Christian Jihad

Patrick Allitt Is it true that the Bible teaches peace and the Koran war? Only if you approach the books selectively, taking the gentlest of Jesus’ teachings and setting them against the harshest of Muhammad’s. Philip Jenkins’s challenging new book Laying Down the Sword shows that the Bible contains incitements not just to violence but … Continue reading

The Generals Have No Clothes

Islamabad’s generals have been sponsoring the deaths of Americans for years, and yet Obama does nothing. Why? KAPIL KOMIREDDI Pakistan is indignant about the killing of 25 of its troops in a NATO air raid on Saturday. The circumstances that led to the assault are still unknown, but Washington and Europe have expressed contrition and … Continue reading

Women serve alongside Special Forces

Kevin Maurer The medics helped Sgt. Janiece Marquez into a chair and started to treat her sprained ankle. Marquez, 25, had tripped over a rock on one of the dark paths in the camp. She had just run two miles during the physical fitness test and marched at least six miles carrying a 35-pound rucksack … Continue reading

Which Countries Have the Tastiest MREs?

Heather Murphy For a soldier whose days range from boring to death-defying, opening and consuming an MRE (meal, ready to eat) is a reliable ritual. Its contents, created to last for at least five years, are meant to comfort as well as nourish. M & M’s are a taste of home for American troops, while … Continue reading

A show of force

Kathrin Hille Fears are growing over the hold China’s well-equipped army has on foreign policy When the US announced its decision last week to help Taiwan upgrade its fleet of ageing fighter aircraft, the response was swift and sharp. China should take “smart and devious revenge”, advised Major General Luo Yuan, deputy secretary-general of the … Continue reading

Iran planning to send ships near U.S. waters

CNN Wire Staff Clerics stand in front of the "Jamran," Iran’s first domestically built warship, during maneuvers in the Gulf on February 21, 2009. (CNN) — Iran plans to send ships near the Atlantic coast of the United States, state-run Islamic Republic News Agency reported Tuesday, quoting a commander. "The Navy of the Iranian Army … Continue reading

U.S.-Pakistan relations

Is this the end of the affair? Dan Twining A senior U.S. official — Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — has publicly fingered the Haqqani network as a tool of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency. What’s surprising is that this is particularly newsworthy: ISI’s relationship with the Haqqanis has been an … Continue reading

The Pentagon’s China Syndrome

A new report on the Middle Kingdom’s growing military capabilities could lead to a war … over defense spending. ROBERT HADDICK The Pentagon’s new China report and the coming budget war. Last week, the Pentagon released its annual report on China’s military power. Although required by Congress, many administration officials no doubt view the report … Continue reading

Over the Horizon

Is worrying about war with China a self-fulfilling prophecy? JAMES TRAUB Is it possible that, a decade after 9/11, America has become too preoccupied with the threat from "nonstate actors" and too complacent about the more classic dangers posed by powerful and self-aggrandizing states? Or, put more succinctly, how afraid of China should the United … Continue reading

US military halting hackers with "cyber hygiene"

Nate Anderson The US military really likes the Internet—and wants to keep it clean. The Department of Defense yesterday released its “Strategy for Operating in Cyberspace" (PDF), which opens by noting that “it is difficult to overstate this reliance” on the Internet. But to keep the Internet both useful and secure, the Department of Defense … Continue reading

The Real Intention of First U.S.-Japan-Aussi Military Exercise

By 陳一新 Translated By NG AI FERN Edited by Jen­nifer Pietropaoli Taiwan – China Times – Original Article (Chinese) The United States, Japan and Australia’s joint military exercise beginning July 9 in Brunei’s waters, the first of its kind in the South China Sea, reveals an important message. The three countries began a joint military … Continue reading

France in Afghanistan

Retreat, discontent, and misunderstanding Stéphane Taillat The last two days have been murderous for the French contingent in Afghanistan; four paratroopers were killed in a suicide attack in the Surobi district, while a Special Forces soldier was killed during operations in the Alasay Valley, in the province of Kapisa. The timing of these incidents was … Continue reading

China’s Maritime Interests

What They Are and What They Aren’t Peter J. Munson A recent article at the Small Wars Journal by Dr. Tony Corn asserts the existence of a "Sino-Islamic nexus," based on the first ever entry of a Chinese warship into the Med to extract refugees from Libya.  While this move certainly is reflective of China’s … Continue reading

