Warning system | military technology
Warning system, in military science, any method used to detect the situation or intention of an enemy so that warning can be given.Warning system
U.S. Air Force Boeing E-3 Sentry, an airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft.U.S. Air Force
Because military tactics from time immemorial have stressed the value of surprise—through timing, location of attack, route, and weight and character of arms—defenders have sought to construct warning systems to cope with all these tactics. Many types of warning systems exist. Long-term, or political, warning systems employ diplomatic, political, technological, and economic indicators to forecast hostilities. The defender may react by strengthening defenses, by negotiating treaties or concessions, or by taking other action. Political warning, equivocal and incapable of disclosing fully an attacker’s intention, often results in an unevaluated and neglected situation.
Medium-term, or strategic, warning, usually involving a time span of a few days or weeks, is a notification or judgment that hostilities may be imminent. Short-term, or tactical, warning, often hours or minutes in advance, is a notification that the enemy has initiated hostilities.
Warning and detecting are separate functions. The sensors or detection devices perceive either the attack, the possibilities of an attack, the nearness of the enemy, his location, his size, his activities, his weapon capability, or some changes in his political, economic, technical, or military posture.
Warning systems include detection devices but also imply the judgments, decisions, and actions that follow receipt of the sensor’s information. Warning encompasses communications, analysis of information, decisions, and appropriate actions. Visual observation still remains important, supplemented by telescopes, cameras, heat-sensing devices, low-light-level devices, radar, acoustic, seismic, chemical, and nuclear detection devices. The product, or output, of these sensors is complicated and voluminous and requires computers to condense and summarize the data for the decision maker. Often, the most expensive portion and weakest link of the warning system is not the sensor but the communication and evaluation systems. Technology of all types is required in modern warning systems.
History abounds with examples of successful military surprises; examples of effective warning are difficult to find. Military training emphasized the value of surprise, stratagem, and deception, but the value of warning was long neglected. Flank and rear guards, to protect marching columns, patrols and scouts to locate the enemy, and sentries to guard camps, were of course used in war from earliest times. Animals were sometimes employed to detect the approach of an enemy; dogs and horses were especially favoured, though, according to the ancient historian Livy, the Romans used geese to detect the night attack of the Gauls on Rome in the 4th century bc.
The observation balloon was an important technological advance. First used in warfare by the French in the late 18th century, primarily for offensive reconnaissance on the battlefield, its defensive possibilities were demonstrated in the American Civil War; in May 1863 a balloon of the army of the Potomac detected Lee’s army moving from its camp across the Rappahannock to commence the Gettysburg campaign. Aerial photography had already been pioneered by the French and used in the War of Italian Independence (1859).
A balloon observer in the Spanish-American War of 1898 is credited with discovering an alternate route up San Juan Hill during the battle there. A few other successes are ascribed to such observation before the balloon was supplemented by the far more valuable airplane in World War I. Nevertheless, the balloon never fulfilled its potential as a warning device.
In sea warfare, warning and detection were equally neglected. As far back as the Minoan civilization of Crete, patrol ships were used, but mainly for offensive purposes. In later centuries, raised quarterdecks and lookout posts atop sailing masts were provided, but the beginnings of serious maritime detection technology did not come until the advent of the submarine.
Binoculars, telescopes, the telegraph, and telephone were well established military equipment by 1914; the airplane, first used by the Italians in the Italo-Turkish War of 1911, showed its potential as an observation device at the Battle of the Marne. Radio communications provided the means to make air observations immediately available. Aerial combat became inevitable as each side tried to deny the other its aerial reconnaissance.
Searchlights, first used in the Russo-Japanese War (1904), saw large-scale use in World War I to detect dirigibles and aircraft on night bombardment missions. Flares were used to illuminate the battlefield between trenches to detect raiding parties. Listening devices, using directional horns to detect and locate enemy aircraft, were also used with limited success.
Despite the novelties of World War I, World War II produced far more technological innovation. Radar made obsolete the slow and inaccurate older listening devices. Radio communications made great strides, particularly in the very high frequency range. The combination of radar and interference-free very high frequency communications was pivotal in permitting the RAF to resist Hitler’s aerial attack and win the Battle of Britain.
Notwithstanding radar sophistication, ground spotters played an important role in filling the gaps between radar coverage. Their messages, forwarded to a plotting centre, were assembled to trace the progress of intruders (tracking).
The advent of nuclear weapons (1945), especially when coupled later with the speed and range of intercontinental missiles, gave new dimensions to the value of surprise for the attacker. Long-term warning was suddenly of paramount importance.
Practically all aspects of science and technology have been introduced into today’s warfare and warning systems: airplanes, helicopters, submarines, earth satellites, television, lasers, and magnetic, acoustic, seismic, infrared, nuclear, and chemical detectors.
The Museum of the Staffordshire Yeomanry
Battalion: a large body of troops ready for battle, especially an infantry unit forming part of a brigade.
Brigade: a subdivision of an army, typically consisting of a small number of infantry battalions and/or other units and forming part of a division.
Cadre: a small group of people specially trained for a particular purpose or profession.
Cap badge: A badge worn on uniform headgear to distinguish the wearer’s regiment. A modern form of heraldry, its design is highly symbolic. The original Staffordshire Yeomanry cap badge incorporated the Stafford Knot, which some say was devised as a means of multiple execution while others insist it represents the joining of three geographical areas!
Cavalry: (in the past) soldiers who fought on horseback.
Division: a group of army brigades or regiments.
Infantry: soldiers marching or fighting on foot; foot soldiers collectively.
Orbat: short for order of battle, the strategic arrangement of armed forces participating in a military operation.
Rank: a relative status or position, showing the level of authority of the person. Rank badges in the British Army are a simple method of identifying someone’s status.
Recce: Short for ‘reconnaissance’, a military observation of a region to locate an enemy or ascertain strategic features.
Regiment: a permanent unit of an army typically commanded by a Lieutenant Colonel and divided into several companies, squadrons.
Sabre troop: a fighting unit of sub-battalion size. The term originated in the British Army, and is derived from the sabre traditionally used by cavalry.
Squadron: a principal division of an armoured or cavalry regiment, consisting of two or more troops.
Troop: a military sub-unit, originally a small formation of cavalry, subordinate to a squadron.
Yeomanry: a volunteer cavalry force.
Electronic Records Relating to the Vietnam War
This reference report provides an overview of the electronic data records in the custody of the National Archives that contain data related to military objectives and activities during the Vietnam War.
The National Archives holds a large body of electronic records that reflects the prolific use of computers by the military establishment in carrying out operations during the Vietnam War. Under the auspices of Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, the military implemented an extensive data collection effort intended to improve the conduct of the conflict. The raw data documented details of casualties, military operations, military logistics, pacification programs, and other aspects of the war. With the data in electronic form, analysts performed statistical and quantitative analysis to assess and influence the direction of the conflict. After the conflict ended in the 1970’s, various Department of Defense organizations, including the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Joint Commands, transferred the raw data files to the National Archives. Some of these records include documentary material that has not been transferred to the National Archives in any other format.
This reference report is organized by nine broad categories of Vietnam War data as listed above in the table of contents. For each category, the relevant electronic records series are listed along with information about the number of files, available output formats (see Output Formats for details), and technical documentation. Many of the series listed also have supplemental documentation. Since some series contain data applicable to more than one category, researchers may wish to review all potentially related categories and review the full descriptions for more details on the content of the records.
In several cases, different Department of Defense agencies used the same data systems, but may have modified the system to meet their needs. Therefore, NARA may have two versions or series of the same system. For example, both the Office of the Secretary of Defense (Record Group 330) and the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (records found in Record Group 472) transferred files from the Hamlet Evaluation System (HES). In general, besides the fact that difference agencies transferred the files, the versions may differ in time coverage, format, and/or layout. While the different versions may contain some of the same records, there may be records in one version that are not in the other and vice versa.
Full descriptions of the series and data files listed in this report are in the National Archives Catalog. Users can search the Catalog by title, National Archives Identifier, type of archival material, or keyword.
NARA also has custody of textual (paper) records related to some of the Vietnam War data files described in this reference report. Some of these records may include outputs from the systems and reports based on the data. Users may wish to search the National Archives Catalog for descriptions of any related textual (paper) records.
Some of the series and files listed in this report are accessible online:
All of the files are also available for a cost-recovery fee. For more information see: Ordering Information for Electronic Records.
Please note that NARA makes public use versions available of records containing personal identifiers that if released may result in an unwarranted invasion of privacy. Such public use versions mask or delete these sensitive personal identifiers. In general, records of deceased casualties are released in full. The description and/or the technical documentation for a series outlines the information masked in the public use version.
Data about Military Operations, Incidents, and Activities
Record Group 218: Records of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff
- Terrorist Incident Reporting System (TIRSA), ca. 10/01/1967 – ca. 06/30/1972
National Archives Identifier: 7423670
Data Files: 1 (NIPS)
Technical Documentation: 10 pages
This series contains data on Viet Cong (VC) incidents against South Vietnam (SVN) indigenous civilian population plus damage or destruction of private or government property and /or installations. These files came from Headquarters, Pacific Command (PACOM) via the Survivability/Vurnerability Information Analysis Center (SURVIAC) [Wright-Paterson Air Force Base].
Record Group 330: Records of the Office of the Secretary of Defense
- Terrorist Incident Reporting System (TIRSA) Files, 10/1967 – 2/1973
National Archives Identifier: 5956273
Data Files: 1 (de-NIPS’d)
Technical Documentation: 44 pages
Online Access: Download
This series consists of records of Viet Cong and North Vietnamese initiated incidents of violence against the civilian population of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. TIRSA is part of the Operations Analysis (OPSANAL) system.
Record Group 472: Records of the U.S. Forces in Southeast Asia
- Psychological Operations Information System (PSYOPSIS) Files, 3/1970 – 2/1973
National Archives Identifier: 23812710
Data Files: 5 (ASCII Rendered) (NIPS version available)
Technical Documentation: 90 pages
Online Access: Download
This series contains records about aerial and surface psychological operations carried out by the U. S. military during the Vietnam War. This data served as input for the Psychological Operation Quarterly Analysis System (PSYOPQA).
- Psychological Operation Quarterly Analysis System (PSYOPQA) Files, 3/1970 – 2/1973
National Archives Identifier: 23812489
Data Files: 3 (EBCDIC)
Technical Documentation: 45 pages
This series contains aggregate data about psychological operations carried out by the U.S. military during the Vietnam War. The data from the Psychological Operations Information System (PSYOPSIS) served as input for this series. The data was linked with selected data from the Hamlet Evaluation System (HES).
- Terrorist Incident Reporting System (TIRS), 6/1968 – 2/1973
National Archives Identifier: n/a
Data Files: 3 (EBCDIC)
Technical Documentation: estimated 20 pages basic documentation; estimated 285 pages full documentation
This series contains data about incidents by the enemy against the civilian population, and public and private property. Incidents captured in the system include deaths, abductions, seizure of property, damage to property, and injuries, to name a few. This system was used as input for “Terrorist Incident Reporting System (TIRSA) Files, 10/1967 – 2/1973.”
Data specific to Land Military Operations and Activities
Record Group 218: Records of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff
- Records About the Ground Combat Operations by the Army During the Vietnam War, 5/20/1966 – 3/12/1973 (also known as Situation Report Army (SITRA))
National Archives Identifier: 604416
Data Files: 4 (ASCII translated) (NIPS versions available)
Technical Documentation: 49 pages, 2 electronic documentation files
Online Access: Download Search
This series contains records of ground combat operations in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War, and includes but is not limited to information on the type of military operation, nationalities of armed forces, location, and dates.
- FO System Data Files, ca. 01/01/1963 – ca. 06/30/1970
National Archives Identifier: 7451157
Data Files: 11 (NIPS)
Technical Documentation: 4 pages (no angency documentation)
This series includes statistical operations data about friendly initiated (FO) incidents and actions in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. It appears this series may conain data from the Republic of Vietnam Operational Statistics System (RVNOSS). These files came from Headquarters, Pacific Command (PACOM) via the Survivability/Vulnerability Information Analysis Center (SURVIAC) [Wright-Patterson Air Force Base].
- VC System Data Files, ca. 01/01/1962 – ca. 08/31/1971
National Archives Identifier: 7423976
Data Files: 18 (NIPS)
Technical Documentation: 4 pages (no agengy documentation)
This series includes operations data about enemy initiated (VC) incidents and actions in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. It appears this series may contain data from the Republic of Vietnam Operational Statistics System (RVNOSS). These files came from Headquarters, Pacific Command (PACOM) via the Survivability/Vulnerability Information Analysis Center (SURVIAC) [Wright-Patterson Air Force Base].
Record Group 330: Records of the Office of the Secretary of Defense
- Enemy Base Area File (BASFA), 7/1/1967 – 6/1/1971
National Archives Identifier: 600139
Data Files: 1 (ASCII translated) (NIPS version available)
Technical Documentation: 40 pages
Online Access: Download Search
This series contains data that define enemy base area locations in South Vietnam, North Vietnam, and Cambodia on a monthly basis. BASFA is part of the Operations Analysis (OPSANAL) system.
- Southeast Asia Friendly Forces File (SEAFA), 10/1966 – 7/1972
National Archives Identifier: 602104
Data Files: 1 (de-NIPS’d)
Technical Documentation: 38 pages
Online Access: Download
This series contains information on the identity and location of American, South Vietnamese, and Allied maneuver battalions (infantry, armored, cavalry, airborne, and air mobile) deployed in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. SEAFA is part of the Operations Analysis (OPSANAL) system.
- Vietnam Database (VNDBA) Files, 1/1963 – 12/1969
National Archives Identifier: 5927921
Data Files: 9 (NIPS and/or de-NIPS’d)
Technical Documentation: 68 pages
This series contains data on ground combat operations, whether enemy or friendly initiated, in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. VNDBA is part of the Operations Analysis (OPSANAL) system.
Record Group 335: Records of the Office of the Secretary of the Army
- Battalion Tracking Study Files, 10/1/1966 – 3/31/1969
National Archives Identifier: 644345
Data Files: 55 (ASCII)
Technical Documentation: 61 pages
Online Access: Download
This series contains data for 48 U.S. Army ground combat battalions that were located in III Corps during the Vietnamese Conflict. The data was compiled as part of a study on the exposure of U. S. Army personnel to Agent Orange. It was created in conjunction with the series “Vietnam Experience Study Files, 1967 – 1968” (see Data about U.S. Military Personnel).
Record Group 338: Records of U.S. Army Operational, Tactical, and Support Organizations
- Records About Combat Operations by Army Units and Their Use and Loss of Military Supplies During the Vietnam War (COLED-V), 7/1/1967 – 6/30/1970
National Archives Identifier: 572881
Data Files: 6 (ASCII)
Technical Documentation: 32 pages
Online Access: Download Search
These records contain information about the use and the loss of military supplies, such as ammunition and equipment, by unit and by type of combat activity during the Vietnam War.
Record Group 472: Records of the U.S. Forces in Southeast Asia
Data specific to Air Military Operations and Activities
Record Group 218: Records of the U. S. Joint Chiefs of Staff
- Combat Air Activities Files (CACTA), 10/1965 – 12/1970
National Archives Identifier: 634496
Data Files: 32 (ASCII Translated) (NIPS version available)
Technical Documentation: 160 pages and 2 electronic layout files
Online Access: Download Search
This series contains bimonthly data on air combat missions flown in Southeast Asia by U.S. and allied forces during the first part of the Vietnam War. It is the predecessor to the series “Records About Air Sorties Flown in Southeast Asia, 1/1970 – 6/1975.” These CACTA files contain two months of data, with some gaps. There is some duplication between these CACTA files and those in Record Group 529 and there are some records in one version that are not in the other and vice versa.
- Combat Air Activities (COACT) System Files, ca. 04/01/1969 – ca. 01/31/1970
National Archives Identifier: 7451124
Data Files: 2 (NIPS)
Technical Documentation: 1,993 pages
This series contains data on Fixed-Wing Aircraft Combat and Combat Support Sorties for U. S. and South Vietnam military forces. These files came from Headquarters, Pacific Command (PACOM) via the Survivability /Vulnerability Information Analysis Center (SURVIAC) [Wright-Patterson Air Force Base].
- Combat Air Summary Files (OPREA), 1/31/1962 – 8/15/1973
National Archives Identifier: 625084
Data Files: 84 (ASCII Rendered) (NIPS version available)
Technical Documentation: 121 pages and 11 electronic layout files
Online Access: Download
This series contains data on air warfare missions flown over Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. NARA received three files from the U.S. Joint cheifs of Staff via the National Military Command Systems Support Center and nine files from Headquarters, Pacific Commaand (PACOM) via the Survivability/Vulnerability Information Analysis Center (SURVIAC) [Wright-Patterson Air Force Base]. There may be some duplication between the sets of files.
- Records About Air Sorties Flown in Southeast Asia, 1/1970 – 6/1975 (also known as Southeast Asia Database (SEADAB))
National Archives Identifier: 602566
Data Files: 23 (ASCII Translated) (NIPS version also available)
Technical Documentation: 118 pages and 1 electronic layout file
Online Access: Download Search
This series consists of files with records on air combat missions flown in Southeast Asia by U. S. and allied forces during the last part of the Vietnam War. It is the successor to the series “Combat Air Activities Files (CACTA), 10/1965 – 12/1970.”
Record Group 330: Records of the Office of the Secretary of Defense
- Herbicide File, 1965 – 1971
National Archives Identifier: 623176
Data Files: 4 versions: Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) de-NIPS’d version; NARA de-NIPS’d version; National Academy of Science (NAS) version; and Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Revised version
Technical Documentation: 70 pages
Online Access: Download
This series contains data on herbicide spraying missions, including the use of Agent Orange, during the Vietnam War.
Record Group 341: Records of Headquarters U.S. Air Force (Air Staff)
- Airlift Operations Data Files, 10/1/1966 – 4/30/1972
National Archives Identifier: 630623
Data Files: 140 (ASCII Rendered) for ALOREP; 85 (ASCII Rendered) for MACAL; (NIPS version available for ALOREP and MACAL)
Technical Documentation: 18 pages and 2 electronic documentation files for ALOREP; 14 pages and 3 electronic documentation files for MACAL
Online Access: Download
This series contains sortie-level data on the operational employment of airlift resources during the Vietnam War. The series includes the Airlift Operations Files (ALOREP) and Military Airlift Command Airlift Operations Report (MACAL) files.
