The KGB Shipped a Sidewinder Missile by Mail to Moscow
That the Soviet-made R-3S air-to-air missile — better known in the West by its NATO-designation AA-2 Atoll — is a copy of the AIM-9B Sidewinder, originally developed and manufactured in the USA, is relatively well-known. How it came to be … isn’t so well-known. It involved the mail. The... Read more
The Trillion-Dollar Military Budget
You wouldn’t know it, based on the endless cries for more money coming from the military, politicians and the president, but these are the best of times for the Pentagon. Spending on the Department of Defense alone is already well in excess of half a trillion dollars a year... Read more
Will Donald Trump Privatize the Afghanistan War?
Is the Trump administration going to hand over U.S. peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan to private mercenaries? This is now the big question in national security policy circles. It follows last week’s The New York Times report that Erik Prince, the founder of private security firm Blackwater, and Stephen Feinberg, the... Read more
Do Civilian Casualties Cause Counterinsurgents to Fail?
The Netflix movie War Machine paints counterinsurgency wars as impossible. All of them. “The thing about counterinsurgency is that it doesn’t really work,” the film’s narrator says. “We tried it in Vietnam. That went well. The British and the French gave it a shot, trying to hang on to... Read more
In 1992, a Gang Truce Held in Chicago. But in 2013, Truce Was Impossible
On a sunny day in October, 33-year-old Anthony Garrett walked to the 10th floor of the 1157 N. Cleveland building in Chicago’s Cabrini Green housing complex. He knew that his fellow Cobras gang members hid an AR-15 assault rifle there. Just before 9:00 A.M., Garrett opened the bathroom window... Read more
Why Iran Really Bought F-14 Tomcats
More than 40 years after Iran acquired the F-14 Tomcat from the United States, there are still plenty of misconceptions about the deal. Most published accounts offer a simple explanation — that Iran needed F-14s to counter over-flights by Soviet-operated MiG-25R Foxbat reconnaissance aircraft. The truth is a bit... Read more
The U.S. Air Force, Not the Navy, Should Lead America in Space War
In his June 2017 article “Against An Air Force Space Corps: Space Belongs to the Navy!”, Matt Hipple made an astute observation about the future of military space operations. Visions of future sustained operations in space do indeed resemble classic naval operations at sea. Virtually every single work of... Read more
How Internet Trolls Became Terrorists
In early July 2017, Eric Ciaramella quit his job on the National Security Council. Ciaramella was National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster’s assistant and, because of that position, online trolls made his life very hard. Popular alt-right media personality Michael Cernovich published a hit piece about Ciarmella alleging, among other... Read more
In War-Ravaged Southern Turkey, a Man Searched for His Missing Brother
Sakir Gokalp knew the procedure. His mother was dead and his elderly father couldn’t face the trips to morgue. Plus, he had seen mutilated bodies before. “They cut their noses, they cut their eyes, their mouths — everything,” Gokalp said. “One boy was run over by tanks. His body... Read more
In ’Nam, the U.S. Army Turned Truck Drivers Into Maritime Cops
The 458th Transportation Company wasn’t supposed to be the U.S. Army’s river police force. The soldiers were truck drivers America, and didn’t know much about patrolling hostile waterways. But the Army thought better  —  and in a maddening and unusual story from the Vietnam War, transformed the truckers into... Read more
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