The National Interest (133)

Russia's Secret Weapon: Armored Vehicles That Can 'Fly'

Sebastien Roblin Security, Since the 1970s, the Russian military has possessed a diverse fleet of armored vehicles it can drop out of airplanes … with parachutes, of course. Since the 1970s, the Russian military has possessed a diverse fleet of armored vehicles it can drop out of airplanes … ...

Could Textron's Scorpion Light Attack Jet Take Over the OA-X Competition?

Dave Majumdar Security, Could this be the winner?  Textron is preparing its privately developed Scorpion light attack jet for the United States Air Force's OA-X experiment this summer. Together with the company's Beechcraft AT-6 turboprop light attack plane, the two aircraft will be Textron's ...

Ukraine's Future Is Brighter Than You Think

Luke Coffey Politics, Europe Budget deficits have been reduced, budgetary discipline is being restored and there are finally signs of economic growth. Most of the attention Ukraine gets these days is about the war in the eastern part of the country—and rightly so. More than 10,000 people have been ...

The World's Most Powerful Aircraft Carrier Will Soon Join the U.S. Navy

Dave Majumdar Security, And it will pack quite a punch.  The United States Navy will formally commission Gerald R. Ford into service on July 22 at Naval Station Norfolk on the Virginia coast. The new vessel is America's first new carrier design in over 40 years since USS Nimitz entered service in ...

America Doesn't Need Tariffs to Compete with China

Harry Krejsa Politics, Asia Trump needs to look toward harnessing the industries of the future rather than grasping at the economic models of the past. Last week, President Donald Trump renewed his pledge to defend American steel producers against what he described as the unfair practices of ...

The Iran Nuclear Deal Isn't Working

Timothy Stafford Security, Middle East Compliance is not enough. In a legally required letter to Speaker Paul Ryan on April 18, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson confirmed that Iran is in compliance with the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action . The next day, he told reporters that the ...

Iran and the Collision between Trump and Reality

Paul R. Pillar Iran Nuclear Proliferation, Middle East Donald Trump's disdain for the truth does not prevent reality from repeatedly bumping up against his policies, the most consistent theme of which has been to try to destroy his predecessor's accomplishments.  The degree to which reality ...

Trump Turns on Jeff Sessions

Daniel McCarthy Politics, He knows something his foes don't know—or can't admit. Donald Trump has a secret weapon. Even as controversies swirl around him like galaxies colliding, one scandal or outrage smashing into the next before the last one has fully sunk into citizens' brains, Trump remains ...

Montana: Everything You Need to Know About the Super Battleship America Never Built

Robert Farley Security, They would have ruled the seas.  The Montanas would have been immensely powerful ships, probably more powerful than their Japanese counterparts. Battleship combat was an inherently risky endeavor. Nearly every salvo has a chance of getting a lucky hit that strikes a ...

The U.S. Air Force Wants to Expand the Range of This Stealthy Cruise Missiles

Dave Majumdar Security, Thanks to Russia and China.  With advanced air defense systems such as the Russian-made S-300 and S-400 families proliferating around the world, it is becoming increasingly difficult for American airpower to penetrate into airspace defended by such anti-access/area-denial ...

The Real Reason You Should See Dunkirk: Hitler Lost World War II There

Michael Peck Security, A battle for the ages.  A British writer whose father fought at Dunkirk wrote that the British public was under no illusions. If there was a Dunkirk spirit, it was because people understood perfectly well the full significance of the defeat but, in a rather British way, saw ...

Everything You Need to Know About Russia's New Sukhoi Su-30SM1 Fighter

Dave Majumdar Security, And its all becuase of Syria.  Russia has developed a new modernized version of the Sukhoi Su-30SM Flanker-H that features upgraded avionics and weapons. Designated as the Su-30SM1, the aircraft leverages the operational lessons that Russia has learned during its operations ...

The Forgotten Weapon That Helped the Allies Win World War II

Warfare History Network History, The Universal Carrier was used by every Allied army in every single theater of the war. The origins of the Universal Carrier can be traced to the Ford T-powered Carden-Loyd machines developed in Great Britain in the mid-1920s, specifically the Mark VI model of 1927. ...

