We’ve Spotted a Secret American Drone Base in Jordan
Satellite imagery has revealed a previously unreported American drone base in Jordan. Flying from the remote desert air base in the northeastern part of the country, U.S.-built MQ-9 Reaper drones are in a perfect position to monitor and strike targets in Iraq and Syria. This is the second Reaper... Read more
Mexico’s Sky-High Murder Rate Rises Again
This article originally appeared at InSight Crime. A new report on high-impact crimes in Mexico underscores that violence and insecurity continue to be grave problems, raising further questions about the country’s lack of effective strategies to combat growing violence. The report from Mexico’s National Citizens Observatory, the 2016 Incidences of High Impact Crimes in Mexico, is an annual... Read more
The Folly of the Next Afghanistan ‘Surge’
We walked in a single file. Not because it was tactically sound. It wasn’t—at least according to standard infantry doctrine. Patrolling southern Afghanistan in column formation limited maneuverability, made it difficult to mass fire, and exposed us to enfilading machine-gun bursts. Still, in 2011, in the Pashmul district of... Read more
Turkey’s Blind Eye Toward the Islamic State
Turkey is a member of NATO, an American ally and a bulwark against the broiling chaos of the Middle East. That’s the story at least. The truth is far more complicated. Recently, U.S. Pres. Donald Trump approved a plan to arm the YPG—Kurdish fighters whose territory spreads across northern Syria.... Read more
The Race for the Fertile Crescent
Events of historic consequence are occurring in Syria’s eastern desert and the Euphrates valley. Out of the countless events of the Syrian war so far, the present moment may be the most important one in deciding the near geopolitical future of the Fertile Crescent. Daesh—the so-called Islamic State—is falling. Chances are, it... Read more
A Cop Turned Wannabe Action Star Assaulted the Venezuelan Supreme Court in a Helicopter
A rogue police helicopter cut through the evening air above Venezuela’s Supreme Court on June 27, 2017. The chopper lingered in the air above Caracas for a moment, then swooped along the edges of the building as one of its passengers displayed a sign. “Art. 350 Libertad,” the sign... Read more
In 2017, U.S. Special Operators Have Deployed to 137 Countries
The tabs on their shoulders read “Special Forces,” “Ranger,” “Airborne.” And soon their guidon—the “colors” of Company B, 3rd Battalion of the U.S. Army’s 7th Special Forces Group—would be adorned with the “Bandera de Guerra,” a Colombian combat decoration. “Today we commemorate 16 years of a permanent fight against drugs... Read more
‘It Was the Biggest Explosion I Have Ever Experienced’
“The air was filled with white smoke!” Sgt. Hussein of the Iraqi Federal Police said as the sound of small-arms fire, air strikes and helicopters boomed in the background. Hussein was one of many Iraqi troops who witnessed the immediate aftermath of the demolition of the ancient Al Nuri... Read more
Higher-Quality U.S. Weed, Police Crackdown Spiked Homicides in Jamaica
This article originally appeared at InSight Crime. Jamaica’s homicide rate has risen steeply in 2017, in what is likely the symptom of a splintering underworld. Between January and June 10, 639 people were murdered in Jamaica, an average of four murders a day, police data revealed. This reportedly represents a... Read more
Why There Are No Military Solutions to North Korea
Any attempt to curtail North Korea’s nuclear weapons program through military force would be an unmitigated disaster. “A conflict in North Korea … would be probably the worst kind of fighting in most people’s lifetimes,” Secretary of Defense James Mattis told CBS News. “The bottom line is it would... Read more
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