The National Interest (153)

How America Can Act Fast to Avert Genocide in the Central African Republic

Aditi Gorur Security, Africa Peacekeepers are an essential step to protecting Central African Republic civilians, but troops alone can't address the roots of the crisis. Today President Faustin-Archange Touadera of the Central African Republic will ask the United Nations to help him put an end to ...

Why America's Biggest Nuclear Weapons Test Ever Was a Total Disaster

Paul Richard Huard Security, The March 1, 1954 experiment was the first thermonuclear explosion based on practical technology that would lead to a deliverable H-bomb for the Air Force's Strategic Air Command. The shock wave destroyed buildings supposedly outside of the calculated damage zone. It ...

Is America About to Dump the INF Treaty?

Dave Majumdar Security, Abrogating the INF treaty would be a victory for Russia, which could claim that it was Washington rather than Moscow that is undermining the arms control regime.  A group of arms control experts is urging Senators to vote for an amendment to the fiscal year 2018 National ...

RANKED: The 6 Most Powerful Armies in History

Zachary Keck, Akhilesh Pillalamarri Security, The best of the best.  America was true to this model through the end of World War II, raising large armies during wartime but quickly dismantling them afterwards. Even still, the U.S. Army since the start of the 20th century as been highly effective, ...

Why North Korea Is Destined to Collapse

Jamie Metzl Security, Asia The story we are all missing.  The good news is that this collapse has the potential to be a win-win for nearly everyone. The North Korean people will end their terrible suffering, North and South Korea will be reunified under South Korean law, potentially following a ...

The U.S. Air Force's Built a Mach 2 Nuclear Super Bomber to Destroy Russia

Robert Farley Security, But it never, ever dropped a bomb. Why?  The B-58s most lasting contribution came in popular culture, where its futuristic, dangerous appearance made it attractive to artists and directors. Most famously, a group of B-58s  destroyed Moscow in the 1964 film Fail-Safe. ...

America Could Be in Afghanistan for Another 16 Years

Dave Majumdar Security, Middle East The country may never become a fully-fledged democracy, but staying the course may be the only option. American forces could still be in Afghanistan sixteen years from now—or even generations from now—under the White House's current strategy of maintaining an ...

Will the Trump Team Make a Power Play at the United Nations?

Daniel R. DePetris Security, North America The UN General Assembly is the best opportunity for Donald Trump to shine. It's that time of year again, a time when diplomats and heads-of-state in fancy suits from around the world all fly into New York City, ready to give inspirational speeches about the ...

What Is China Thinking with Its Newest Plane Design?

Lyle J. Goldstein Security, Asia China's latest large aircraft AG600 might be an ugly duckling, but the amphibious plane could turn out to be a shrewd investment. The People's Liberation Army Navy recently announced that the various naval flying and engineering schools in Yantai have been ...

Why Britain Is the Perfect Terror Target

Robin Simcox Security, Europe London simply does not have the capacity to track all of the twenty-three thousand terror suspects that reside in the country. At least twenty-nine people were injured when an improvised explosive device detonated on a London underground train during rush hour last ...

The United Nations Is Creating a Security Dilemma for Taiwan

J. Michael Cole Security, Asia Taiwan remains shunned by the UN, which insists on de jure sovereignty for membership and continues to operate under a One China' policy. Taiwan and its allies at the United Nations will once again make the case during the UN General Assembly for the meaningful ...

America and Its Allies Just Flew F-35s and Big B-1 Bombers Near North Korea

Dave Majumdar Security, Asia Get the hint, Kim.  The United States, the Republic of Korea and Japan have conducted yet another combined airpower exercise over the Korean peninsula in response to North Korea's latest provocations. Coming three days after Pyongyang's September 14 intermediate range ...

World War III: How America Planned a Nuclear War to Crush Russia

Joseph Trevithick Security, Millions would have died.  Regardless, the Air Force explained it simply couldn't afford to care about these concerns. While … the probability of radioactive fall-outs affecting friendly forces and peoples have been considered, the requirement to win the Air Power ...