U.S. Marines Will Soon Be Lighter and Deadlier

James Clark, Task and Purpose Security, It's because of new body armor, plates, packs and helmets Everything but the kitchen sink' might as well be the maxim of post-9/11 Marines who lugged half their body weight across Afghanistan and Iraq. Now, after years of bad backs, aching knees, and endless ...

Congress Must Preserve the INF Treaty with Russia

Thomas Graham Jr. Security, Eurasia A new bill proposes that the United States would no longer be bound by the INF Treaty if Russia remains in violation. Congress, through a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act, risks endangering American national security by threatening the integrity ...

America's Pakistan Policy Could Make or Break Trump's Legacy

Robert Hathaway Security, Asia Washington must decide whether it can continue to partner with Pakistan or whether it should more openly confront Islamabad. Trump administration is on the cusp of making three crucial decisions about the sixteen-year war in Afghanistan and the related matter of how to ...

Ukraine Needs to Address Its Paramilitary Problem

Michael Sheldon Security, Europe Volunteer battalions represent a legitimacy dilemma for the Ukrainian government. Since the conclusion of Maidan, politically motivated private security actors operating in parallel with the Ukrainian government have played an integral part in the country's security ...

The Comeback Caliphate: How ISIS Could Regain Control of Iraq

Daniel R. DePetris Security, Middle East Abadi must make reforms capable of preventing Iraqi security forces from committing atrocious behavior. For a country that has been all too accustomed to terrible news over the last fourteen years, the liberation of Mosul was a big breath of fresh air for ...

Trump's Zig-Zag China Policy Is Confusing U.S. Allies

Dennis P. Halpin Security, Asia The president has a famously limited amount of patience and a habit of changing his mind. President Trump has proven as unpredictable on his East Asia policy as he has on a number of other policy issues during his first almost six months in office. In December, prior ...

Japan's Demographic Crisis Will Only Get Worse. Here's Why That's Bad News for America

Steven Kopits Security, Asia The Japan of the future will have fewer resources, both in men and money, to devote to its defense and economy. If you want to see the future of the advanced economies, Japan might be a good place to start. Despite full employment, Japan is showing muted wage pressures, ...

Could DRS's C-UAS be the U.S. Army's Solution to Defeating Enemy Drones?

Dave Majumdar Security,  Current weapons are simply too expensive and the cost-exchange ratio is too ridiculously lopsided. The United States Army has awarded Leonardo DRS a contract award worth up to $16 million to develop a counter-unmanned aerial system capability to protect soldiers from ...

NATO Is Staging War Rehearsals for the Ultimate Nightmare: A Russian Invasion

Sandra Erwin Security, Europe Could it happen?  President Trump's assertion that NATO countries are not carrying their fair share of the security burden rings hollow across military bases in Eastern Europe this month, where 45,000 troops from the United States and 23 other countries are staging war ...

NATO Is Staging War Rehearsals for the Ultimate Nightmare: A Russian invasion

Sandra Erwin Security, Europe Could it happen?  President Trump's assertion that NATO countries are not carrying their fair share of the security burden rings hollow across military bases in Eastern Europe this month, where 45,000 troops from the United States and 23 other countries are staging war ...

How the United States Dominates the Battlefield: It Wins Wars at Night

Adam K. Raymond, Task and Purpose Security, Middle East Since night raids during World War II, the United States has maintained the advantage in the dark. The sky was moonless on the night of May 1, 2011, as two MH-60 Black Hawk helicopters flew toward a walled compound in an upscale enclave of ...

The 88mm Gun: The Weapon Nazi Germany Used to Destroy Everything

Warfare History Network History, Europe Originally designed as an antiaircraft weapon, it was equally terrifying as an antitank gun. The November 21, 1944, daylight flight of Teddy's Rough Riders was anything but routine for American pilot Werner G. Göring, nephew of Nazi Reichsminister of Aviation ...

