David Axe’s Journalism Archives

“GOP’s War on Terror 2.0: More Drones, More Missiles, More Boots on Ground,” Breaking Defense, May 30, 2013: “President Barack Obama says he wants to end the 12-year-old war on terror.”

“The Case for Sea-Based Drones,” Reuters, May 14, 2013: “If all goes according to plan, sometime on Tuesday the military balance of power in the Pacific Ocean could tilt to America’s advantage.”

“New Networks Will Miss Potential Until Services Shrink Units, Strip Hierarchy,” AOL Defense, Feb. 11, 2013: “Sitting in the cockpit of her A-10 Warthog somewhere over Florida’s Eglin Air Force Base on Jan. 10, Maj. Olivia Elliott flipped a switch.”

“Brennan: A Man and His Drones,” Reuters, Feb. 7, 2013: “America’s covert drone war targeting Islamic militants could get a major boost in President Barack Obama’s second term.”

“Pentagon’s Global Strike Weapon Stuck in Development Limbo; Congress Fears Accidental WWIII,” AOL Defense, Dec. 17, 2012: “As part of its ongoing strategic “pivot” towards the Pacific, early this year the Defense Department announced it would design a new missile able to quickly cross long distances and penetrate sophisticated air defenses, of the kind rapidly proliferating across Asia.”

“A Battleground for Weapons of the Future,” Reuters, Nov. 30, 2012: “More than a week after a U.S.-Egyptian brokered ceasefire brought a fragile peace to Gaza, military analysts are busily assessing the fighting between Israel and Hamas.”

“How ‘Revolutionary’ is CHAMP, New Air Force Microwave Weapon?” AOL Defense, Nov. 28, 2012: “The targets were buildings packed with humming computers.”

“A Great Leap Forward,” Pacific Standard,” November 2012: “Forced to go it alone into space, China has reaped the benefits of building an aerospace industry from the ground up.”

“Obama Order Protects Intelligence Community Whistleblowers,” Up in Arms, Oct. 15, 2012: “President Barack Obama signed an executive order last week creating new protections for national security and intelligence community whistleblowers, effectively sidestepping a congressional impasse provoked by the reservations of congressional Republicans.”

“The Great MRAP Debate: Are Blast-Resistant Vehicles Worth It?” AOL Defense, Oct. 1, 2012: “The bomb exploded like a dusty thunderclap directly underneath the front left tire of the U.S. Army MaxxPro truck, sending the tall, roughly 20-ton vehicle lurching at least 10 feet forward and scattering chunks of the outer hull like amputated body parts.”

“Deadlier Drones Are Coming,” Globalpost, Sept. 24, 2012: “Aerial drones are America’s newest frontline weapon in an escalating global campaign against Islamic militants. And they could get a lot more dangerous in coming years as their underlying technology advances.”

“Allies Offer U.S. Strong Advantages, and Some Risk, in China Rivalry,” AOL Defense, September 11, 2012: “America counts heavily on a cordon of allies stretching from Japan to the north down to Thailand, and across to India, in the highly unlikely event of war with China.”

“Our Robot Future,” Animal New York, June 14, 2012: “Many protestors resisted and nearly 200 were arrested. Journalists hurrying towards the park reported being illegally barred by police.”

“Why the U.S. Wants a New Bomber,” The Diplomat, May 6, 2012: “The U.S. Air Force has struggled for years to develop a new long-range bomber.”

“Military Airships: Hot Air or Soaring Promise?” AOL Defense, May 1, 2012: “The past decade has seen an unlikely revival of a long-grounded technology.”

“China’s Accidental Spies,” Pacific Standard, April 24, 2012: “The jet fighter suddenly appears directly overhead, twin engines roaring, landing gear dangling like claws, diamond-shaped wings tracing an impressive black silhouette against the grayish sky.”

“Will the $55 Billion Bomber Program Fly?” Center for Public Integrity, March 26, 2012: ” “When the Obama administration dispatched three B-2 bombers from a Missouri air base on March 19 last year to cross the ocean and reach Libya, it put roughly $9 billion worth of America’s most prized military assets into the air.”

“Why Can’t the Air Force Build an Affordable Bomber?” The Atlantic, March 26, 2012: “When the Obama administration dispatched three B-2 bombers from a Missouri air base on March 19 last year to cross the ocean and reach Libya, it put roughly $9 billion worth of America’s most prized military assets into the air.”

“Congress Fights Back Against Costly Delay To Virginia Submarine Program,” AOL Defense, March 22, 2012: “The cost of building Virginia-class attack submarines could grow by up to $600 million if Congress signs off on the Navy’s proposal to slip a Virginia from 2014 to 2018.”

“Key Local Afghan Police Force Slow to Catch On,” Voice of America, March 13, 2012: “U.S.-led coalition forces are racing against the clock to train a new local police force in one vital Afghan town.”