Russia's Unmanned Aircraft Are Getting Lethal New Munitions

Samuel Bendett Security, But the success of such weapons will depend on the available military budget... Russian engineers have designed munitions specifically for the nation's unmanned aerial vehicle fleets, according to RIA-Novosti news agency. The weapon's combat weight is up to fifty kilograms . ...

Russia's Robotic Armada Emerges

Samuel Bendett Secuirty, Russia will likely seek to fast-track some of these developments into its forces. This year's Army-2017 military expo in Russia has featured a myriad of systems designed to showcase current Russian achievements fielded by the country's forces, as well as to show prospective ...

Getting The Most From The Army's Humvee Fleet

Dan Goure Security, The overall effect of this plan would be to provide the Army with a modernized light tactical vehicle fleet. The tragedy of Hurricane Harvey provided a clear demonstration of the National Guard's role in responding to natural disasters and domestic crises. The entire Texas Guard ...

This Is China's Master Plan for a Nuclear War Against America

Lyle J. Goldstein Security, Asia This makes the North Korea problem seem simple.  The author also cites U.S. intelligence reports, concluding that four tests have now been conducted, including one that demonstrates multiple-reentry vehicle technology. The author estimates that DF-41 will finally ...

How the U.S. Navy Plans to Crush China and Russia in a Naval War

Kris Osborn Security, A new Tomahawk missile.  The idea is to engineer a Tomahawk missile able to engage and destroy fast-moving near-peer rival ships and land targets in a wide variety of anticipated threat environments. For instance, should there be combat engagements with Russia or China, U.S. ...

Can Washington Protect America's Electoral Process from the next Cyber Attack?

John Allen, Michael O'Hanlon Security, North America Congress needs to act on a major elections-security initiative this year. When one of us, after a four-decade career in the Marine Corps including nineteen months in command in Afghanistan, had the chance to address the National Association of ...

America May Push Iran Into Becoming the Next Nuclear Crisis

Ted Galen Carpenter Security, Middle East Using North Korea's behavior as an excuse to trash the nuclear agreement with Iran is at best a dangerously simplistic reaction. It's no secret that the Trump administration is busily building a case to have the United States repudiate the P5+1 nuclear ...

The Search for Crime and Justice on America's Indian Reservations

Maggie Ybarra Politics, North America The federal approach' is usually a one-size-fits-all, take-it-or-leave-it deal, which may not seem very appealing to some tribes. New Mexico is quietly wild. Its multicolored sunsets, volcano-pocked terrain and unique cultural landscape attract tourists, inspire ...

Here's How Private Contractors Can Help Win the Afghan War

Daniel G. Straub Security, Middle East History and incentives are on their side. The president has declared a path forward' for Afghanistan. Given that the United States is at a nexus for strategic change, might there be an increased role for private contractors in positions previously held by U.S. ...

Trump and the United Nations: Reform or Die?

Zalmay Khalilzad Politics, North America President Trump is taking on a tough but necessary task at the UN. President Donald Trump will be hosting a meeting on Monday in New York on reforming the United Nations. With that, the president is taking on a very tough but very necessary task. The ...

The Terrifying Tale of How Russia Exploded the Biggest Hydrogen Bomb Ever

Steve Weintz Security, It makes North Korea's latest test look small.  Big Ivan was a one-off, essentially a technical stunt. There are hints that the clean 50-megaton design was considered for weaponization, but nothing concrete. Curiously enough, at about the same time American nuclear weaponeers ...

Why America's Missile Defenses Might Not Work Against North Korea

Dave Majumdar Security, Asia And that's a huge problem.  Late last week, the United States tracked a North Korean intermediate range ballistic missile test that once again overflew Japan before landing in the Pacific. The IRBM is the latest in a series of North Korean provocations this year that ...

Why Russia and China Will Hate America's New Super Tank

Kris Osborn Security, Lots of new tech, for starters.  Advanced networking technology with next-generation sights, sensors, targeting systems and digital networking technology -- are all key elements of an ongoing upgrade to position the platform to successfully engage in combat against rapidly ...

