War College http://blogs.reuters.com/war-college A tactical advantage in a dangerous world Thu, 14 Jul 2016 17:22:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 The simple reasons Russians love Putin http://blogs.reuters.com/war-college/2016/07/14/the-simple-reasons-russians-love-putin/ http://blogs.reuters.com/war-college/2016/07/14/the-simple-reasons-russians-love-putin/#comments Thu, 14 Jul 2016 17:21:02 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/war-college/?p=166 In the West, people tend to think of Russian President Vladimir Putin as a strongman dictator – a former KGB man who oppresses his people, censors the media and antagonizes Russia’s neighbors. From the outside, it’s hard for anyone to understand how Putin stays in power, let alone stays popular. And Putin is popular. Pollsters put his approval rating at more than 80 percent. This week on War College, we sit down with Anne Garrels, a longtime Russia correspondent for NPR. Since the collapse of the USSR, Garrels has spent more and more time in smaller Russian cities and towns, getting to know people who don’t live the cosmopolitan lifestyle of the country’s capital.
Garrels gives the reasons why Russians love Putin, and why it’s in the best interest of the West to understand them.


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Will there be war in the South China Sea? http://blogs.reuters.com/war-college/2016/05/20/will-there-be-war-in-the-south-china-sea/ http://blogs.reuters.com/war-college/2016/05/20/will-there-be-war-in-the-south-china-sea/#comments Fri, 20 May 2016 18:28:17 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/war-college/?p=154 If you’re looking for a place on the globe likely to spark a world war, you could do worse than the South China Sea. The United States, China, Vietnam, Taiwan, the Philippines and Japan all have claims there. China is building artificial islands and the U.S. Navy is patrolling close by.  There have been confrontations at sea and in the air. This week on War College, we’re looking at this global sore spot and asking just how heated is the situation likely to get.

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Drones, fighter jets and the future U.S. Air Force
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Meet the women who went in with the Navy SEALs in Afghanistan http://blogs.reuters.com/features/2016/05/12/meet-the-women-who-went-in-with-the-navy-seals-in-afghanistan/ http://blogs.reuters.com/features/2016/05/12/meet-the-women-who-went-in-with-the-navy-seals-in-afghanistan/#comments Thu, 12 May 2016 22:10:27 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/features/?p=48 It’s only this year that U.S. women have officially be allowed to take combat roles.  That’s officially.

But in Afghanistan American women were on the front lines on night raids with commando units, including the Navy SEALs, six years ago. This week on War College we talk about their stories.

PARTICIPANTS: Jason Fields, Matthew Gault, Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

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More War College

He had bin Laden in his sites, but no trigger to pull

Suprising changes underway in Israel's army

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What makes Russian President Vladimir Putin so special? http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2016/04/29/what-makes-russian-president-vladimir-putin-so-special/ http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2016/04/29/what-makes-russian-president-vladimir-putin-so-special/#comments Fri, 29 Apr 2016 14:57:50 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=47725 An economy in deep trouble. A scandal involving billions in off-shore bank accounts and shell companies. Seemingly endless military entanglements. Sounds like a recipe to bring down any world leader. This week, War College looks at what makes Russian President Vladimir Putin the ultimate special case.
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Like video games? You may be playing with government propaganda. http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2016/04/21/like-video-games-you-may-be-playing-with-government-propaganda/ http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2016/04/21/like-video-games-you-may-be-playing-with-government-propaganda/#comments Thu, 21 Apr 2016 19:49:17 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=47620
PARTICIPANTS: Jason Fields, Matthew Gault, George Weidman

Video games are an industry worth tens of billions of dollars. Games make more money than Hollywood and the music industry combined. Video games can be great fun and even great art, but they can also be great propaganda.

A new game called IS Defense puts players on the shores of Europe to defend the continent against waves of faceless Islamic attackers. The FBI, North Korea and even PETA have tried to use games to get their points across. It doesn’t always work and it’s often silly, but governments are only just getting started.

Today on War College, we’re talking to George Weidman, a YouTube personality and video game expert who thinks he knows a how to build a better propaganda game … even if he’s reluctant to share.