Record Group 529: Records of U.S. Pacific Command
- Combat Air Activities Files (CACTA), 10/1/1965 – 1/31/1971
National Archives Identifier: 2123846
Data Files: 50 (ASCII Translated) (NIPS version also available)
Technical Documentation: 50 pages NARA prepared documentation, 1 electronic layout file (for agency documentation see CACTA RG 218)
Online Access: Download
This series contains monthly data on air combat missions flown in Southeast Asia by U.S. and allied forces. These CACTA files are mostly by month, with some gaps. There is some duplication between these CACTA files and those in Record Group 218 and there are some records in one version that are not in the other and vice versa.
- Southeast Asia Imagery Reconnaissance Files (SIRFA), 5/5/1971 – 5/13/1975
National Archives Identifier: 630982
Data Files: 1 data file (EBCDIC)
Online Access: Download
Technical Documentation: 18 pages and 1 electronic documentation file (EBCDIC)
This series contains data identifying reconnaissance objectives, imagery requests, and imagery characteristics for imagery reconnaissance missions flown over Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War.
Data specific to Sea Military Operations and Activities
See also Data specific to Air Military Operations and Activities for Navy air sorties
Record Group 38: Records of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations
Record Group 218: Records of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff
- Mine Warfare Operations Files (MINEA), 5/9/1972 – 1/14/1973
National Archives Identifier: 630554
Data Files: 2 (ASCII Rendered) (NIPS version available)
Technical Documentation: 49 pages and 1 electronic layout file
Online Access: Download Search
This series contains data from two military operations during the Vietnamese Conflict, Operation Linebacker and Operation Pocket Money, which concerned all mining operations conducted against North Vietnamese interior waterways and harbors.
Data specific to Tactical Military Intelligence
Record Group 472: Records of the U. S. Forces in Southeast Asia
Data about U.S. Military Personnel
Series containing data on U.S. military casualties are described in a separate reference report, Records of U.S. Military Casualties, Missing in Action, and Prisoners of War from the Era of the Vietnam War.
Record Group 335: Records of the Office of the Secretary of the Army
- Vietnam Experience Study Files, 1967 – 1968
National Archives Identifier: 648567
Data Files: 8 (ASCII)
Technical Documentation: 72 pages
Online Access: Download
This series contains data on selected Army personnel who served in the Vietnamese conflict during 1967 and 1968 and were assigned to units tracked in the series “Battalion Tracking Study File, 10/1/1966 – 3/31/1969” (see Data specific to Land Military Operations and Activities). Public use versions of the files are available.
Record Group 472: Records of the U. S. Forces in Southeast Asia
- Records of Awards and Decorations of Honor During the Vietnam War (also known as Awards and Decorations System (AWADS))
National Archives Identifier: 604413
Data Files: 1 (ASCII)
Technical Documentation: 131 pages
Online Access: Download Search
This series contains information about some of the awards and decorations of honor awarded to U.S. military officers, soldiers, and sailors, and to allied foreign military personnel. A public use version is available.
Data about Vietnamese and Allied Military Forces
Record Group 218: Records of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff
- Southeast Asia Casualty File (SEACA), 1/27/1973 – 4/20/1975
National Archives Identifier: 630221
Data Files: 1 (NIPS)
Technical Documentation: 16 pages
Online Access: Download
This series contains counts of the number of war casualties during the ceasefire period. Casualty counts include South Vietnam civilians, Army of the Republic of Vietnam forces, North Vietnamese Army, and Viet Cong.
Record Group 330: Records of the Office of the Secretary of Defense
- Cambodian Friendly Units Files, 1/1970 – 3/1973
National Archives Identifier: 610063
Data Files: 1 (ASCII Translated) (NIPS version available)
Technical Documentation: 32 pages and 1 documentation (layout) file
Online Access: Download Search
This series contains data on over 900 military units in the Cambodian Armed Forces (Forces Armees Nationales Khmeres (FANK)) that were friendly to the allied side during the Cambodian War and the Vietnam War.
- Army and Marine Forces of the Republic of South Vietnam Evaluation Files, 1/1969 – 1/1971
National Archives Identifier: 609212
Data Files: 3 (NIPS) for AMFESMA; 1 (NIPS) for AMFSA
Technical Documentation: estimated 200 pages
Also known as the Army and Marine Forces Evaluation System Monthly Activity (AMFESMA), this series contains monthly activity data on the effectiveness of the armed forces of the Republic of South Vietnam. AMFESMA was part of the System to Evaluate the Effectiveness of the Republic of Vietnam Forces (SEER). There is an additional file, Army and Marine Forces Monthly Activity (AMFSA), that covers 1968.
- Territorial Forces Activity Reporting System (TFARS) Files, 9/1972 – 4/1974
National Archives Identifier: 617479
Data Files: 1 (NIPS) for 1972 file; 1 (de-NIPS’d) for 1973 file
Technical Documentation: estimated 86 pages
This series contains information relating to personnel, training, unit deployment, military readiness, and operations of Vietnam Armed Forces. It is the predecessor to the series “Monthly Reports of Vietnamese Regional and Popular Forces, 4/1970 – 9/1972.”
Record Group 472: Records of the U.S. Forces in Southeast Asia
- Monthly Reports of Vietnamese Regional and Popular Forces, 4/1970 – 9/1972
National Archives Identifier: 598773
Data Files: 1 (EBCDIC) for TFES; 1 (EBCDIC) for VNUS
Technical Documentation: 66 pages
Online Access: Download
This series consists of the Territorial Forces Evaluation System (TFES) and Vietnamese/United States System (VNUS). Both systems contain data on the combat effectiveness of regional and popular forces with South Vietnam. These systems were merged and expanded into the “Territorial Forces Analysis Reporting System (TFARS) Files, 9/1972 – 4/1974.”
- Peoples Self-Defense Force / Management Information System (PSDF/MIS), 2/1972 – 8/1972
National Archives Identifier: 182794193
Data Files: 1 (ASCII)
Technical Documentation: 98 pages
Online Access: Download
This series contains information on local defense forces, such as the number of people in combat training, the number and type of weapons in each hamlet, the number of friendly and enemy casualties, the training status of defense units, and if the defense unit engaged in combat, along with demographic information. The agency used the data to evaluate the progress and effectiveness of various components of local defense forces.
Data related to Intelligence Gathering and Pacification Efforts
Record Group 330: Records of the Office of the Secretary of Defense
- Hamlet Evaluation System (HES) Files, 1967 – 1974
National Archives Identifier: 4616225
Data Files: 98 (ASCII Rendered) (de-NIPS’d and NIPS version available)
Technical Documentation: varies per file(s) (343 pages total, plus supplemental documentation)
Online Access: Download
This series contains geopolitical and demographic information for South Vietnamese villages and hamlets, along with observation ratings relating to security conditions and socio-economic factors in each village and hamlet.
- Pacification Attitude Analysis System (PAAS) Files, 3/1970 – 7/1972
National Archives Identifier: 29011649
Data Files: 3 versions: Original NIPS file; De-NIPS’d file with one record per question; and De-NIPS’d file with one record per respondent
Technical Documentation: estimated 400 pages
This series contains monthly public opinion poll responses from Vietnamese interviewees in both rural and urban areas about the Vietnamese Conflict, Cambodian War, Pacification Program, economic conditions, and other public issues. Interviewers memorized the survey questions, used indirect questioning techniques to obtain the responses, and then memorized the responses.
Record Group 472: Records of the U.S. Forces in Southeast Asia
- Hamlet Evaluation System (HES), 1969 – 1973
National Archives Identifier: 18556191
Data Files: 1 (EBCDIC, variable-length records)
Technical Documentation: none compiled
This series contains geopolitical and demographic information for South Vietnamese villages and hamlets, along with observation ratings relating to security conditions and socio-economic factors in each village and hamlet.
- South Vietnamese National Police Force Counterinsurgency Files, 1971 – 1973
National Archives Identifier: 609777
Data Files: 2 (ASCII)
Technical Documentation: 40 pages for the data files; 4 electronic documentation files and 84 pages for the documentation files; 1 program source file
Online Access: Download
This series contains two subsystems of the National Police Infrastructure Analysis Subsystems (NPIASS I and NPIASS II) that have information about Viet Cong (VC) infrastructure by position and name, and document by dossier suspected VC members and the countermeasures taken against each suspect. A public use version of NPIASS II is available.
This series also contains the following electronic documentation files:
- Hamlet Evaluation System (HES) / Viet Cong Infrastructure (VCI) Gazetteer, 1971-1973
- Hamlet Evaluation System (HES) Gazetteer Source File, 1971-1973
- Hamlet Evaluation System (HES) Gazetteer, 1971-1973
- Greenbook File
The gazetteer files include codes and names for the geographic levels of Province, District, Village, and/or Hamlet, along with codes for the Corps Region, population numbers, ratings, and Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) coordinates. The files may serve as the source for the meanings for the district, village, and hamlet codes used in Hamlet Evaluation System (HES) and other related Vietnam War data files. The Greenbook file contains a table of all Viet Cong Infrastructure (VCI) political position codes, position title, and reporting level indicators.
- Pacification Attitude Analysis System (PAAS) File, 1/1970 – 2/1973
National Archives Identifier: 631425
Data Files: 1 (EBCDIC)
Technical Documentation: estimated 1,300 pages
This series contains monthly public opinion poll responses from Vietnamese interviewees in both rural and urban areas about the Vietnamese Conflict, Cambodian War, Pacification Program, economic conditions and other public issues. Interviewers used memorized the survey questions, used indirect questioning techniques to obtain the responses, and then memorized the responses.
- Viet Cong Biographical File, 1/1969 – 6/1972
National Archives Identifier: 609857
Data Files: 1 (EBCDIC)
Technical Documentation: 86 pages (192 pages supplemental)
Online Access: Download
Also known as the Phung Hoang Management Information System (PHMIS), this file contains biographical data on all suspected or confirmed members of the Viet Cong. A public use version is available.
Data related to Logistics
Record Group 472: Records of the U.S. Forces in Southeast Asia
Contact staff for more details about specific files
During the Vietnam War, the Department of Defense used an early data base management system called the National Military Command System (NMCS) Information Processing System 360 Formatted File System, commonly known as NIPS. The International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) developed the system. NIPS allowed users the ability to structure files, generate and maintain files, revise and update data, select and retrieve data, and generate reports. In some ways, NIPS supported relational database functionality.
Department of Defense agencies transferred to NARA many of the data files created during the Vietnam War in the software-dependent NIPS format. Although most of the file contains data, the beginning of the file consists of supporting information used during file maintenance, data retrieval, and output processing. The data are composed of fixed, non-repeating data with repeating subsets (i.e. a one-to-many relationship). The data are organized into the following sets of elements or tables:
- Control Set, containing the unique record identifier that links to the Fixed Set and Periodic Sets;
- Fixed Set, containing non-repetitive data; and
- Periodic Sets, containing fields that can be repeated as needed; there can be more than one type of Periodic Set.
For example, a record for a military mission in a NIPS file would include a control set that contains a unique identifier or fields that can be combined to create a unique identifier; a fixed set with data about the mission as a whole; a periodic set with data about the ordnance used in the mission that would be repeated for each type of ordnance used in the mission; and a periodic set about the losses incurred in the mission repeated for each type of loss incurred. Therefore, a single mission record would consist of the control set, fixed set, none-to-many periodic sets per ordnance, and none-to-many periodic sets per loss.
In addition, NIPS files can include Variable Sets that appear only when data is present. These sets are usually “Comments” data in a free-text field of variable length. Data records in NIPS files are usually of varying length since the number of periodic sets vary for each record. NARA only provides exact copies of NIPS files.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, NARA staff “de-NIPS’d” or reformatted some of the files transferred in the NIPS format, outputting the data in a flat-file format using then-standard EBCDIC encoding. This was done in order to have a software-independent version of the data. However the “de-NIPSing” process output some numeric fields in a zoned decimal format; these fields usually need to be reformatted before using with contemporary software.
In addition, the NIPS records have a control set, fixed set, and periodic set of fields. In the “de-NIPS’d” version, the control set or the fixed set of fields may appear in the first instance of the record, but may not appear in the subsequent instances with multiple periodic set fields for that record, which immediately follow the first instance. For example, the first instance of a record would be a row in the database containing the control set, fixed set, and the first periodic set. If there are multiple periodic sets for that record, the next row would only include the control set and the second periodic set, followed by another row with the control set and the third periodic set, and so forth for each periodic set. Therefore the records are preserved in a specific sequential order and need to be “read” by the computer in that order. “De-NIPS’d” files may contain fixed-length or variable-length records. NARA only provides exact copies of de-NIPS’d files.
In 2002, NARA staff and volunteers developed computer programs written in Common Business-Oriented Language (COBOL) to translated the NIPS files into ASCII, fixed-length records per each periodic set that contained the control set, fixed set, and periodic set fields. This format allows users to sort the records (i.e. the records are no longer in a sequential order).
In 2007, NARA staff developed another software program, NIPSTRAN, to convert the NIPS files into more usable ASCII rendered tables. The program produces a table for the fixed set and tables for each periodic set. The tables function like a relational-database with one-to-many relationship (i.e. one fixed set record to many periodic set records). All the records in the tables include the corresponding control set fields to allow for linking between the fixed set table and periodic set table(s). The records in the tables are fixed-length and there may be versions of the tables where the records are field delimited.
EBCDIC and/or Binary
If not in the NIPS format, most of the other Vietnam War data files in NARA’s custody are preserved in EBCDIC encoding. Some of these files may include binary characters, fields with zoned decimal data, variable-length records with binary counters, or other aspects that require the file be reformatted before using with contemporary software and may not properly auto-convert to ASCII. NARA can only offer exact copies of these files.
Selected Supplemental Documentation
Civil Operations and Rural Development Support (CORDS), Research and Analysis Directorate, Hamlet Evaluation System (HES) Command Manual, Document No. DAR R70-79 CM-01B, Military Assistance Command Vietnam, 1 September 1971. (RG 472; 108 pages)
Civil Operations and Rural Development Support (CORDS), Research and Analysis Directorate, Hamlet Evaluation System (HES) Operations Manual, Document No. DAR R70 OM-01A, Military Assistance Command Vietnam, June 1972. (RG 472; 150-200 pages)
Defense Communications Agency, Command and Control Technical Center, NMCS Information Processing System 306 Formatted File System (NIPS 360 FFS) General Description, Computer System Manual Number CSM GS 15-17, 1 September 1978. (41 pages)
Defense Communications Agency, Command and Control Technical Center, NMCS Information Processing System 306 Formatted File System (NIPS 360 FFS) Volume I Introduction to File Concepts, Computer System Manual Number CSM UM 15-78, 1 September 1978. (106 pages)
National Military Command System Support Center, The Operation Analysis System (OPSANAL) User’s Manual (Revision A), Computer System Manual Number CSM UM63A-68, 30 September 1969. (405 pages)
Selected Additional Resources
Adams, Margaret O. “Vietnam Records in the National Archives: Electronic Records.” Prologue 23 (Spring 1991): 76-84.
Campbell, Curt. “Essay on the Potential Research Value of the OPSANAL System Files,” July 1996.
Carter, G. A., et al. An Interim Guide to Southeast Asia Combat Data. Prepared for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency by Rand (WN-8718-ARPA). Santa Monica, CA: Rand, June 1974.
Carter, G. A., et al. A User’s Guide to Southeast Asia Combat Data. Prepared for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency by Rand (R-1815-ARPA). Santa Monica, CA: Rand, June 1976.
Electronic Records Reference Report, Records of U.S. Military Casualties, Missing in Action, and Prisoners of War from the Era of the Vietnam War
Eliot, Duong Van Mai. RAND in Southeast Asia: a history of the Vietnam War era. Santa Monica, CA: RAND, 2010.
Harrison, Donald F. “Computers, Electronic Data, and the Vietnam War.” Archivaria 26 (Summer 1988): 18-26.
Harrison, Donald F. “Machine-Readable Sources for the Study of the War in Vietnam.” In Databases in the Humanities and Social Sciences-4: Proceedings of the International Conference on Databases in the Humanities and Social Sciences, July, 1987, ed. Lawrence J. McCrank. Medford, NJ: Learned Information, Inc, 1989.
Hull, Theodore J. “Electronic Records of Korean and Vietnam Conflict Casualties,” Prologue, 32 (Spring 2000).
NARA Reference Information Paper 90, Records Relating to American Prisoners of War and Missing in Action from the Vietnam War Era, 1960-1994
Thayer, Thomas C., ed. A System Analysis View of the Vietnam War: 1965-1972, 12 volumes, 1975. These volumes contain articles printed in the “Southeast Asia Analysis Report” from January 1967 to January 1972. The volumes include:
- Volume 1 – The Situation in Southeast Asia
- Volume 2 – Forces and Manpower
- Volume 3 – Viet Cong – North Vietnamese Operations
- Volume 4 – Allied Ground and Naval Operations
- Volume 5 – The Air War
- Volume 6 – Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces (RVNAF)
- Volume 7 – Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces (RVNAF)
- Volume 8 – Casualties and Losses
- Volume 9 – Population Security
- Volume 10 – Pactification and Civil Affairs
- Volume 11 – Economics: War Costs and Inflation
- Volume 12 – Construction and Port Operations in South Vietnam
National Archives at College Park
8601 Adelphi Road
College Park, MD 20740-6001
Email: [email protected]
Electronic Records Main Page
Battlefield Surveillance – an overview
INTRODUCTION TO RADAR
Radar is an electromagnetic sensor that greatly extends one’s ability to detect reflecting objects (or targets) at long or short range and to accurately locate targets in fair, as well as poor weather. Since its introduction during the second world war, radar has been a vital part of air defense in its many forms and for other military missions such as battlefield surveillance, fighter/attack aircraft, ballistic missile defense, and antisubmarine warfare. It has also been important for many nonmilitary applications including weather observation (precipitation, severe storms, winds, and wind shear), observing beneath the ever-present clouds of a planet like Venus, probing below the surface of the Earth, high-resolution imaging of the Earth’s surface in three dimensions, and for mapping of sea ice for the more efficient routing of shipping in northern regions. Targets of interest to radar have been aircraft, ships, missiles, spacecraft, vehicles, people, birds, insects, as well as the natural environment.