“Police Mistrust Threatens US-Afghan Alliance in Key Town,” Voice of America, March 13, 2012: “The effort to shore up security in Afghanistan is shifting.”

“Coalition Forces Train Afghan Police to Stop Taliban,” Voice of America, March13, 2012: “Two years before the scheduled departure of foreign forces from Afghanistan, the U.S.-led coalition is trying to shore-up security by blocking key Taliban supply lines.”

“U.S. Special Forces Take Down Corrupt Afghan Officials, One at a Time,” AOL Defense, March 14, 2012: “The commandos came under the cover of darkness.”

“Afghanistan’s Race against Time,” The Diplomat, February 25, 2012: “Ali Mohamed has a surprise for his U.S. Army advisers.”

“A Glimpse Inside Special Forces Training of Top Afghan Cops; Rule of Law Vs. Corruption,” AOL Defense, February 21, 2012: “International Special Operations Forces play an important but largely unheralded role in Afghanistan.”

“Afghan Village Fight Illustrates More Lethal COIN Strategy,” AOL Defense, January 30, 2012: “In the middle of the night on July 23, U.S. Special Forces infiltrated a bowl-shaped valley in Paktika Province in remote eastern Afghanistan.”

“Failure to Communicate: Inside the Army’s Doomed Quest for the ‘Perfect’ Radio,” Center for Public Integrity, January 10, 2012: “As several dozen soldiers from the U.S. Army’s Task Force Rock drove into Afghanistan’s Chowkay Valley one morning in March 2010, Taliban fighters immediately began moving into ambush positions along a higher ridge.”

“Your Move, Beijing: Big Year Ahead for Chinese Navy,” AOL Defense, December 23, 2011: “At a meeting in Beijing in December, Chinese president Hu Jintao had a powerful message for officials from the People’s Liberation Army Navy. “

“The U.S. Navy’s Belated Robot Revolution,” World Politics Review, December 6, 2011: “It was an ignominious start for a potentially profound technological revolution.”

“The Future of Land Wars: Intense, High-Tech, Urban, Coastal,” AOL Defense, November 30, 2011: “After the year 2020 ground wars will be more intense and concentrated in the world’s crowded coastal cities.”

“A New Space Race?” The Diplomat, November 1, 2011: “Andrew Erickson, an associate professor at the U.S. Naval War College, is known for his views on Chinese aerospace and naval capabilities.”

“China’s Overhyped Sub Threat,” The Diplomat, October 20, 2011: “Beijing’s submarine fleet is not as big or powerful as US military planners once feared. Have its blue-water ambitions been overstated?”

Virginia-Class Subs Could Bolster Cruise Missile Fleet, But Where’s the Money?” AOL Defense, October 18, 2011: “The nuclear-powered submarine USS Florida was lying in wait, quietly submerged off the Libyan coast, when the order came from then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to launch its cruise missiles.”

“Next Step for Armed, Thinking Drones: New Laws,” AOL Defense, September 9, 2011: ” On Sept. 11, 2001, the U.S. military possessed just handful of robot aircraft.”

“America’s Somalia Experiment,” The Diplomat, September 5, 2011: “The U.S. military’s ‘offshore balancing’ strategy is likely to be applied to the Asia-Pacific.”

“China’s ‘Ripples of Capabilities’: An Interview with Andrew Erickson,” AOL Defense, August 29, 2011: “For any Westerner observer struggling to understand Chinese military developments — and let’s be serious, that’s most of us — Andrew Erickson is an indispensable resource.’

“Boom!,” Cartoon Movement, July 20, 2011: “Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) have become the number-one killer of NATO troops in Afghanistan.”

“Wobbly Afghan Forces Unready to Replace U.S. Military,” AOL Defense, July 12, 2011: “U.S. troops will start pulling out of Afghanistan this summer.”

“Congo’s Violent Rape Epidemic Needs a Cure,”Miller-McCune, June 21, 2011: “Can the U.S. Army help stop an epidemic of rape and sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo?”

“America’s Third Air Force: Future of the Marines,” AOL Defense, June 15, 2011: “The future of the Marines, which has been hotly debated ever since Defense Secretary Robert Gates referred to it as our “second land army” days after he announced the closure of Joint Forces Command, may well lie more in the air than on the sea.”

“U.S.-Led Alliance Concentrates on Afghan Population Centers,” Voice of America, May 9, 2011: “The U.S.-led war effort in Afghanistan is nearing its high-water mark.”

“NATO Forces Launch Border Operations in Afghanistan,” Voice of America, May 9, 2011: “U.S.-led coalition forces in Afghanistan are striking back against the Taliban’s annual spring offensive with helicopter raids targeting a key border area that has long served as a base for the insurgents.”

“Bin Laden Killing in Legal Gray Zone,” Politico, May 6, 2011: “The early-morning raid that killed Osama bin Laden was, according to CIA Director Leon Panetta, “the culmination of intense and tireless efforts on the part of many dedicated agency officers.”

