1. future of war

    Navy Deploys Laser Drone Fighter

    FILE - In this Nov. 12, 2011file photo provided by the U.S. Navy, the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) transits the Straits of Hormuz. The Pentagon on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012 answered an Iranian warning to keep U.S. aircraft carriers out of the Persian Gulf by declaring that American warships will continue regularly scheduled deployments to the strategic waterway. During a graduation at Iran's main army academy, the country's leader effectively sketched out the Islamic Republic's tougher military posture. Iran's must never hesitate to display its power in a hard-edged world where the weak pay the price, he told the newly minted officers. Less than two months later, Khamenei words were echoed by commanders who warned that Iran could block oil tanker shipping lanes in the Gulf in retaliation for sanctions and described foreign forces _ including a recent visit by an U.S. aircraft carrier _ as unwelcome interlopers in the region. (AP Photo/U.S. Navy, Petty Officer 3rd Class Kenneth Abbate, File)

    Kenneth Abbate/U.S. Navy/AP,MC3 Kenneth Abbate

    Welcome to the wild world of laser warfare. The U.S. Navy is deploying a prototype of a new laser weapon that is said to disable patrol boats and blind or destroy surveillance drones. It will be set up in the Persian Gulf, which has been the site of tension between Iranian and American naval forces, but won't be in operation until next year, according to Chief of Naval Operations Jonathan W. Greenert. At the moment, it seems intended as a warning to Iran not to ramp up activity in the area as the nuclear program debate continues.

    Read it at The New York Times