War College

War College


A weekly look at the weapons systems and tactics that both endanger the world and keep it safe.


The next Great Game may be played for the North Pole  

Russia's aircraft carrier may be creaky, but its submarines are among the best in the business and they ply the currents beneath the Arctic at will - though not unchallenged. So, who's challenging Russia and what are the world's powers fighting over in the warming waters?

Going where Obama feared to tread in Syria – the Albright-Hadley plan  

Guest host and Reuters Diplomatic Correspondent Arshad Mohammed sits down with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, to discuss a report that amounts to a bipartisan rejection of President Barack Obama's decision to carefully limit U.S. military engagement in the nearly six-year civil war.

Read the story: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-report-idUSKBN13O2MS


ICYMI: The men who burned down the world: A conversation with Dan Carlin  

RE-RELEASE: Dan Carlin, who hosts the Common Sense and Hardcore History podcasts, joined us last year to discuss men and women who fundamentally change the worlds they are born into. Good may eventually come from what these "historical arsonists" do, but the price paid by their contemporaries is usually in blood.

The Kremlin had a plan - Donald Trump winning wasn't part of it  

While Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump had some good things to say about each other during the 2016 U.S. election cycle, Russia expert Mark Galeotti tells War College a victory for Trump wasn't part of the Kremlin's plan. So what was the real motivation behind Russia's interference?

The road to Ward 17  

Dean Yates' view into war and suffering left changed. That he knew. But just how profoundly didn't become clear until he retreated to a quieter life to the place where his wife grew up, in Tasmania.

ICYMI: Can NATO still put up a fight against Russia?  

THIS IS A REPEAT A SHOW FROM MARCH 3. With Vladimir Putin and the United States staring at each other like the gunfighters in the final scene in the "Good, the Bad and the Ugly," War College takes a fresh look at NATO. We wanted to know what kind of shape the nearly 70-year-old alliance is in.

The security threats both candidates are ignoring  

With Russia a wildcard, Islamic State on the run, budgets out of control and several Forever Wars, the next U.S. president will have their plate full.

Is the U.S. at war? Sorry, that's classified.  

If you don't know whether or not the U.S. is at war, you're not alone. Soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines are engaged all over the world. In many places they're involved in "kinetic warfare," military jargon that means that bullets are flying. So, the United States is at war, right?

Will the recapture of Mosul lead to peace or a bloodbath?  

Mosul is as the Iraqi capital of the militant group Islamic State. Out of a population of between 1.5 million and 2 million, 4,000 to 8,000 are armed extremists. They now face a combined military force in the tens of thousands, backed up by some of the world's great military powers, including the United States.

What the hell happened to Britain's Royal Navy?  

To say the Britain's Royal Navy is legendary is probably to undersell it. There have been thousands of books - fiction and non-fiction - written about its victories during the Napoleonic wars. Its a bit much to expect any organization to keep up that kind of performance for centuries, but the Royal Navy did. That's what makes its current state so surprising. 

Inside America’s armed militias and the new civil war  

Depending on where you live, this story will either be shocking or old hat. But even if you have an armed "militia" operating near you, you probably don't realize just how developed these states within a state have become - and how far they've drifted from the majority of American society.

When the 'War on Drugs' got literal, and how it could end  

Drug cartel weaponry has gotten deadlier. In 2015, a Mexican army helicopter was shot down in the state of Jalisco. The local cartel used a rocket-propelled grenade to do it. And for years, drug gangs have worked on their navies, moving from cigarette boats to homemade submarines. They have air forces, as well, and fight pitched battles against the army in Mexico and other places. But things are changing.

An Islamic Reformation may be beside the point  

The separation of church and state is one of the fundamental tenets of the modern Western world, but that doesn't make it inevitable for all cultures. But does that mean that the Islamic world and the Western one are in an existential struggle? Or is that division even meaningful?

Why nuclear war looks inevitable  

Several developments have the potential to move the hands of the nuclear doom clock closer to midnight. 

One reason the U.S. isn't winning the 'War on Terror'  

In the 15 years since America first went to war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Pentagon has reduced the number of troops on the ground and increased the number of unmanned robots picking off high value targets.

How the Pentagon became the world's weapon system superstore  

The United States is the world's largest arms merchant. It's not even close. So, who decides what gets sold, and to whom? And how closely does anyone follow the rules? This week on War College we look at the upsides, and the downsides, of having such a big share of the arms market.

The age of the aircraft carrier may be over  

The United States has more aircraft carriers than any other country. Depending on what you call an aircraft carrier, it's 10 times as many. So why don't more countries have more carriers? Maybe they aren't such a great idea, anymore.

How the U.S. got caught between two nuclear neighbors  

It's a situation where the United States has interesting choices to make. India and Pakistan are often at each other's throats. Both want U.S. support. Both are allies of necessity for the United States. Both have nuclear weapons.

This week on War College we look at a delicate balancing act, where diplomatic failure by the United States could have deadly repercussions for millions.

The Kremlin may be more involved in U.S. politics than you realize  

Hackers released a treasure trove of unpleasant internecine emails on the eve of the Democratic National Convention. The Democratic Party chairwoman was out of a job and tensions between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders supporters were reignited just as the Democrats were trying for a prime-time show of unity. Who were the hackers? Security experts inside and outside the government have pointed the finger at Russia. So, was this an act foreign aggression playing out on a strange new battlefield?

How a 'chicken gun' keeps U.S. warbirds aloft and other strange tales  

When the United States Air Force tests a new aircraft it needs to make sure it won't crash should a stray bird slam into the plane's side. Thankfully, the military has an artillery piece with a 60-foot barrel that hurls chicken more than 400 miles an hour. The chicken gun allows the military to make sure no stray bird will foul up its expensive jets while they're mid-flight. If you think the chicken gun is weird, it’s only the tip of a strange and fascinating iceberg.

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