Rape, Murder and Genocide

By Jan Fleischhauer Photo Gallery: 7 Photos Bundesarchiv Bild 101I-287-0872-28A The myth that the Nazi-era German armed forces, the Wehrmacht, was not involved in war crimes persisted for decades after the war. Now two German researchers have destroyed it once and for all. Newly published conversations between German prisoners of war, secretly recorded by the … Continue reading

Murder in Afghanistan

SPIEGEL TV’s ‘Kill Team’ Documentary   For months, the US Army kept the images compiled by the so-called "kill team" under lock and key out of fear it could result in a scandal even greater than Abu Ghraib. SPIEGEL TV spent weeks researching the story behind the men of 5th Stryker Brigade and how things … Continue reading

Secret Space Plane Can’t Hide From Amateur Sleuths

By Noah Shachtman The U.S. military likes to be a little sneaky with its robotic space planes. Unlike typical spacecraft, these vehicles can shift their orbits, frustrating the global network of skywatchers who keep track of just about every man-made object rotating the planet. But the sleuths have their tricks, too. They’ve tracked down the … Continue reading

Mission Not Accomplished

Obama’s Libyan adventure is already a failure, and it will likely get worse. BY JOHN YOO , ROBERT DELAHUNTY The war in Libya is a good war — or at least, it should and could be. But it is certainly not a smart war and may well turn into a debacle. Bringing down Col. Muammar … Continue reading

The Road to Hell

Have liberal intellectuals learned nothing from Iraq? David Rieff Had the purpose of an air exclusion zone over Libya been solely to protect the people of Benghazi and of other insurgent-controlled areas in the east from being massacred by Colonel Qaddafi’s advancing forces, opposing it might still have made intellectual sense, but it would not … Continue reading

The “Kill Team” Photographs

by Seymour M. Hersh La Mohammed Kalay, Afghanistan, 2010. Abu Ghraib, Iraq, 2003. Soldiers rest just after the My Lai massacre, 1968. My Lai 4, Vietnam, 1968. It’s the smile. In photographs released by the German weekly Der Spiegel, an American soldier is looking directly at the camera with a wide grin. His hand is … Continue reading

Troops in Afghanistan Use Shovels, Feet to Stop Bombs

By David Axe LOGAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan — With a deadly bomb possibly lying just inches under their feet, any sane person would — oh, I don’t know — run away. But these uniformed madmen have a job to do. They run toward a potential explosive, with nothing but steady hands and body armor to protect … Continue reading

Drones’ Suicidal Cousins Lead Libya Attack

By Noah Shachtman When the U.S. military wanted to take out Moammar Gadhafi’s air defense systems, it unleashed a barrage of 122 Tomahawk cruise missiles. But these munitions aren’t like most others in the American arsenal. Smart, maneuverable, able to see its surroundings and shift to new targets in mid-flight, the newest Tomahawks are closer … Continue reading

Secret Libya Psyops,

Caught by Online Sleuths By Noah Shachtman The U.S. military has dispatched one of its secret propaganda planes to the skies around Libya. And that “Commando Solo” aircraft is telling Libyan ships to remain in port – or risk NATO retaliation. We know this, not because some Pentagon official said so, but because one Dutch … Continue reading

Courage Under Fire

It was a quiet day in Afghanistan … until the explosion. By Alex Berenson In February 2011, novelist and former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson embedded with the 1st Battalion, 502nd Regiment, of the Army’s 101st Airborne Division. He spent much of his time with Alpha Company, nicknamed the "Hard Rocks," at Combat Outpost … Continue reading

China Does Not Challenge U.S. Dominance but Only Needs Some Space to Stretch

By Wen Ming Translated By Peixin Lin Edited by Mark DeLucas Singapore – Zaobao – Original Article (Chinese) The article ["China’s Military Space Surge", Aerospace America, March 2011] points out that, between 2006 and 2009, China launched between three and five military missions per year. Since 2006 China has launched approximately 30 military-related satellites. There … Continue reading

Another War of Choice

Ted Galen Carpenter Given the UN Security Council resolution authorizing the use of all appropriate measures against Muammar Qaddafi’s forces, it is now probable that the United States and its NATO allies (possibly with token commitments from some members of the Arab League) will initiate a military intervention in Libya at some point. The hasty … Continue reading

ACLU Protests Manning’s Treatment in Letter to Pentagon

By Kim Zetter The American Civil Liberties Union calls the treatment of WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning unconstitutional and “gratuitously harsh.” The remarks came in a letter sent Wednesday to U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates. “The Supreme Court has long held that the government violates the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment whenever it … Continue reading

