When American Citizens Watched the Skies
This story originally appeared on July 22, 2015. The bombing of Pearl Harbor changed America forever. The entire population went to war. Millions of men went overseas to fight, families back home grew victory gardens and bought war bonds, Rosie the Riveter took over manufacturing, the mafia protected the... Read more
America’s Abandoned $6-Billion Missile Pyramid
This story originally appeared on May 31, 2014. The Stanley R. Mickelsen Safeguard Complex, nestled along North Dakota’s remote northern border, is one of America’s most fascinating examples of military waste. It’s a pyramid-shaped missile silo that was part of the Safeguard program, an elaborate missile-defense system meant to... Read more
Crimean Tom, Rocket Cats and the Felines of War
This story originally appeared on March 31, 2014. The dogs of war. We hear it all the time. But what about the cats of war? Who will account for the forgotten feline allies who’ve served so nobly over centuries of conflict? Cats have played important roles in wartime. A... Read more
Want to Increase Your Property Values? Try a Nuclear War
This story originally appeared on June 22, 2014. Ever wonder what nuclear Armageddon would do to real-estate prices? How hard would it be to buy a tank of gas if Houston, Texas were suddenly struck by an atom bomb? Which fallout shelter is the most cost-effective? All these questions... Read more
‘A Very Secret Service’ Is a Very French Spy Comedy
This story originally appeared on Sept. 13, 2016. Imagine if the French had made Get Smart and you’ll have some idea of the surreal brilliance of A Very Secret Service. In Mel Brook’s American classic, super-agent Maxwell Smart bumbles his way through his fight against the agents of KAOS. Only... Read more
Argentina Produced a Falklands War Cartoon
This story originally appeared on Jan. 25, 2015. Zamba is a mischievous scamp on the state-run Argentine T.V. channel Paka Paka. Kids watch as he moves through time learning about music, art and Argentine history. He’s met Simón Bolivar, studied Latin American paintings … and witnessed the Falklands War. The... Read more
We Love the Pentagon’s ‘Encyclopedia of Ethical Failure’
This story originally appeared on Nov. 18, 2014. Ethically, it’s been a rough few years for the military. In July 2013, an Air Force major general went on an epic five-day bender while on a diplomatic mission in Russia. That November, Navy officials launched an investigation into misconduct involving... Read more
‘The Beast’ Is the Best Tank Movie You’ve Never Seen
This story originally appeared on Nov. 21, 2014. The Beast should be a terrible movie. It’s a film about the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan made by Americans in 1988. Kevin Reynolds—the man behind the disastrous flop Waterworld—directed it. Stephen Baldwin plays a major supporting role. On its face, The... Read more
‘Altered Carbon’ Is a Counterinsurgency Nightmare
Space travel is expensive and time-consuming. Short of figuring out some sort of warp drive, there’s a good chance that humanity’s push to the stars will take generations to accomplish. In science fiction such as Star Wars and Star Trek, warp drives are a prerequisite technology. How can you... Read more
The Red Army Saves the Day in ‘The Death of Stalin’
The horrors of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin’s regime are so nightmarish that it’s hard to imagine ever laughing at them, but British writers Armando Iannucci and Ian Martin found a way. Only the minds behind In the Loop and Veep could turn the complicated inner workings of the Soviet... Read more

Matthew Gault

Contributing Editor

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