Iran’s Drones Are Back in Iraq
In recent years Iran’s drones have buzzed into action over Israel, Syria and Lebanon. And now Iranian drones are returning to the scene of their birth—the skies of Iraq, where Tehran’s flying robots saw their combat debut during the 198os Iran-Iraq war. Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps is deploying the... Read more
Iran’s Air Defense Drones Probably Aren’t Very Good at Air Defense
Iran’s military is assigning a new and unorthodox mission to its fast-expanding fleet of aerial drones—air defense. That is, engaging enemy planes from the air. Now, whether Tehran’s robots can actually do that job is an open question. The world’s other military drone operators have been reluctant to assign... Read more
Please Stop Misusing the Phrase ‘Height of the Cold War’
For the love of history, please stop saying “the height of the Cold War.” You’ve heard the phrase before. It’s become a de rigeur bit of language reporters apply in just about any piece of journalism about the Cold War. It’s meant to signify that there was an especially... Read more
The Pentagon Deployed Scent Warfare in Vietnam
During the war in Vietnam, the U.S. military struggled with a basic requirement of any war—merely finding the enemy. The rugged country’s thick forests proved impenetrable to many sensors. Making matters worse for the Americans, communist guerrillas dug miles and miles of underground tunnels and could disappear before U.S.... Read more
America Almost Had a Nuclear-Armed Drone Bomber
Long before the CIA began sending missile-armed drones to attack Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan, U.S. Air Force officials mulled sending robotic aircraft against the Soviet Union. Carrying nuclear bombs. Starting in late 1949, Air Force officials kicked off what would become Project Brass Ring, an attempt... Read more
How to Arm Baghdad Without Also Arming Islamic State
After Islamic State militants routed the Iraqi army in Mosul this summer, the United States turned on the tap. Now hundreds of millions of dollars worth of American weaponry are flowing into Iraq—all in a desperate bid to reequip Baghdad’s beleaguered forces and possibly save the country. But with... Read more
Iran’s Stealth Drone Claims Are Total BS
For a hearty laugh, look no further than the video that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps Air Force released in early November purporting to show a flying copy of the American RQ-170 stealth drone that crashed in the country back in 2011. The video and stills of the copycat craft... Read more
Iran’s War Flicks Are a Cultural Battlefield
Iran’s filmmakers have proven themselves the envy of the world, racking up awards at international film festivals and even snagging an Oscar. Proud as Iranians are of them, these artists often leave the country’s military and clerical leadership squirming in the aisles. War films, in particular, are proving to... Read more
Iran Is Still Using Old American Drones to Keep Its Fighter Pilots Sharp
Crashed American drones have been a boon to Iran’s rusty military, giving it propaganda tokens to parade and, if you buy the government’s claims, useful technical data from reverse-engineering. But it also appears that U.S. robotic hardware is doing another job for the Iranians—helping keep their fighters pilots ready... Read more
Be Very Skeptical—A Lot of Your Open-Source Intel Is Fake Governments plant propaganda in social media Soon after the chemical weapons attack on residents of Ghouta, Syria in August 2013, analysts, journalists and policymakers scrambled to understand who was responsible. The prospect of American intervention hinged in part on what they... Read more
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