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Intelligence Contractor Oversight, and More from CRS

Effective oversight of intelligence community contractors is a particularly difficult exercise since the reliability of official data on contractor activities is uncertain and most of it is classified and inaccessible to outsiders, a new report from the Congressional Research Service explains. Show More Summary

Stockton Police Fire 600 Rounds In Rolling Gun Battle Killing Hostage

I had missed it when it happened, but the LA Times reminds us on one incident with the Stockton Police Department that ought to calibrate your expectations concerning police. The more than 600 rounds that Stockton police fired during a rolling gun battle with bank robbers last year that left a hostage dead by officers’ […]

A Psychologist Reassured the Stealth Fighter Pilots

Originally published on Nov. 11, 2014. Aviator morale plummeted in 2012 when it became evident that the U.S. Air Force’s F-22 Raptor stealth fighters were choking their pilots. The stealth fliers’ moods got so bad that the flying branch assigned a psychologist to help with “allaying pilot concerns.” That’s one...

Yep, F-117 Stealth Fighters Are Still Flying in 2015

The U.S. Air Force officially retired its 52 surviving F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighters in 2008, transferring their radar-evading attack mission to B-2 bombers, F-22s and — eventually — F-35s. The Air Force claimed it would preserve the F-117s for future use, but it’s possible most of the Nighthawks actually wound...

New Ship-Killing Missiles Make U.S. Navy More Dangerous

The U.S. Navy has begun testing a new, radar-evading, air-launched anti-ship missile — a big step forward in the sailing branch’s march toward a more lethal fleet. In the next few years, the Navy could add three new anti-ship missiles to its warplanes and surface ships, augmenting existing Harpoon missiles...

Iraqi Troops Are Wearing Gas Masks

A photo of Iraqi army soldiers in training, shot in May but only recently published by American advisers, depicts the Iraqis wearing gas masks. “The soldiers are training with new issued equipment that was donated by the U.S. and other coalition forces to better prepare the Iraqi army for threats...

What the Hell Is Laibach Doing in North Korea?

For two days in August, the Slovenian industrial rock band Laibach played two very strange concerts in North Korea, of all places. It was certainly some timing. As the band wrapped up, Pyongyang and Seoul traded artillery fire across the demilitarized zone. North Korea threatened war if propaganda loudspeakers on...

China Has Begun Listening for American Submarines

Originally published on April 13, 2014. China has begin installing sensitive hydrophones on the floor of the China Seas in an effort to detect and track submarines belonging to the U.S. and its allies. Lyle Goldstein and Shannon Knight, both highly-respected naval analysts, described the new listening system as “startling”...

You Have to Read This Lost Soviet Submarine Comic

Originally published on July 6, 2014. If you’re interested in military comics, this ’70s-era Soviet comic about life aboard a ballistic missile submarine is essential. Humor Northern Submarine Fleet is an outrageous comic. There’s patriotism, some remarkable illustrations—and also an acidly subversive presentation of Soviet naval life. The comic has...

Remember When Australia Pretend-Nuked a Rainforest?

During the Cold War, nuclear states tested atomic weapons in almost every conceivable environment — deserts, oceans, space, islands. Scientists already knew nukes’ effects on cities. But how would they affect jungles? The Australian government wanted to know. So in July 1963 Australia conducted a simulated nuclear test in order...

Islamic State Is Becoming an Actual Government

Islamic State is a bunch of slave-running, homicidal rapists and terrorists. But increasingly, it’s also the legitimate government of northwest Iraq and eastern Syria. Laith Alkhouri and Alex Kassirer from West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center explained: While the Islamic State’s barbarity is undeniable, its life force stems from a side...

‘Deutschland 83’ Is the Spy Show We Always Wanted

Martin Rauch, a border guard in East Germany, leans over the table holding a multi-volume set of Shakespeare’s collected works. Two nervous men squirm in their chairs while Rauch glares at them. “What about these books?” Rauch asks. “They don’t sell Shakespeare in the West?” “Yes, but they cost more,”...

U.S. Troops Once Stood Ready to Scoop Crashed Astronauts From the Middle East

At a time when many American troops were headed to fight in Vietnam, the Pentagon sent a small team to Aden, now part of present-day Yemen. Their mission — prepare to rescue two astronauts and help them evade rebel groups if their spaceflight, Gemini VIII, ended abruptly over the Arabian...

El RPG-7 es un traficante de la muerte

El RPG-7, el lanzador de granadas contracarro propulsadas por un cohete y estabilizadas con aletas, cambió el curso de la guerra cuando apareció en 1961, cautivó la imaginación de los estudios de videojuegos y se convirtió en atrezo habitual de Hollywood. El clásico de los años 1980 Red Dawn [Amanecer...

See, Scan, Shoot — the U.S. Air Force Prepares a Powerful New Gunship Radar

U.S. Air Force plans for the AC-130J Ghostrider gunship could include the addition of a powerful radar. The flying branch has already tested a radar pod in combination with a new guided bomb called the Small Glide Munition. On May 21, Air Force Col. Eric Forsyth showed a picture of...

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