Bradley Manning Charged

With 22 New Counts, Including Capital Offense By Kim Zetter Updated 8:00 p.m. EST. The Army has filed 22 new counts against suspected WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning, among them a capital offense for which the government said it would not seek the death penalty. The charges, filed Tuesday but not disclosed until Wednesday, are one … Continue reading

Disclosing Robert Gates’ Ignorance of the Futenma Issue

Is Secretary Gates ignoring the mounting opposition in Okinawa to the relocation of the base, or is he ignorant of the wavering domestic political situation in Japan? Translated By Tom Derbish 21 February 2011 Edited by Mark DeLucas Japan – Ryukyu Shimpo – Original Article (Japanese) U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’ statement regarding the … Continue reading

America’s Double-Edged Sword

and “Unrequited Love” By Wang Yusheng Translated By Liangzi He 23 February 2011 Edited by Hoishan Chan China – China Daily – Original Article (Chinese) Not long ago, during the Indian National Day, the United States formally lifted its limit on the export of technology by Indian defense and aerospace industry companies, in place since … Continue reading

‘Illegal Psyop’ Neither Illegal Nor Psyop, General’s Lawyer Ruled

By Noah Shachtman and Spencer Ackerman The accusation was explosive and unambiguous: A top general in Afghanistan used illegal “information operations” to influence visiting U.S. Senators. But military documents obtained by Danger Room show that at least one Army lawyer deemed the work legal. What’s more, the alleged information operator’s bosses repeatedly told him that … Continue reading

The U.S. Worries About “Its” Bahrain

By Max Böhnel Translated By Ron Argentati Edited by Alexander Anderson Germany – Neues Deutschland – Original Article (German) If the monarchy in Bahrain falls, the U.S. Navy fears for the headquarters of its 5th Fleet in Manama. A democratization process in Bahrain, inspired by ongoing protests across the Middle East, does not fit in … Continue reading

An Ill-Timed Exercise

Translated By Moctar Aboubacar Edited by Alexander Anderson South Korea – Hankyoreh – Original Article (Korean) The annual joint U.S.-South Korea "Foal Eagle" military training exercise, scheduled to begin at the end of this month, will strongly emphasize planning for any episode of "sudden change" in North Korea. The term refers to a range of … Continue reading

The Battle for Marjah

By Joshua Foust One year ago thousands of U.S. Marines and Afghan forces staged an assault on Marjah, a small, isolated farming community in the center of Helmand province in southern Afghanistan. Most coverage of the fighting came from embedded journalists writing for newspapers. HBO, however, sent a documentary film crew to capture the fighting … Continue reading

Iran sending ships through Suez

By Joshua Keating A missile-armed Iranian frigate and a supply ship passed through the Suez Canal today in what Israeli leaders have described as a "provocation" and an effort by Tehran to exploit recent instability in the Middle East "in order to expand its influence." The ships, which will travel along the Israeli coast on … Continue reading

Central Asian States of America

By Vladimir Mukhin Americans welcome the project to construct the TAPI pipeline … for which an agreement was concluded on Dec. 11, 2010. Translated By Sierra Perez-Sparks  Edited by Patricia Simoni Russia – Nezavisimaya Gazeta – Original Article (Russian) New U.S. military strategy implies Washington’s domination in the post-Soviet sphere The United States of America … Continue reading

Anti-American Sentiment in Japan and South Korea Led to the Arrival of U.S. Aircraft Carriers

By Huang Haizhen Translated By Michelle Deeter  Edited by Hoishan Chan Hong Kong – Wenweipo – Original Article (Chinese) Since the beginning of 2010, the United States has sent out the aircraft carriers USS George Washington, USS Carl Vinson and USS Ronald Reagan to Asia, and has conducted nearly 30 large scale military exercises with … Continue reading

‘Armed Humanitarians’ Kill People Between Sips of Tea

By Spencer Ackerman It’s arguably the central story of the military during the past decade of war. Soldiers and Marines, trained to kill an enemy, found that to succeed in wars fought among the people, they had to teach themselves to be diplomats and development workers. They needed to address foreigners’ grievances and help them … Continue reading

Democracy in Turkey

Dani Rodrik  Dani Rodrik has just returned from Turkey, shunned while defending his father-in-law, the main defendant in the military coup plot case. The Harvard professor explains his take. IN DECEMBER I traveled to Turkey with my wife and young son, as we do every year during winter break. This time, though, we had more … Continue reading

China and Inter-Korean Clashes in the Yellow Sea

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The deadly provocations by North Korea in the Yellow Sea in 2010 – the Ch’ŏnan sinking and the Yŏnp’yŏng Island shelling – drew condemnation and limited military responses by South Korea, the U.S. and Japan, but Beijing has been reluctant to go beyond counselling restraint  to all parties. While declining to call Pyongyang … Continue reading

What can Ike and Lawrence of Arabia teach us about Army personnel policy?

