New Threats require Proven Surveillance measures06/29/2015 02:26 pm
In the Middle East in the Fight Against ISIS-New Threats require Unique and Proven Surveillance measures
June 2015 - In Iraq, the fight over the largest oil refinery in the country rages on. Security concerns over ISIS infiltration have ramped up beyond the borders of Egypt, Lebanon, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Jordan where local governments are looking at improved ways to defeat a very mobile enemy in a very harsh and hot climate, where a lot of technologies fail to survive or prove effective against guerilla warfare. Over 1000 ISIS fighters reportedly were hiding at the Syrian-Lebanese border earlier this year in the Qalamoun Mountains. At the end of June, Lebanon was approved for a possible Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to acquire Super Tucanos Aircrafts for a total amount of $460M that would be funded by a Saudi grant, and earlier in June, an additional $146M were approved for missiles, making Lebanon the 5th largest recipient of FMS in the world. Also in the beginning of June, Jordan’s military displayed a new surveillance system at their border with Iraq, partially funded by the US, including new radars and surveillance towers. Meanwhile, Egypt is digging a trench along the border with Gaza to prevent smuggling as a pro-ISIS insurgency rages in the Sinai Peninsula and is seeking $100M of US funding to help secure its border with Libya. Saudi Arabia is also fighting near the Iraqi border and the Anbar Province as well as at the Yemen border and has been the largest recipient of FMS money to date. Saudi led a coalition of nine Arab countries during Operation Decisive Storm late March and April of 2015, against the Houthis in Yemen. As a group, these countries have received $10.5 Billion in US military aid from FY2009 to FY2014 and $21B in US arm sales.
Unconventional and asymmetric threats (suicide bombers, among others) are proliferating. The use of chemical and uranium compounds as weapons is a real concern that prompts interest for new means of detection, such as LWIR thermal imaging. State-of-the art, mobile ruggedized detection systems such as Spynel, with unprecedented capabilities demonstrated during the war in Afghanistan, will be vital for the United States and its allies in the Middle East to win the war against ISIS. Spynel offers great benefits over radars whose relative ineffectiveness was made obvious in cluttered environments, where unidentified blips pollute the screen and overwhelm the operators. Full, long-range 360° situational awareness can be attained with the only proven, mature and deployed 360° thermal detection system in the world.