The Company That Built the AK-47 Is Developiong a Real Life 'Terminator'

Jared Keller, Task and Purpose Security, Europe And it will supposedly be able to learn. The company behind the ubiquitous AK-47 assault rifle has a new weapon of war on the horizon: robot guns that learn and kill all on their own. Kalashnikov Concern has reportedly developed a fully automated ...

Is Russia Getting Ready to Build a New Aircraft Carrier and Fighter to Match?

Dave Majumdar Security, Maybe--and both might be blasts from the past.  Russia is examining the possibility of building a new aircraft carrier along with a new short takeoff/vertical-landing fighter toward the end of its 2018-2025 state armament program. The new vessel—which would be a heavy ...

Russia and China are Building Super Stealthy Submarines

Dave Majumdar Security, Thanks to DARPA With the growing threat posed by advanced adversary submarines such as those being developed and fielded by Russia and China, the Pentagon is exploring novel sonar technologies to counter those new vessels. One such effort is the U.S. Defense Advanced Research ...

Is Turkey Headed for Another Coup?

Mohammed Ayoob Politics, Middle East A short history of why Erdogan is a magnet for military coups. On July 15 Turkey commemorated the first anniversary of the 2016 failed military coup with a great deal of pomp, grandeur and public rallies in the major cities. President Erdogan spoke at rallies in ...

America Literally Can't Afford More Military Adventurism

Doug Bandow Security, Middle East According to the CBO, fiscal reality is coming, and far faster than most Washington policymakers appear to realize. Republican presidents and Congresses claim to support fiscal responsibility and balanced budgets. Yet the previous GOP president, George W. Bush, was ...

How China's Navy Is Preparing to Fight in the 'Far Seas'

Ryan Martinson, Katsuya Yamamoto Security, Asia Two PLA Navy officers might have a clue. On June 28, the Chinese navy launched the first of a formidable new class of warship. At over twelve thousand tons and bristling with sensors and weapons, the Type 055 destroyer is among the most advanced ...

Why Emmanuel Macron Is Now the Man to Watch in Syria

Curt Mills Politics, Middle East In throwing Bashar al-Assad a bone—breaking with his predecessors—the new French president is emerging as potentially the world's most powerful foreign-policy realist. When historians look back on the European Union's July 17 move to sanction Syrian scientists ...

North Korea's Nukes Will Only Go If Kim Gets to Stay

Roger Cliff Security, Asia Keep the Kims. Ditch the nukes. Time is running short if the United States wishes to prevent North Korea from acquiring the ability to attack the United States with a nuclear weapon. Recognizing this, the administration and outside advisors are floating a range of options ...

To See How Fractured the GOP Has Become, Simply Look at the Senate

Matt Purple Politics, Since the Bush administration the GOP has grown to house a diverse coalition. The health-care bill showed how little these groups get along. When the Renaissance painting of the recent Republican health-care fight is complete, it will show Rand Paul standing to the right ...

Team America versus Jihad

Robert Cassidy Security, War serves itself if there is no strategy to guide and constrain it. The war on terror has had no coherent plot, only jarring disjunctions of cause and effect, time and place.' - George Packer The object in war is to attain a better peace—even if only from your own point ...

The U.S. Navy Wants 20 New Guided-Missile Frigates

David Axe Security, One way to get to 355 ships.  The U.S. Navy has begun the process of acquiring a new guided-missile frigate, several years after decommissioning the last of its old Perry-class FFGs. On July 10, 2017, Naval Sea Systems Command formally asked the U.S. shipbuilding industry to ...

Why Killing Enemy Submarines Is Not as Easy as It Use to Be

Andrew Davies Security, Think whales, oil and stealth submarines.  James Mugg's recent piece made a convincing case that the anti-submarine warfare capability of surface combatants is more about the aircraft they embark than about systems on the ships themselves. In this post I look at how those ...

The Story of How Japan Smashed Russia's Navy

Warfare History Network Security, At 11:50 pm, 10 Japanese ships from the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Destroyer Flotillas suddenly appeared out of the blackness and launched a series of torpedoes at the Russian ships. On the chilly night of February 8, 1904, the Imperial Russian Navy's Pacific Squadron ...

