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A navy tug pulls the destroyer HMCS Athabascan (top) into its dock at CFB Halifax in Nova Scotia.

REUTERS/Paul Darrow

US ghost fleets take to the seas – as Canada looks on

The future of warfare is unmanned – and the future is now. Or now-ish, as far as Canada is concerned. While the US Air Force is working on autonomous, AI-piloted fighter jets, the US Navy just christened a new Unmanned Surface Vessel or USV called Vanguard. The shift towards unmanned weapons and AI will transform warfare as more effective, deadlier weapons hit the battlefield and lower the risk of human operator casualties – while raising the potential for a new arms race.
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The U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations to help ensure maritime security and stability in the Middle East region.

U.S. Navy/Cover Images

US interrupts another Houthi drone attack

In the latest example of rising tensions between Iran-backed militias and US forces in the Middle East, a US Navy destroyer on Sunday shot down several Houthi-launched drones that were attacking Israeli commercial ships in the Red Sea.

Houthi rebels, who are backed by Tehran, have taken control over much of Yemen through a brutal decade-old civil war. In October, the Houthis declared support for Hamas in the Gaza conflict, launching several missiles toward Israel — and dropping a slick music video for good measure.

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File Photo: The U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Mason pulls alongside a fleet replenishment oiler in the Atlantic Ocean, July 17, 2021.

U.S. Navy/Bill Mesta/Handout via REUTERS

American sailors arrest Houthi militants

Lost in the good news over a two-day extension of the humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza and the promised release of more captured civilians, is an event that could signal the rising risk of a broader Middle East war. On Sunday, a US warship captured five armed Houthi militants attempting to flee an Israeli-linked tanker they had briefly seized off the coast of Yemen. This is just the latest belligerent exchange between US forces and militants aligned with Iran. As in other cases, two missiles fired at the US ship from Houthi-controlled territory in Yemen looked more like a fist-shake than a serious attempt to hurt anyone.

But these incidents are likely to escalate as the Qatari-brokered cease-fire between Israel and Hamas ends in the coming days and the fighting intensifies sharply in southern Gaza. There is no evidence that Houthis and other Iranian proxies are following direct orders from Tehran, even if they share Iran’s view of the war. But if militants begin acting more aggressively on their own initiative, the risk of a deadly encounter that escalates the violence beyond Gaza will grow.

US naval ship in the Taiwan straight


US and Canada sail in the Taiwan Strait

It was a busy weekend for naval traffic in the Taiwan Strait. On Saturday, the United States and Canada sailed two warships in the Taiwan Strait after months of coordination and planning between the allies. This isn’t the first time either country has made the voyage.

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Gabriella Turrisi

Hard Numbers: Chinese data hack, July 4 massacre, US Navy wants Iran tips, Uzbek unrest, Mali sanctions lifted

1 billion: An anonymous hacker claims to have stolen the police records of about one billion Chinese citizens, almost three-quarters of the population. If true, it could be one of the biggest data hacks of all time — and very embarrassing for Beijing.

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