In January 1991, Both Iraq and America Claimed Fictional Air-to-Air Victories
During the U.S.-led air war on Iraq in 1991, a U.S. Air Force EF-111A electronic-warfare plane forced an Iraqi air force Mirage F.1EQ to fly into the ground. The EF-111 thus scored an air-to-air kill without ever firing a shot. At least, that’s what the U.S. Air Force claimed.... Read more
The CIA and KGB Both Tried to Blackmail This World Leader With Sex Tapes
This story originally appeared on Oct. 30, 2016. In 1945, a man known simply by the name Sukarno became Indonesia’s first president after leading an independence movement against Dutch colonial rule. He entered office with overwhelming popular support and was widely regarded as a national hero. He brought with him... Read more
How the CIA Stole a Soviet Satellite
This story originally appeared on July 22, 2014. In a scheme worthy of Mission Impossible, CIA agents hijacked a Soviet spacecraft and probed its secrets. When did this happen? That’s classified, as is the country where the caper occurred. In the declassified article on the subject in Studies in... Read more
We’re Getting the Malaysia Counterinsurgency All Wrong
Contemporary Malaysia is in many ways remarkable for a postcolonial Southeast Asian country. In a region characterized by military coups, dictatorships and juntas, ethnic violence, mass poverty and the breakdown of state authority, Malaysia largely has been spared. This came at no easy cost. As the ruling British prepared... Read more
A Chinese Lesbian Warlord Used CIA Funding to Traffic Opium in Myanmar
Sometimes a person rejects the paths in life set out for them by others, defies the pressures of society and becomes exactly the person they want to be — or felt they always have been. And if that person is a warlord princess and drug trafficker with a thousand... Read more
How North Korea Tried to Wipe Out South Korea’s Government
It is 10:00 a.m. on Oct. 9, 1983. South Korea’s President Chun Doo Hwan is in the capital of Burma on a state visit. It is no secret his military government is struggling. The Republic of Korea may be growing more prosperous year after year, but its citizens grow... Read more
In 1988, a Horrific Crash Changed Air Shows Forever
It is 3:40 in the afternoon on Aug. 28, 1988. Ten brightly-painted jets swoop in a neat v-formation over Ramstein air base, a major U.S. military installation in West Germany. Below, 350,000 spectators cheer at the final act of the Flugtag ’88 air show as they scoop up ice... Read more
During World War II, the Submarine USS ‘Barb’ Rocketed Japan
In the closing months of World War II, heavy losses and depleted fuel stocks kept many of Japan’s remaining combat aircraft grounded and warships in port, awaiting an anticipated amphibious invasion. Starting in July 1945, Allied battleships embarked on a series of naval bombardments of coastal cities in Japan... Read more
In 2007, Israel Quietly Eliminated Syria’s Nuclear Program
Under no circumstances should an enemy state be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons. That is a fundamental doctrine of Israel’s security policy shaped by Prime Minister Menachem Begin at the end of the 1970s. To this day, Jerusalem has tried to act accordingly – mainly in regard to Iran.... Read more
In 1970, Soviet Planes Intervened to Save North Yemen
September 2017 marks the second anniversary of the Russian military intervention in Syria. Foreign military observers are frequently drawing parallels between this operation and the deployment of Soviet air-defense troops and manned interceptors to Egypt in early 1970, pointing it out as the first Soviet – and thus Russian... Read more
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