The Atlantic Alliance and the Sino-Islamic Nexus

From the Hindu Kush to the Shores of Tripoli by Tony Corn Of all the theses and sub-theses put forward by Samuel Huntington in his seminal article on The Clash of Civilizations (1993), none turned out to be more controversial than his assertion concerning the emergence of a Sino-Islamic nexus based on an “arms-for-oil” quid … Continue reading

The new Rome is not the new Greece yet, but the US must look to its laurels

It’s encouraging to see Americans acknowledge the hole they are in. Pity they can’t agree how to get out of it Timothy Garton Ash We are approaching the anniversary of America’s Independence Day. As we all know, 15 years ago an alien invasion, deploying giant saucer-shaped warships hovering over earth, was repulsed by the ingenuity, … Continue reading

Blue Water Dreams

Why China wants an aircraft carrier. BY JAMES HOLMES On a visit to Washington this month, Chinese Gen. Chen Bingde, chief of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) General Staff, confirmed what Asahi Shimbun and the Financial Times reported last December: China, he said, has officially committed itself to deploying aircraft-carrier task forces, a program that … Continue reading

Should We Be Afraid of China’s New Aircraft Carrier?

Not yet. BY ABRAHAM M. DENMARK, ANDREW S. ERICKSON, AND GABRIEL COLLINS | JUNE 27, 2011 Six months ago, Gen. Liu Huaqing — the father of China’s modern navy and its commander from 1982 to 1988 (and, according to the state-run People’s Daily, "a distinguished member of the CPC, a seasoned loyal Communist fighter, an … Continue reading

South China Sea or me?

Clyde Prestowitz Several things came together yesterday that give rise to a fundamental question for the future path of the United States. First, of course, was President Obama’s announcement of troop withdrawals from Afghanistan. This was important not just in terms of Afghanistan but also as a signal that a "war weary" (the president’s words) … Continue reading

The Last of the Scholar Warriors

Farewell to Patrick Leigh Fermor and his extraordinary generation. By Christopher Hitchens Patrick Leigh Fermor The death of Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor at the age of 96, commemorated in many obituaries as the end of a celebrated travel writer, in fact rings down the final curtain on an extraordinary group of British irregular warriors whose … Continue reading

What Does a Soldier Need to Read?

Elizabeth D. Samet I fell in love with the BBC Radio 4 program “Desert Island Discs” years ago while living in Scotland, a place that felt a little like a desert island to me, on my own in an unfamiliar place really for the first time. The premise of the show, which first aired in … Continue reading

Billions for Missile Defense, Not a Dime for Common Sense

At a time of tight budgets, doubling down on a risky, easily foiled technology is more foolish than ever. BY YOUSAF BUTT James Woolsey — a former CIA chief — and Rebeccah Heinrichs worry that Barack Obama’s administration might inadvertently give away technical secrets in its quest for missile-defense cooperation with Russia. "Should the United … Continue reading

Rise of the Irregulars

The U.S. isn’t militarizing intelligence, it’s civilianizing the military. BY ROBERT HADDICK Need to fight a war? Recruit a civilian, not a soldier Last week, the Washington Post‘s David Ignatius discussed how the line between the Central Intelligence Agency’s covert intelligence activities and the Pentagon’s military operations began blurring as George W. Bush’s administration ramped … Continue reading

A death on screen

Bilal Baloch On Wednesday, a young man was pitilessly killed in the heart of Karachi by state security forces. The repugnant moment was caught, in its entirety, on camera, and broadcast across the country and online. In broad daylight, beside a park named after assassinated Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, the youth is dragged by his … Continue reading

Navy Commandos Expect Their Shrinks to Be Waterboarded

Spencer Ackerman Want to help Navy SEALs stay mentally fit enough to survive capture by the enemy? Good. Just let me put this cloth over your face while I fill my water bucket. The military trains its troops to deal with the contingencies of getting stranded behind enemy lines. That involves passing a rigorous course … Continue reading

Crowded China Sea

The superpower battle for regional supremacy in the South China Sea is heating up once again. Abraham M. Denmark For the last two years, a quiet showdown has played out over the South China Sea, the body of water bordered by China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, the Philippines, and Taiwan. This little-known body of … Continue reading

Pakistan Moves East

Franz-Stefan Gady Cutting military and economic assistance to a country in crisis is generally seen as a failure of foreign policy. Such imperial hubris can lead to a miscalculation of national interests and leave a power vacuum. In February 1947, however, when Britain announced it could no longer support Greek nationalist forces against the communists, … Continue reading

Who’s Afraid of the Chinese?

