The Great Debate

War College: Why is this 60-year-old U.S. warplane still flying?

By Jason Fields
January 12, 2016
PARTICIPANTS: Jason Fields, Matthew Gault, David Philipps

North Korea sets off a nuclear bomb and how does the U.S. respond? The Pentagon sends a 65-year-old airplane to buzz Korean airspace. It wouldn’t make a lot of sense if the warplane wasn’t the B-52 bomber. Designed in the aftermath of World War Two, obsolete nearly before the last one rolled off the line in 1961 – the Stratofortress may remain in the air for another 25 years.

In North Korea, kids learn to love the bomb – and Minnie Mouse

By Matthew Gault
January 8, 2016
PARTICIPANTS: Jason Fields, Matthew Gault, Jean H. Lee

North Korea is the most mysterious and oppressive regime on earth. Few journalists penetrate Pyongyang and fewer still stay long enough to understand the country and its people. Jean Lee is one of those determined few.

Why even a failed test makes North Korea’s nuclear arsenal scarier

By Sharon Squassoni
January 8, 2016
Ko Yun-hwa (L), Administrator of Korea Meteorological Administration, points at where seismic waves observed in South Korea came from, during a media briefing at Korea Meteorological Administration in Seoul, South Korea, January 6, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji      TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      - RTX217LM

Ko Yun-hwa (l), Administrator of Korea Meteorological Administration, points at where seismic waves observed in South Korea came from, during a media briefing at Korea Meteorological Administration in Seoul, South Korea, January 6, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

Why another North Korean nuclear test isn’t a game changer

By Andray Abrahamian
January 6, 2016
People watch a huge screen broadcasting the government's announcement in Pyongyang, North Korea, in this photo released by Kyodo January 6, 2016. North Korea said it successfully tested a miniaturised hydrogen nuclear bomb on Wednesday, claiming a significant advance in its strike capability and setting off alarm bells in Japan and South Korea. Mandatory credit REUTERS/Kyodo       TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. MANDATORY CREDIT. JAPAN OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN JAPAN. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS.  - RTX21998

People in Pyongyang, North Korea, watch a huge screen broadcasting the government’s announcement that it had carried out a hydrogen bomb test, January 6, 2016.  REUTERS/Kyodo

Is the risk of nuclear war rising?

December 20, 2015
A surface-to-surface Agni V missile is launched from the Wheeler Island off the eastern Indian state of Odisha April 19, 2012. India test-fired the long range missile capable of reaching deep into China and Europe on Thursday, thrusting the emerging Asian power into an elite club of nations with intercontinental nuclear weapons capabilities. A scientist at the launch site said the launch was successful, minutes after television images showed the rocket with a range of more than 5,000 km (3,100 miles) blasting through clouds from the Wheeler Island off Odisha coast. REUTERS/Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation/DRDO/Handout (INDIA - Tags: MILITARY) FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - RTR30XD1

A surface-to-surface Agni V missile is launched from the Wheeler Island off the eastern Indian state of Odisha April 19, 2012. REUTERS/Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation/Handout

Worst-case scenarios that are more likely than you think

By Jane Harman
November 13, 2015
A military investigator from Russia stands near the debris of a Russian airliner at its crash site at the Hassana area in Arish city, north Egypt, November 1, 2015. Russia has grounded Airbus A321 jets flown by the Kogalymavia airline, Interfax news agency reported on Sunday, after one of its fleet crashed in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, killing all 224 people on board. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany - RTX1U8L7

A military investigator from Russia near the debris of a Russian airliner at its crash site at the Hassana area in Arish city, north Egypt, November 1, 2015. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

What the blow up between North and South Korea may really have been about

By William Johnson
August 24, 2015
North Koreans who signed up to join the army train in the midst of political tension with South Korea, in this undated photo released by North Korea's KCNA in Pyongyang

North Koreans who signed up to join the army train in the midst of political tension with South Korea, in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang August 23, 2015.

North Korea’s Kim Jong Un consolidates power with execution of key official

By Paul French
August 13, 2015
North Korean leader Kim gives field guidance to Farm No. 1116 under the KPA Unit 810 in this undated photo released by North Korea's KCNA in Pyongyang

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un gives field guidance to Farm No. 1116 in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang August 13, 2015. REUTERS/KCNA

North Korea’s very bad year and China’s role in it

By Andray Abrahamian
July 22, 2015
File photo shows a picture of North Korea's founder Kim Il-sung on a building in the capital Pyongyang

A picture of North Korea’s founder Kim Il-sung decorates a building in the capital Pyongyang in this October 5, 2011 file photo. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj/Files

North Korea could double its number of nuclear warheads by next year

By Sharon Squassoni
May 11, 2015
A woman from an anti-North Korea and conservative civic group attends a rally marking the fifth anniversary of the sinking naval ship Cheonan in central Seoul

A woman attends a rally in Seoul marking the fifth anniversary of the sinking of the South Korean naval corvette Cheonan, by what is thought to have been a North Korean torpedo, March 26, 2015. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji