American and Chinese Troops Work Together in Oregon
“We kind of expected guys that didn’t know what they were doing,” said Staff Sgt. Jonathan Jason, an Oregon National Guardsman. “That proved not to be the case.” Jason had spent the previous few days at Camp Rilea on the Oregon Coast working with members of the Chinese People’s... Read more
Before They Attacked the Kurds, Shia Militias Undermined the Campaign for Mosul
In July 2016, the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul was within reach of the forces trying to liberate it. Iraqi and Kurdish forces — along with a spattering of Western troops — had taken up positions on the edge of the city and swapped fire with militants inside. The noose was tightening around... Read more
Iraq’s Shia Militia Problem Always Felt a Lot Like 2007
In August 2014, Islamic State militants seemed poised to seize Amerli, a Shia Turkmen town in northern Iraq. Had they done so, there’s little question the result would have been mass slaughter—just like happened when the Islamists captured the Kurdish Yezidi town of Sinjar. A force of Shia Arab... Read more
The Air Force Can’t Quit NASCAR
This story originally appeared on Feb. 29, 2016. America’s most famous auto raceway looms large between a beach and a mall not far from the airport in Daytona Beach, eastern Florida’s self-styled “Spring Break Capital of the World.” From a distance, the Daytona International Speedway’s 10,000 red, white and... Read more
I Swear I’m Not a Nazi — I Just Like the Uniforms
So, Nazis are bad guys. That’s not a controversial take. They rounded up people and exterminated them in death camps. They despised democracy and free expression. Millions of people of all colors and creeds died fighting them. Reasonable people look at that and understand — yes, Nazis are evil.... Read more
The 1937 Battle of Shanghai Was Asia’s Stalingrad
Open Road Media sponsored this post on March 23, 2016. Today Shanghai is a hub of international trade and culture and one of the world’s great cities. But in 1937, it was a battlefield. Imperial Japanese troops fought the Chinese Nationalist army in the seaside metropolis in one of... Read more
Ibrahim Was a Slave on the Eritrea Border When He Saw His Chance
“It really is beautiful,” Ibrahim says as he takes a sip of his tea. He’s talking about his homeland of Eritrea. We’re sitting together at a small Ethiopian Café in Burien, Washington near the Seattle-Tacoma airport. Ibrahim is a 22-year-old refugee with dark curly hair and intense eyes. He’s... Read more
The U.S. Military Is Cozying Up to Sudan, of All Countries
The United States seems to be working toward courting an unexpected ally in its operations in Africa. On Aug. 9, 2017, Alexander Laskaris — an American diplomat that works for the U.S. military’s Germany-based Africa Command — visited Sudan for a series of meetings with military and diplomatic officials.... Read more
A Convicted Domestic Terrorist Was at the Charlottesville Nazi March
At least one man who attended the Aug. 11, 2017 white supremacist march in Charlottesville, Virginia, is a convicted domestic terrorist. Michael Tubbs, currently the chairman of the Florida League of the South, spent four years in prison after stealing military equipment and plotting to bomb black- and Jewish-owned... Read more
Is Blackwater Back in Iraq?
Members of Iraq’s parliament have some questions about security contractors arriving in Iraq. They’re worried that notorious mercenary firm Blackwater has, more or less, made its way back to Iraq. “So far, the government has not briefed us on the arrival of private security firms for securing the highway... Read more

Kevin Knodell

Contributing Editor