Iraq Got F-16s in September 2015 And Immediately Started Bombing ISIS
On Sept. 5, 2017,  Iraqi air force major Noor Faleh Al Khuzai died in the crash of his F-16 fighter during a training flight in Arizona. This is the second F-16IQ the Iraqi air force has lost in Arizona. On June 25, 2015, F-16C serial number 1609 crashed, killing... Read more
In January 1991, Both Iraq and America Claimed Fictional Air-to-Air Victories
During the U.S.-led air war on Iraq in 1991, a U.S. Air Force EF-111A electronic-warfare plane forced an Iraqi air force Mirage F.1EQ to fly into the ground. The EF-111 thus scored an air-to-air kill without ever firing a shot. At least, that’s what the U.S. Air Force claimed.... Read more
The Hazards of Military Worship
This story originally appeared on May 15, 2017. More, more, more. I was guilty of it myself. Commanding a small cavalry troop of around 85 soldiers in southwest Kandahar Province back in 2011, I certainly wanted and requested more. More troopers, more Special Forces advisers, more Afghan police, more... Read more
I Met an ISIS Fighter in an Iraqi Prison
In a war-scarred jail in Kirkuk, in northern Iraq, I meet a 27-year-old former Islamic State fighter. I’ll call him Abdullah. He claims he intentionally left the terror group in order to seek medical treatment. While trying to pass into Kurdish territory in October 2016 via a checkpoint in... Read more
In 1986, the Iraqis Wrecked Their Own Attempt to Get an Iranian F-14
Part two of a two-part story. Read part one here. In September 1986, the Iran-Iraq War – a bloody war of attrition that involved millions of combatants and left deep scars on both sides of the front line – was about to reach its sixth anniversary. The war began... Read more
Iraqi Kurds Stockpiled Captured Islamic State Explosives
In August 2017, two explosions rocked Erbil, the capital of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region. Bomb attacks in the Kurdish capital are a rarity. In both these instances officials in the region assured the city’s residents that the explosions resulted from unstable weaponry the Kurdish Peshmerga had captured from Islamic... Read more
Iraq, Not Afghanistan, Is America’s Longest War
There’s no question the United States’ war in Afghanistan — now entering its 16th year — ranks high on the list of America’s longest wars. But does it deserve the unenviable moniker of “America’s longest war?” Hardly. In fact, that title belongs to a conflict most Americans view not... Read more
Underequipped and Unpaid, Mosul’s Civil Defenders Reunite the Dead With the Living
A month passed since Iraqi prime minister Haider Al Abadi declared victory in the battle to clear Islamic State from Mosul. A hesitant calm has descended over the city as neighborhoods that residents abandoned during the fighting are gradually repopulating. The task of Mosul’s liberators has shifted to reconstruction.... 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
Islamic State Is Digging Trenches and Preparing For Battle
Islamic State fighters have reportedly begun digging trenches in the Iraqi city of Tal Afar ahead of a planned offensive by Iraqi security forces. The Iraqi military is fresh from a hard-won battle for the city of Mosul, which both Iraqi troops and supporting U.S.-led coalition spent years trying... Read more

Kevin Knodell

Contributing Editor

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