligence, national intelligence, weapons of mass destruction, and conventional weapons counter-proliferation, counterterrorism, sensitive operations, and special operations.

Representative Ruben Gallego (Democrat, Arizona) was chosen to head the subcommittee. Gallego served six years in the Marine Corps (2000-2006), reaching the rank of corporal and deploying once to Iraq for a 12-month deployment. Gallego holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Harvard University.

6 minor things that predict major wars
Representative Ruben Gallego (in the middle) during his combat deployment in Iraq between January 2005 and January 2006. Gallego is the head of the newly established Subcommittee on Intelligence and Special Operations (Ruben Gallego via Twitter).

Representative Gallego said in a statement on Twitter that “When I walk to the committee room for the House Armed Services Committee, I walk by a wall with names of all service members that have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. 24 of those names are men I served with. As the new Chairman of the Subcommittee on Intelligence and Special Operations, I serve in their name and honor. I remember being a young man in war hoping someone was looking out for me. If you are out there, know that I am.”

Representative Stephanie Murphy (Democrat, Florida) will serve as the vice-chair of the subcommittee. Murphy has experience in the field from her stint at the Pentagon office that oversees the Special Operations/Low-Intensity Conflict (SO/LIC) office.

It will be interesting to see if the new subcommittee will have any real jurisdiction—and thus power—given the plethora of lawmaking bodies with similar duties already in existence. There are, for example, the Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the House Select Committee on Intelligence, the Senate Committee on Armed Services, the House Committee on Armed Services

6 minor things that predict major wars
Army Special Forces operators plot their next point during a land navigation exercise (DVIDS).

Representative Adam Smith (Democrat, Washington), the chair of the Armed Services Committee stated that the new subcommittee will allow Congress to exert more scrutiny and oversight were needed.

“As the country faces unprecedented threats from our adversaries and competitors, especially the disruptive impact of disinformation attacks, we will ensure that special operations forces and the Defense Intelligence Enterprise are postured to address those threats,” Walsh said.

“It is critical that these highly sensitive areas of the Committee’s jurisdiction receive the time and attention they deserve, and this new subcommittee structure will facilitate exactly that.”

Gallego has indicated that the subcommittee will be reviewing the deployment of special operations forces across the world to ensure that they are utilized for the US’ best national interest.

This article originally appeared on Sandboxx. Follow Sandboxx on Facebook.

Intel

Here’s what happens when an RPG is fired at 16 inches of bulletproof glass

A video uploaded to YouTube earlier this week purportedly shows what happens when a Russian RPG-7 (rocket-propelled grenade) is fired at 45 sheets of bulletproof glass, measuring about 16 inches thick.


An RPG is a portable, shoulder-fired, anti-tank weapon system that fires rockets equipped with an explosive warhead.

Here’s a side shot of an RPG:

6 minor things that predict major wars
Photo: YouTube/CrashZone

Here’s the target: 45 layers of bulletproof glass:

6 minor things that predict major wars
Photo: YouTube/CrashZone

Here we go:

6 minor things that predict major wars
Photo: YouTube/CrashZone

Here’s the RPG on its way toward the bulletproof glass:

6 minor things that predict major wars
Photo: YouTube/CrashZone

Here’s a GIF of the action:

via GIPHY

And here it is in slow motion:

via GIPHY

Here’s the end result:

6 minor things that predict major wars
Photo: YouTube/CrashZone

Here’s the full video:

More from Business Insider:

This article originally appeared at Business Insider Defense. Copyright 2015. Follow BI Defense on Twitter.

Intel

Sharp Shooter’s Trained Eye (For Photography)

Cedric Terrell’s photography studio is full of energy, creativity, and stunningly beautiful people, inside and out.


The photographer and former Marine captures gorgeous profiles of anyone from everywhere. This guy is straight up talented. After seven years with the USMC, Cedric is running his own studio with offices in New York, Washington D.C., and Los Angeles. Learn more about Cedric in the videos below.