Amitai Etzioni Should we be still afraid of the writhing snake of al-Qaeda after its head has been cut off? asked Stephen Colbert. To which his guest Francis Fukuyama replied: “Be afraid of the Chinese, I mean, the Chinese shoot down satellites in space. They hack into people’s computers. The Osama bin Laden people can’t … Continue reading

Take Pakistan’s Nukes, Please

The Taliban’s brazen raid on a Karachi naval base shows why the Pakistani state can’t be trusted with the world’s most deadly weapons. BY KAPIL KOMIREDDI For more than six decades, Pakistan has been at war with itself, torn between competing ideas of what it means to be Pakistani. In Pakistan’s volatile trundle through history, … Continue reading

Raiders knew mission a one-shot deal

WASHINGTON (AP) — Those who planned the secret mission to get Osama bin Laden in Pakistan knew it was a one-shot deal, and it nearly went terribly wrong. The U.S. deliberately hid the operation from Pakistan, and predicted that national outrage over the breach of Pakistani sovereignty would make it impossible to try again if … Continue reading

The ‘massive’ bin Laden raid leak

1. The hero war dog’s name is Cairo Three large Chinook helicopters and two specially modified "stealth" Black Hawk helicopters flew from Jalalabad, Afghanistan, to a deserted staging area about 30 miles from bin Laden’s compound. The two Black Hawks — carrying 23 SEALs, one interpreter, and the tracking dog, Cairo — continued on to … Continue reading

Asymmetric Actors

Why Pakistan will never break with its Islamist allies. Larry P. Goodson Pakistan’s long conflict with India shapes its national security worldview. Far smaller and weaker than its neighbor, Pakistan compensates with far higher military spending and a larger Army than it can afford, creating a national security state. India is never far from the … Continue reading

Bin Laden Compound Now a Virtual Training Ground for Commandos

Spencer Ackerman TAMPA, Florida — To passers-by, T.J., a fit 20-something, is running around a red felt carpet about half the size of a basketball court inside a convention center. In his mind, he’s wearing a full set of body armor, his face obscured by a ski mask with a death’s head silkscreened on it. … Continue reading

Blackwater Founder Builds Mideast Mercenary Army

By Spencer Ackerman What’s Erik Prince been doing since he sold off Blackwater, the infamous mercenary company he founded and turned into a juggernaut of the private security world? His shadiest, most morally-compromised guns-for-hire scheme yet. Prince moved to Abu Dhabi last year as legal and governmental scrutiny of Blackwater intensified. “I’m done. It’s all … Continue reading

Shifting sands

Sam Mendelson Qatar, the world’s richest country, is playing a dangerous game “And the winner is… Qatar!” On 2nd December a tiny country just 100 miles long and 50 wide, with summer temperatures well above 40C and the population of a medium-sized English town, was named host of the 2022 World Cup. To worldwide astonishment, … Continue reading

Chomsky’s Follies

The professor’s pronouncements about Osama Bin Laden are stupid and ignorant. By Christopher Hitchens Noam Chomsky Anybody visiting the Middle East in the last decade has had the experience: meeting the hoarse and aggressive person who first denies that Osama Bin Laden was responsible for the destruction of the World Trade Center and then proceeds … Continue reading

Will Pakistan give the downed Navy SEALs helicopter to China?

By Josh Rogin As Congress prepares several ways to challenge U.S. aid funding to Pakistan following the revelation that Osama bin Laden had been hiding there for years, one senior congressman is highlighting the Pakistan-China relationship as a key reason to distrust Islamabad. "In 1998 Pakistan’s military and intelligence services facilitated the transfer to Communist … Continue reading

The Age of the Manhunt

Never before have individuals been so threatening to the security of nation-states. And never before have nations had so many tools to dispatch these enemies. But is the effort worth the risk? BY BENJAMIN RUNKLE The Navy SEALs’ surgical dispatch of Osama bin Laden on May 2 local time in Abbottabad, Pakistan, ended the 13-year … Continue reading

