North Korea’s Powerful Rocket Caught Americans by Surprise
On July 4, 2017, North Korea tested — for the first time — an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, or ICBM, capable of hitting U.S. soil with a nuclear warhead. The test was hardly a secret. The North Korean regime announced the trial two weeks in advance. Western missile experts tried to... Read more
U.S. Worried North Korea Is a Biological Time Bomb
This story originally appeared on April 25, 2014. It appears Pyongyang is preparing for yet another nuclear weapons test. But North Korea may pose as much of a biological threat as an atomic one. While the reclusive communist regime is thought to have—or at least have researched—biological weapons, these... Read more
North Korea Might Have Far More Nukes Than We Thought
This story originally appeared on Feb. 27, 2015. North Korea has up to four times as many nukes than previous estimates, and is working to master placing nuclear warheads on missiles, according to an influential Website tracking North Korea’s nuclear developments. This new assessment of Kim Jong Un’s nuclear... Read more
We’ve Spotted a Secret American Drone Base in Jordan
Satellite imagery has revealed a previously unreported American drone base in Jordan. Flying from the remote desert air base in the northeastern part of the country, U.S.-built MQ-9 Reaper drones are in a perfect position to monitor and strike targets in Iraq and Syria. This is the second Reaper... Read more
Mexico’s Sky-High Murder Rate Rises Again
This article originally appeared at InSight Crime. A new report on high-impact crimes in Mexico underscores that violence and insecurity continue to be grave problems, raising further questions about the country’s lack of effective strategies to combat growing violence. The report from Mexico’s National Citizens Observatory, the 2016 Incidences of High Impact Crimes in Mexico, is an annual... Read more
The Folly of the Next Afghanistan ‘Surge’
We walked in a single file. Not because it was tactically sound. It wasn’t—at least according to standard infantry doctrine. Patrolling southern Afghanistan in column formation limited maneuverability, made it difficult to mass fire, and exposed us to enfilading machine-gun bursts. Still, in 2011, in the Pashmul district of... Read more
Turkey’s Blind Eye Toward the Islamic State
Turkey is a member of NATO, an American ally and a bulwark against the broiling chaos of the Middle East. That’s the story at least. The truth is far more complicated. Recently, U.S. Pres. Donald Trump approved a plan to arm the YPG—Kurdish fighters whose territory spreads across northern Syria.... Read more
The Race for the Fertile Crescent
Events of historic consequence are occurring in Syria’s eastern desert and the Euphrates valley. Out of the countless events of the Syrian war so far, the present moment may be the most important one in deciding the near geopolitical future of the Fertile Crescent. Daesh—the so-called Islamic State—is falling. Chances are, it... Read more
A Cop Turned Wannabe Action Star Assaulted the Venezuelan Supreme Court in a Helicopter
A rogue police helicopter cut through the evening air above Venezuela’s Supreme Court on June 27, 2017. The chopper lingered in the air above Caracas for a moment, then swooped along the edges of the building as one of its passengers displayed a sign. “Art. 350 Libertad,” the sign... 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
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