Radar operates by radiating from an antenna, a known waveform, usually a series of short-duration pulses. After a portion of the radiated energy is reflected by a target and returned to the radar, it is received by the antenna and processed in the receiver to detect the presence of a target and to determine something about its nature. Two of the basic measurements made by a radar are range (distance) and angular location of a target. By observing the location of a target over time, the radar can establish its trajectory, or track, and predict the target’s future location. Many modern radars use to advantage the shift in frequency (relative to the frequency that was transmitted) of the echo signal from a moving target. The shift of the echo signal frequency from a moving target is caused by the doppler effect, something familiar from high school or college physics. The doppler frequency shift is proportional to the radial velocity of the target, so it can be used to separate the frequency-shifted signals from moving targets (such as aircraft) from large undesired stationary clutter echo signals from the land, sea, and weather. It is an important part of MTI (moving target indication), pulse doppler, and CW (continuous wave) radars that have to detect small moving targets in the midst of very large clutter echoes. The doppler shift is also the basis for meteorological radars that detect and recognize hazardous weather effects to provide information about the environment not readily available by other means. In addition to the usual measurements of range, angular location, relative velocity, and target track, radar sometimes can obtain information about the size, shape, symmetry, and surface properties of a target.
A simple block diagram illustrating the major subsystems of a radar that might be used for air surveillance is shown in Fig. 1. The transmitter is usually a power amplifier such as a klystron, traveling wave tube, or transistor. Although the magnetron oscillator was widely used in the early days of radar, its limited average-power, poor stability, and inability to generate sophisticated modulated waveforms restrict its application to radars with only modest capability. The first stage of the receiver is often a low-noise transistor amplifier. In a superheterodyne receiver, the echo is converted by a mixer and local oscillator (not shown) to an intermediate frequency (IF), where the signal is amplified and subject to signal processing to extract the desired signal and reject or attenuate undesired signals and noise. An important example of a signal processor is the matched filter that maximizes the ratio of the peak-signal-to-mean-noise output of the receiver, which in turn maximizes the detectability of the desired signal. In a receiver with a matched filter, the peak-output-signal-to-mean-noise-power ratio is 2E/N0, where E = signal energy and N0 = noise power per unit bandwidth. Thus detectability of a radar signal when a matched filter is used does not depend on the shape of the signal or its bandwidth, but only on its total energy. The detector stage following the IF stage extracts the signal modulation from the carrier frequency. In a radar where there are no undesired clutter echoes to compete with the detection of the desired target echoes, the detector stage is an envelope detector (also called the second detector). In a radar that employs the doppler frequency shift to separate (by the use of filters) desired moving targets from undesired fixed clutter echoes, the detector stage is a phase detector. It requires a reference signal (not shown) that is a faithful representation of the transmitted signal so as to recognize that the echo signal has experienced a doppler shift. A video amplifier (not shown) following the detector amplifies the signal and a decision is made whether the receiver output is due to a target (signal plus noise) or is due to noise alone. The detection decision is based on observing when the receiver output exceeds a predetermined threshold whose level depends on achieving an acceptable probability of false alarm. In early radars the detection decision was made by an operator viewing a radar display, but in modern radars the decision whether or not a target has been detected is made automatically without direct operator intervention.
Fig. 1. Simple block diagram of a generic radar system.
The received signal is digitized for processing, either after the detector stage (in the video) or before the detector (in the IF), especially in radars that depend on the doppler frequency shift for detection of moving targets. Digital processing makes it possible to automatically detect and accurately track many hundreds or thousands of targets so as to present fully processed tracks rather than individual detections or “raw” (unprocessed) radar data. The automatic tracker is an example of a data processor. The processed output of the radar or the established tracks of targets might be displayed to an operator or used to perform some automated operation. The antenna can be one of several different forms of mechanically steered parabolic reflectors, a mechanically steered planar array, or one of several types of electronically steered phased arrays. The duplexer is the device that allows a single antenna to be time-shared between the transmitter and the receiver.
A typical long-range air-surveillance radar might have a resolution in the range dimension of about one or two hundred meters. When required, a radar can have a range resolution of a small fraction of a meter. The beamwidth of a radar antenna might typically be one or two degrees, but some operational radars have had beam widths as small as 0. 3 degree. Thus the resolution in the cross-range dimension (determined by the beamwidth and the target range) is usually much worse than the range resolution. It is possible, however, to achieve high resolution in the cross-range dimension comparable to the resolution achieved in the range dimension by employing synthetic aperture radar (SAR). Here the resolution of a large antenna is obtained by utilizing a small antenna on a moving platform, such as an aircraft, to store the received echoes over a relatively long time so as to synthesize (virtually) in a digital processor the equivalent of a large antenna. The output of a SAR is usually a high resolution map or image of a target scene.
Radar is generally found within what is known as the microwave region of the electromagnetic spectrum from about 400 MHz to 40 GHz; but there have been many operational radars in the VHF region (30 to 300 MHz) as well as in the HF region (3 to 30 MHz). An HF over-the-horizon radar can reach out to ranges of about 2000 nmi by utilizing refraction from the ionosphere. Radar has also been considered for use at frequencies higher than the microwave region, at millimeter wavelengths. Laser radars are found in the IR and optical regions of the spectrum, where they can provide precision range and radial-velocity measurement.
3 The U.S. Military and the Herbicide Program in Vietnam | Veterans and Agent Orange: Health Effects of Herbicides Used in Vietnam
Gonzales J. 1992. List of Chemicals Used in Vietnam. Presented to the Institute of Medicine Committee to Review the Health Effects in Vietnam Veterans of Exposure to Herbicides. Illinois Agent Orange Committee, Vietnam Veterans of America.
Harrigan ET. 1970. Calibration Test of the UC-123K/A/A45Y-1 Spray System. Eglin AFB, FL: Armament Development and Test Center. Technical Report ADTC-TR-70-36. NTIS AD 867 004.
Heizer JR. 1971. Data Quality Analysis of the HERB 01 Data File. MITRE Technical Report, MTR-5105. Prepared for the Defense Communications Agency. McLean, VA: MITRE.
Heltman LR. 1986. Veteran Population in the United States and Puerto Rico by Age, Sex, and Period of Service: 1970 to 1985. IM&S M70-86-6. Washington, DC: Veterans Administration, Office of Information Management and Statistics.
Huddle FP. 1969. A Technology Assessment of the Vietnam Defoliant Matter. Report to the Subcommittee on Science, Research, and Development of the Committee on Science and Astronautics, U.S. House of Representatives. 91st Cong., 1st sess. August 8, 1969 .
Irish KR, Darrow RA, Minarik CE. 1969. Information Manual for Vegetation Control in Southeast Asia. Misc. Publication 33. Fort Detrick, MD: Dept. of the Army, Plant Sciences Laboratories, Plant Physiology Division. NTIS AD 864 443.
Karnow S. 1991. Vietnam: A History. New York: Penguin.
Kulka RA, Schlenger WE, Fairbank JA, Hough RL, Jordan BK, Marmar CR, Weiss DS. 1988. Contractual Report of Findings from the National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study. Research Triangle Park, NC: Research Triangle Institute. Conducted for the Veterans Administration under contract number V101(93)P-1040.
Lewis WW. 1992. Herbicide Exposure Assessment. New Jersey Agent Orange Commission, Pointman II Project.
Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV). 1966. Evaluation of Herbicide Operations in the Republic of Vietnam as of 30 April 1966. MACV, Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff Intelligence. NTIS AD 779 792.
Military Assistance Command, Vietnam. 1968. The Herbicide Policy Review. Report for March-May 1968. APO San Francisco: MACV. NTIS AD 779 794/7. 140 pp.
Military Assistance Command, Vietnam. 1969a. Accidental Herbicide Damage . Vietnam Lessons Learned No. 74. APO San Francisco: MACV. September 15, 1969. NTIS AD 858-315-5XAB. 14 pp.
Military Assistance Command, Vietnam. 1969b. Military Operations: Herbicide Operations. APO San Francisco: MACV. August 12, 1969. NTIS AD 779 793. 20 pp.
Military Assistance Command, Vietnam. 1970. Command Manual for Herbicide Reporting System (HERBS). Document Number DARU07. NTIS AD 875 942.
Military Assistance Command, Vietnam. Military History Branch. 1972. Chronology of Events Pertaining to U.S. Involvement in the War in Vietnam and Southeast Asia.
Martin R. 1986. Who went to war. In: Boulanger G, Kadushin C, eds. The Vietnam Veteran Redefined: Fact and Fiction. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Midwest Research Institute (MRI). 1967. Assessment of Ecological Effects of Extensive or Repeated Use of Herbicides. MRI Project No. 3103-B. Kansas City, MO: MRI. NTIS AD 824 314.
Moskos CC Jr. 1975. The American combat soldier in Vietnam. Journal of Social Issues 31:25-37.
National Academy of Sciences (NAS). National Research Council, Assembly of Life Sciences. 1974. The Effects of Herbicides in South Vietnam. Washington, DC: National Academy of Sciences.
National Research Council (NRC). 1985. Ascertainment of Mortality in the U. S. Vietnam Veteran Population. Washington, DC: Commission on Life Sciences, Medical Follow-Up Agency.
Optical warfare: technology emerges to see the enemy, and to blind him
Optical warfare: technology emerges to see the enemy, and to blind him
Visible-light and infrared sensors are crucial tools for battlefield commanders concerned with surveillance and fire control, but optics can also be a lethal way to destroy these sensors and render expensive weapon systems – and soldiers – sightless.
By John Haystead
Optical sensors and tracking systems – ranging from the most sophisticated infrared focal plane arrays to simple visible-light telescopic sights – are critical elements of waging modern warfare during the day and at night; that was clear during the Persian Gulf War. Few of today`s tactical weapons, in fact, can function at all without optical sensors.
Given this total dependency, it would seem that military systems designers would be foolhardy not to develop some form of countermeasures to these ever- proliferating optical devices. For the same token, perhaps it also would behoove policymakers in the U.S. Department of Defense to begin formulating official optical warfare doctrine.
Nevertheless, the most straightforward and effective optical countermeasures technology at best is at a crossroads, and at worst may be mired in the same political debate that revolves around land mines. It seems that optical countermeasures approaches are entangled in the worldwide distaste for their potential application as antipersonnel weapons.
Much like another highly efficient optical sensor – the human eye – electronic optical sensors are extremely vulnerable to damage or destruction from directed laser energy. It is precisely because of this relationship that the development and deployment of anti-sensor laser systems is so controversial. Because international law bans the military use of antipersonnel lasers, in fact, the development of anti-sensor laser systems has also been slowed or re-directed.
Many existing low-energy lasers that act as target designators and rangefinders, however, already pose a threat to electro-optical sensors. These devices are certainly capable of destroying or disrupting optical sensors or magnifying optics of many weapon- systems, although they are not generally powerful enough in themselves to be considered weapons. Laser designators and thermal imaging systems, once detected, can be quickly countered with return fire from directed laser weapons.
Similarly, lasers can detect and destroy the image-intensifier systems of night-vision equipment. Low-light television guidance systems are particularly susceptible to laser disruption. Lower-energy continuous-wave or high pulse-repetition-frequency lasers can be effective in temporarily disabling optical sensors or in cracking or permanently distorting the glass lenses of optical imaging systems – also called “crazing” – at very long ranges.
“There`s no doubt that research and development of low-energy laser weapons is progressing rapidly to fulfill the urgent need to counter the many different optical sensors on the modern battlefield,” says Dr. Myron Wolbarsht, professor of opthomology and biomedical engineering at Duke University in Durham, N.C., and co-author of a recent book on the subject of laser weaponry*.
Although treaties now exist prohibiting the use of lasers as antipersonnel weapons, there is no such restriction on their development as electronic countermeasures, Wolbarsht notes. “It is safe to assume that low-energy laser systems are under development as antisensor weapons,” he says.
Prior to the 1995 anti-personnel laser treaty, several laser countermeasure systems were in rapid development by the U.S. military and others. Whether their primary targets were originally to be sensors, personnel, or both is not known, yet those that continue in some fashion today are defined strictly as electronic countermeasures systems.
Most anti-sensor laser weapons are too large for soldiers to carry, and must enter the battlefield on combat vehicles.
Stingray, a system developed for the U. S. Army Bradley fighting vehicle, was originally intended to detect, track, and neutralize fire-control systems on enemy ground vehicles and aircraft beyond their effective firing range. A design of Lockheed Martin Electronics & Missiles in Orlando, Fla., Stingray successfully completed advanced technology development and is now being integrated into training units with the Task Force 21 Advanced Warfighting Experiment at Fort Hood, Texas.
It will probably also be involved in the National Training Center exercises scheduled for March at Fort Irwin, Calif., explains Chris Keller, past acting program manager in the U.S. Army Communications Electronics Command (CECOM) Systems Engineering Division at Fort Monmouth, N.J.
As per direction from officials of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command at Fort Monroe, Va., however, the Stingray systems are only being used in their optics-detection mode, and not as countermeasure systems. Stingray, along with all such programs is closely monitored by DOD for compliance to strict laser protocols that presumably prohibit their use in an offensive mode, Keller says, adding that “Stingray continues to be in complete compliance with all protocols. “
Stingray is is an active laser interrogator that locates and identifies high-threat targets that “would be difficult to find using other means,” Keller says. The Stingray uses a solid-state, diode-pumped laser.
A tactical and training version of the system has been developed. The training version operates in the near-IR band while the tactical system is a higher-power device operating in multiple regions, Keller says. Other sources have suggested the system is a Nd:YAG, short-pulse, high-peak-power laser operating in the near-IR spectrum.
Originally, six additional evaluation systems were scheduled to be delivered to the Army in 1994 with a follow-on production of 48 systems planned, but there is currently no funding identified for the system. “The future of the program is uncertain right now, although we`ve had good feedback from the units using the systems,” Keller says.
A man-portable, rifle-mounted system with similar capabilities to Stingray is the Laser Countermeasures System (LCMS), managed by CECOM`s PM-Night Vision at Fort Belvoir, Va. Mounted on an M-16 rifle, LCMS is intended to disrupt the fire-control optics of ground systems and aircraft.
The public stigma of laser weapons, however, led to its demise, says John Gresham, the Army`s deputy project manager for reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition, (RSTA) at Fort Belvoir. “LCMS was never intended as an antipersonnel weapon,” he says. “Because it uses a day/night capable laser, it came under scrutiny by anti-laser-weapons groups and was cancelled.”
Some funding was retained to continue development of the system`s target-detection mode capability through a new program known as the Target Location Observation System (TLOS).
TLOS combines third-generation image intensifier technology with a low-powered, near-IR laser illuminator that searches for reflections from enemy optical systems. A specially-designed power supply gates the laser on and off at a high repetition rate generating very short bursts of energy, but which provides light-levels sufficient for the image intensifier tube to detect threats in daylight and nighttime operations.
Under contract to Sanders, a Lockheed Martin company in Nashua, N.H., an initial delivery of four TLOS systems is scheduled for June. Eventually the $16.8M program calls for production of 249 systems over the next year and a half.
TLOS can be either handheld or mounted on an M-16 rifle and has an eye-safe hazard range of 25 meters, says Kevin Hunt, TLOS Project Leader, PM NV/RSTA. The system is being evaluated for light-infantry as part of Task Force 21 exercises at Fort Irwin. “So far, the feedback is very positive, as soldiers begin to understand the benefits of active acquisition of optical systems,” Hunt says. The specifics of deployment are still being determined but TLOS will probably be initially provided to personnel at Fort Bragg, N.C., and at Fort Campbell, Ky. Hunt says their are no plans for implentation of an integrated laser-based countermeasure capability, however.
The “Coronet Prince” advanced optical-sensor countermeasure pod was originally intended to detect and incapacitate the guidance systems of air-defense weapons. Managed out of the Electronic Warfare Division of the U.S. Air Force Wright Laboratory Avionics Directorate at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, the pulsed-laser system was developed by Westinghouse, now Northrop/Grumman in Baltimore, and underwent final flight-testing in 1989.
“We were able to demonstrate the performance requirements set out for the program,” says Dr. Duane Warner, program manager, EO Warfare. “At that time due to budget cuts, we were unable to get funding for additional testing.” The test program was therefore concluded and a final report was published in 1990.
Warner says eye-safety protocols never influenced Coronet Prince and that “optical countermeasures are still very much an activity being pursued by the Air Force.” Although the Coronet Prince pod is now in a museum at Northop/Grumman, the program`s results and technology have been passed on to follow-on classified programs and research activities, Warner says.
The 1995 “Vienna Protocol,” adopted by the Vienna Review Conference of the 1980 United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, strictly prohibits the use and transfer of laser weapons specifically designed to cause permanent blindness. It also requires national leaders to take all feasible precautions, including the training of their armed forces, to avoid permanent blinding through the legitimate use of other laser systems. This is the first time that both the use and the transfer of a weapon has been entirely prohibited under international humanitarian law.
While rightfully hailed as a major humanitarian accomplishment, a treatied prohibition does not entirely eliminate the possibililty of their use in conflict. For example, although not optimized to the task, and of questionable tactical value, many anti-sensor laser systems are capable of, or are easily converted to, use as antipersonnel weapons.
“Present laser devices are deemed likely to be used against eyes and sensors whatever benefit they can yield,” Wolbarsht says. According to studies by the International Red Cross, if lasers were used intentionally to inflict blindness, so that blinding as a method of warfare became common practice, serious eye damage might account for between 25 and 50 percent of all casualties.
There is strong evidence that antipersonnel laser weapons may have already seen limited use in combat. For example, the Laser Dazzle Sight developed by the British Royal Signal and Radar Establishment in Malvern, England, was designed to blind aircraft pilots, and was reportedly in use on British navy ships for several years and may have led to the loss of three Argentinian aircraft in the 1982 Falklands War.
A blue-light laser, it would have had a range of from 1 to 3 miles. And, although there is no documentary evidence, it is believed that Vietnamese military forces used Soviet carbon dioxide lasers in combat to blind Chinese soldiers in the 1970s, the Soviet military used lasers in Afghanistan, and that Iraqi forces used them in their war with Iran.