US Navy creates MMO wargame to fight Somali pirates

By Spencer Ackerman, Office of Naval Research OK, so it’s not exactly Call of Duty: Somali Coast. Your avatar won’t get its SEAL Team Six on and shoot pirates in the head. But the Navy still wants you—yes, you, gamer—to join in its online gaming effort to figure out what to do about the … Continue reading

Black Hawk Down

Why do helicopters seem to crash all the time? By Katy Waldman A Black Hawk helicopter No American soldiers were killed in Sunday’s raid on Osama Bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound, but a helicopter sustained damage after a hard landing and the SEALs blew it up to keep the technology secret. This high-profile chopper failure is … Continue reading

The SEAL Sensibility

From a member of the elite force, an inside look at the brutal training and secret work of the commandos who got Osama bin Laden. By ERIC GREITENS At Camp Pendleton in California, where I did my initial weapons training, we must have fired thousands of rounds at practice-range targets printed with the likeness of … Continue reading

A Veteran of SEAL Team Six Describes His Training

The navy SEALs Team Six is so elite and secretive that its very existence has never been acknowledged by the military—even after its members led the successful assault on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. In this exclusive book excerpt, former Team Six member Howard E. Wasdin describes his progress through SEAL training and … Continue reading

Aviation Geeks Scramble to ID bin Laden Raid’s Mystery Copter

By David Axe Updated 8:33 p.m, May 4 The May 2 raid on Osama bin Laden’s luxury compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, had it all: painstaking intelligence-gathering, a heroic Navy SEAL assault team, satellite and drone surveillance, and biometric forensics. And now this: a possible super-secret, stealthy helicopter, unknown to the wider world before one crashed … Continue reading

Stealth Drone’s First Flight

By Noah Shachtman Stealthy spy drones may or may not have been in on the final manhunt for Osama bin Laden. But there’s no question that the next generation of unmanned aerial vehicles will figure heavily in the military’s future. And unlike today’s models, these new, heavily armed drones will be hard to spot — … Continue reading

Bin Laden’s Final Resting Place

by Mark Thompson The carrier USS Carl Vinson was Osama bin Laden’s penultimate destination / Navy photo Osama bin Laden left this world from the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson in the North Arabian Sea about mid-day Monday. In a strange twist on an ancient military tradition, he was buried at sea. … Continue reading

Burial Lessons: From Che to bin Laden

by Jon Lee Anderson There are some uncanny analogies between the story of Osama bin Laden’s life and death and that of a another charismatic political outlaw, who, once upon a time, “declared war” on the United States. Ernesto “Che” Guevara, the Argentine-Cuban revolutionary and close confidante of Fidel Castro, was no terrorist, but he … Continue reading

The Best Kind of Military Intelligence

Careful preparation, rather than expensive weapons, took out Osama Bin Laden. By Anne Applebaum Watching the news of Bin Laden’s death from Camp Dwyer in Helmand Province, AfghanistanThe U.S. Air Force, with its extraordinary range and flexibility, is the best in the world. The U.S. Navy, with its vast aircraft carriers and global reach, has … Continue reading

A High Tech Military Deployed the Ancient Art of Stealth to Capture Their Man

By Gary Stix                    … They decided that he couldn’t be in a cave or in the Pakistani frontier territories because that’s exactly where everybody thought he would be. So there were probably only two other places in the world he could be holed up: somewhere else … Continue reading

Reality-checking old Time magazine

By Thomas E. Ricks By Matthew Collins Best Defense office of military compensation analysis Time magazine recently had an interesting article on defense spending. While it makes some good points about the need for a 12-carrier fleet when most countries survive with… none, he reached a bit too far at one point: "Here’s a number … Continue reading

The Cost of Combat Stress: a Billion Dollars a Year

By Madhumita Venkataramanan In a war, death comes in many forms: jury-rigged bombs, sleek fighter jets, assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenades. But a stealthier killer lingers long after the fighting is done, in the psychological toll that combat exacts. More than 6,000 veterans take their own lives every year — about 20 percent of the 30,000 … Continue reading

If You Can Tell Boys From Girls, the Air Force May Give You 20 Grand

By Richard Wheeler The Air Force has problems distinguishing men from women and adults from children. Which means pilots sometimes target — and kill — the wrong people. The air service’s solution: a nationwide contest, to help the military pick out kid from grown-up. With the “Remote Human Demographic Characterization” challenge, the Air Force is … Continue reading