On the morning of January 27, 2005, I stood in a local government building in Baqubah, north-central Iraq, my camera at the ready, waiting for a U.S. Army-led amnesty event to kick off. The Army had asked local residents to bring in any weapons, no questions asked. Some very nervous Iraqi officials smoked cigarettes on a row of folding chairs. David Pratt, an experienced war correspondent for the Sunday Herald newspaper, commented on the potential risk in the Americans advertising their presence in one of the bloodiest cities in all of Iraq.
Archived posts from category ‘Secrecy’
Inside “Top Secret America”
1,271 government organizations. 1,931 private companies. 10,000 locations — both secret and public — scattered across the United States. 854,000 people with top-secret security clearances penning 50,000 reports per year. Untold tens of billions of dollars spent annually, for benefits that are hard to quantify.
An Air Force CV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor belonging to the Florida-based 8th Special Operations Squadron has crashed in southern Afghanistan, killing four people. The Taliban claimed credit — but then, they always do. It’s not clear yet what caused the plane to go down. The $100-million CV-22 is the fifth Osprey to crash in 25 years of development and operations.
The Many “Beasts” of Kandahar
Since 2007 there had been rumors of a secretive flying-wing airplane operating from the NATO airfield at Kandahar, in southern Afghanistan. Grainy photos circulated. Journalist Bill Sweetman dubbed it the “Beast of Kandahar.”
by DAVID AXE A secretive contingent of New Zealand Special Air Service commandos was involved in last weekend’s bloody battle in Kabul — and one enterprising freelance photographer took a picture to prove it.
by DAVID AXE and JASON REICH There was a noise like a monstrous kettle boiling over, followed by a deep crunch, as the Chinese-made rocket arced through the sky and exploded on the flat, sandy ground. A couple of minutes later, two American mortar rounds punched the earth about three miles away from Combat Outpost [...]
On the advice of U.S. Strategic Command, the Pentagon is weighing an all-out ban on using social-networking Websites — including Facebook, Twitter and blogs — on military computers. The Marines have already issued their own Web 2.0 block. “These Internet sites in general are a proven haven for malicious actors and content,” the Marines said. [...]
by DAVID AXE “Who are you, really?” the fat Australian expatriate said. It was April 2007, at a bar in Dili, the capital of East Timor. I had just arrived, with the intention of reporting on the Australian and New Zealand peacekeeping force helping oversee the country of one million’s first presidential election. I had [...]
by DAVID AXE It’s no secret that covert U.S. drone strikes on suspected Pakistani jihadists have killed both jihadists and innocent bystanders. But no one seems to know just how many of each have died. It’s a crucial question, as the U.S. attempts to balance the need to kill terrorist leaders, with the broader desire [...]
by DAVID AXE Carpeted with poppies fueling an entrenched drug trade, and teeming with Taliban fighters who blend in with the local populace, southern Afghanistan is a prototypical counter-insurgency battleground. But Kandahar, site of the biggest NATO and U.S. base in the region, is also home to an array of sophisticated, and secretive, experimental aircraft. [...]
Inside Red Flag (Updated)
This summer the Indian Air Force brought its new, Russian-made Su-30MKI fighters to the super-realistic Red Flag air-war exercise in Nevada. This was a big deal for the Indians, as emerging U.S. allies, and for the U.S. Air Force, which three years ago got schooled by Indian fighter jocks at the Cope India exercise and [...]
In coming years and decades, hundreds of thousands of vets might start showing the long-delayed symptoms of extreme psychological trauma resulting from bombings, kidnapping threats and that constant low-grade fear you feel at all times in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. We must be prepared to treat and compensate our former soldiers with the compassion and efficiency they deserve. [...]