By Thomas E. Ricks By Crispin Burke Best Defense personnel policy bureau A recent Atlantic article by Tim Kane spotlights several top-performing officers who lament the military’s "peacetime" personnel system, which promotes officers along a generic timeline. Many point to the promotion policies during the two World Wars, when innovative officers enjoyed meteoric advancement through … Continue reading

Australia’s Strategic Edge in 2030

Catherine Scott  Dr Ross Babbage AM The most fundamental changes to the security environment are being caused by the nature, scale and speed of China’s military expansion.  The report highlights how China is starting to contest the Western Allies operational sanctuary in pace, the security of their operational bases in the Western Pacific, the security … Continue reading

Growing concern down under

By Tom Mahnken The past two months have witnessed a series of revelations regarding China’s growing military power. In December 2010, Admiral Robert Willard, Commander of U.S. Pacific Command, declared that the aircraft carrier-killing DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missile had achieved initial operating capability. Last month, photographs and video of the J-20 fifth-generation stealth aircraft, a … Continue reading

CST: Afghanistan

By Thomas E. Ricks By Paula Broadwell Best Defense wandering reporter Two years ago, a small team of female Marines — drivers, engineers, cooks and other specialists — began conducting "female engagement" initiatives with women in southern Afghanistan. If winning the hearts and minds of the local population was the goal, they thought it behooved … Continue reading

Tokyo Will Pay Washington for Protection against the People’s Republic of China

Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Russia Tokyo Will Pay Washington for Protection against the People’s Republic of China By Vladimir Skosyrev Translated By Sierra Perez-Sparks 31 January 2011 Edited by Gillian Palmer Immediately after Hu Jintao’s overseas visit, the U.S. and Japanese Navies conducted maneuvers. Their task was to parry the landing of Chinese troops. Citing the threat … Continue reading

Army Was Warned Not to Deploy Bradley Manning to Iraq

By Kim Zetter Army commanders were warned against sending to Iraq an Army private who is suspected of leaking hundreds of thousands of sensitive documents to the secret-spilling site WikiLeaks. Pfc. Bradley Manning’s supervisor at Ft. Drum in New York had told his superiors that Manning had discipline problems and had thrown chairs at colleagues … Continue reading

Did Chinese TV pass off Top Gun footage as a military drill?

By Joshua Keating As part of its ongoing expansion, has the People’s Liberation Army signed up Goose and Maverick? Chinese bloggers are accusing state broadcaster CCTV of using repurposed footage from the 1986 film Top Gun for a story on a recent air force drill. "Ministry of Tofu" explains:  In the newscast, the way a … Continue reading

Air Force’s ‘All-Seeing Eye’ Flops Vision Test [Updated]

By David Axe and Noah Shachtman  It’s the one of the most revolutionary — and one of the most chilling — weapons to come out of America’s decade of conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. Gorgon Stare, a new “all-seeing” camera system for aerial drones, is supposed to boost U.S. surveillance by an order of magnitude, … Continue reading

New Navy Jammer Could Invade Networks, Nuke Sites

By David Axe When China’s stealth-fighter prototype took to the air two weeks ago, it intensified what was already a heated debate in Washington over which, and how many, new fighter planes to buy. Lost in all this noise was the U.S. Navy’s real plan for winning any future air war with China or another … Continue reading

Chameleon tanks blend into background

New cloaking technologies could make a tank "disappear", "sweat" or even look like a cow by Duncan Graham-Rowe  EVEN at a distance, a tank is hard to miss. Yet if it is a tank with adaptive camouflage you might barely realise you are looking straight at it. At least that’s the aim of the "chameleon" … Continue reading

25 Tons of Bombs Wipe Afghan Town Off Map

By Spencer Ackerman An American-led military unit pulverized an Afghan village in Kandahar’s Arghandab River Valley in October, after it became overrun with Taliban insurgents. It’s hard to understand how turning an entire village into dust fits into America’s counterinsurgency strategy — which supposedly prizes the local people’s loyalty above all else. But it’s the … Continue reading

