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Navy Seizes 1,700 Iranian Weapons Bound For Yemen’s Houthi Rebels

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


We write a lot on this site about high-tech, high-cost weapons. But it’s worth remembering that most of the killing around the world, an estimated 200,000 deaths a year, takes place with low-tech tools, like these AK-47 assault rifles the Navy seized Friday in the Arabian Sea. All told, the small cargo ship carried 21… Keep reading →

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Doing The Basil: Stalin 2.0 Must Prompt NATO Soul Searching

Posted by Bob Butterworth on


Russia has just released its new strategy document formally identifying the United States and NATO as a threat to Russian interests, a new step since the last publication in 2009. NATO is welcoming the tiny state of Montenegro to the alliance. NATO supports the duly constituted government of Ukraine. In Vladimir Putin’s eyes, that is clearly enough to establish… Keep reading →

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Don’t Forget COIN, Because COIN Threat’s Getting Worse: CNAS

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: As the US military refocuses on Russia and China, it mustn’t forget the hard-won lessons of Afghanistan and Iraq, because they’ll only become more relevant in future conflicts. With technology spreading, populations rising, and megacities sprawling, “war among the people” — whether it’s counterinsurgency, counterterrorism, or just conventional warfare in an urban setting —… Keep reading →

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Hey Putin, NATO Can Adapt: Trident Juncture 2015

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: 35,000 NATO and partner-nation troops. 140 aircraft. 60 naval vessels. 30 nations. But who are they fighting? When planning began two years ago for NATO’s largest wargames since 2002, the imaginary adversary wasn’t Russia. Officially, it still isn’t. But since the seizure of Crimea, the alliance’s chief of “transformation” told reporters today, planners have… Keep reading →

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Russia Builds ‘Arc Of Steel’: Adm. Ferguson

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: “We are observing the manifestation of a more aggressive, more capable Russian navy,” the US Navy’s top commander in Europe said today. And if that fleet is Putin’s seagoing hammer, missile bases ashore are his land-based anvil. Complementing Russian naval modernization, Adm. Mark Ferguson said, we have seen “the construction of an arc of… Keep reading →

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Ukraine: Sneak Peek At World War III?

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


PENTAGON: What would World War III look like? Ask a Ukrainian. In their war against Russia, Ukrainian troops have endured artillery bombardments like nothing Americans have seen since World War II. Russian electronic attacks against radio communications are like nothing the US has seen — ever. So even as Washington debates further training — and perhaps arming — the… Keep reading →

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New Military Strategy Shows A Dangerous World – But Not How To Deal With It

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: The Pentagon is painfully aware the world is changing. What the military’s clearly still struggling with is how we should change to cope. That’s the less-than-reassuring implication of the new National Military Strategy, released a week ago by the outgoing chairman of the joint chiefs, Gen. Martin Dempsey. (I discuss the strategy and its… Keep reading →

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Trench Warfare With Wings: Can ISIL Airstrikes Go Beyond Attrition?

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


Airpower sounds swift and surgical, but sometimes it’s really closer to trench warfare with wings. Earlier this week, with the smoke still rising from the retaken Iraqi city of Tikrit, Central Command released detailed data on air strikes against the self-proclaimed Islamic State. We’ve crunched the numbers, and it’s clear the eight-month-old campaign is becoming… Keep reading →

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Killing Is Not Enough: Special Operators

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


ARLINGTON: “We have, in my view, exquisite capabilities to kill people,” said Lt. Gen. Charles Cleveland. “We need exquisite capabilities to manipulate them.” Psychological subtlety and the US military don’t always go hand-in-hand. Worldwide, we’ve become better known for drone strikes and Special Operations raids to kill High Value Targets. But that wasn’t enough for the last 13… Keep reading →

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Russia Digests Eastern Ukraine, Probes NATO Airspace: Breedlove, Greenert

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


[UPDATED Nov. 4 with Adm. Greenert’s comments] WASHINGTON: While Russian combat aircraft grab the headlines by buzzing NATO airspace as far west as Portugal, Russian supply trucks are quietly redrawing the map back in Ukraine. Vladimir Putin swallowed the Crimea whole in a single gulp, but it looks like he’s digesting eastern Ukraine by a kind… Keep reading →

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