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A report by Intellect, July 2010


Information Superiority (IS) is essential to protecting and defending UK nationals from various threats. Whereas the utility of platform capabilities such as warships, submarines, and military aircrafts provide a very visible role in enhancing the nation's security, IS capabilities, whilst less visible, are the most critical capabilities in achieving the UK's defence and security goals. This paper, written by Intellect, will illustrate how these technologies benefit the UK's defence and security operations. Intellect is the trade association for the UK technology Industry, representing around 800 companies across the information technology, telecommunications, and electronics sectors. Its members include the strategically important companies active in the defence and security markets of interest to the UK.

IS provides the foundation for the UK's intelligence and information capabilities. These capabilities form the eyes, ears, and nervous system to the Ministry of Defence's (MoD) military operations. The UK's success in defending and securing the country from current and future threats depends on the country's ability to understand its adversaries' movements and intentions and the environments that they operate in. Gaining this understanding means that UK Armed Forces must be capable of continuously collecting (sense) critical data, interpreting what this data means by transforming it into useful and usable information or intelligence (understand), communicating this information to those who need it (share), and exploiting this information to make better informed decisions (decide).

Tangible benefits arising from various IS capabilities are evident in the context of the UK's current and likely future operations. For example, when conducting counter-insurgency operations, a strategy employed by UK forces in Afghanistan, information is the key capability for determining success. The UK must understand the operational environment better than the enemy, i.e., achieve information superiority. Industry's IS capabilities also play a critical role in ensuring the security and resilience of the UK, its public and private sector, and its critical national infrastructure. In this capacity, IS is critical in policing and emergency response activities.

By investing in these capabilities, the UK's defence and security operations benefit from increased effectiveness in the precision of action and the ability to conduct joint operations, which often lead to reduced fratricide and improved survivability both of defence and security forces and equipment. Therefore, IS capabilities allow the UK to defend and secure the nation at a smaller cost, both in terms of money and the loss of life.

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What follows is an edited version of an article which appeared in the New York Times on March 17th. The full article can be found here

A missile fired by an American drone killed at least four people recently at the house of a militant commander in northwest Pakistan, the latest use of what intelligence officials have called their most effective weapon against Al Qaeda.

Pentagon officials say the remotely piloted planes, which can beam back live video for up to 22 hours, have done more than any other weapons system to track down insurgents and save American lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. The planes have become one of the military's favourite weapons despite many shortcomings resulting from the rush to get them into the field.

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By The UK MOD's Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre

Download for free via or purchase from DSDA Forms and Publication (01869 256139).

Reviewed by Ian Shields

The UK MOD's think-tank, the Development Concepts and Doctrine centre (DCDC) have already published some good work, including their paper on the Future Character of Conflict and their 2009 Future Air and Space Operational Concept (both available from the web-site listed above). Having identified a need for a textbook on space, given the ever-increasing reliance on space for contemporary military undertakings (one thinks of surveillance, satellite communications, weather forecasting, GPS for navigation and weapon guidance, and much more), the DCDC set about writing, from first principles, their UK Military Space Primer some two years ago, and have now completed the task. There is much to praise, not just about the product, but about the vision and initiative that led to this publication, but let me start with a few criticisms. First, for understandable reasons it is titled the Military Space Primer and, indeed, has a military bias. But the vast majority of the text is as applicable to the civilian sector as to the military. Second, what a shame that, again for understandable reasons, this could not have been published commercially as it is the best and most complete explanation of Space and its uses that virtually anyone would require, and deserves a wider audience. Certainly, any A-Level student with an interest in Space would benefit greatly from reading this, and it would not be out of place in any school or, indeed, University library.

Some 250 pages long, it takes the reader at a sensible pace, is well-written and copiously illustrated with photographs and excellent diagrams. Divided into four chapters, it starts with an explanation of what space is, an easily-digestible section on geometry and orbitology (no advanced mathematics in fact, barely a formula in sight!), before translating the theory into the practical: which orbit for which capability and how to get there. The short second chapter covers Space and the Law at sufficient depth for the non-specialist (see the book review on Space Law: A Treatise in the June 2010 edition of Aerospace Professional for a truly in-depth book on Space Law), before the heart of the Primer, Chapter Three on the Military Uses of Space. Each use, be t surveillance or communications, is addressed in clear and concise language, that unravels the mysteries of the advantages and disadvantages of Space. Indeed, it is not even necessary to have read the explanatory Chapter One before dipping into Chapter Three. Again, although aimed at the military reader, for anyone with an interest in how pace can be used, if only where does your Sky Satellite Signal come from, will gain from this Chapter. The final Chapter looks more widely at Space and Society highlighting, for example, how dependent civil society is on Space and if there is a justification for the non-military to read some of this Primer, it is in Chapter Four. A series of more in-depth annexes follow, and the publication ends with a good bibliography.

Extensively cross-referenced throughout, this Primer is not meant to be read at a single sitting, but dipped into for knowledge and education. Those in the wider Space industry will, I am sure, welcome this Primer and use it to educate those new to their business. Those with no knowledge but an interest, those with some knowledge and a wish for more detail, and even those with a deep understanding will all find value in this timely and well-produced piece. Not a book in the conventional sense as normally reviewed on these pages, but nevertheless a significant and welcome addition to our understanding of Space.


Reports of the death of Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud demonstrate that cooperation between the U.S. and Pakistan against militants located in the tribal border areas is beginning to bear fruit. Although U.S. officials have not yet confirmed the demise of Mehsud, several senior Taliban leaders and Pakistan's foreign minister have declared he was killed by a U.S. drone missile strike in South Waziristan on Wednesday. If it was indeed successful, this strike represents the culmination of a campaign targeting Mehsud and his forces, an effort that has reportedly been facilitated by Pakistani intelligence.

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The Ministry of Defence has announced that Team Stellar has won the RJ Mitchell Trophy, the top prize in its Grand Challenge defence technology competition.

The winning Team Stellar used a ground-crawling robot and two flying ones to unmask a range of likely urban-combat threats."We are proud to crown Team Stellar the winners of MOD's most prestigious competition for battlefield innovators," said Baroness Ann Taylor.

"The Grand Challenge has proven a showcase for the wealth of talent that exists in the UK - not just in large Defence firms, but in universities, schools and even garden sheds across the nation. They have brought fresh, exciting ideas to the Defence table which could have battle-winning applications for our Armed Forces."


By Fred Burton and Scott Stewart

As anyone with a stock portfolio knows, it is a rough time for the markets. With many portfolios down 50 percent or more, this large loss of equity and wealth has been very difficult on individuals and corporations. The problems, of course, have not been confined to the stock markets. With property values plunging and variable-rate mortgages ballooning, many homeowners are also caught in a bad situation -- the number of homeowners behind in their mortgage payments has been increasing and the number of foreclosures has grown. Unemployment is also an issue. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in January 2009 there were 2,227 mass layoff actions in the United States involving 237,902 workers.

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by Paula Jaegar, Research Associate, U K Defence Forum

In irregular warfare, superiority in the physical environment is of little value unless it can be translated into an advantage in the information environment

(Professor Laurence Freedman, The Transformation of Strategic Affairs, 2006)

The Revolution in Military Affairs has slipped somewhat from the public debate. Is the concept dead, or simply sleeping off six or seven years' worth of shocks to the body militant ? How does it apply to contemporary scenarios of irregular warfare?

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