“Clock Ticking in Afghanistan,” The Diplomat, April 21, 2011: “They attacked in a human wave, hundreds strong.”

“Afghanistan’s Failed Reintegration,” The Diplomat, April 8, 2011: “It was a hopeful speech in a striking setting.”

“Stalemate in Afghanistan,” The Diplomat, March 28, 2011: “The bomb was buried beneath a foot or more of hard-packed earth on the road through Padkhabi-Shana, 50 miles south of Kabul.”

“U.S. Drones Trump China Theatrics,” The Diplomat, February 7, 2011: “Call it China’s ‘Christmas surprise.’”

“China’s Over-Hyped Stealth Jet,” The Diplomat, January 6, 2011: “It was an audacious debut, even by the dramatic standards of Chinese weapons systems.”

“Why South Asia Loves Peacekeeping,” The Diplomat, December 16, 2010: “A truck carrying Indian U.N. peacekeepers trundles along the red dirt roads of Luvungi, a small town in a remote part of eastern Congo, on a routine patrol in late summer.”

“U.N. Rushes Aid to Refugees in Congo,” Voice of America, November 16, 2010: “With at least 2 million displaced people, Congo has one of the world’s largest populations of those who have lost their homes and fled their villages.”

“U.N. Peacekeepers Construct Vital Road,” Voice of America, November 15, 2010: “In eastern Congo, warring rebels and rogue government troops have displaced some 2 million people in a decade of fighting.”

“The Limits of Smart Power,” The American Prospect, November 8, 2010: “In February 2006, an army of rapists descended on Duru, a farming community of 5,000 in eastern Congo.”

“How China Mimics U.S. Soft Power,” The Diplomat, November 9, 2010: “Every day for a week in early September, U.S. Army soldiers traveled the same 10-mile route between Kinshasa’s dilapidated Grand Hotel and the hilltop Congolese military training base overlooking the Democratic Republic of Congo capital.”

“U.S. Army Trains Congo Soldiers,” Voice of America, October 28, 2010: “In the conflict-ravaged Democratic Republic of Congo, the country’s own military is one of the biggest causes of instability.”

“Church Radios Form Basis of a Life-Saving System in Congo,” Wired.co.uk, October 28, 2010: “A loud knocking on the door of the parish house was the only warning of the rebel attack.”

“U.K. Budget Cuts: Sinking the Royal Navy, Part II,” World Politics Review, October 28, 2010: “As part of government-wide cuts meant to rein in decades of deficit spending, in October the U.K. Ministry of Defense announced an initial 8 percent reduction in its roughly $63 billion annual budget.”

“U.K. Budget Cuts: Sinking the Royal Navy, Part I,” World Politics Review, October 27, 2010: “It was an event worthy of the British Royal Navy’s 500-year history. On June 3 at Portsmouth Naval Base, hundreds of dignitaries and citizens gathered to celebrate the commissioning of HMS Dauntless, the second of six high-tech Type 45 destroyers now entering service.”

“Congo Comic Book,” CBC, October 16, 2010: “David Axe is a freelance journalist who tends to travel to some dark and foreboding places. His most recent trip was to the Democratic Republic of Congo.”

“Crime against Humanity: Congo’s Rape Crisis, Part Two,” World Politics Review, October 6, 2010: “A team of U.S. Army medical personnel arrived in this crowded capital city the first week of September.”

“Crime against Humanity: Congo’s Rape Crisis, Part One,” World Politics Review, October 5, 2010: “Two years ago in this remote territory, a young woman named Dina and three others — another woman and two men — fled a camp belonging to the Lord’s Resistance Army rebel group.”

“Aeroplane Upgrades Could Future-Proof U.S. Air Force Fleet,” Wired.co.uk, October 4, 2010: “Even four decades later, its dimensions are awe-inspiring.”

“U.N. Peacekeepers Build Vital Road in Congo,” World Politics Review, September 29, 2010: “When the Ugandan rebel group, the Lord’s Resistance Army, attacked the town of Duru in eastern Congo two years ago, it took a convoy of U.N. peacekeepers and humanitarian workers 10 days by road to reach the devastated town.”

“Congo Peacekeepers Always a Step behind LRA,” World Politics Review, September 22, 2010: “The report must have caused a furor when it reached the Kinshasa headquarters of the U.N. peacekeeping force in Congo.”

“In Congo, U.S. Soft Power Encounters Obstacles,” World Politics Review, September 15, 2010: “The local residents had been waiting for hours, and there was no guarantee they’d get in to the poorly lit room where administrators from the Forces Armées de la République Democratique du Congo (FARDC) were busy filling out paperwork.”

“For Hi Tech, U.S. Army Tries to Think Like an Insurgent,” World Politics Review, September 8, 2010: