This Was Your Week at War
Nigerian terrorists, Ukrainian spare parts, A-10 dogfighters and egregious Pentagon waste
The world’s slow-motion outrage over Nigeria’s Boko Haram Islamic terror group dominated the news in the first week of May, as awareness spread of the group’s kidnapping and enslavement of hundreds of schoolgirls.
War is Boring’s Peter Dörrie has been on the Boko Haram beat since the beginning. Joe Trevithick chimed in with a brief look at the U.S. military’s assistance to Nigerian troops hunting the terrorists.
The crisis in Ukraine simmers. Kiev has sent troops to quash small rebellions instigated by Russian agents in the country’s east. The rebels fought back with surface-to-air missiles, shooting down several government helicopters. As U.S. Air Force spy planes orbit the Russian frontier, the U.S. Army has sent its best M-1 battle tanks to a war game in Germany.
Meanwhile, the American and Russian armies are in an Arctic arms race, each trying to outperform the other with paratrooper air drops onto the ice.
Russia could soon pay the real cost of annexing the Crimean Peninsula and alienating mainstream Ukrainians. Kiev has cut off arms supplies to Moscow from Ukraine’s extensive weapons industry. Without Ukrainian engines, generators and missile parts, the Russian military could struggle to keep its forces functioning, as Michael Peck reported.
I wrote about the U.S. Navy quietly bringing into service—and handing over to the Air Force—a high-tech new radar ship capable of tracking and helping destroy enemy satellites.
Matthew Gault discovered that the Pentagon has been throwing away millions of dollars worth of mispackaged vehicle spare parts because it can’t be bothered to request a refund. And the waste goes on.
The Air Force still wants to retire all 340 of its very cost-effective A-10 attack jets, even after the twin-engine attackers racked up an incredible air-to-air combat record at a Louisiana war game.
Preach Jacobs looked back at Eiji Sawamura, a Japanese baseball player who turned down U.S. major league recruiters in the 1930s and joined Tokyo’s army instead. Sawamura hated Americans even before they torpedoed his troop ship in 1944, drowning him.