The U.S. Army's Potential Helicopter Replacement Is Ready to Take Flight

Task and Purpose, Jared Keller Security, North America Bell Helicopter's advanced V-280 Valor tiltrotor prototype is 100 percent' complete and ready for its maiden flight. Bell Helicopter's advanced V-280 Valor tiltrotor prototype, developed to replace the iconic AH-64 Apache attack chopper and ...

This Is the Story of a U.S. Soldier Who Fought World War II in His Tank

Warfare History Network History, Europe From North Africa to Sicily to Normandy to the heart of Germany, bow gunner Irving Bromberg fought the war in a Sherman tank. Private First Class Irving Bromberg saw a huge puff of smoke erupt from the German tank's cannon muzzle as it headed straight for his ...

Af-Pak, India and Beyond: The New Underpinnings of Washington's South Asia Policy

Puneet Ahluwalia, Prateek Joshi Security, Asia American national interest lies in reaching out to the smallest of the nations, which may prove crucial to America First' domestic concerns. Strategic circles in South Asia have been obsessed with Washington since August 21, when President Trump ...

Why Isn't There a Debate about America's Grand Strategy?

Christopher A. Preble Politics, North America There has been neither a major retrenchment, nor even a debate over whether such a retrenchment is warranted or wise. The United States needs a new set of ideas and principles to justify its worthwhile international commitments, and curtail ineffective ...

How Submarine Warfare Was Changed Forever after the Sinking of This British Ship

Warfare History Network History, Europe London feared death by torpedo. In October 1939, illuminated by the northern lights, the German submarine U-47 threaded its way through sunken barriers and slipped into the British anchorage at Scapa Flow, a 125.3-square-mile natural port off the northern ...

In 1942, U.S. Marines Launched a Raid from Submarines Straight out of an 80s Action Movie

Sebastien Roblin History, Asia Yes, this is real. On a stormy night, U.S. Marines set off secretly from submarines to assault a remote island base. They are led by a controversial commander with radical new ideas. And the son of the sitting U.S. president is one of his officers. The Makin raid in ...

This World War II Battle Gave Rise to 'Victory through Air Power'

Warfare History Network History, Europe The battle for the Mediterranean island of Pantelleria was an easy, but important, Allied victory. Pantelleria is a small volcanic island rising out of the Mediterranean Sea 37 miles east of the Tunisian coast and some 63 miles southwest of Sicily. Since its ...

India's Navy Just Built a Second Nuclear Missile Submarine

Zachary Keck Security, Asia Should Pakistan be worried?  The Indian Navy will launch its second homegrown nuclear-powered submarine within the next month, according to local media outlets. This week, India's Economic Times reported, citing government sources, that the second indigenous nuclear ...

Iran and the Nuclear Sunset Clauses

Paul R. Pillar Iran Nuclear Proliferation, Middle East Opposition to the Iran nuclear agreement, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action , always has been filled with disingenuous arguments.  This reflects the fundamental illogic of the opponents' position: if the agreement were to ...

These Are the Do-It-Yourself Tanks of ISIS

Michael Peck Security, Middle East And they can kill. Mix-and-match tanks are nothing new. The Nazis mounted captured Russian artillery pieces on looted Czechoslovakian tank chassis to create the Marder self-propelled antitank gun. The Israel Defense Forces put British tank cannon on American-made ...

The U.S. Air Force's Secret Space Plane Is Headed Back into Orbit

Task and Purpose, Jared Keller Security, North America Here's what it may be up to. The Air Force's top secret unmanned X-37B space plane blasted off on its fifth flight on Sept. 7, launching from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida with an assist from a Falcon 9 rocket booster belonging to ...

Ohio-Class Ballistic-Missile Submarines: The U.S. Military's Ultimate Weapon?

Kyle Mizokami Security, North America They could take the prize. America's Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarines are some of the quietest, stealthiest submarines in the world. The Ohio submarines represent America's ace in the hole, megatons of nuclear firepower quietly patrolling the world's ...

