Five Times the U.S. Navy Was ‘Sunk’ in Battle
It’s crucial to remember and learn from defeat. People and the institutions they comprise commonly tout past triumphs while soft pedaling setbacks. That’s natural, isn’t it? Winning is the hallmark of a successful team, losing a hateful thing. And yet debacles oftentimes have their uses. They supply a better... Read more
Dissident FARC Rebels Are Stirring Up Trouble
This article originally appeared at InSight Crime. The Colombian government has released estimates indicating that only a small percentage of former FARC guerrillas have abandoned the peace process. But InSight Crime field research indicates that the actual number of dissidents is much higher, and could be growing due to issues related... Read more
Iran Is Too Much of a Mess to Acquire Russian Weaponry
This story originally appeared on Sept. 12, 2016. News reports claim that the Islamic Republic of Iran is in the process of deploying Russian-made S-300 surface-to-air missiles and is either negotiating for, or has already placed an order for, 300 T-90 main battle tanks and at least 30 Sukhoi... Read more
All the Times the Iranian Navy Got Its Ass Kicked
This story originally appeared on Feb. 9, 2014. In February 2014, the Iranian navy announced it was sending two warships toward the U.S. East Coast. “This move has a message,” Adm. Afshin Rezayee Haddad said, adding that the deployment is “Iran’s response to Washington’s beefed up naval presence in... Read more
The U.S. Embassy Watched the Indonesian Army Kill 500,000 People
In 1965, the Indonesian Army and allied paramilitary groups killed at least 500,000 people because of their membership in the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI), real and alleged, with the butchery extending to other dissident organizations and ethnic minorities including Chinese. The act of mass murder, one of the worst... Read more
Europe’s Greatest War-Risk Is in the Baltics
Since 2014, the NATO alliance has made numerous posture changes on its eastern flank to deter Russia. Essentially, the alliance’s goal is to change Russian behavior, but how does one measure such policy modifications in Moscow? The RAND Corporation recently released a new report that attempts to build an analytical... Read more
America Had a Problem With Its Nuclear Warheads Freezing
This story originally appeared on Nov. 5, 2015. The U.S. Air Force is once again pushing for a nuclear-armed cruise missile to “fill the gap” between heavy bombers and ballistic missiles. The W-80 warhead will be the missile’s business end. The flying branch’s push comes during the largest planned overhaul... Read more
Iran Is Building Air Defenses Against Stealth Aircraft
In early August 2017, the Air Force Association’s Mitchell Institute released a report on the importance of stealth capabilities for current and future U.S. Air Force aircraft. “Stealth, or aircraft signature reduction, is a potent and viable military capability in modern combat and will remain so well into the... Read more
The Enduring Horror of Al Shabab
On Oct. 14, 2017, a truck packed with 350 kilograms of explosives stopped at a checkpoint at a crowded crossroads in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, where it blew up. The driver, a former Somali soldier who switched sides to the terrorist group Al Shabab, killed more than 300 people in... 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
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