Iran’s Fighters Are Really, Really Old
Two incidents in late August 2018 involving Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force F-5F Tiger II fighter jets underscored the ongoing crisis in Iran’s air force. On Aug. 21, Iran unveiled what it described as a new, fourth-generation fighter jet. Iranian president Hassan Rouhani even sat in the plane’s cockpit... Read more
In the 1980s, the Pentagon Was Desperate to Avoid Nuking the Middle East
In a secluded section of MacDill Air Force Base, four miles south of Tampa, Florida, is a building once used as a command center for strategic bombers based at the facility during the early decades of the Cold War. It is also where, on March 1, 1980, that Marine... Read more
Iran Bombarded Iraq Throughout the 1990s
Following the Persian Gulf War until the year 2001, Iran launched intermittent air and missile strikes against Iraq, targeting both the People’s Mujahedin of Iran militant group — also known as the MEK, which the Saddam Hussein’s regime hosted in the country — and the Iranian Kurdish opposition group... Read more
In 1980, Friendly Fire Was One of the Biggest Killers of Iranian Fighter Pilots
This story originally appeared on Oct. 4, 2016. September 2016 marked the 36th anniversary of the start of the Iran-Iraq War, which killed hundreds of thousands of people between 1980 and 1988. Most people don’t know that this brutal conflict also saw a great number of friendly-fire incidents on the... Read more
In the Iran-Iraq War, F-5s and MiG-21s Fought to a Standstill
This story originally appeared on Sept. 19, 2016. There have been countless discussions over which is the better fighter jet— the U.S.-made Northrop F-5E Tiger II or the Soviet MiG-21 Fishbed. That can be a hard argument to settle. The Iran-Iraq war was probably a draw for the two types. More... Read more
Fears of an Aggressive Iran Are Far Older Than the Islamic Republic Is
This story originally appeared on May 27, 2015. The U.S. and Iran were once best friends. Washington saw the country as a stabilizing force in the Middle East, an ally it could rely on to keep the peace in a confusing and conflict-prone area of the world. It was... Read more
The Cavalier Crusade for a War With Iran
This story originally appeared on July 15, 2016. One year ago, opponents of the Iran nuclear agreement blasted the landmark accord as ushering in the Apocalypse. They are still at it. “After doing everything they could possibly think of to subvert and undermine the nuclear negotiations before their successful conclusion — even... Read more
Bombing Iran Is a Terrible Idea
This story originally appeared on March 28, 2015, more than three years before Pres. Donald Trump ended the Obama-era deal preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. Iran hawks are playing with fire. We are close to a nuclear deal with Iran, but opponents continue to step up attacks aimed... Read more
War Hawks and Chickenhawks
Sometimes I get sick of saying it, but just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse … Donald Trump’s continual cabinet reshuffling — otherwise the stuff of reality-T.V. drama — has become genuinely frightening. Like so many Russian matryoshki, or nesting dolls, the president has been removing one... Read more
The Life and Tragic End of the Iranian Frigate ‘Damavand’
The frigate Damavand was the Iranian navy’s most important warship on the Caspian Sea — a symbol of a modest but growing armed presence on the world’s largest enclosed body of water, and a force for Iranian flag-waving in a region full of oil and natural gas reverses. But... Read more

Robert Beckhusen

Managing Editor

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