Archived posts from category ‘Reality Check’

Great Moments in Photoshopped War & Weaponry

The good folks at China Defense Blog were excited when they discovered last week what appeared to be the first image of a new prototype Chinese heavy helicopter.

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Worrying over Afghanistan’s Pot-head Soldiers

[kml_flashembed movie="" width="490" height="400" wmode="transparent" /] by DAVID AXE Russia Today emailed me again to request an interview. The subject this time: drug use in the Afghan army. This Guardian video report on U.S. advisers to the Afghan National Army has revived interest in the subject. The video has cropped up on Danger Room and [...]


Afghanistan the Abstraction

By ZACH ROSENBERG Last night I was gathered together with a group of people that grew up in the shadow of Vietnam, people who were just coming of age as that war was coming to an end. One man told how his high school chemistry class was never about chemistry — his teacher preferred long [...]


South of the Border, Part Two

By ZACH ROSENBERG Mexicans have some interesting views on drugs and drug violence. On one hand, 95 percent believe that illegal drugs are a big problem, with 73 percent naming them as a very big problem. On the other hand, Mexico leads the recent Latin American trend towards going easy on drug users, having recently [...]


South of the Border, Part One

By ZACH ROSENBERG One day after a shootout closed the U.S.-Mexico border crossing at San Ysidro, two days after Mexican troops raided a house and discovered $5 million in bribes organized into “police” and “press,” less than a week after grenades and assault rifles were used to attack a drug rehabilitation clinic in Ciudad Juarez [...]


So Far, So Good for Navy’s V2.0 In-Shore Warship

by DAVID AXE When the Navy decided to buy 55 in-shore Littoral Combat Ships, cheap and fast, it picked two competing designs for initial production: Lockheed Martin’s modified mono-hull yacht, and a triple-hull trimaran from General Dynamics. The idea was to get two very different warships in the water, see how they worked, and pick [...]

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The Amazing, Post-F-35, Photoshopped, Manned Fighters

by DAVID AXE “There are those that see [the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter] as the last manned fighter,” U.S. Navy Admiral Mike Mullen, the Joint Chiefs chair, said in May. “I’m one that’s inclined to believe that.” Mullen, Secretary of Defense Bob Gates, and the good folks at General Atomics — which makes [...]


How to Turn a Drone into a Dogfighter

[kml_flashembed movie="" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /] by DAVID AXE “There are those that see [F-35] JSF as the last manned fighter,” U.S. Navy Admiral Mike Mullen, the Joint Chiefs chair, said in May. “I’m one that’s inclined to believe that.” U.S. Predators, Reapers and other drones have already proved highly capable as surveillance and attack [...]


How to Spin a Spending Increase, as a Cut

by DAVID AXE The Pentagon’s 2010 budget, as penned by the Obama Administration, includes $534 billion in “base” spending, plus a war supplemental of $130 billion. The base budget represents a 4-percent increase over 2009, and the overall budget represents a roughly .5-percent rise. But to Obama’s political foes, this — plus future spending boosts [...]


Army Howitzer Design to Serve 100 Years

by DAVID AXE The U.S. Army was developing a new, semi-robotic, tracked howitzer, as part of the Future Combat Systems family of vehicles. But Secretary of Defense Robert Gates killed FCS, in April. The howitzer — the so-called Non Line-of-Sight Cannon — was funded separately from FCS, so wasn’t subject to the FCS termination. But [...]


World Politics Review: U.S. “Smart Power” Caught between Development and Welfare

by DAVID AXE Omar Bongo, the 73-year-old president of Gabon, in West Africa, died of natural causes on June 8, after 42 years in office. He was the world’s longest-serving, elected head of state, as well as one of its wealthiest — having carefully tailored the nation’s laws to both keep himself in office and [...]

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From Prison Ship to Mobile Aid Station: Inside the Navy’s “Lego” Support Vessel

by DAVID AXE Make no mistake, U.S. Navy shipbuilding is a disaster, with rampant delays, cost over-runs and poor workmanship. But the T-AKE cargo ships, built by NASSCO in San Diego, are an exception. The Navy has rewarded NASSCO by adding two more of the $500-million vessels to the original plan for a dozen — [...]