Even laser systems having nothing to do with antipersonnel or anti-sensor applications, such as rangefinders and guidance systems, are potentially injurious to the eye.
“We`re really not talking about anti-sensor technology so much as lasers operating at certain wavelengths such as visible and near-IR,” Wolbarsht says. The most common laser is the Nd:YAG, which is also one of the most dangerous to the eye and, in its primary wavelength of 1,064 nanometers, is almost invisible. Although Nd-YAG beams are visible at their frequency-doubled wavelength of 532 nanometers, these pulsed lasers are equally or more hazardous because they don`t allow time for any evasive action.
Several low-energy lasers are intrinsically capable of inflicting permanent eye damage when operating in the 400 nanometers to 1,400 nanometers “retinal hazard” region. These include the erbium YAG laser at 1540 nanometers, frequency- doubled ND:YAG 530 nanometers, ruby 690 nanometers, Nd:YAG 1,060 nanometers lasers, argon 488/514 nanometers, titanium-sapphire 660/980 nanometers, alexandrite laser 700/815 nanometers, and tunable free-electron lasers. There are many documented cases of accidental eye injury, military and civilian, from laser devices. Nominal Ocular Hazard Distances have been established for laser rangefinders and designators.
High-energy systems can cause permanent corneal injury, retinal burns, and ocular bleeding outside the retinal hazard region, but their practical use as anti-personnel weapons is questionable. For example, medium-powered carbon dioxide lasers operating at 10,600 nanometers and chemical deuterium fluoride at 3,800 nanometers are capable of doing damage, but 1 joule per square centimeter of energy would have to hit the eye before it closes. This would require a laser powered at 10 watts per square centimeter.
Anti-personnel lasers focus the laser beam on the retina, relying on the eye`s natural magnification of light by some 100,000 times. Thus, a low-energy laser which would have no effect on other body tissue could conceivably destroy the central retina – leaving the victim permanently blind. Wolbarsht says he believes, however, that most eye injuries from low-energy lasers are unlikely to result in total blindness. Nevertheless, lasers can easily destroy the portion of the eye`s visual field used for detail work such as reading signs or aiming a rifle, which would cause significant and potentially permanent incapacitation – especially for soldiers on the battlefield.
Temporary or “flash” blindness is sometimes discussed as a humane use of antipersonnel lasers, but in reality the energy level required for flash blinding is so close to the threshold for permanent blinding that it can only be achieved consistently under ideal conditions in which distance, angle of exposure, atmospheric pollution, and other factors are precisely controlled, Wolbarsht says. “Even then flash blinding could occur only at night when the eye is most sensitive to low levels of light. In daylight, the amount of light energy required to attempt flash blinding would almost inevitably cause permanent blindness instead,” Wolbarsht says.
*Some of the quotes directly attributed to Dr. Wolbarsht in this article are extracted with the author`s permission from the text, “Laser Weapons – The Dawn of a New Military Age,” co-authored by Maj. Gen. Bengt Anderberg of the Swedish Army. (Plenum Publishing Co. New York, copyright 1992.)
A new program known as the Target Location Observation System, which can be either handled or mounted on an M-16 rifle, searches for reflections from enemy optical systems.
The Coronet Prince advanced optical-sensor countermeasure pod was designed to detect and incapacitate the guidance systems of air-defense weapons. The pulsed-laser system underwent final flight-testing in 1989.
Stingray for the Bradley fighting vehicle was designed to detect, track, and neutralize fire-control systems on enemy ground vehicles and aircraft beyond their effective firing ranges. It is an active laser interrogator that locates and identifies high-threat targets.
The man-portable, rifle mounted system with capabilities similar to Stingray is the Laser Countermeasures System, which was mounted on an M-16 rifle to disrupt the fire-control optics of ground systems and aircraft. The public stigma of laser weapons led to its demise.
To date most research in antipersonnel laser protection has been directed at protecting personnel using optical sensors in high-tech environments such as aircraft pilots, tank commanders, command and control officers, etc.
However, this is the wrong emphasis, given that antipersonnel lasers, implemented as infantry-level weapons, can instead generate widespread casualties, says Dr. Myron Wolbarsht, professor of opthomology and biomedical engineering at Duke University in Durham, N.C.
“The problem needs to be considered from a mass-casualty perspective and this is not being properly addressed. It`s not only a medical-response question, but also one of troop morale when you consider the psychological effects of mass-blindness on the morale of fellow soldiers,” Wolbarsht says.
According to Red Cross studies, surgical treatment of laser injuries is sometimes possible in cases where the laser has caused hemorrhages in peripheral areas of the retina. Even then the outcome is uncertain, however, and highly trained doctors are obliged to operate within 48 hours in advanced medical facilities. Such facilities are rare even in industrialized countries, let alone near battlefields.
Today, protection against the effects of anti-personnel lasers is virtually impossible without also severely hindering the wearer`s visibility. Also, although protective goggles can filter out lasers of known wavelengths, many modern lasers can be tuned to multiple wavelengths or designed to fire at many wavelengths simultaneously.
Despite international treaties, Wolbarsht says he doesn`t believe there is any question that there are anti-personnel laser weapons being developed somewhere. “It`s too easy to modify existing systems to the application.” – J.H.
Distances at which some typical lasers pose a threat to human eyes
Distance in miles
Naked eye 8x optics 13x optics
Tank rangefinder, ruby 10 23 80
Tank rangefinder, Nd:YAG 4 16 22
Portable rangefinder, Nd:YAG 1 6 9
Portable target designator, Nd:YAG 8 25 3
Airborne target designator, Nd:YAG 25 46 80
These ranges refer to nominal ocular hazard distance
Lewis & Clark – Lewis & Clark and the Revealing of America
When Thomas Jefferson sent Lewis and Clark into the West, he patterned their mission on the methods of Enlightenment science: to observe, collect, document, and classify. Such strategies were already in place for the epic voyages made by explorers like Cook and Vancouver. Like their contemporaries, Lewis and Clark were more than representatives of European rationalism. They also represented a rising American empire, one built on aggressive territorial expansion and commercial gain.
But there was another view of the West: that of the native inhabitants of the land. Their understandings of landscapes, peoples, and resources formed both a contrast and counterpoint to those of Jefferson’s travelers. This part of the exhibition presents five areas where Lewis and Clark’s ideas and values are compared with those of native people. Sometimes the similarities are striking; other times the differences stand as a reminder of future conflicts and misunderstandings.
One of Lewis and Clark’s missions was to open diplomatic relations between the United States and the Indian nations of the West. As Jefferson told Lewis, “it will now be proper you should inform those through whose country you will pass . . . that henceforth we become their fathers and friends.” When Euro-Americans and Indians met, they used ancient diplomatic protocols that included formal language, ceremonial gifts, and displays of military power. But behind these symbols and rituals there were often very different ways of understanding power and authority. Such differences sometimes made communication across the cultural divide difficult and open to confusion and misunderstanding.
An important organizing principle in Euro-American society was hierarchy. Both soldiers and civilians had complex gradations of rank to define who gave orders and who obeyed. While kinship was important in the Euro-American world, it was even more fundamental in tribal societies. Everyone’s power and place depended on a complex network of real and symbolic relationships. When the two groups met—whether for trade or diplomacy—each tried to reshape the other in their own image. Lewis and Clark sought to impose their own notions of hierarchy on Indians by “making chiefs” with medals, printed certificates, and gifts. Native people tried to impose the obligations of kinship on the visitors by means of adoption ceremonies, shared names, and ritual gifts.
The Lewis and Clark expedition was in many ways an infantry company on the move, fully equipped with rifles of various kinds, muskets, and pistols. Among the firearms were two blunderbusses. Named after the Dutch words for “thunder gun,” the blunderbuss was unmistakable for its heavy stock, short barrel, and wide-mouthed muzzle. Other expedition guns might be graceful in design and craftsmanship but the stout blunderbuss simply signified brute force and power. Lewis and Clark fired their blunderbusses as signs of arrival when entering Indian camps or villages.
Blunderbuss, ca. 1809–1810. Courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History, Behring Center, Washington, D.C. (53)
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Pipe tomahawks are artifacts unique to North America—created by Europeans as trade objects but often exchanged as diplomatic gifts. They are powerful symbols of the choice Europeans and Indians faced whenever they met: one end was the pipe of peace, the other an axe of war. Lewis’s expedition packing list notes that fifty pipe tomahawks were to be taken on the expedition.
Pipe tomahawk (Shoshone), 1800s. Courtesy of the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. (39)
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Jefferson’s Secret Message to Congress
While Jefferson made no effort to hide the Lewis and Clark expedition from Spanish, French, and British officials, he did try to shield it from his political enemies. By the time he was ready to request funds for the enterprise, Jefferson’s relationship with the opposition in Congress was anything but friendly. When the president suggested including expedition funding in his regular address to Congress, Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin (1761–1849) urged that the request be made in secret. The message purported to focus on the state of Indian trade and mentioned the proposed western expedition near the end of the document.
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Jefferson’s Instructions for Meriwether Lewis
No document proved more important for the exploration of the American West than the letter of instructions Jefferson prepared for Lewis. Jefferson’s letter became the charter for federal exploration for the remainder of the nineteenth century. The letter combined national aspirations for territorial expansion with scientific discovery. Here Jefferson sketched out a comprehensive and flexible plan for western exploration. That plan created a military exploring party with one key mission—finding the water passage across the continent “for the purposes of commerce”—and many additional objectives, ranging from botany to ethnography. Each section of the document was really a question in search of a western answer. Two generations of American explorers marched the West in search of those answers.
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Jefferson Peace Medal
The American republic began to issue peace medals during the first Washington administration, continuing a tradition established by the European nations. Lewis and Clark brought at least eighty-nine medals in five sizes in order to designate five “ranks” of chief. In the eyes of Americans, Indians who accepted such medals were also acknowledging American sovereignty as “children” of a new “great father.” And in a moment of imperial bravado, Lewis hung a peace medal around the neck of a Piegan Blackfeet warrior killed by the expedition in late July 1806. As Lewis later explained, he used a peace medal as a way to let the Blackfeet know “who we were.”
United States Mint. Thomas Jefferson peace medal, 1801. Reverse side of medal. Silver. Courtesy of the Oklahoma State Museum of History, Oklahoma City (41)
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Lewis was frustrated by the egalitarian nature of Indian society: “the authority of the Chief being nothing more than mere admonition . . . in fact every man is a chief.” He set out to change that by “making chiefs.” He passed out medals, certificates, and uniforms to give power to chosen men. By weakening traditional authority, he sought to make it easier for the United States to negotiate with the tribes. Lewis told the Otos that they needed these certificates “In order that the commandant at St. Louis . . . may know . . . that you have opened your ears to your great father’s voice.” The certificate on display was left over from the expedition.
Certificate of loyalty, ca. 1803. Printed document with wax seal and ribbon. Courtesy of the Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis (43)
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In their speeches, Lewis and Clark called the Indians “children.” To explorers, the term expressed the relationship of ruler and subject. Clark modeled this speech to the Yellowstone Indians on one that Lewis gave to Missouri River tribes. In their speeches, the Indians called Lewis and Clark “father,” as in this example made by the Arikira Chiefs. To them, it expressed kinship and their assumption that an adoptive father undertook an obligation to show generosity and loyalty to his new family. William Clark recorded this speech as it was made by the chiefs.
Speech to the Yellowstone Indians, 1806. Speech of Arikara chiefs, 1804. Manuscripts. Courtesy of the Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis (44, 49)
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In tribal society, kinship was like a legal system—people depended on relatives to protect them from crime, war, and misfortune. People with no kin were outside of society and its rules. To adopt Lewis and Clark into tribal society, the Plains Indians used a pipe ceremony. The ritual of smoking and sharing the pipe was at the heart of much Native American diplomacy. With the pipe the captains accepted sacred obligations to share wealth, aid in war, and revenge injustice. At the end of the ceremony, the pipe was presented to them so they would never forget their obligations. This pipe may have been given to Lewis and Clark.
Pipe bowl [Plains/Great Lakes], ca. 1800–1850. Stone (catlinite) and lead. Courtesy of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Gift of the heirs of David Kimball, 1899 (48a)
Pipe stem [Plains/Great Lakes], ca. 1800–1850. Wood, ivory-billed woodpecker head and scalp, wood duck face patch, dyed downy feathers, dyed horsehair, dyed artiodactyls hair, dyed and undyed porcupine quills, sinew, bast fiber cords, glazed cotton fabric, sinew, bast fiber cords, glazed cotton fabric, twill-woven wool tapes, silk ribbons, and shell beads (48b)
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While Jefferson knew that for much of the journey he and his travelers would be out of touch, the president thought Indians and fur traders might carry small messages back to him. A life-long fascination for gadgets and secret codes led Jefferson to present Lewis with this key-word cipher. Lewis was instructed to “communicate to us, at seasonable intervals, a copy of your journal, notes & observations, of every kind, putting into cipher whatever might do injury if betrayed.” The scheme was never used but the sample message reveals much about Jefferson’s expectations for the expedition.
Jefferson’s cipher for the Lewis and Clark expedition, 1803. with sample message “I am at the head of the Missouri. All well, and the Indians so far friendly.” Manuscript document. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (55)
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Gifts with a Message
Gift-giving was an essential part of diplomacy. To Indians, gifts proved the giver’s sincerity and honored the tribe. To Lewis and Clark, some gifts advertised the technological superiority and others encouraged the Indians to adopt an agrarian lifestyle. Like salesmen handing out free samples, Lewis and Clark packed bales of manufactured goods like these to open diplomatic relations with Indian tribes. These beads came from Mitutanka, the village nearest to Fort Mandan. Jefferson advised Lewis to give out corn mills to introduce the Indians to mechanized agriculture as part of his plan to “civilize and instruct” them. Clark believed the mills were “verry Thankfully recived,” but by the next year the Mandan had demolished theirs to use the metal for weapons.
Kettle, late 1700s. Courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul (50)
Beads, late 1700s. Courtesy of the Ralph Thompson Collection of the North Dakota Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Foundation (51)
Cornmill, late 1700s
Courtesy of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (52)
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Displays of Power
In situations when ceremonies, speeches, and gifts did not work, both the Corps and the Indians gave performances that displayed their military power. The American soldiers paraded, fired their weapons, and demonstrated innovative weaponry. The Indians used war clubs, like this Sioux club, in celebratory scalp dances. Three decades later, Swiss artist Karl Bodmer accompanying naturalist Prince Maximillian, retraced Lewis and Clark’s trek on the Missouri River and vibrantly recorded a similar scene in the print displayed above.
Karl Bodmer (1809–1893). “Scalp Dance of the Minatarres” [Hidatsa] from Reise in das innere Nord-America in den Jahren 1832 bis 1834. Koblenz: 1839-41. Hand-colored lithograph. Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (54C)
War club (Sioux, Cheyenne River Reservation), pre-1870. Courtesy of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Philadelphia (54)
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Jefferson’s Speech to a Delegation of Indian Chiefs
Indian delegations had long been part of European diplomacy with native people, and they came to play an increasingly important role in U.S. Indian policy as well. Even before leaving St. Louis, Lewis and Clark began organizing delegations to visit the new “great father” in Washington. Jefferson’s speech to a group of chiefs from the lower Missouri River is an arresting combination of friendship, promises of peaceful relations in a shared country, and thinly veiled threats if Indians rejected American sovereignty. Reminding the chiefs of the changes in international diplomacy after the Louisiana Purchase, Jefferson insisted that “We are now your fathers; and you shall not lose by the change.” But behind all the promises of a shared future was an unmistakable threat. As the president said, “My children, we are strong, we are numerous as the stars in the heavens, & we are all gunmen.”
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Indian Speech to Jefferson
A delegation of chiefs from western tribes was sent by Lewis to Washington, D.C. President Jefferson welcomed them with words of peace and friendship. But if President Jefferson expected his native visitors to quietly accept their status as “children” in the new American order, he was mistaken. In their speech to Jefferson, the chiefs raised two important concerns: the troubled economic relations between native people and the federally operated trading posts and the rising tide of violence Indians suffered at the hands of white settlers on the Missouri River frontier. These chiefs were determined to speak the truth “to the ears of our fathers.” In return, they expected that government officials would “open their ears to truth to get in.”
[Speech of the] “Osages, Missouri, Otos, Panis, Cansas, Ayowais, & Sioux Nations to the president of the U.S. & to the Secretary of War, January , 1806.” Page 1 – Page 2 – Page 3 – Page 4 – Page 5 – Page 6 – Page 7 – Page 8 – Page 9 – Page 10 – Page 11 – Page 12 – Page 13 – Page 14 – Page 15 – Page 16. Manuscript document in the hand of the clerk, endorsed by 14 tribal representatives Courtesy of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania Library, Philadelphia (46)
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In the exploration instructions prepared for Lewis, Jefferson directed that his explorers record “the face of the country.” Geography, especially as recorded on maps, was an important part of the information collected by the Corps of Discovery. In planning the expedition, Lewis and Gallatin collected the latest maps and printed accounts portraying and describing the western country. This visual and printed data was incorporated into a composite document—the Nicholas King 1803 map—which the expedition carried with them at least as far as the Mandan villages. As Lewis and Clark traversed the country, they drew sketch maps and carefully recorded their astronomical and geographic observations. Equally important, they gathered vital knowledge about “the face of the country” from native people. During winters at Fort Mandan on the Missouri in 1804–1805 and at Fort Clatsop on the Pacific Coast in 1805–1806 the explorers added new details from their sketch maps and journals to base maps depicting the course of the expedition. The first printed map of the journey did not appear until 1814 when Nicholas Biddle’s official account of the expedition was published in Philadelphia and London.
Euro-American explorers were not the only ones to draw maps of the western country. As every visitor to Indian country soon learned, native people also made sophisticated and complex maps. Such maps often covered thousands of miles of terrain. At first glance Indian maps often appear quite different from those made by Euro-Americans. And there were important differences that reflected distinctive notions about time, space, and relationships between the natural and the supernatural worlds. William Clark was not the only expedition cartographer to struggle with those differences. But the similarities between Indian maps and Euro-American ones are also worth noting. Both kinds of maps told stories about important past events, current situations, and future ambitions. Both sorts of maps used symbols to represent key terrain features, major settlements, and sacred sites. Perhaps most important, Euro-Americans and Native Americans understood that mapping is a human activity shared by virtually every culture.
