Politics Could Scuttle America’s New Icebreakers
The U.S. Coast Guard is on the cusp of finally acquiring new icebreakers, 42 years after commissioning its only current heavy icebreaker. But politically-motivated maneuvers in the U.S. House of Representatives could scuttle the long-in-works shipbuilding effort. As of late 2018 the Coast Guard, which has been responsible for... Read more
‘The ‘Stan’ Is a Collection of Short Comics About a Long War
There was a time, around 2013 or so, that I secretly worried that the Afghanistan war might end. Yeah, that’s an odd concern for a political liberal and self-avowed pacifist. One who, to boot, had by that time been a war correspondent for eight long years in conflict zones... Read more
Go to War With a U.S. Army Medic in ‘Machete Squad’
“Though rough around the edges, this episodic tale of military life has a gritty honesty, like a guy at a dive bar with a story to get off his chest.” That’s how Publishers Weekly describes Machete Squad, War Is Boring’s debut graphic novel from writers Brent Dulak, Kevin Knodell... Read more
The U.S. Navy’s New Carrier Drone Borrows 1970s Stealth
The U.S. Navy’s new MQ-25 Stingray aerial-refueling drone bears an uncanny resemblance to an experimental U.S. military plane from the late 1970s. And that similarity could point to the way for the Stingray’s potential evolution from a tanker into a stealthy surveillance and strike aircraft. On Aug. 30, the... Read more
After 20 Years, the U.S. Navy Finally Buys a Carrier Drone
The U.S. Navy on Aug. 30, 2018 chose Chicago-based Boeing to build the sailing branch’s first carrier-launched unmanned aerial vehicle. In choosing Boeing to build the MQ-25 Stingray multi-mission tanker, the Navy has opened the next major chapter in a story that began in the mid-1990s, when the sailing... Read more
The U.S. Navy Is Re-Arming for Surface Warfare
In 2016 the U.S. Navy possessed just one surface-launched anti-ship missile type — Boeing’s Harpoon, a munition that first entered the fleet in the 1970s. Two years later, the Navy had added no fewer than five additional ASM types to the fleet and also updated the Harpoon. The fast... Read more
New Spy Drone Flies Non-Stop for a Month
Airbus’s Zephyr solar-powered drone flew for 25 days straight during a test-flight over Yuma, Arizona beginning on July 11, 2018. The flight represented a record for aircraft endurance, breaking the previous 14-day record also set by a Zephyr back in 2015. The long flight has big implications for military... Read more
To Understand Soviet Satellite Imagery, the CIA Once ‘Spied’ on America
In 1963, director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency John McCone wrote a memo to Secretary of State Dean Rusk stating that the CIA had obtained “good reproductions” of Soviet satellite imagery. The memo, recently disclosed, is the subject of a brief article by Steven Aftergood at Secrecy News.... Read more
The Royal Air Force’s Bomber-Killing Bomber Was Just a Dream
In 1976, the British Royal Air Force had a problem. In the event of war, Soviet Backfire bombers flying from Europe could have devastated resupply convoys sailing from the United States to Europe. The RAF needed a warplane with enough range to patrol the vast Atlantic — and enough... Read more
The U.S. Navy Is Struggling to Grow
In late 2016, the U.S. defense establishment arrived at a consensus: with just 275 frontline ships, the U.S. Navy was too small to maintain a forward presence across the world’s oceans, deter Russia and China and support combat operations in the Persian Gulf and Central Asia. Both the Obama... Read more
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