Homeland Security’s Border Sensors Are a $700-Million Boondoggle
The Department of Homeland Security’s high-tech border fence is an embarrassment. For years, DHS has planned to line the Arizona-Mexico border with a network of sensors mounted on vehicles and towers and in the ground. In theory, the high-tech gear will help catch people when they cross the border... Read more
How Russia Invaded Crimea
In the past two days, Russia has proved it’s capable of carrying out fast, coordinated military operations across its borders. Not only have Russian troops invaded and occupied Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula, but with deteriorating security in Ukraine’s eastern provinces, there’s a risk that Russia might go farther. At first,... Read more
These Are the American Forces That Could Fight in Ukraine
Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, characterized Russia’s intervention in Ukraine to be “as dangerous as it is destabilizing.” But Washington has so far stopped short of direct action beyond pulling out of June’s G8 summit in Sochi. It’s a terribly unpredictable situation—and there are indications... Read more
The Medieval—and Highly Effective—Tactics of the Ukrainian Protests
Ukraine’s Euromaidan movement is in control of the capital. The autocratic and ostrich-raising Pres. Viktor Yanukovych has fled Kiev, and the Ukrainian parliament has voted him out of power. For now, it’s a dramatic victory for the protesters, who have sought closer ties with the European Union and an... Read more
Pro-Government Motorcycle Militias Terrorize Venezuela
Venezuela is experiencing its worst unrest in more than a decade. In response, the ruling socialist party let loose a level of force unprecedented in its history. Some of the scariest images were seen on Feb. 19, as a week of protests against corruption, endemic crime and an ongoing... Read more
New Satellite Images Show Expanded Drone Base in Africa
The U.S. has a growing drone base in Niger—and it’s the centerpiece of American and French missions to spy on rebels and terrorists in West Africa. Now there’s new satellite imagery of the base providing a close-up look. In an image dated October 2013—captured by satellite imaging firm DigitalGlobe... Read more
What Jerks—An Argentine Submarine Totally Wrecked a Kids’ Sailing Competition
It was a great day for sailing, until a submarine surfaced in the middle of it. But that’s what happened during the International Yachting Week competition, which brought hundreds of competitive sailors to the Argentine coastal city of Mar del Plata earlier this month. During a Feb. 6 sailing... Read more
Don’t Be Paranoid: Homeland Security is Cutting Way Back on Bullets
Spend much time around the more tinfoil corners of the Internet, and you’ll likely see stories about stockpiles of ammunition being bought up by the Department of Homeland Security—complete with conspiracy theories of looming martial law and a plot to artificially constrain the ammo supply. It’s bullshit. Despite the... Read more
What’s In a Domain Name? A Real-Life Civil War
There’s a lot in a domain name. There’s enough value for large companies to spend hefty sums protecting them. But what happens when a country’s domain name is claimed by an occupying state and by a bunch of rebels? That’s the dilemma for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names... Read more
This Tsarist Warlord Became a Modern Genghis Khan
Imagine Mongolia in the early 1920s. It’s so remote, nomadic families could spend an entire year without seeing more than a few dozen people. There’s no centralized currency. There’s no army except marauders and occupying Chinese troops. The lone big city, Urga, is medieval-like but surprisingly cosmopolitan. European emigres... Read more

Robert Beckhusen

Managing Editor

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