Nicholas King’s 1803 Pre-Expedition Map
In March 1803, War Department cartographer Nicholas King compiled a map of North America west of the Mississippi in order to summarize all available topographic information about the region. Representing the federal government’s first attempt to define the vast empire later purchased from Napoleon, King consulted numerous published and manuscript maps. The composite map reflects Jefferson and Gallatin’s geographical concepts on the eve of the expedition. It is believed that Lewis and Clark carried this map on their journey at least as far as the Mandan-Hidatsa villages on the Missouri River, where Lewis annotated in brown ink additional information obtained from fur traders.
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Source Map for the Bend of the Missouri River
One of the sources for Nicholas King’s 1803 map was this sketch of the Great Bend of the Missouri River (north of present-day Bismarck, North Dakota). Copied by Lewis from a survey for the British North West Company by David Thompson, this map provided the exact latitude and longitude of that important segment of the Missouri. Thompson, traveling overland in the dead of winter, spent three weeks at the Mandan and Pawnee villages on the Missouri River, calculating astronomical observations. He also recorded the number of houses, tents, and warriors of the six Indian villages in the area.
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Fort Mandan Map
Throughout the winter of 1804–1805 at Fort Mandan, William Clark drafted a large map of the West—what he called “a Connection of the country.” That map, recopied several times by Nicholas King, provided the first accurate depiction of the Missouri River to Fort Mandan based on the expedition’s astronomical and geographical observations. Drawing on “information of Traders, Indians, & my own observation and idea,” Clark sketched out a conjectural West—one characterized by a narrow chain of mountains and rivers with headwaters close one to the other, still suggesting an easy water passage to the Pacific Coast.
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Indian Map of Columbia and Snake Rivers
Although there are journal notes stating that Indians provided geographical information for Lewis and Clark and drew maps on animal skins or made rough sketches in the soil, no original examples survive. However, there are several collaborative efforts in which members of the Corps redrew Indian sketches often combining their own observations with Indian information. This sketch map found in one of William Clark’s field notebooks is a good example of a map derived from Indian information. It is a diagram of the relative location of tributaries of the Columbia and Snake (Lewis) rivers in present-day eastern Washington and Oregon.
William Clark. [Drawing of Northwest Coast canoe with carved figures at each end,]. February 1, 1806. Copyprint of journal entry. Courtesy of the Missouri Historical Society, St Louis (68)
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[William Clark]. “This Sketch was given to me by a Shaddot, a Chopunnish & a Shillute at the Falls of Columbia, 18 April 1806”. Manuscript map in field notebook. Courtesy of the Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis (59)
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Field Maps of the Fort Clatsop Area
This pair of maps is from a collection of manuscript field maps drafted by Clark as the Corps descended the Columbia River and wintered on the Pacific Coast at Fort Clatsop. On the left, Clark drew a rough sketch of the mouth of the Columbia River, oriented with south at the top of the sheet. The other is one of the cruder examples of a map derived from Indian information, with Clark noting “This was given by a Clott Sopp Indn.” It shows a small portion of the Pacific Coast and locates several tribes and villages.
William Clark. [Draft of the Columbia River, Point Adams, and South Along the Coast] and [Map from a “Clott Sopp Indn.”], 1806. Copyprint of manuscript maps. Courtesy of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, New Haven (59A)
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Sitting Rabbit’s Map of the Missouri River
Displayed here is a portion of a 1906–1907 map depicting the Missouri River through North Dakota to the mouth of the Yellowstone River. It was prepared by Sitting Rabbit, a Mandan Indian, at the request of an official of the State Historical Society of North Dakota. Although it uses a Missouri River Commission map as its base, the content provides a traditional Indian perspective of the river’s geography, especially noting former Mandan village sites with earthen lodges. The portion of the river shown here corresponds to the same stretch of river delineated on Clark’s route map described below.
Sitting Rabbit (I Ki Ha Wa He, also known as Little Owl). [Map of Missouri River from South Dakota-North Dakota boundary to mouth of Yellowstone River], 1906–1907. Copyprint of painting on canvas. Courtesy of the State Historical Society of North Dakota, Bismark (59C)
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Missouri Route Map near Fort Mandan
Throughout the expedition, William Clark prepared a series of large-scale route maps, with each sheet documenting several days’ travel. On these sheets he recorded the course of rivers navigated, mouths of tributary streams, encampments, celestial observations, and other notable features. Big River on Sitting Rabbit’s map (above) is identified as Cannon Ball River on Clark’s map and Beaver Creek is recorded as Warraconne River or “Plain where Elk shed their horns,” by Clark.
[Route Map about October 16–19, 1804], copy of original map made in 1833. Copyprint of manuscript copy. Courtesy of the Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha (59D)
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Fort Clatsop Map
This post-expeditionary map prepared by Washington, D.C., cartographer Nicholas King, probably in 1806 or 1807, most likely incorporates information from a map prepared by Lewis and Clark in February 1806 at Fort Clatsop on the Oregon coast. Although the original map no longer exists, such a map is mentioned in the expedition’s journals. Using King’s 1805 base map, which records information observed as far as Fort Mandan, this present copy adds geographical observations from Fort Mandan to the west coast, as well as data from the return trip.
Nicholas King after Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. “Map of Part of the Continent of North America . . . as Corrected by the Celestial Observations of Messrs. Lewis and Clark during their Tour of Discoveries in 1805.” Washington, D.C., 1806? Copyprint of manuscript map. Courtesy of the Boston Athenaeum, Boston (70)
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Clark’s Map of Midwestern Indian Settlements
Following his appointment as governor of the Missouri Territory in 1813, William Clark sketched this map of various Indian tribes and villages throughout the Missouri and Illinois territories, showing the locations of numerous forts and settlements. He prepared it in response to British incursions on the frontier during the War of 1812, when it was feared that the Indians, many of them allied with the British, would attack white settlements. The map also reflects Clark’s continuing post-expedition interest in Indian activities having been appointed superintendent of Indian affairs at St. Louis in 1807.
William Clark (1770–1838). “Plan of the N.W. Frontier from Governor Clarke,” [St. Louis], ca. 1813. Manuscript map. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress (67A)
William Clark’s compass on chain. Brass, jasper, glass, paint. William Clark’s magnet, ca. 1802. Iron, paint. Courtesy of the Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis (65, 66)
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Frazer’s Post-Expedition Map
Private Robert Frazer was the first member of the Lewis and Clark party to announce publication of an expedition journal. His account never reached print, and the original journal was lost. This manuscript map is the only remnant of that initial publishing attempt. Since Frazer had little or no knowledge of surveying or natural sciences, the map is a strange piece of cartography. He traces the expedition’s route, but continues to depict older views of the Rocky Mountains and western rivers. Sometimes ignored, the Frazer map was one of the first to reveal the course of the journey and some of its geographic findings.
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First Published Map of Expedition’s Track
This was the first published map to display reasonably accurate geographic information of the trans-Mississippi West. Based on a large map kept by William Clark, the engraved copy accompanied Nicholas Biddle’s History of the Expedition (1814). As the landmark cartographic contribution of the expedition, this “track map” held on to old illusions while proclaiming new geographic discoveries. Clark presented a West far more topographically diverse and complex than Jefferson ever imagined. From experience, Clark had learned that the Rockies were a tangle of mountain ranges and that western rivers were not the navigable highways so central to Jefferson’s geography of hope.
William Clark. “A Map of Lewis and Clarks Track” from History of the Expedition under the Command of Captains Lewis and Clark, to the Sources of the Missouri, thence Across the Rocky Mountains and Down the River Columbia to the Pacific Ocean, 1814. Samuel Lewis, copyist; Samuel Harrison, engraver. Engraved map. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress (67)
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History of the Expedition
After Lewis’s death in September 1809, Clark engaged Nicholas Biddle to edit the expedition papers. Using the captains’ original journals and those of Sergeants Gass and Ordway, Biddle completed a narrative by July 1811. After delays with the publisher, a two-volume edition of the Corps of Discovery’s travels across the continent was finally available to the public in 1814. More than twenty editions appeared during the nineteenth century, including German, Dutch, and several British editions.
[Nicholas Biddle and Paul Allen, eds.] History of the Expedition under the command of Captains Lewis and Clark, to the Sources of the Missouri, then across the Rocky Mountains and down the River Columbia to the Pacific Ocean. Performed during the years 1804-5-6. By order of the Government of the United States. Page 2 . Philadelphia: Bradford and Inskeep; New York: Abm. H. Inskeep. J. Maxwell, Printer, 1814. Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (67B)
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In order to make astronomical observations that would aid in calculating distances, the Corps took a sextant on their journey. On July 22, 1804, while the expedition was above the mouth of the Platte River in eastern Nebraska, Lewis gave a detailed description of the operation of the sextant and other tools that reveals his struggle to use the complicated instruments. A select number of books were taken on the expedition including British astronomer Nevil Maskelyne’s Tables Requisite to be Used with the Nautical Ephemeris for Finding the Latitude and Longitude at Sea.
W. & S. Jones Holburn, London [patented 1788]. Sextant. Brass, wood, silver. Courtesy of the National Museum of American History, Behring Center (60)
Nevil Maskelyne (1732–1811). Tables Requisite to be Used with the Nautical Ephemeris for Finding the Latitude and Longitude at Sea. Page 2 . London: William Richardson, 1781. Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (61)
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Jefferson subscribed to the eighteenth-century Enlightenment notion that assembling a complete catalog of the Earth’s flora and fauna was possible. In his instructions, he told Lewis to observe “the animals of the country generally, & especially those not known in the U.S.” The Corps of Discovery was the first expedition to scientifically describe a long list of species. Their journals, especially those kept by Lewis, are filled with direct observations of the specimens they encountered on the journey. Through objective measurements and anatomical descriptions, they defined various species previously unknown to Euro-Americans.
Indians studied animal behaviors to understand moral lessons. Animals were beings addressed respectfully as “grandfather” or “brother.” Because animals intersected the worlds of the sacred and the profane, Indians regarded them as intermediaries between the human and spiritual realms.
The woodpecker displayed above may be the only specimen collected during the Lewis and Clark expedition to survive intact. Lewis first saw the bird on July 20, 1805, but did not get a specimen until the following spring at Camp Chopunnish on the Clearwater River in Idaho. Lewis’s description of the bird’s belly is still accurate when examining the specimen today: “a curious mixture of white and blood red which has much the appearance of having been artificially painted or stained of that colour.”
Specimen of a “Lewis woodpecker” [Asyndesmus lewis, collected Camp Chopunnish, Idaho, 1806]. Preserved skin and feathers. Courtesy of Harvard University Museum of Comparative Zoology, Boston (71)
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Observing “the animals of the country generally”
Lewis covered pages with descriptions of animals and plants during the winter of 1805–1806. This particular journal kept during that period contains abundant zoological notes in Lewis’s hand. The journal is open to a description of the Corps first encounter with a white-tailed jack rabbi—an animal considered so impressive that both Lewis and Clark wrote extensive descriptions of it. On selected occasions both captains illustrated their notes. In the reproduction above Clark sketched the now-endangered condor. Lewis had correctly observed in his journal: “I bleive this to be the largest bird of North America.”
Meriwether Lewis (1774–1809). “Shield killed a hare of the prarie . . .” Journey entry, September 14, 1804. Courtesy of the American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia (40)
William Clark (1770–1838). Head of a Vulture (California condor), February 17, 1806. Copyprint of journal illustration. Courtesy of the Missouri Historical Society, St Louis (74A)
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The Indian sense of “personhood” extends far beyond the western conception of human beings. In Indian culture animal people, plant people, sky peopleCall are beings in their own right. Indian art portrays a being’s inner essence, not its physical form. The Columbia River artist who created this twined circular basket decorated it with images of condors, sturgeons, people, and deer—abstractions that are given equal importance in the woven pattern. This nineteenth-century Sioux clay and wood pipe portrays a buffalo, whose spirit, or Tananka, cares for children, hunters, and growing things. It may have be created as a presentation pipe.
Sally bag with condors (Wasco), pre-1898. Twine, corn husk. Courtesy of the Oregon Historical Society, Portland (75)
Buffalo effigy pipe (Sioux), pre-1872. Catlinite, wood. Courtesy of the Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis (76)
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Patrick Gass was one of the three sergeants in the Corps of Discovery. His account, first printed in 1807, was the only one available to curious readers until the official publication appeared in1814. This Gass edition contains six woodcuts, two of which depict encounters with bears. The image above may have been based on Corps member Hugh McNeal’s experience on July 15, 1806. Lewis records: “. . .and with his clubbed musquet he struck the bear over the head and cut him with the guard of the gun and broke off the breech, the bear stunned with the stroke fell to his ground. . .this gave McNeal time to climb a willow tree.”
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The Power of the Bear
Artist George Catlin painted the scene of a dance held in preparation for a traditional Sioux bear hunt in 1832. These dances were performed in order to communicate with “the Bear Spirit.” According to Catlin, the Sioux believe this spirit “holds somewhere an invisible existence that must be consulted and conciliated.” This clay Sioux pipe bowl probably depicts the bear’s role as teacher and transmitter of power.
George Catlin (1796B1872). Bear Dance of the Sioux, 1832 [printed 1844]. Hand-colored lithograph. Courtesy of the Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis (74)
Bear effigy pipe bowl (Sioux, Osage or Pawnee), pre-1830s. Catlinite. Courtesy of the Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis (72)
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Dressed in Courage
In both Euro-American and native cultures, clothing communicated messages about the wearer’s biography, rank, and role in society. In both cultures, a warrior’s clothing was his identity and men entered battle dressed in regalia that displayed their deeds and status. Symbolic insignia revealed a complex code about who a man was and what he had accomplished. But differences did exist. For instance, Plains Indian men wore clothing that incorporated symbols of their spirit visions, tribal identity, and past deeds as manifestations of the spiritual powers that helped them in battle. European soldiers wore similar symbols but as a way to display and inspire uniform loyalty to their nation.
The U.S. Army lavished effort on the details of uniforms, increasing the psychological impact on the wearer and his opponent. Military insignia were designed to prevent any ambiguity about chains of command, so that a soldier could instantly tell whom to obey. The U.S. Army was so small in 1804 that no complete uniforms survive. This reproduction portrays a captain in the full-dress uniform of the 1st U.S. Infantry Regiment, to which Lewis belonged. The “Kentucky” rifle shown below—a .45 caliber flint lock—was passed down through William Clark’s family.
Infantry captain’s uniform, bicorne hat [not shown]. Reproduction by Timothy Pickles, 2003. Textile. Courtesy of the Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis (79)
Rifle, post 1809, lock by Rogers & Brothers, Philadelphia. Steel barrel, iron fittings, German silver plates, tiger maple stock. Courtesy of the Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis (73)
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The Plains Warrior
A Plains Indian warrior relied on personal power in battle, and his dress incorporated symbols of his spirit visions, his tribal identity, and his past deeds. The leader of a war party often wore a painted shirt that detailed his war record. On such shirts made from animal skins, the contours of the pelt were left intact in the belief that the animal would lend its qualities to the wearer. The most powerful shirts were fringed with locks of human hair provided by relatives and supporters to represent the man’s responsibilities to his relations. This shirt, probably Blackfeet, has buffalo-track symbols on the neck flap that evoke the power of the bison to aid the warrior in battle.
War shirt, 1843. Antelope skin, quill work. Courtesy of the Alabama Department of Archives and History, Montgomery (80)
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Images of Heroism
Plains Indian men wore painted skin robes that told of their achievements. This image of Shoshone Chief Washakie’s war robe shows a series of diagrammatic battle scenes. Here, events happen not in a landscape but in a symbolic realm of deeds. Depictions of his enemies are not individualized, but are instead given costumes, hairstyles, or equipment that represent tribal affiliation, society membership, and past deeds. Warriors are sometimes represented by disembodied guns or arrows.
Washakie war robe (Shoshone), pre-1897. Paint on deer hide. Copyprint of artifact. Courtesy of the National Museum of the American Indian, Washington, D.C. (81)
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The Ideal Military Hero
In 1759, at the height of the French and Indian War, General Wolfe led a British-American assault on the French outside Quebec. The print, based on a painting by Benjamin West, shows the wounded general dying just as a messenger brings news that the enemy is retreating. In the moment of both victory and death, Wolfe achieves transcendent glory. His uplifted eyes suggest both sacrifice for the nation and triumph over death—not through faith but through fame. This was an idealized image to which military men of Lewis and Clark’s generation aspired.
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Coyote, the mythic trickster of the Plains Indians, was the protector of the scouts who spied on the enemy for a war party. This nineteenth-century Teton headdress from the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota was meant to summon and symbolize Coyote’s craftiness.
Coyote headdress (Teton Sioux), nineteenth century. Pelt, feathers, canvas, wool, hawk bell. Courtesy of the National Museum of the American Indian, Washington, D.C. (78)
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Spontoon and Gorget
The spontoon, a long wooden shaft with a spear at one end, became popular with the American army during the Revolutionary War. Although it was required equipment that signified an officer’s rank, these pikes were commonly abandoned for more practical weapons in battle. Lewis used his as a walking stick, a grizzly-bear spear, and a gun rest, but never to rally troops in battle. The origins of the gorget can be traced to the chivalric armor. American army officers wore these ceremonial insignia high on the chest. Lewis presented gorgets (which he called “moons”) to Indian leaders to symbolize rank.
Spontoon (American/Fort Ticonderoga), late eighteenth century. Iron, wood. Courtesy of the Collection of Fort Ticonderoga Museum, New York (81A)
Richard Rugg. Gorget, London, ca. 1783. Silver. Courtesy of William H. Guthman Collection (47)
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Bear Claw Necklace
To wear a bear claw necklace was a mark of distinction for a warrior or a chief, and the right to wear it had to be earned. These powerful symbols were a part of the culture of the Great Lakes, Plains, and Plateau tribes. On August 21, 1805, Lewis wrote in this journal that Shoshone “warriors or such as esteem themselves brave men wear collars made of the claws of the brown bear. . . . These claws are ornamented with beads about the thick end near which they are pierced through their sides and strung on a throng of dressed leather and tyed about the neck . . . . It is esteemed by them an act of equal celebrity the killing one of these bear or an enimy.”
