Dated U.S. Army Manual Tells Female Troops to ‘Guard Against Rape’
This story originally appeared on Oct. 31, 2014. Decades ago, the U.S. Army offered sometimes degrading suggestions on how to avoid rapists, survive a sexual assault and what to do in the aftermath of an attack. Advocates for victims of sexual trauma say the Pentagon is still struggling to... Read more
The Air Force Can’t Quit NASCAR
This story originally appeared on Feb. 29, 2016. America’s most famous auto raceway looms large between a beach and a mall not far from the airport in Daytona Beach, eastern Florida’s self-styled “Spring Break Capital of the World.” From a distance, the Daytona International Speedway’s 10,000 red, white and... Read more
Soviet Nuke Attack Could Have Cut Off U.S. Missile Submarines
This story originally appeared on Oct. 16, 2015. A key component of the U.S. doctrine of mutually assured destruction — commonly and appropriately known as MAD — was that American troops would still be able to retaliate if the Soviet Union launched a nuclear attack. But for a time, the Pentagon... Read more
The U.S. Army’s Failed Quest to Create Floating Tank Divisions
This story originally appeared on Feb. 1, 2016. Amphibious assaults are the domain of the U.S. Marines, not the Army. But there was a period in history when the Army tried to out-do the Marines in hitting the beach — including planning how to deploy entire divisions of amphibious... Read more
The Pentagon Dropped Billions of Leaflets … That No One Read
This story originally appeared on March 20, 2015. The United States and its allies dropped some 2.5 billion propaganda leaflets during the Korean War. But after the 1953 armistice which halted the fighting, the Pentagon discovered that few enemy troops ever read the messages, let alone understood them. One reason was that pilots rarely... Read more
Here Are the Leaflets the United States Dropped on Islamic State
This story originally appeared on Jan. 22, 2016. On Nov. 15, 2015, U.S. Air Force A-10 ground-attack planes and AC-130 gunships blew up a truck park near Abu Kamal, Iraq. The American pilots destroyed more than 100 tankers carrying oil that could fund the Islamic State. The Pentagon followed this... Read more
In ’Nam, the U.S. Army Turned Truck Drivers Into Maritime Cops
The 458th Transportation Company wasn’t supposed to be the U.S. Army’s river police force. The soldiers were truck drivers America, and didn’t know much about patrolling hostile waterways. But the Army thought better  —  and in a maddening and unusual story from the Vietnam War, transformed the truckers into... Read more
Mud Wars: How the U.S. Air Force Tried to Muck Up Vietnam
This story originally appeared on Jan. 19, 2014. It’s a safe bet to say most people outgrew their fascination with playing in mud sometime in elementary school. Perhaps even fewer would consider it a likely weapon of war. But in the 1960s, the United States began to look seriously... Read more
U.S. Worried North Korea Is a Biological Time Bomb
This story originally appeared on April 25, 2014. It appears Pyongyang is preparing for yet another nuclear weapons test. But North Korea may pose as much of a biological threat as an atomic one. While the reclusive communist regime is thought to have—or at least have researched—biological weapons, these... Read more
The U.S. Army’s Gun-Toting Space Soldiers
This story originally appeared on Nov. 9, 2015. In space, no one can hear you scream. But in the early days of the space age, the Pentagon had a bigger problem — namely, earthly notions of ballistics and gun-design didn’t apply in vacuum. As the United States had started... Read more