Airstrike to Continue Against IS in Iraq.

There’s no denying that the Islamic State (IS) has shocked most, if not all, of the world with both it’s meteoric rise to power and it’s brutal executions of captured civilians and reporters. IS had, until very recently, enjoyed an almost unchecked expansion across Iraq and only faced opposition from a poorly-supplied Kurdish Peshmerga that fought hard but couldn’t compete with the weaponry of the extremists. It seemed as though with IS taking the Mosul dam that all seemed lost in Iraq and that IS would never be defeated. That is until the US and other western allies agreed to supply the Kurds with weapons and training and the US began launching airstrikes against IS targets.

Now, with the Mosul dam retaken by Kurdish and Iraqi troops supported by airstrikes, the US is going to continue it’s air campaign against the extremists. Since August there have been at least 84 airstrikes around Iraq, of which over half were in support of our allies fighting on the ground. With the Kurds and Iraqis resupplied and with momentum gaining, hopefully the continued air support will allow local forces to take territory back from IS and insert some sort of stability to the region. While the airstrikes and arming of the Kurds won’t lead to any sort of lasting stability or peace, that will take a serious political effort and a move away from the steady disenfranchisement of minorities in Iraq, these are the first steps towards eliminating the threat that IS poses to both the Middle East and the world.

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New Technology Means More Protection and Less Armor.

One of the best weapons in a soldiers arsenal is agility and being able to move quickly. However, history has shown us that armoring is also incredibly important and that these two desires usually tend to clash. Being heavily armored means that you’re more likely you are to survive an attack, although this comes by sacrificing speed and the ability to move quickly. However as technology continues to advance, people are realizing that speed doesn’t need to be sacrificed for the sake of armoring. New materials and technologies are allowing for increased protection with minimal weight.

Due to the fact that armor-piercing technology is advancing faster than armoring technology (which comes with the added cost of a lot of weight), companies are looking for ways to increase protection while simultaneously avoid adding absurd amounts of weight to both soldiers and vehicles. While heavily armored knights and cataphracts have been replaced by tanks, scientists and tech experts are focusing on the same problems that have been plaguing armies for millennia, how to increase deployment-speed and maneuverability without sacrificing armor and survivability. Finally, there seems to be an answer around the corner. DARPA has created Ground X-Vehicle Technology (GXV-T) that promises to reduce vehicle size and weight, reduce the number of crew needed, and reduce the noticeable signatures that the enemy can use to find soldiers while also increasing vehicle speed and increasing the type of terrain they can be used on. It seems as though the future is arriving.

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