I Learned How to Make My Own Bullets
Widener’s sponsored this post. Longtime readers probably won’t find it shocking that I enjoy firing guns. Of the weapons I’ve fired, the World War II-era Thompson submachine gun is my favorite. Not the Tommy, with its large barrel and gangster connotations, but the M1A1 with its long magazine and .45... Read more
As Long as Reporters Have Covered War, They’ve Glorified It
When Brian Williams reported on American missile strikes on Syria, he fawned over the sparkling, smoking columns of destruction. “We see these beautiful pictures at night from the decks of these two U.S. Navy vessels in the Eastern Mediterranean. I am tempted to quote the great Leonard Cohen, ‘I... Read more
The Paraguayan War was the Dumbest and Costliest Conflict the Americas Ever Experienced
The Paraguayan War — sometimes referred to by South Americans as the War of the Triple Alliance or the Great War — pitted the armies of Paraguay against those of Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. It was an incredibly lopsided contest. Paraguay had a population of roughly 500,000 people, while... Read more
Two Days Inside the Battle for West Mosul
Inside an old hotel on the edge of West Mosul’s Old City, a Federal Police marksman takes aim with his rifle. A small circle of light beaming in from outside the room reflects off his PSL’s telescopic sight onto his eyeball. He concentrates, staring through a small crack between... Read more
I Witnessed a Mock Air War
The U.S. Air Force’s Red Flag, the most important air-combat exercise in the world, takes place four times a year at Nellis Air Force Base north of Las Vegas, Nevada. I had the opportunity to spend a few days in Nevada during Red Flag 17-2, which lasted from Feb.... Read more
I Built My Own Copy of Iran’s Faux Stealth Fighter
On Feb. 2, 2013, under the smiling gazes of then-Pres. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi, the Qaher 313 Conqueror — Iran’s newest, most advanced fighter plane — was revealed to members of the world media. Parked in a hanger remarkably similar to the one seen in videos... Read more
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