Miss DC Ladies

Meet Cedric Terrell (Part 1)

Image Credit: Cedric Terrell Photography
Intel

That one time in 1995 when Russia almost nuked the United States

Russia almost blew the United States away with a nuclear strike in 1995 after mistakenly thinking it was under attack. If it weren’t for Russia’s then-president Boris Yeltsin, America as we know it wouldn’t exist. Under the “launch-on-warning” policy used by both nations, Russia had 30 minutes to decide to nuke us but Yeltsin only had five.


Here’s how this monumental mistake almost took place:

NOW: The US nuclear launch code during the Cold War was weaker than your granny’s AOL password

OR: Here’s the entire Cold War by the numbers

Intel

The US military is using ‘Forensic Files’ technology to identify unknown remains

America is hooked on true crime stories. One of the most engrossing among those true crime stories is “Forensic Files,” the true stories of murder and intrigue solved by scientific professionals who think of creative ways to link a crime with its perpetrator. 

For decades, forensic investigators have used everything from DNA analysis to gas chromatography to determine who killed who and where and with what – like a giant, real-world game of Clue. 

Gas chromatography and similar forensic studies can help identify remains, but it’s much more challenging when scientists have no clue who the deceased individual might be.

Military scientists have been at the same game for around the same amount of time. The only trouble is that these scientists know who killed the dead men and how they died. In the military, they don’t know who the dead men are. For Americans and the U.S. military, that’s the most important puzzle to solve. 

In the days of wars past, the quest to identify America’s honored dead was limited by the technology of the times. This is why the United States has Unknown Soldiers from World War I, World War II and Korea. Only the Unknown Soldier of the Vietnam War could be identified.

But new forensic technology offers hope to scientists who spend their days trying to identify soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, despite the lack of evidence. 

Advanced forensic technology used to catch serial killers along with the rise of publicly available DNA ancestry databases has given them new methods of finding clues that could lead to more positive identifications – even if the dead were killed 70 years ago. 

As the New York Times reported in April of 2021, traditional methods used by the POW/MIA Accounting Agency usually use DNA samples from found remains and try to match them with a known relative. But if there are no known relatives from which to draw a sample, the case quickly runs cold. The agency can’t even exhume remains of unknown war dead unless there is a 50% chance of identification.

This means they have to have a known relative to compare the sample. IF there is no known relative, the remains are unlikely to ever be identified. 

So some analysts believe all the remains should be exhumed, DNA samples taken, and run through every available DNA database, including those used by the public for ancestry identification. 

While this sounds like a good idea, it could also be a massive invasion of privacy. Genetic testing open to the public has done a lot of good, such as finding the true identity of the Golden State Killer. It has also led to the inadvertent discovery of deeply hidden family secrets, such as extra-marital affairs, children who didn’t know they were adopted, and so on. 

In World War II alone, more than 73,000 American service members were unaccounted for by the end of the war. An estimated 41,000 of those are considered to be lost at sea. In the years since, researchers at the POW/MIA Accounting Agency have been able to find and identify 280,000 of the 400,000 who died during World War II. 

6 minor things that predict major wars
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier early in the morning at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, August 7, 2018. (U.S. Army photo by Elizabeth Fraser / Arlington National Cemetery / released)

There are also more than 7,800 missing from the Korean War, 1,626 missing from the Vietnam War, 126 from the Cold War and six from conflicts fought since 1991. As technology advances, so does the likelihood of finding and identifying the remains of the missing, but there’s still more work to do for those who gave their lives in the great power conflicts of America’s past. 

Intel

Everything you need to know about Iran’s threat in the Middle East

With the United States’ coming withdrawal from Afghanistan it may seem like the focus of the U.S. military is shifting from the Middle East to the Great Powers conflicts brewing with Russia and China. 