Animal claw necklace (Teton Sioux), mid-nineteenth century. Bear claws, hide. Courtesy of the National Museum of the American Indian, Washington, D.C. (82)
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In his instructions to Lewis, Jefferson directed the party to observe and record “the soil & face of the country, it’s growth & vegetable productions, especially those not of the U.S. . . . the dates at which particular plants put forth or lose their flower, or leaf . . . .” The study and collection of plants was one of Jefferson’s life-long pursuits. When he instructed the Corps in their approach to cataloging the country’s flora, Jefferson again set the pattern for subsequent explorations. Jefferson, however, was not purely motivated by science; plants thought to have medicinal properties, like tobacco and sassafras, were important to the U.S. economy. As the Napoleonic Wars swept Europe and affected exports to the United States, there was a call to reduce America’s dependence on foreign medicine and find substitutes on native soil.
Indians and Europeans had been exchanging knowledge about curing and health for three centuries, yet they still held very different beliefs. Indian doctors focused on the patient’s relationship to the animate world around him. Euro-American doctors saw the body as a mechanical system needing regulation. Meriwether Lewis, instructed by America’s foremost physician Dr. Benjamin Rush, University of Pennsylvania botanist Benjamin Barton, and his own mother, a skilled herbalist, was to serve as the Corps doctor, but William Clark also became adept in treating various illnesses. Though Clark rejected Indian explanations, he often turned to Indian techniques when members of his own party became ill.
Curing the Corps
Lewis and Clark were not persuaded by Indian explanations of why illness occurred but often used Indian cures in preference to their own. The Corps began its journey stocked with traditional western medicinal treatments and tools. Lewis used lancets to let out blood in such dangerous conditions as heat exhaustion and pelvic inflammation, and tourniquets to stop blood flow. Bleeding was thought to relieve congestion in internal organs. Lewis originally thought he would need three syringes for enemas but settled for one. There is no further mention of its use. Laxatives, derived from plant sources, were also used to purge the body of impurities.
Tourniquet, early nineteenth century, brass, leather, iron. Lancet, early nineteenth century. Tortoise shell, steel. Clyster syringe, late eighteenth century. Pewter, wood. Courtesy of the Mütter Museum, The College of Physicians of Philadelphia (86, 87, 88)
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Rules of Health
Thomas Jefferson asked Benjamin Rush, a noted physician and professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, to “prepare some notes of such particulars as may occur in his journey & which you think should draw his attention & enquiry.” Dr. Rush restricted his advice to practical hints for maintaining health in the field—some of it unwelcome like using alcohol for cleaning feet instead of for drinking. Many Americans did not trust professional medicine and instead used folk cures like these written down by Clark after the expedition. Many folk cures originally came from Indian sources.
Benjamin Rush (ca.1745–1813) to Meriwether Lewis (1774–1809), June 11, 1803. “Rules for Preserving his Health”. Manuscript. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (91)
William Clark. Cures for toothache and “whooping cough,” early nineteenth century. Courtesy of the Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis (92)
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Summoning the Spirits
An Indian doctor’s job was to identify the being that had caused an illness, then overcome or placate it. An Indian patient lived in an animate world, surrounded by entities who could make him ill. Medicinal herbs and roots were powdered and mixed in a mortar like this one from the Northern Plains. Drums and herbs were used to summon helpful spirits as aids in healing. Fragrant herbs pleased and attracted good influences and drove away evil ones. This sweetgrass braid was used as an incense to purify implements, weapons, dwellings, and people.
Mortar and pestle (Plateau), prehistoric Stone. Courtesy of the Maryhill Museum of Art, Goldendale, Washington (89a,b)
Sweetgrass braid (Lakota), 1953. Sweetgrass, string. Courtesy of the Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis (93)
Drum (Northern Plains), nineteenth century. Wood, hide. Courtesy of the Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis (94)
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A Botanical Specimen
While admitting that Lewis was “no regular botanist,” Jefferson did praise “his talent for observation.” And on June 11, 1806, during an extended stay with the Nez Perce people, Lewis showed that talent. Camas, sometimes known as quamash, was an important food plant for the Nez Perces. Lewis carefully described the plant’s natural environment, its physical structure, the ways women harvested and prepared camas, and its role in the Indian diet. Some days later Lewis gathered samples of camas for his growing collection of western plants.
Camassia quamash (Pursh), [“Collected by Lewis at Weippe Prairie, in present-day Idaho, June 23, 1806.”]. Herbarium sheet. Courtesy of Academy of Natural Sciences, Ewell Sale Stewart Library, Philadelphia (84)
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Frederick Pursh, an emigrant from Saxony who worked with botanist Benjamin Smith Barton in Philadelphia, published the first botanical record of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Pursh received a collection of dried plants from Lewis, which he classified and incorporated into his Flora Americae Septentrionalis. The volume is open to Clarkia pulchella, a member of the evening primrose family, which Pursh named in honor of William Clark. Pursh took some of the Lewis and Clark specimens to London to finish the book, including the silky lupine specimen to the far left.
Frederick Pursh (1774–1820). Clarkia pulchella in Flora Americae Septentrionalis: or a Systematic Arrangement and Description of the Plants of North America. 2 vols. London: White, Cochrane, and Col., 1814. Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (85)
Lupinus sericens, Pursh, [silky lupine]. [collected by Lewis at Camp Chopunnish, on the Clearwater River, Idaho, June 5, 1806]. Herbarium sheet. Courtesy of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, England (83)
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Root Digging Bag
Among the Nez Perce, only women harvested plant foods. A man doing so risked derision and contempt. A Nez Perce woman’s year was structured around plants. As each new food plant matured, its arrival was welcomed in a first fruits feast. Root bags were used in gathering, cooking, and for storage. An industrious woman could dig eighty or ninety pounds of roots in a day.
Root digging bag (Plateau), pre-1898. Wild hemp and bear grass or rye grass, with dyes of alder, Oregon grape root, wolf moss, algae, and larkspur. Courtesy of the Maryhill Museum of Art, Goldendale, Washington (95)
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A Gathering Basket
The cedar bark basket was used across the Plateau for gathering berries, nuts, and roots. Bark baskets could be made easily when a person came across some forest food by stripping off a piece of cedar bark and folding it.
Basket (Plateau), pre-1940. Cedar bark. Courtesy of the Maryhill Museum of Art, Goldendale, Washington (97)
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A Sally Bag
Plateau tribes gathered wild hemp and beargrass, then traded it to the Wishram and Wasco Indians at The Dalles in Oregon, the dividing line between North Coast and Plateau Indians. The traded raw materials would then be made into finished products like this sally bag, used for packaging food.
Sally bag, pre-1898. Corn husk, dogbane [wild hemp]. Courtesy of the Maryhill Museum of Art, Goldendale, Washington (96)
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Among the Shoshone, Lewis noted that dried roots were stored by being “foalded in as many parchment hides of buffaloe.” Hide bags, like the one on display, were made by cleaning and sizing rawhide so that it had a smooth, paintable surface. This bag is decorated in a distinctive Plateau style.
Parfleche bag (Sahaptin), early nineteenth century. Hide, pigment. Courtesy of the National Museum of the American Indian, Washington, D.C. (90)
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Sources for the Lewis & Clark Expedition Maps of 1803 and 1814
The two key maps that bracket the Lewis and Clark expedition are the Nicholas King map of 1803 and the Track Map of 1814.
Nicholas King drew upon the most current information in creating his map. This presentation shows how existing maps were used to form King’s map, which it is believed, Lewis and Clark took on their journey.
The 1814 Track Map was the landmark product of the expedition. Based on a large map kept by William Clark in his St. Louis office, this map shows the geographic exploration made by Lewis and Clark. It was part of the expedition’s official publication.
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Back to top90,000 Tactical Tips | Beginner’s Guide
There are a number of tricks that can help you in battle and increase your chances of dealing damage.
The most important skill that will come in handy when shooting at moving targets. Aim and zoom into the front of the enemy vehicle or some distance in front of it and shoot. The further the enemy is and the faster he moves, the more lead will be required.
When it is important for you to concentrate on maneuvering your own vehicle and there is no way to accurately aim the gun manually, use an auto-aim. Your weapon will be locked on the center of the enemy vehicle and will be guided to the target by itself.
However, remember: the auto-aim does not take into account the location of the enemy’s vulnerable zones, the necessary lead and obstacles on the map.
Shooting on modules
Can’t penetrate a well-armored enemy? No problem.Unlock aimed fire at its modules – in particular, at the tracks. This tactic is especially good against higher tier and more durable vehicles. Your ability to “keep” the enemy on a downed caterpillar will not allow him to hide from fire, and your allies will be able to focus and quickly destroy him. Such assistance will certainly be credited to you.
Remember the peculiarities of the chassis for wheeled vehicles. It is impossible to destroy it with one shot – you can only damage one or several wheels. With each damaged wheel, the vehicle loses its speed, but remains on the move.Disable all the wheels – then the speed of the wheel will drop to almost zero and will not give it a chance to escape.
Use the relief on the maps to your advantage! Hide behind stones, rocks and buildings to calmly wait for a recharge or completely hide from the enemy. To protect yourself from artillery fire, take cover behind the mountains and other large objects.
But the terrain is not only a cover, it is also the ability to effectively fire without taking damage.Take a look: this tank stands behind a hill so that all its vulnerable parts are hidden, and only a powerful armored tower is looking at the enemy.
Maneuver with caution on any map. Do not attempt to drive off cliffs or cliffs at speed. In the best case, you will lose health points and break several modules, and in the worst case, you will completely crash the car.
There are water bodies on many maps – these are small lakes, and bays, and a deep city river.Be careful when crossing a body of water or river bridge. Remember: if your equipment – in particular, the engine compartment – goes under water, you have 10 seconds to get out, otherwise the car will sink.
During extreme maneuvers, the equipment can fall on its side or overturn – this happens especially often with light and fast cars. If the equipment is on board, it is not only immobilized, but also practically defenseless: the view, accuracy and rate of fire are sharply reduced. If the car overturned, it cannot fire at all and self-destructs after 30 seconds.The allies can help to return the car to both tracks by gently pushing it in the right direction, but this is not always possible.
Detection and masking
It is difficult to fight an enemy that you cannot see. The sooner you find opponents on the battlefield, the more chances you have to seize the initiative in battle. Discovery is one of the key elements of the World of Tanks game mechanics.
Vision is the maximum possible distance within which your vehicle can detect enemy vehicles.This parameter is determined by the characteristics of the vehicle, as well as the skills and abilities of the crew.
You can use special symbols on the minimap to better understand the detection and visibility of your vehicle. These are the circles of detection, view, maximum view and drawing.
- Circle of detection (“X-ray”). An area with a radius of 50 meters around each vehicle. Within this circle, vehicles will be automatically detected regardless of camouflage performance and the presence of obstacles.
- Circle of vision. The value of reviewing your vehicle, taking into account the skills and abilities of the crew, as well as the installed equipment.
- Circle of maximum view. For all vehicles in the game, the maximum view range is 445 meters. Even if the view of your vehicle exceeds this value, you will not be able to detect the enemy at a greater distance on your own. However, in this case it will be easier for you to find stealthy enemy vehicles within this distance.
- Draw circle.Shows the maximum distance at which players’ vehicles will be displayed on your screen – this is 565 meters.
You can enable and configure the display of these circles on the minimap in the settings on the Game tab in the View indicators on the minimap section.
The communication range of your vehicle plays a huge role in detecting vehicles on the battlefield – this is the distance at which you and your allies can exchange data on the position of other players. The communication range depends on the characteristics of the radio station, as well as on the skills and abilities of the crew.
If your ally detects an enemy vehicle and gives you intelligence, the icon of this vehicle will appear on your minimap, even if the vehicle itself is outside your drawing circle and is not visible on the battlefield. Therefore, do not neglect installing a powerful radio station on your car!
WORLD IN THE EYES OF US MILITARY INTELLIGENCE
Elena Larina and Vladimir Ovchinsky
On the era of strategic competition
This year, the US intelligence services are competing with each other in the preparation of analytical and strategic documents on international security issues and threats to the United States.The US Department of Defense Intelligence Agency’s report on global threats in 2021 has now been published on the website of the Senate Armed Services Committee. The report will be discussed at a Senate hearing. In its preparation, the information available as of April 26, 2021 was used.
The time in which we live is named in the report the era of strategic competition . The opponents of the United States, according to the authors of the report, are doing everything to surpass the military advantage of the United States.State and non-state actors not only develop such opportunities, but already “selectively use them at the global and regional levels.” These capabilities cover all areas of combat and geographic boundaries. These include more lethal ballistic and cruise missiles, growing nuclear stockpiles and a range of gray zone measures such as unconventional forces, information manipulation, cyberattacks and economic coercion. Such gray zone measures are below combat thresholds and allow plausible conflict denial, allowing for aggressive campaigns.
New advances in materials, high performance computing, robotics, artificial intelligence (AI) and biotechnology are increasing the technological capabilities of US adversaries.
China and Russia are named as the main opponents in the report. These countries, in particular, are moving forward with space and counter-space capabilities and are using cyberspace to increase their operational influence on US infrastructure.
They are also, according to military intelligence, using COVID-19 to conduct information warfare to undermine Western governments, attack economic and policy outcomes. However, the report concludes that “The true origin of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 that originated in China, remains unclear.” Therefore, the US military intelligence “continues to study new information” ( which means that anyone can be called the culprit of the pandemic at any “right” time – E.L, V.O. ).
A special section is devoted to Russia in the report. The information contained in it is fairly well known, it was taken mainly from the Russian media and from the official state Russian websites. Therefore, we will begin our presentation of the report’s positions, first of all, with an assessment of Chinese threats to the United States.
Beijing, according to the authors of the report, views the international environment and China’s relations with Washington as increasingly hostile and realizes the threat to its sovereignty and security.China continues its campaign of military modernization and ultimately strives to achieve the multilateral goal set in 2017. The People’s Liberation Army of China (PLA) is likely to expand its reach worldwide to support China’s global interests.
In 2020, President Xi Jinping continued to consolidate power, giving himself, as the leader of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), additional leverage to complete key military reforms.In October 2020, the party convened the Fifth Plenum of the 19th CPC Central Committee. The plenary meeting set goals with a focus on on China’s transition from an export-oriented economy to an economy based on high technology and domestic consumption. Beijing believes that China remains in a “period of important strategic opportunities.”
Chinese leaders characterize China’s long-term military modernization program as a prerequisite for achieving great power. The new milestone for the party to achieve military modernization by 2027, which was unveiled at the plenum, likely signals an intention to accelerate some of the equipment upgrade efforts to revise the previously announced timeline. According to this timeline, it was planned that the PLA would achieve the completion of military modernization by 2035 and transformation into the dominant army by 2049.
The PLA articulates its goal for 2027 as ensuring global security as a global leader.The PLA clearly states that it needs to be modernized to “close security gaps with stronger military rivals, and to contain and suppress separatist forces (primarily Taiwan).”
China promotes an ambitious military modernization agenda that focuses “on the design and deployment of advanced military warfare with an emphasis on long-range precision strikes, air and naval capabilities, cyberspace, electronic warfare, space and counter-space capabilities, and strategic restructuring nuclear forces “.
According to the report, the PLA has developed into a battle-worthy global unified force. The PLA is looking for a force capable of extinguishing multiple conflicts, including the violent unification of Taiwan, while discouraging, deterring, or suppressing third-party military intervention. At the same time, US military intelligence expects the PLA 90,078 90,071 to expand its capabilities to advance China’s smaller interests around the world.
The PLA Missile Force continues to build up its long-range ballistic missile and anti-ship missile capabilities , enabling them to deliver precision strikes in the Western Pacific, Indian Ocean and South China Sea from mainland China.China continued to focus on hypersonic gliders to counter ballistic systems.
China is expanding and diversifying its 90,078 90,071 nuclear arsenal. In October 2020, US military intelligence estimated at least doubling it over the next decade in China. Since then, Beijing has accelerated its nuclear expansion and is on track to exceed previous forecasts.
China is likely looking to create an equivalent and in some areas surpass the US in new nuclear warheads and their delivery platforms that are at least equal in efficiency and reliability.
The PLA continues to refine its pursuit of a nuclear triad, and increasingly indicates that Beijing maintains a portion of its nuclear forces in a launch-on-warning mode.
China constantly states that it has never researched, produced or possessed biological weapons. However China is developing potential dual-use biological activities and sufficient biotechnological infrastructure for some biological agents or toxins produced on a large scale.
China has announced that it once had a small offensive chemical weapons program, but claims the program has been phased out. China’s chemical infrastructure indicates sufficiency for research and development, as well as the ability to purchase certain chemicals in large quantities.
The report notes that the PLA’s space program continues to evolve rapidly.China is investing in improving space-based satellite communications systems, satellite navigation and meteorological capabilities, as well as manned spacecraft and robotic space exploration. China has built an expanded ground infrastructure to support its growing orbital fleet and related functions. China uses anti-space weapons designed to destroy and counter space environments during crises or conflicts.
The PLA Air Force continues to adopt modern fighters.An example is the launch in September 2020 of J-20 stealth fighters on the Chinese-Indian border during their military confrontation. The PLA is also expanding the range and capabilities of its bombers.
The PLA Navy increases the large-scale shipbuilding program, building new submarines, cruisers, a number of other surface ships and aircraft carriers of a new class. The Chinese Navy is evolving into a global force, gradually expanding its capabilities to support operations outside of East Asia.
The report notes that China’s military reforms in 2020 focused on enhancing the PLA’s ability to conduct joint operations, combat high-level conflicts long distances from mainland China, and strengthen the role of the party in the military.
China recognizes synergies between high technology and defense and seeks to spearhead the transition to smart war through a national civil-military fusion strategy by reforming its organizations to improve R&D quality .China continues to invest heavily in new capabilities, especially in AI. As of the end of 2020, Beijing sees new long-term goals to strengthen scientific, technological and economic strengths.
The PLA military exercise during 2020 focused on enhancing the PLA’s ability to win wars through Operations in realistic combat conditions. The PLA is likely to continue these training activities and maneuvers in 2021.
