Is the Arctic the Next Superpower Battleground?
The harsh, sparsely populated Arctic is warming and sea ice is falling, which means governments are looking north for both economic ventures and as an arena of strategic competition. This goes even more so for the Kremlin. Russia has the longest Arctic border in the world, and its oil and gas... Read more
During World War II, Australia Was Desperate for Submachine Guns
At the beginning of the World War II the Australian Army, much like the British Army, lacked a standard-issue submachine gun. Following Britain’s lead, in early 1941 Australia ordered a small number of Thompson submachine guns for trials purposes. The Australian military purchased 18,382 Thompson M1928A1s before deciding it... Read more
That One Time Lockheed Hated on the Taiwanese Air Force
This story originally appeared on May 7, 2015. Five years ago, Lockheed Martin told U.S. Air Force officials that Taiwan’s air force was on the verge of collapse and no other defense contractor in the world could help. Eager to sell F-16s, the company went on a P.R. blitz.... Read more
The U.S. Military Just Attached a Laser Weapon to an Apache Gunship
The thrust of the U.S. military’s laser weapon tests have focused on the sea, on land and aboard fixed-wing aircraft. You need a lot of power to generate a beam capable of burning through a target, which limits where you can stick a laser. But they can work on helicopters,... Read more
In 2017, U.S. Special Operators Have Deployed to 137 Countries
The tabs on their shoulders read “Special Forces,” “Ranger,” “Airborne.” And soon their guidon—the “colors” of Company B, 3rd Battalion of the U.S. Army’s 7th Special Forces Group—would be adorned with the “Bandera de Guerra,” a Colombian combat decoration. “Today we commemorate 16 years of a permanent fight against drugs... Read more
Bomb the Other Side of the Runway!
The Democratic Republic of Congo has seen next to no peace since its independence in 1960. While a series of bitter secessionist wars — involving large numbers of West European mercenaries, and then the CIA and its paramilitaries of Cuban origin — dominated the headlines in the 1960s, ever... Read more
Maxwell Atchisson Invented a Disposable Grenade-Launcher
Maxwell Atchisson was a prolific inventor who experimented with everything from rifles and shotguns to sound suppressors and light machine guns. He was best known for his AA-12 automatic shotgun. One of Atchisson’s most interesting designs was a disposable, 40-millimeter grenade launcher. The launcher is arguably more like a... Read more
For Sale Soon, an Anti-Drone Bazooka
This story originally appeared on March 7, 2016. Drones got you down? British company is offering a new way to ensnare and bring down robotics planes operating illegally in your airspace — the SkyWall 100, a net-firing bazooka. “The proliferation of cheap and easy to fly drones has triggered... Read more
That One Time the Nazis Helped China Fight Japan
This story originally appeared on Jan. 3, 2014. Most people who stayed awake for at least half of their high school history class knows that the Axis Powers in World War II consisted of Germany, Italy and Japan. But few know that German tactics and weapons—not to mention some... Read more
How Baseball Betrayed Cuba’s Covert Ops
April 5 is opening day for Major League Baseball. This season, there’s speculation that the recent thaw in U.S.-Cuba relations could lead to even more players from Cuba, home to some of the world’s best ballplayers and most enthusiastic fans, joining the big leagues here in the United States.... Read more
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