But America’s enemies in the region are still very much a threat, especially the Islamic Republic of Iran. A recently published Rand Corporation report detailed just how big a threat Iran is in the Middle East, what its goals are, and how it will seek to achieve those goals. 

rand report on iran
Cover image of the latest report on the Middle East by the Rand Corporation.

The report doesn’t just list Iran as a single entity. Rand Corporation’s research details that Iran’s threat is actually a massive fighting force, a network of potentially tens of thousands of fighters, all willing to answer the call of the Iranian government, the Revolutionary Guards Corps, or the Ayatollah himself. 

Rand breaks the network down into four separate classes: Targeters, Deterrers, Stabilizers, and Influencers.

Targeters’ sole purpose is to bleed the United States in terms of manpower, materiel, and especially money. Iran supports certain groups just to keep up attacks on American forces in the region to increase the costs of keeping them deployed. Beyond attacking U.S. troops, they also make it as difficult as possible for the U.S. to operate in the region, deterring their movements and forcing them to consider an Iranian or militia response when planning operations. 

6 minor things that predict major wars
Iraqi national police Sgt. Maj. Abu Hayder and U.S. Army Capt. Troy Thomas from Alpha Troop, 3-1 Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, talk about the launch sleds and aimed direction of the four 107 mm Iranian rockets which they found hidden under some woven bamboo sticks, in a small village outside of Patrol Base Assassin, Iraq

The deterrers are similar actors, not affiliated with any state, but designed to increase the costs of other countries in the region to operate. This group targets Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. 

Stabilizers are paid to do just what the name implies, to stabilize certain countries or major groups within those countries, usually Iranian allies. Stabilizers are used in place like Syria, which is experiencing massive instability due to the ongoing civil war, but also deals with instability based on its ethnic and religious diversity.

Iranian influencers aren’t on instagram snapping photos, they are used by the Iranian network to expand Iranian influence in the region, giving Iran a bigger say in the area’s greater political affairs. 

This means Iran will never directly attack the United States – or anyone else if it can avoid it. Iran’s military goal is to keep the fighting and instability experienced by other countries far from inside Iranian territory. Instead it will use this network to project its power, influence, and physical attacks. 

6 minor things that predict major wars
Afghan National Army Lt. Col. Mohammad Taheed meets with village representatives of the Afghan border town of Ghurian to persuade them to implement the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration program.

In the meantime, the United States and its regional allies will have to contend with the threat network’s mission, dictated by the government of the Islamic Republic. The cost of that contention will depend on the American military’s desired goals and the political establishment’s willingness to pursue those goals, likely at as high a cost as Iran can inflict on the United States. 

This also means that the U.S. will have to develop a means of countering the network, which blunt force is unlikely to achieve on its own. Rand recommends the U.S. defense apparatus develop a counter for each of Iran’s classes. 

Because of the American desire to cooperate with locals in the region, Rand recommends caution in choosing which groups to cooperate with, as they could be a member of the Iran Threat Network. To bolster its regional partners while countering Iranian influence, Rand recommends  increasing military-to-military partnerships to build the capacity of friendly forces in the Middle East. 

It all sounds easier said than done, but the United States can be a powerful ally to any regional partner. The U.S. military has defeated networks of enemy operations in the past, including in Iraq, where Iran’s threat network holds increasing sway – so victory is still possible.

Intel

This US Army general was rescued from Vietnam as a young boy

Brig. Gen. Viet X. Luong, who now oversees the training of Afghan forces, was only 9 when his father, a major in the South Vietnamese Marines, told the family that Saigon would soon fall to the North Vietnamese and they must escape.


A reporter friend was able to get them papers to evacuate through Tân Sơn Nhứt Airport.

Arriving just as it came under artillery and rocket bombardment, Luong recalls laying on the ground, listening to the groans of the wounded and praying for salvation. U.S. Marines flew the family to the USS Hancock where, as Saigon fell, Luong decided to join the U.S. military.

Hear the full story at NPR 

OR: These are a former NATO Supreme Allied Commander’s favorite books

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