During 2020, Beijing took a series of actions to 90 078 90 071 asserting its territorial claims in the periphery. In July 2020, Beijing passed a security law that severely undermined Hong Kong’s autonomy and fundamental freedoms previously granted to Hong Kong residents. At the same time, China continued its policy of forcibly assimilating ethnic and religious minorities in Xinjiang and Tibet. Previously, China sought to deepen its economic ties with Taiwan, using military action to maintain its position on achieving formal independence, but now it has probably tightened its position.Beijing is using military pressure tactics to force Taiwan to agree to the Chinese reunification agenda. Beijing also put pressure on Taipei and conducted military operations near Taiwan. For example, the PLA Air Force and the PLA Navy conducted military exercises, including entering Taiwan’s air defense identification zone and deliberately crossing the center line of the Taiwan Strait, the middle line of the strait that Beijing generally respected but recently announced did not exist.
The South China Sea uses law enforcement and maritime militia vessels to secure interests to resolve disputes in a way that remains below the threshold of provoking an armed conflict.
In August 2020 China tested several ballistic missiles that landed near Hainan and the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea. Chinese outposts are equipped with advanced anti-ship and anti-aircraft missile systems and jamming equipment, including the most powerful ever deployed in the South China Sea.
China seeks to create more reliable external logistics and basic infrastructure so that the PLA can maintain military power over long distances. The combination of models – preferred access to commercial infrastructure overseas, exclusive PLA logistics facilities with stationed supplies, combined with commercial infrastructure, and bases with stationed forces – best suits China’s military logistics needs overseas. In addition to its base in Djibouti, China is likely already considering additional logistics facilities to support the deployment of naval, air and ground forces, and is also likely to have made similar attempts in Africa and the Pacific Islands.
In Latin America, China is expanding its military activity and presence. For example, the Strategic Support Force has a tracking, telemetry and command station in Argentina. In the near future, China may reach an agreement on access through South America to support its presence in Antarctica. China is likely to look for new opportunities for its presence and influence in 2021. The presence of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei in major Latin American markets will provide an opportunity to play a prominent role in 5G rollouts in the coming years, expanding China’s influence through the use of 5G network and AI-based surveillance technology.According to US military intelligence, China has taken advantage of the pandemic to send medical equipment or technical assistance to nearly every country in the region. Many regional militaries still see the United States as their preferred security partner, but they are involved in expanding China’s presence, especially those who donate equipment and receive free military education.
China has intensified its activities in the Arctic and Antarctic to increase its influence, legitimacy and participation. China’s Arctic Strategy emphasizes that its icebreaking vessels and research stations are integral to the strategy’s implementation. China is using the first domestically produced civilian icebreaker to complete Arctic and Antarctic expeditions in 2020.
Moscow and Beijing have significantly expanded their security ties since 2014, as evidenced by China’s participation in the last three joint Russian exercises and the first joint bomber patrol in the Sea of Japan in July 2019, followed by a second joint patrol in December 2020 … Russia and China have postponed other exercises in 2020, likely due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, but they will resume bilateral defense activities in 2021.
In 2020 , relations between China and India were bad as military confrontation intensified along their disputed border. The situation culminated in a June clash that left 20 Indian and four Chinese soldiers dead, leaving the two countries closer to war than they have in decades.
India, according to the report, has tightened its approach to China after deteriorating bilateral relations following China’s attempts to seize territory along the contested line of de facto control claimed by India starting in summer 2020. In response to the June clashes between Indian and Chinese forces, New Delhi dispatched an additional 40,000 troops, artillery, tanks and aircraft to the disputed border, occupied strategic mountain passes in the disputed territory, and dispatched Indian Navy ships to spy on Chinese ships in the Gulf of Aden.India has also taken economic measures to demonstrate its resolve against China’s actions, such as banning Chinese mobile phone apps in India and taking steps to find reliable suppliers of telecommunications equipment for its future 5G networks. New Delhi has strengthened security relationships with partners in the Indo-Pacific region through logistical support agreements with Australia and Japan, increased maritime information exchange with the United States, and by participating in the Quadripartite Commission Foreign Ministers meeting.
Although negotiations between military and diplomatic officials resulted in an agreement in mid-February to withdraw troops from the disputed territory around Lake Pangong, New Delhi is likely to maintain its position on Beijing until 2021, raising the risk of future military confrontation.
India has also maintained an assertive stance on its border with Pakistan, refusing to engage in diplomatic dialogue in the absence of Pakistani action to end support for anti-Indian militants.Tensions remain high following the 2019 Pulwam terrorist attack and subsequent hostilities, as well as the Modi government’s actions in August 2019 to limit the autonomy of Jammu and Kashmir by revising the Indian constitution. Indian army units along the line of control have periodically launched artillery strikes against alleged militant camps and Pakistani army positions throughout the year. India and Pakistan announced a ceasefire at the end of February 2021, but any high-profile militant attacks from suspected Pakistan-based groups are likely to spark an Indian military response that could escalate into a military confrontation.
New Delhi continues to pursue large-scale military modernization encompassing air, ground, naval and strategic nuclear forces with an emphasis on domestic defense production. He will continue his long-standing defense relationship with Russia, given the large amount of Russian-made equipment in Indian warehouses and Moscow’s willingness to help New Delhi bolster its domestic defense industry. India has continued to develop its own hypersonic, ballistic, cruise missiles and air defense systems, having conducted about a dozen tests since September.
It is noted that India has an increasing number of satellites in orbit and is expanding the use of space assets, probably to enhance the role of space assets in its military strategy. In March 2019, it successfully tested an anti-satellite missile and later announced plans to further define the role of anti-satellite weapons in its National Security Strategy. New Delhi is also looking to build on space expertise by creating its own defense space agency and conducting space warfare exercises such as IndSpaceEx in July 2019.
The United States continues to face multiple security challenges in the Middle East.
After nearly ten years of civil war , the Syrian regime and its opponents are at an impasse. The front lines are likely to remain largely stationary for the next six months. Damascus is forging relations with local tribes in the east to fuel unrest, weaken US relations with these tribes, and launch attacks on the coalition and Syrian democratic forces.Regime supporters have engaged in clashes with opposition militants in Idlib province, but US military intelligence has not seen any significant geographic change since the March 2020 Russian-Turkish ceasefire went into effect. Damascus is unlikely to resume a major offensive without clear political and military support from Russia, judging by Damascus’s previous reluctance to directly engage the Turkish military in protracted hostilities.
Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the former official al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria, still controls Idlib province, which is also home to ISIS, Khurras al-Din, al-Qaeda’s official branch in Syria, other foreign jihadist groups and more than three million civilians.
The Syrian opposition is almost certainly no longer capable of posing a threat to the regime and is instead seeking to defend its remaining areas of control in northern Syria and maintain support for Turkey.
Moscow is likely to maintain a long-term military and economic presence in Syria, giving it access to natural resources and the continued use and expansion of its military presence. Moscow seeks to normalize relations between the international community and Damascus with the aim of encouraging external investment and reconstruction efforts, as well as mitigating the impact of the United States.sanctions against the Assad regime.
In Syria, ongoing coalition-backed counterterrorism pressure and multiple leadership losses have likely diminished the capabilities of ISIS rebels. The group’s operations declined during 2020, while the organization focused on relocating personnel to avoid counterterrorism operations and generating revenues through oil confiscation and kidnapping of officials for ransom. ISIS is using clandestine cells in under-controlled rural areas in eastern and southern Syria to intimidate local populations and attack local security forces and coalition interests.Its presence in camps for internally displaced persons in the northeast allows ISIS to recruit and train local residents, disguise and relocate its fighters and supporters, and avoid checks by local security forces. More than half of Syria’s population remains displaced, including nearly 6.6 million internally displaced persons in Syria and 5.6 million registered refugees in the Middle East and Turkey. In the spring of 2020 alone, fighting in northwest Syria has displaced nearly 1 million people.Renewed fighting between the Syrian regime and Syrian opposition forces in this conflict is likely to force hundreds of thousands of civilians to flee to the Turkish border and is likely to trigger another humanitarian crisis. Another Turkish invasion of northern Syria is likely to also displace hundreds of thousands of civilians, as it did in 2018 and 2019.
Iran remains committed to protecting its strategic interests in Syria, including ensuring the stability of the regime and maintaining access to Levantine partners and proxies, especially Hezbollah. The main goals of Hezbollah in Syria are to maintain security along the Lebanese-Syrian border, create conditions for a potential conflict with Israel and preserve supply nodes from Iran.
In 2020, the threat to US interests in Iraq from Iran-backed Iraqi Shiite militias seeking to reduce the number of US troops increased significantly.
In Iraq, ISIS is likely to take advantage of changes in its operating environment to diminish the coalition’s gains in the past year.ISIS has used the COVID-19 pandemic and the consolidation of coalition forces to increase freedom of movement. The group increased the frequency of attacks and carried out a number of complex operations, including targeted assassinations and attacks on military targets. ISIS remains most prevalent in rural and mountainous areas of Iraq, where small cells use rugged terrain as a refuge to evade detection and launch attacks. ISIS seeks to exploit the environment for its own purposes, exploiting sectarian tensions and Sunni security grievances, hostile behavior by Shia militias in Sunni areas and the inability of displaced Sunnis to return to their homes.
A special role in the US military intelligence report, as in other reports of the US intelligence services in 2021, is given to 90,078 90,071 threats in cyberspace and new technologies.
Governments are most often confronted with advanced, persistent, sophisticated malicious cyber activity from a wide range of government and non-government actors. Adversarial malicious cyber operations are becoming increasingly difficult to observe and suppress.Opponents use military defense networks, military strategies to manipulate US forces, and also try to compromise the US military industrial base in order to steal weapon technology.
North Korea and Iran, although less capable than Russia or China, will use cyberspace to achieve regime goals and respond asymmetrically to perceived threats. In particular, Iran has increased the number of operations.
A number of factors lead to changes in the space sphere .Long-standing barriers to access to space – technological and financial – are disappearing, and more countries and commercial firms are involved in space construction, research and directly in manned space flights. The number of satellites is expected to grow. In addition, today in outer space there are approximately 20 thousand objects at least 10 cm in size. This debris includes abandoned spaceships, boosters of space launch vehicles, debris and remnants of explosions or collisions.The number of these space objects is increasing, especially in small Earth orbits, and the risk of collisions with space objects is growing rapidly.
It is expected that the improvement of sensors, the use of advanced AI, which allows to improve the automation of task setting, data collection, processing and dissemination of information about space objects, will enhance the space capabilities of competing countries.
The number of states with nuclear weapons has grown since the end of the Cold War.Countries with mature nuclear weapons development and use programs are increasing the number and scope of their arsenals. Some countries are modernizing legacy stockpiles, introducing advanced technologies to penetrate or evade missile defense systems. Russia and China are likely to significantly increase their stockpiles of nuclear warheads within a decade. An increase in stockpiles is expected, primarily due to non-strategic stockpiles of nuclear weapons.Russia possesses between 1,000 and 2,000 non-strategic nuclear warheads and approximately 1,400 warheads for strategic systems. Last year, the Defense Intelligence Agency predicted that China would at least double its stockpile of nuclear warheads, to an estimated 200 in this decade. Since then, Beijing has accelerated its nuclear expansion and is on track to exceed previous projections for likely stockpiles by the end of this decade.
Other countries such as Pakistan, North Korea and India continue to advance their nuclear programs, although the programs are not as complex as those in Russia and China.
The proliferation of dual-use goods, knowledge and technology classified as weapons of mass destruction will continue to facilitate the development or production of additional nuclear weapons and delivery systems that pose a direct threat to the interests of the United States and its allies. This proliferation is facilitated by widespread specialized procurement networks. These commercial and sponsored products have proven to be resistant to international systems of sanctions and other bans, restricting the transfer of data related to weapons of mass destruction to specific countries or organizations.
Advanced technologies increase the capabilities and number of participants that pose reconnaissance threats to the interests of the US Department of Defense. Attackers are increasingly using technologies such as AI, big data analytics, cloud computing, advanced unmanned and autonomous systems, and wearable electronics. This reduces the US advantage in many areas, allowing it to carry out near real-time tracking and surveillance of personnel, including in the defense industry.
More than 90 countries around the world have improved their video surveillance systems using Smart City / Safe City platforms, including AI technologies (75 countries) and facial recognition systems (88 countries). Chinese companies including Dahua, Hikvision, Huawei and ZTE have become world leaders in the development of smart / safe city systems , which are expected to exceed $ 2.4 trillion by 2025. As of 2019, these companies have provided AI surveillance capabilities in at least 63 countries, with Huawei providing 80% of the surveillance technology.
The US National Defense Strategy notes that the military environment is determined by rapid technological change and challenges from adversaries in all spheres of activity. Military intelligence must focus on the full spectrum of conflicts and in all areas of warfare in order to detect and correctly characterize key events abroad and to inform defense decision-makers in a timely manner.
For many years, the top threat to the United States has been the threat of an al-Qaeda attack and, in recent years, the problem of cyber intrusion.
Last year there was no assessment of public threats and no open hearings in the Senate. Perhaps this was due to deep contradictions in understanding the situation between the administration of then President Donald Trump and the Democratic part of the senators.
This year, in terms of foreign policy, the United States is faced with the impossibility of regaining its status as a global hegemon. In order to justify the degradation of international influence, the American elites launched an offensive against the “revisionist powers” in order to blame their problems on external enemies.
So this year’s threat assessment to the United States focuses on great power competition.
Of course, the United States faces serious traditional military threats, as well as fierce competition from China and Russia. In addition, American adversaries in Iran and North Korea have the potential to develop nuclear weapons and target the United States, while hostile fighters have the potential to attempt terrorist attacks in the United States, reminiscent of 9/11.Indeed, in recent years the balance has shifted towards competition and will probably remain at this point for some time.
Global tendencies can change at any moment, as in the direction of the development of competition into direct military confrontation, or they can open the doors for expanding cooperation.
Materials on the topicTags: geopolitical confrontation, global triangle, cyberwar, the era of strategic competition 90,000 Caspian region military news coverage in August 2018
The main military-political events of the past August in the Caspian Sea were undoubtedly the annual naval competition of the fleets of the Caspian countries “Sea Cup-2018”, which took place in Azerbaijani waters as part of the International Army Games, as well as the signing of an important intergovernmental agreement during the Fifth Caspian Summit on the prevention of incidents in the Caspian Sea, aimed at strengthening regional security and stability.At the same time, the Caspian countries actively conducted exercises in the coastal region and sea area, took measures to develop weapons and military equipment, and also fought terrorism.
International competition “Sea Cup-2018” was held from July 31 to August 10. In total, four teams took part in the competition: the command of the Russian Navy was presented by the small artillery ship “Volgodonsk” of the Caspian Flotilla, the Navy of the Republic of Kazakhstan – the rocket artillery ship “Mangystau”, the Navy of the Republic of Azerbaijan – the patrol ship “G-124”, and the team of the Navy The Republic of Iran performed on the Peykan missile boat.The Turkmen Navy has traditionally ignored this event.
During the competition, the Caspian sailors demonstrated their skills in five episodes, incl. showed skills in anchoring and mooring barrel, performed artillery fires to destroy floating mines, sea and air targets, held competitions in rescue training and fight for the survivability of the ship.
Festive events on the occasion of the completion of the competition were held on the territory of the Training Center of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Azerbaijan in the capital of Azerbaijan – the city of Baku.According to the results of the competition, the Russian Navy team won the international competition Sea Cup-2018. The second place was taken by the sailors from Kazakhstan, and the third place was shared by the teams of Azerbaijan and Iran. (Press service of the Southern Military District of the Russian Federation)
Taking into account the fact that the main goal of the competition was to strengthen friendship, peace and stability at sea, the past competition became a very significant military-political event in the field of the oncoming movement of the fleets of the Caspian states towards the formation of a single safe maritime space in the Caspian Sea, which can have a positive impact on the situation in the Caspian Sea, primarily on regional security.
A very important event for the military-political situation took place during the Fifth Caspian Summit in Aktau on August 12. The parties signed an Agreement on the prevention of incidents in the Caspian Sea, aimed at ensuring the safety of navigation of warships and flights of aircraft of the armed forces of the Caspian states in the Caspian Sea and the airspace above it.
The Articles of Agreement will apply to warships and aircraft operating in the Caspian Sea, outside the territorial waters and airspace above it.The parties, in accordance with the agreement, commit themselves to comply with the 1972 International Rules for the Prevention of Collisions between Ships. In addition, Articles 4 and 5 of the agreement contain a list of obligations of the parties to prevent incidents in the Caspian Sea with the participation of warships and aircraft (for more details about the agreement, click the link).
Thus, the events of the past August should have a significant impact on the further development of the military-political situation in the Caspian region in line with the strengthening of friendship, peace and stability in the Caspian Sea.Against this favorable background, the editorial staff of the “Caspian Vestnik” portal offers readers an overview of other interesting news from this area.
In the second half of August, the command of the Russian Armed Forces gave priority to strengthening the anti-missile and air defense of the Russian coast of the Caspian Sea.
On 23 August, anti-missile lines were established along the western Caspian coast by the forces of the Caspian Flotilla and the Air Force and Air Defense Combine of the Southern Military District as part of the Single Day of Combating Cruise Missiles.
Reconnaissance and strike contours of the Russian naval associations in the Caspian Sea and the Air Force and Air Defense armies discovered and destroyed conventional cruise missiles in the area of responsibility of the Southern Military District in the Caspian Sea. The exercises involved over-the-horizon Podsolnukh radars, as well as anti-submarine and small missile air defense systems. In addition, the reconnaissance of targets and control of their destruction provided the calculations of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from the crews of the ships.
On August 29, the ships of the Caspian Flotilla, aviation and air defense of the Southern Military District worked out a new tactical technique “Wall” against low-flying air targets. The ships of the Caspian Flotilla conducted exercises in a single tactical plan with aviation and coastal air defense systems of the Southern Military District (YuVO) in the Caspian Sea. It is reported that a special system for building ships and aircraft of reconnaissance and fighter aircraft, linked to the capabilities of the coastal means of the over-the-horizon surface wave radar “Podsolnukh-E” and anti-aircraft missile systems “Buk-M3”, has significantly increased the detection range of low-flying targets.(Press Service of the Southern Military District)
Republic of Kazakhstan
In August, in the structure of the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Kazakhstan, personnel appointments were made to the leadership.