Get Ready, North Korea: This Is How America's Defenses Against ICBMs Could Improve

Kris Osborn Security, Northrop Grumman is working with the Missile Defense Agency to refine new command and control systems able to exchange time-sensitive information with an interceptor kill vehicle. The Pentagon's next intercept test will incorporate new missile defense technology engineered to ...

Why Religious Policies in Israel Matter to U.S. Gentiles

Paul R. Pillar Israel Religion, Middle East In recent weeks, the Israeli government has taken measures that have exacerbated tensions within world Jewry.  Each measure has reflected the political power of ultra-Orthodox parties within the ruling coalition of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  One ...

Here's How to Update the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program

David Inserra Politics, Middle East Current policy asserts American leadership, helps partners and rescues some of the world's most vulnerable people. But it needs reform. The Supreme Court has given a temporary green light to President Donald Trump's travel and refugee ban.' It will stay in effect ...

This Group Hopes to Push America toward Regime Change in Iran

Ted Galen Carpenter Politics, Middle East The Trump administration needs to avoid the Mujahedeen Khalq like the plague. American policymakers and pundits have an unfortunate history of embracing odious foreign political movements that purport to be democratic. During the Cold War, embarrassing ...

Wanted: A Give-And-Take Diplomacy for the North Korea Crisis

Amitai Etzioni Security, Asia America should make a serious attempt at give-and-take diplomacy with China before the situation with North Korea becomes untenable. Let me play for a moment the academic and question the international-relations theory that underlies the Trump administration's approach ...

I Interviewed the War-Weary Residents of Mosul. The Fight for the City Is Far from Over.

Daniel L. Davis Security, Middle East If the Iraqi government isn't careful, the fall of ISIS in mosul may simply herald a transition to the next phase of conflict. I am currently in Iraq exploring the region in and around Mosul, assessing the current state of the city following Iraqi Prime Minister ...

How Russia's New Husky-Class Submarines Borrow from the U.S. Navy's Playbook

Dave Majumdar Security, And it could work out very nicely for Moscow.  The Russian Navy is taking a page out of the United States Navy's playbook as it develops its family of next generation nuclear submarines. Tentatively called Project Husky, the new submarines will be built in three variants—a ...

Fact: Japan Wanted to Drop Plague Bombs on America Using 'Aircraft Carrier' Subs

Sebastien Roblin Security, Asia A World War II tale like no other. During World War II, Japan infamously deployed biological weapons in attacks that infected and killed thousands of Chinese citizen. Less well known, however, is the fact that Japanese strategists also planned to deploy plague bombs ...

The Story of Project Cannikin: In 1971, the U.S. Military Nuked Alaska

Steve Weintz Security, Project Cannikin's origins, purpose and politics angered a lot of people.  On Nov. 6, 1971, the United States conducted its most powerful underground nuclear test to date. The massive, five-megaton blast detonated more than a mile below remote, windswept Amchitka Island in ...

Choosing A New Trainer Might Prove Challenging For The Air Force

Dan Goure Secuirty, In making their decision, the Air Force's proposal evaluators should weigh all the factors that are likely to impact the program, not just price. Later this year, the U.S. Air Force will select a company to build a new jet trainer designated T-X to replace the aging T-38 Talon. ...

This Is Why the Korean War Never Really Ended

Ron Huisken Security, Asia The truce is still in place, which means that all the belligerents are still, in formal terms, at war with one another.  The three countries that started the Korean War in June 1950—Russia , China and North Korea—are still maneuvering to secure a better outcome. When ...

Exclusive: Iran's Foreign Minister Warns Donald Trump That Tehran Can Abandon the Nuclear Deal

Mohammad Javad Zarif Politics, Middle East TNI's Jacob Heilbrunn just sat down with Tehran's top diplomat—and he was not happy with the Trump administration. Jacob Heilbrunn, editor of the National Interest, spoke with Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran's foreign minister in an interview in New York on ...