In 1991, an Iraqi Fighter Pilot Bravely Faced American F-15s
U.S. Air Force captain Steve Tate — call sign “Tater” — scored one of the first aerial victories of Operation Desert Storm, downing an Iraqi air force Mirage F.1 during the night of Jan. 16 and 17, 1991. Few people have heard that story from the Iraqi pilot’s perspective.... Read more
What Destroyed This Abrams Tank?
On Oct. 20, 2017, the Kurdish Peshmerga claimed to have destroyed an Iraqi M-1A1 Abrams tank during fighting in Kirkuk province and took grainy video footage to prove it. It was an especially noteworthy clash given that Western allies supplied many of Iraqi Kurdistan’s anti-tank missiles and Iraq’s Abrams... Read more
Kurdish Troops Halt Iraqi Forces on the Kurdistan Border
“These are our last moments,” said Warrant Officer Neihaad Sdeq Mohammad from the Kurdistan Freedom Party’s 5th Division. “We won’t go back, never. We will stay and fight, ’til the end.” On Oct. 20, 2017, just four days after Iraqi forces and the pro-Iran Hash’d Al Shaabi militia captured... 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
What the Great Scud Hunt Says About War With North Korea
While assembling the coalition that would eject Iraqi forces from Kuwait in 1990–1991, one thing American military planners weren’t worried about was Iraq’s Scud-B tactical ballistic missiles. True, Iraq had flung hundreds of the Soviet-designed missiles at Iranian cities during the Iran-Iraq War, but the weapons were derived from Nazi V-2... Read more
Iraqi Militia Barrel Toward Hawija
Militia trucks clad in half-inch sheet metal drove in frenzied braids to get to the head of the pack. It looked like a scene out of Mad Max. Clearly, any effort from the Iraqi army to maintain a unified line would be futile. On Sept. 29, 2017, Iraqi forces... Read more
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
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