J-20’s Stealth Signature Poses Interesting Unknowns

David Fulghum and Bill Sweetman/Washington Anti-stealth and stealth detection technologies will bring into question all stealth designs, including China’s new J-20. How much invulnerability will current low-observability techniques retain as air defense systems adopt even larger and more powerful active, electronically scanned array (AESA) radars? Airborne detection of stealth aircraft may already be an operational … Continue reading

Old School Jet Retooled to Slay Stealth Fighters

By David Axe It’s been just three weeks since China unveiled its new J-20 stealth fighter, and already the U.S. Air Force has plans well underway to defeat the mysterious plane from Chengdu. No, the Pentagon won’t be buying more F-22 Raptors from Lockheed Martin. Instead, the U.S. military’s main flying branch has turned to … Continue reading

U.S. Had Helo Deal With Ousted Tunisian Dictator

By Spencer Ackerman Check out the #sidibouzid Twitter hashtag and you’ll see real-time updates from a popular coup in Tunisia that’s ousted the kleptocratic dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Months of unrest over unemployment and rising food prices — pushed along by WikiLeaked disclosures — forced Ben Ali to flee to Paris. As it … Continue reading

China Tests Its New Stealth Plane–But Don’t Freak Out About It

by Andrew Moseman  Military watchers are all atwitter this week about J-20, the Chinese stealth aircraft that has now taken to the skies in its inaugural test flight. It’s the country’s first radar-evading plane. The question is, what is it for, and should we worry? The aircraft appears most similar to the F-22 Raptor, the … Continue reading

Killer Drones, Jamming Jets Win Big in New Pentagon Budget

By David Axe Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’ plan to trim around $100 billion from Pentagon accounts over the next five years — the details of which he announced today — is being billed as a budget cut. Actually, Gates’ latest (and likely last) budget exercise represents a net boost for stuff that flies, swims, … Continue reading

Military Metamorphoses

What Ovid can teach West Point plebes about their lives as soldiers and storytellers. Elizabeth D. Samet   To teach is always to be in the middle of the next story. This realization strikes me anew every autumn, as the days lose more light and my students accelerate into the end-of-semester scramble. Then, suddenly, it’s … Continue reading

Meet the XB-70 Valkyrie, Almost the World’s First Nuclear Aircraft

By io9.com The Valkyrie was a plane decades ahead of its time, pushing the aeronautical engineering of the early 1960s well beyond what had been thought possible. It was even slated to become the world’s first nuclear-powered bomber. The massive B-52 was the U.S.’s long-range strategic bomber in the 1950s, used to extend the range … Continue reading

Is This China’s First Stealth Fighter?

By David Axe They could be the products of a Chinese government misinformation campaign. They could be clever Photoshop jobs by Chinese aviation fanboys. Or, they could be the real thing: the first hard evidence of the long-rumored Chengdu J-20, China’s first stealth-fighter prototype. The above photo and several others surfaced over the Christmas weekend … Continue reading

Military strength eludes China, which looks overseas for arms

By John Pomfret  MOSCOW – The Moscow Machine-Building Enterprise Salyut on the east side of town has put up a massive Soviet-style poster advertising its need for skilled workers. The New Year’s party at the Chernyshev plant in a northwest suburb featured ballet dancers twirling on the stage of its Soviet-era Palace of Culture. The … Continue reading

Obama’s Other War

Can Barack Obama really defeat Central Africa’s worst guerrilla warlord? BY JOE BAVIER KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of the Congo—When Baudouine Kinalinjenga was just 12 years old, Joseph Kony’s soldiers came for her. Six men from his Lord’s Resistance Army emerged from the forest with machetes and Kalashnikovs and entered her remote hut in the night. … Continue reading

A Chief’s Service

Meet Adm. Mike Mullen, unsung hero of Congress’s not-so-lame duck session — and Sen. Lindsey Graham, its undeniable goat. BY JAMES TRAUB Let us now praise Adm. Mike Mullen, who earlier this week helped deliver congressional approval of both the New START nuclear-arms deal with Russia and the end of the military’s Don’t Ask Don’t … Continue reading

Britain looks to Europe

BY KAREN WALKER Describing the lead-up to the Persian Gulf War in a Naval War College Review article, President George H.W. Bush recalled a moment of diplomatic terror in the Oval Office. Contrary to initial efforts to isolate Iraq and Saddam Hussein by blockade and sanctions, persuasive intelligence meant that a coalition maritime interception force … Continue reading

Tough times

BY JONATHAN LAURENCE AND P.W. SINGER The days of British military power appear to be ending” Max Boot lamented in the Wall Street Journal. Another columnist at The Economist weighed in that Great Britain is at best managing its “relative decline That was likely not the reception that U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron’s coalition government … Continue reading