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Additional info

Explore the world of Tropico

Try out America’s Army

Keep up with the drudgery in Papers, Please

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Who was pulling the strings when Ukraine unraveled? http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2016/04/14/who-was-pulling-the-strings-when-ukraine-unraveled/ http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2016/04/14/who-was-pulling-the-strings-when-ukraine-unraveled/#comments Fri, 15 Apr 2016 00:23:41 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=47552 When Ukraine pulled itself apart in 2014, the world was confused over who was doing the pulling. Was the takeover of Luhansk, Donetsk and other regional capitals all part of a Russian plan, or a local movement?
This week on War College, we speak with Antony Butts. He was in Donetsk when it all went down and has a unique story to tell.

PARTICIPANTS: Tom Barton, Antony Butts, Jason Fields
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Why the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter might not stink http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2016/04/07/why-the-f-35-joint-strike-fighter-might-not-stink/ http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2016/04/07/why-the-f-35-joint-strike-fighter-might-not-stink/#comments Thu, 07 Apr 2016 21:26:59 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=47443

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PARTICIPANTS: Jason Fields, Matthew Gault, Andrea Shalal

This week on War College, we're diving into the weeds on how weapons systems come into existence, from the officer who first sees the need to the bureaucrat who gets it done.

Andrea Shalal, Reuters’ longtime aerospace correspondent, takes us through the steps. She also gives a counterpoint to the show’s very first episode, which focused on the flaws of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter plane and program. In a discussion that may surprise to some listeners, she describes a program that’s back on track, despite its possible trillion-dollar price tag.

Related episodes of War College

America's Joint Strike Fighter flies into a world of trouble

Why in the world is the 60-year-old B-52 still flying?

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Months before 9/11, he had bin Laden in his sights, but no trigger to pull http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2016/03/29/months-before-911-he-had-bin-laden-in-his-sights-but-no-trigger-to-pull/ http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2016/03/29/months-before-911-he-had-bin-laden-in-his-sights-but-no-trigger-to-pull/#comments Wed, 30 Mar 2016 00:17:37 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=47262
PARTICIPANTS: Jason Fields, Matthew Gault, Scott Swanson

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Just months before the Sept. 11 attacks, Scott Swanson was piloting an early version of the Predator drone over Afghanistan. Swanson and his team were looking for Osama bin Laden and it looked like they found him.
The predator, though, was unarmed.

"When we started this, we were under the impression that once they had positive eyes on, something would have been ginned up," Swanson said. "It didn’t happen."

This week on War College, Swanson takes us through the early history of the drone program and tells us how a skunkworks project became a central part of the U.S. war machine.
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Caught in a draft: Where compulsory military service can last forever http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2016/03/17/caught-in-a-draft-where-compulsory-military-service-can-last-forever/ http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2016/03/17/caught-in-a-draft-where-compulsory-military-service-can-last-forever/#comments Fri, 18 Mar 2016 01:49:43 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=47046
PARTICIPANTS: Jason Fields, Matthew Gault, Michela Wrong

This week's episode of War College focuses on a secretive nation where everyone serves in the military – and not just for a year or two. In fact, once you get pulled into service in Eritrea, you could be serving for a decade or more. And no one knows how much more it could be. 

Conscription, along with political repression and poverty, has caused massive emigration from a country where only 6 million people live. And many of those migrants are now showing up in Europe.

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Podcast: Why Europe sees a refugee flood as an invasion

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Crises give Eritrea routes for closer global engagement

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Snipers: Battlefield sinners or saviors? http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2016/03/10/snipers-battlefield-sinners-or-saviors/ http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2016/03/10/snipers-battlefield-sinners-or-saviors/#comments Fri, 11 Mar 2016 02:50:09 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=46918

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Participants: Jason Fields, Matthew Gault, Ian McCollum
Snipers play a key role in the world’s armies. They target commanders on the opposing side and other targets with an outsize impact. Working by themselves, they can pin down a group, creating fear and confusion.

And now they’re covered in glory. Hollywood cast Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle, in the movie American Sniper. Kyle killed at least 160 people with his rifle.

This week on War College we look at the history of snipers and the role they play now. It’s fair to say the role wasn’t always considered a badge of honor.

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The AK-47, a weapon so simple, even a child can use it – and they do

How the machine gun brought modern war to the world

Weird weapons of Vietnam: Combat tree houses, a nuclear rifle and more

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