The Great Debate

Failure of new U.S. weapons systems may be more than science fiction

By Matthew Gault
July 2, 2015
A F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter is seen at the Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River

F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter at the Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, January 20, 2012. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

Why arming U.S. allies can be like sending weapons straight to the enemy

By David Axe
March 25, 2015
A member of the Kurdish peshmerga forces sit with a weapon during an intensive security deployment against Islamic State militants in Makhmur

A member of the Kurdish peshmerga forces sit with a weapon during an intensive security deployment against Islamic State militants in Makhmur, on the outskirts of the province of Nineveh August 7, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer

Vast majority of those who fought Iraq, Afghan wars won’t get pensions

By Lawrence Korb and Katherine Blakeley
February 4, 2015
U.S. soldier with 4th Platoon, Bravo Company on patrol in Siniyah

U.S. soldier with the 4th Platoon, Bravo Company I-327th Infantry 1st Battalion 101st Airborne Division Air Assault takes position during a patrol in Siniyah, north of Tikrit, November 23, 2007. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandin

Don’t believe the U.S. military when it says it doesn’t keep body counts

By David Axe
January 22, 2015
Residents inspect damaged buildings in what activists say was a U.S. strike, in Kfredrian

Residents inspect damaged buildings in what activists say was a U.S. strike, in Kfredrian, Idlib province September 23, 2014. REUTERS/Abdalghne Karoof

Stop the Pentagon program that militarizes U.S. police forces

By Michael Shank and Elizabeth Beavers
August 14, 2014

Riot police clear demonstrators from a street in Ferguson, Missouri

The article originally ran last October. It has been updated by the authors.

There is a growing bipartisan public outrage about the local police force’s fiercely militarized response to protestors in Ferguson, Missouri.

Violence or vaccines: Which path for U.S. in Africa?

By Michael Shank
August 6, 2014

A U.S. Special Forces trainer conducts a military assault drill for a unit within the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) during an exercise in Nzara on the outskirts of Yambio

Africa is the new frontier for the U.S. Defense Department. The Pentagon has applied counterterrorism tactics throughout the Middle East and, to a lesser extent, Central and South Asia. Now it is monitoring the African continent for counterterrorism initiatives. It staged more than 546 military exercises on the continent last year, a 217 percent increase since 2008, and is now involved in nearly 50 African countries.

Pentagon’s big budget F-35 fighter ‘can’t turn, can’t climb, can’t run’

By David Axe
July 14, 2014

A F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter is seen at the Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River

Americans should be worried.

The U.S. military has grounded all its new F-35 Joint Strike Fighters following an incident on June 23, when one of the high-tech warplanes caught fire on the runway of a Florida air base. The no-fly order — which affects at least 50 F-35s at training and test bases in Florida, Arizona, California and Maryland — began on the evening of July 3 and continued through July 11.

Watch out, that freighter may actually be a warship

By David Axe
July 9, 2014

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U.S. military operations now increasingly begin and end at sea — aboard a growing fleet of vessels that the Pentagon has specifically outfitted as floating command facilities, barracks and launch pads.

Counterterrorism: Where are Obama’s policy changes?

By Daphne Eviatar
October 21, 2013

It is now roughly five months since President Barack Obama announced a new direction for U.S. counterterrorism strategy.

Saving Defense dollars: From BRAC to ORAC

By Kay Bailey Hutchison and Michael O'Hanlon
October 14, 2013

While the government shutdown continues because of the Democrats’ and Republicans’ profound disagreement, the real issue facing the nation is something that both parties agree on, in principle: the need to reduce the size of the federal deficit.