China Is Developing a New Super Tank to Take on India in a War

Sebastien Roblin Security, Asia Coming soon to a war near you?  In June 2017, the Chinese periodical Guancha reported that the Xinqingtan , a mountain-going tank formerly known by the equally generic appellation ZTQ-105, had entered trials in Tibetan Plateau. The newspaper characterized these as a ...

The U.S. Military Wants the Ultimate Weapons: 'Stealth' Bullets

Michael Peck Security, But will it ever happen?  Noise-canceling headphones have become a familiar sight. Fastened over the ears of music lovers and airliner passengers, they use sound waves to cancel out the roar of outside noises such as jet engines. Now the Pentagon wants to use that same ...

The Dilemma of Having Two Nuclear Koreas

Robert E Kelly Security, Asia South Korea would gain an appealing symmetry with the North through nuclear weapons—but likely would never use them. It was probably inevitable that South Korea would entertain the development of nuclear weapons in the face of North Korea's relentless push for them ...

Should Dreamers Be Preparing for a Legal Fight?

Lawrence A. Cunningham Politics, North America DACA applicants should consider applying contract law to their unusual situation and seek assurance of due performance. Polarizing discord over the constitutionality and prudence of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program obscures more ...

4 Reasons America Shouldn't Send Nuclear Weapons to South Korea or Japan

Zachary Keck Security, Asia All the reasons why.  As I have been writing about in recent weeks, the United States and its Asia-Pacific allies have been scrambling to respond to the rapid advances in North Korea's nuclear program. One idea that has been floated is to redeploy tactical nuclear ...

The B-1B Bomber: The U.S. Military's Flying Missile Truck

Kyle Mizokami Security, Europe A monster in the air.  Like many warplanes since the end of the Cold War, the B-1B bomber's role in American airpower has changed to embrace new missions. Unlike other planes, the B-1's mission changed even before the first aircraft took off. What started as a ...

This Is What Happened When the U.S. Marines Put the M9 and Glock 19 Head to Head

Task and Purpose, James Clark Security, And there's video to show what happened. The 2nd Marine Division's top firearms expert, Chief Warrant Officer Christian P. Wade, is back with yet another gun video — And this one's all about pistols. Tired of all the hate dropped on the M9 Beretta, Wade's ...

Merkel Can't Lead Germany, Much Less the Free World

Alex Berezow Politics, Europe In many ways, Angela Merkel is Germany's Bill Clinton, minus the philandering. Angela Merkel is likely cruising to an easy re-election as Germany's chancellor. Because many pundits in America refer to her as the leader of the free world,' it is tempting to speculate ...

Chelsea Manning: What Was Harvard Thinking?

Jacob Heilbrunn Politics, North America Manning isn't the Kennedy School's only questionable appointment.  The Institute of Politics at Harvard University's Kennedy School announced on Wednesday that it was inviting Chelsea E. Manning--who disseminated almost 750,000 secret American government ...

How North Korea's Crazy Special Ops Assassins Almost Started World War III

Adam Rawnsley Security, Asia Yes, this is all-too-real.  According to a 1969 CIA report, interrogations of captured infiltrators revealed that they had been taught to expect a warm welcome from an oppressed people and instead found an anti-Communism among the South Korean people so strong that they ...

2 Million Dead : Why the World Is Not Ready for War with North Korea

Dennis P. Halpin Security, Asia It would be a tragedy like no other.  The label of the North Korean state as a Marxist-Leninist regime, even of the particularly repressive Maoist Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution variety, is a misnomer. North Korea is a dynastic autocracy, ruled by a semidivine ...

The Shocking Story of How a North Korea Ax Murderer Almost Started a War

Michael Peck Security, Asia Yes, this happenned.  What stunned the North Korean guards was the line of AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters hovering on the South Korean side of the border. Behind the Cobras were B-52s escorted by U.S. and South Korean F-4 and F-5 fighters. On airfields in South Korea ...