By the decree of the Head of State, Assistant for Security, Secretary of the Security Council Ermekbayev Nurlan Bayuzakovich was appointed the Minister of Defense of the Republic of Kazakhstan. It is known that N. Ermekbayev is a career officer, in 1986 he graduated with honors from a higher military educational institution, has experience in military service, including in hot spots.He was an assistant on international affairs, the ambassador of Kazakhstan to the PRC and a number of countries in Southeast Asia, the Minister of Religious Affairs and Civil Society of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and was twice appointed Secretary of the Security Council. He did military service in the People’s Republic of Angola (1984-1985) as part of the Soviet military mission, in officer positions in the Armed Forces of the USSR. Fluent in Chinese and English. Candidate of Political Science. (Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Kazakhstan)
In the Armed Forces of Kazakhstan, stationed in the Caspian Sea, training work was also actively carried out.
At the end of August, an operational-tactical exercise was held in the Naval Forces with the involvement of operational groups of the Air Defense Forces of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Regional Coast Guard Directorate of the Border Guard Service of the National Security Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The main purpose of the exercise was to check the level of training of personnel and the coherence of the work of the joint headquarters of the military units of the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Regional Coast Guard Directorate of the Border Guard Service of the National Security Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan on the planning and control of forces at sea when they perform tasks to localize asymmetric threats to sea objects. economic activity, as well as improving the skills and abilities of the personnel of the Naval Forces, the division of border surface ships and boats of the Regional Coast Guard Directorate of the Border Guard Service of the National Security Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the performance of their duties during the preparation and conduct of hostilities.As part of the exercise, actions were practiced to defeat enemy ship groupings with a group of heterogeneous strike forces. (Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Kazakhstan)
It should also be noted that in September in the West of Kazakhstan strategic command and staff exercises “Batys-2018” will be held, which will involve military units and subdivisions of the Ground Forces, Air Defense Forces, Naval Forces, Special Operations Forces, special forces and logistics.The exercises will be held on the territory of the Caspian Mangystau region from 17 to 28 September 2018. In preparation for this event, in mid-August, the first deputy Minister of Defense – Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Lieutenant General Murat Maikeev, checked the readiness of the units. The Chief of the General Staff checked the readiness of the facilities for the exercise, the equipment of command posts, storage sites for weapons, military and special equipment, ammunition, as well as the procedure for conducting the main stages of practical actions of the troops.(Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Kazakhstan)
As part of the peacekeeping activity of the Armed Forces of Kazakhstan, on August 24, at the National Military-Patriotic Center of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Kazakhstan, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Governments of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Republic of India on the procedure for joint deployment of the Kazakh peacekeeping contingent as part of the Indian battalion in the United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon. The main purpose of the Memorandum is to create a legal basis for the participation of the peacekeeping unit of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon mission, as well as to determine the legal status of servicemen participating in this mission.(Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Kazakhstan)
Azerbaijan, as indicated in the first part of the survey, hosted the participants of the International Competition “Sea Cup-2018” in August.
At the end of this event, on August 10, tactical combat exercises of the units of the State Border Service of the Republic of Azerbaijan under the name “Ensuring security in the territorial waters of Azerbaijan in the Caspian Sea” started in the country.
The units of the coast guard of the State Border Guard Service of the Republic of Azerbaijan took part in the exercises together with the Fast Response Force of the State Border Guard Service. The events were carried out in order to improve the protection of the interests of the state in the Caspian Sea within the framework of the implementation of the “Strategy of Maritime Security of the Republic of Azerbaijan” approved by the order of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev dated September 11, 2013.
The main objectives of the exercises were: organization of protection of oil-producing infrastructure and subsea pipelines; search and neutralization of sabotage groups at sea and on land; target detection through underwater surveillance systems, search and neutralization of underwater sabotage groups; patrolling the border with ships and helicopters; firing from rocket and artillery installations; prevention and prevention of illegal migration, as well as illegal drug trafficking and smuggling in the Caspian.
Islamic Republic of Iran
Iran in August this year, for the first time in its modern history, acted as a host for the international diving all-around competition “Depth-2018”, held within the framework of the Army International Games “ARMY-2018”.
The competition was held at the diving range of the Imam Khomeini Naval Academy in the seaport of Noushehr, Islamic Republic of Iran, from August 1 to August 9.Teams from Venezuela, Iran, Russia, Syria and South Africa competed in seven exercises: “Water obstacle course”, “Rescue on water”, “Assisting an emergency submarine”, “Assisting an emergency surface ship”, “Welding”, “Work in a confined space “and” Flange “.
According to the results of the competition, the combined team of the Naval Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran took the first place, the teams of the Russian Navy and the Venezuelan Naval Forces shared the second place.The team of the Syrian Arab Republic became the bronze medalist. (Department of Information and Mass Communications of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation)
Taking into account the gradually complicating international political situation due to the growth of American-Iranian conflicts, representatives of the Iranian Armed Forces are actively working to strengthen the country’s defense capability.
In this regard, on August 29, Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Khatami called on lawmakers to increase the country’s defense budget, stressing that this would strengthen Iran’s deterrent.In his speech to the Parliamentary Commission on National Security and Foreign Policy in Tehran, he expressed hope that the Commission would allocate a larger defense budget, citing the country’s likely adversaries spending billions of dollars to fuel instability in the region. “Experts in the field of the defense industry are making every effort to strengthen the country’s defense capability, and therefore, today, the enemies of Islamic Iran, who are fully aware of the defense power and military potential of the Iranian Armed Forces, do not talk about military options,” Fars News quotes General Khatami.
Additional financial resources for the Iranian Ministry of Defense are probably needed to upgrade weapons and military equipment.
Thus, in August it was reported that in the near future 10 repaired Su-22 fighter-bombers of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps will be equipped with air-to-ground cruise missiles with a range of up to 1,500 kilometers. It is also known that after a major overhaul, these fighter-bombers will be able to transport and use not only air-to-ground missiles, but also intelligent and high-precision cluster bombs, air-to-air missiles, as well as transmit data and information from drones from a distance. several kilometers away.(Iran.ru)
Iran intends to produce air-to-air missiles on its own at a new production line opened at the end of July in Tehran. It is reported that the new rocket, dubbed “Fakour”, has been developed and manufactured using the latest technology. A medium-range missile can fight various types of invading aircraft. As Brigadier General Defense Minister Amir Khatami said at the launch ceremony, the new missile will be installed on all types of fighters.(Iran.ru)
Military development is also carried out by the Organization of the Marine Industry of the Ministry of Defense of Iran. In August, it became known that the production structure had developed its own 1,300 horsepower naval engine. It is expected that the first samples will be installed on Iranian ships by the end of March 2019. It is possible that the production of new engines will be located at one of the five Iranian naval shipyards located on the southern coast of the Caspian Sea.(Mehrnews)
Editorial Note: The Department of Defense’s Marine Industry Organization is responsible for the design and manufacture of ground combat vehicles, submarines, ground vehicles, hovercraft, aircraft and fast attack vessels. The department has ten offices in various regions of the country as well as 16 technology development centers, incl. those that specialize in the design of diesel and gasoline engines, power transmission systems and fuel delivery systems.
At the end of the review of events in Iran, attention should be paid to the continuing difficult situation in the country in the field of combating terrorist activities and extremism.
On 2 August, Iranian security forces were reported to have located and seized significant quantities of light heavy weapons and ammunition in the central province of Kerman. Attorney General Kerman Dadhod Salari said a large cache of weapons was smuggled into the country across the eastern border for terrorist attacks.The cache contained a large amount of ammunition and related weapons, including two anti-aircraft, light-heavy machine guns, 7,400 anti-aircraft bullets, 23 73mm anti-tank missiles and three motorcycles, two of which are specifically designed for difficult-to-pass areas.
Iranian sources have reported that in recent years, Iranian security forces and border guards have been actively fighting terrorist groups, many of which come from Pakistan and Iraq to carry out attacks inside the country.
Last month, at least 11 members of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) were killed in a terrorist attack in the village of Dari in the Marivan district of Kurdistan province. During the clashes, a large number of terrorists were killed, and several others escaped wounded. Also in a statement on July 14, the leadership of the Najaf Ashraf base of the Iranian Ground Forces noted that the military personnel of the base identified and completely destroyed a “counter-revolutionary terrorist group” that planned to carry out acts of sabotage and implement measures against national security after crossing the border with Iran in the Nodesh region of Kermanshah province. …(Iran.ru)
In the same province of Kermanshah, at the end of August, Iranian intelligence forces neutralized two more groups of terrorists, killing 2 and detaining 14 more people in two separate operations. Iranian Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Allawi said that one of the groups included 12 people associated with terrorist groups, all of whom were identified and arrested. In the course of a separate operation, another group was discovered and eliminated, which was sent to the country with the aim of conducting sabotage and terrorism.AK-47 rifles, hand grenades, communications equipment and cash were seized from the terrorists. (Mehrnews.com)
It is noteworthy that assistance in solving Iran’s security problems is also provided by its neighbor in the Caspian Sea – the Russian Federation. During a meeting in August between Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin and Iranian Deputy Defense Minister Norin Tegizade, it became known that Russia would improve its military-technical cooperation with Iran in the context of its international obligations.Stating that Moscow is satisfied with the level of military-technical cooperation between the two countries, Fomin said that Russia will increase the level of support for Tehran in the fight against terrorism. (Iran.ru)
Similar 90,000 How al-Baghdadi was caught. He was guarded by enemies, but betrayed his
Operation against the leader of IS Baghdadi in Syria
Killed last weekend Former leader of the Islamic State jihadist group (banned in Russia) Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi managed to hide for a long time in the Syrian province of Idlib, as he paid for protection to members of a rival organization, but in the end he was betrayed by a man from his inner circle.
He was killed over the weekend during a special operation by the US military, which was later confirmed by the US Department of Defense, releasing videos of the operation.
Only on Thursday, the death of Baghdadi was recognized by IS itself. “We are in mourning […] the leader of the faithful,” a new spokesman for the group, Abu Hamza al-Quraishi, said in an audio message.
Also in a seven-minute message, al-Quraishi says that the “council of elders” of IS has decided on a successor to Baghdadi. He does not name the successor.A spokesman for the group erupts threats against the United States and calls President Trump a “mad old man.”
According to the head of the US Central Command (CENTCOM) Kenneth Mackenzie, a total of six militants were killed during the operation, including four women.
“All necessary measures were taken to avoid civilian casualties, as well as to protect children who, according to our estimates, were at the site. Five members of IS on the site posed a danger to the special forces, they did not respond to commands in Arabic lay down arms.They were killed, including four women and one man, “Mackenzie said.
According to him, IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi blew himself up with two children, not three, as previously reported.
He also said that al-Baghdadi tried to hide in a dead end tunnel. At first he tried to shoot back from there, but then blew himself up.
Genetic analysis confirmed that it was al-Baghdadi who was killed, added Mackenzie …
The footage shown to reporters by the US military shows the building in which the IS leader was allegedly located. He is surrounded by special forces, after which the militants open fire on the American forces, which are conducting an offensive from the air.
During the ground operation, the special forces seized documents and electronic devices. They then left the facility and returned to the helicopters with the two detainees.
“After our forces safely left the facility, they used precision-guided munitions outside of the target’s range to destroy the facility and all of its contents,” Kenneth Mackenzie told reporters.
The released videos also show the moment of the strike on the object from the air.
Photo author, ReutersPhoto caption,
Security services monitored the villa where al-Baghdadi was hiding for three and a half months
New details of the detection of “criminal number one”
On Wednesday, the New York Times reported a number of new details of the special operation and how exactly al-Baghdadi was discovered.
As it became known to the New York Times, al-Baghdadi has agreed on protection with one of the groups at war with IS.
The leader of the jihadist organization was guarded by the Khurras al-Din group – this is evidenced by payment receipts found in Syria, abandoned in a hurry by IS fighters.
In particular, eight checks from 2017-2018 indicate that IS paid the militants of the Khurras al-Din organization for security equipment and communications, as well as paid salaries and travel expenses.
These checks bear the logo of the IS Ministry of Security and are signed by people who are called officials of Khurras al-Din.
One of the receipts, issued in the summer of 2018, indicated that $ 7,000 was paid for “preparing a base for brothers arriving from Al-Khair province” – as IS called the region in eastern Syria Deir ez-Zor, which before 2019, this group kept under its control.
This suggests that Khurras al-Din fighters helped IS members to flee the region as the Kurdish forces advanced with US support.
Al-Baghdadi, dubbed “criminal number one” by the US, spent his final months in a remote villa in Barish, a village in Idlib province hundreds of kilometers from the formerly controlled ISIS border with Iraq, surrounded by feuding members jihadist groups, in particular from Khurras al-Din.
As ISIS discoverer Assad Almuhammad, a retired intelligence officer who is now a senior fellow in the Anti-Extremism Program at George Washington University, noted, Khurras al-Din and IS used to see themselves as enemies and “IS was apparently trying to infiltrate the ranks Khurras ad-Din “.
If the payment documents are reliable, this indicates that there are unofficial channels through which money is transferred from the IS security service to high-ranking members of Khurras al-Din.
Photo author, Department of DefensePhoto caption,
This service dog, who drove al-Baghdadi, was a participant in about 50 special operations
Al-Baghdadi’s cowards and DNA analysis
New York Times cites two unnamed American officials who wished to remain anonymous, who indicated that al-Baghdadi arrived at the villa in Idlib this July.
For three and a half months, American intelligence monitored this place, which at first was considered too dangerous for special forces to conduct a special operation – due to the fact that the airspace there was controlled by Russia together with the forces of Assad, as well as due to the presence in the region Al-Qaeda-related factions.
However, after President Trump announced two weeks ago about the unexpected withdrawal of American troops from the northern regions of Syria, the US Department of Defense did not hesitate with the special operation, fearing that they might miss al-Baghdadi.
According to these two unnamed dignitaries, al-Baghdadi turned in one of the few whom he trusted. The identity of the informant was not disclosed for fears for his life, but one of those familiar with the details of the operation described him as “very close, trusted by al-Baghdadi.”
He was recruited by the Dispensary of Kurdish militias from the Alliance for Democratic Forces of Syria, who have very strong connections in the area.
It was this informant who stole al-Baghdadi’s underpants and obtained a blood sample for DNA analysis to confirm that the one being tracked by the US special services is indeed al-Baghdadi. The newspaper was told about this by Mazlum Abdi, the commander of the Kurdish forces.
The Pentagon has not released the name of the service dog, which drove al-Baghdadi into the tunnel as a result.However, according to General Mackenzie, the dog was injured from the exposed wire, but he had already been treated, and he returned to service.
Military aircraft have found a common target – Newspaper Kommersant No. 9 (6003) dated 19.01.2017
Yesterday, combat aircraft of Russia and Turkey launched a joint operation in Syria against militants of the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra. Nine Russian and eight Turkish aircraft attacked the settlement of Al-Bab, over which the Turkish military has been fighting since December 2016.The Russian military is unhappy with the fact that the militants are “almost unhindered” transferring weapons, explosives and manpower from Iraqi Mosul to eastern Syria. The Defense Ministry blames the US-led coalition for this, which, according to their version, is squeezing out terrorists, rather than killing them on the spot.
The head of the Main Operations Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, General Sergei Rudskoy, announced the start of a joint operation between the Aerospace Forces (VKS) of the Russian Federation and the Air Force (Air Force) of Turkey.According to him, nine aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces based at the Khmeimim airbase (four Su-25 attack aircraft and five front-line bombers – four Su-24M and one Su-34), as well as four Air Force fighters, were involved in the air operation, coordinated with the Syrian military. Turkey’s F-16 and four F-4 fighter-bombers. General Rudskoy stressed that before the strikes in the suburbs of Al-Bab, additional reconnaissance was carried out using unmanned aerial vehicles (such as Eleron-3 and Orlan-10) and space reconnaissance (optical-electronic reconnaissance satellites “Persona”).The military of the two countries agreed on 36 goals. According to a Kommersant source in the military command, during the first stage of the operation, a significant amount of enemy manpower and accumulations of heavy equipment was destroyed. The final results of combat missions will be announced today.
Recall that active fighting in the Al-Bab area is part of the “Euphrates Shield” operation, which the Turkish army began on August 24, 2016 in northern Syria. During this time, the Turkish military and fighters of the Free Syrian Army managed to knock out the Islamists from several points, including from the city of Jarablus, bordering Turkey.About a month ago, Turkish troops made an unsuccessful attempt to knock out Islamic State militants from Al-Bab and suffered losses in manpower and equipment (at least 11 Leopard tanks, several armored vehicles). After that, the offensive slowed down: Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik explained this by the fact that the military is trying to act carefully because of the large number of civilians held in the city. According to Kommersant’s information, after reaching agreements with Russia on air support, Turkish-backed Syrian armed formations and Turkish special forces, as well as tank units and the Air Force began to prepare a siege of El-Bab, hoping to knock out the terrorists from there by mid-February.
“Ankara really carried out an unsuccessful operation in December, they needed Moscow’s help,” says Retired Colonel Viktor Murakhovsky. “This is almost the first time Russia has carried out such operations with a NATO member country, and it is beneficial for both Moscow and Ankara from a tactical point of view. “. Senior Researcher at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexander Vasiliev emphasizes that active negotiations between the military of Russia and Turkey, which began in August 2016, culminating in the signing of a memorandum on the prevention of incidents and ensuring the safety of aviation during the operation in Syria, opened up new opportunities for Moscow and Ankara: “A joint operation in El Bab is absolutely expected.”Experts agree that Moscow and Ankara will continue to cooperate, at least in northern Aleppo.
In other Syrian provinces, the situation, as the Russian military admits, is extremely difficult. Sergei Rudskoy said yesterday that Islamic State militants are “almost unhindered” transferring weapons, explosives and manpower in the direction of Palmyra, where they intend to blow up cultural heritage sites, Deir ez-Zor and El-Bab. The general blamed for this on the actions of the US-led coalition near Iraqi Mosul, accusing them of squeezing terrorists into eastern Syria.Kommersant’s sources, close to the General Staff of the RF Armed Forces, claim that they recommended that their coalition colleagues deal precisely with the destruction of militants in Mosul, but the calls were never heard. In this regard, the Russian aviation is forced to cover the government troops in battles in different directions. The assault on Palmyra, according to Kommersant’s interlocutors, will begin only after government troops are able to transfer the most combat-ready units to the area.