The Buzz

Why Is the Air Force Using Jet-Flying Mercenaries?

The U.S. Air Force’s elite Weapons School at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, has started using contractors flying privately-owned combat aircraft to help train the service’s tactical gurus. The contractors have been hired for what amounts to a trial run. If it goes well, there are likely to be further contracts.

What the World Can Learn From the ISIS Jakarta Attacks

Indonesia’s worst terrorist attack in six years may have set Jakarta on edge and introduced a troubling new tactical dimension to Southeast Asian terrorism, but the pistol-wielding militants failed to live up to what’s normally expected of a brutal Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) franchise.

Strange on all fronts was the choice of targets—a Starbucks outlet and a one-man police post—the use of handguns and small explosive devices and, above all, the death toll: four terrorists and four victims, an Algerian-born Canadian, a traffic policeman, and two Indonesian civilians.

Should Australia Back a President Trump?

This year will see the end of the seemingly interminable process that decides who’ll become America’s next president. The conventional wisdom is that despite being the most popular candidate, Donald Trump won’t be the Republican nomination. Even if he is, Hillary Clinton will trounce him in the only poll that matters.

Russia Ramps Up Switch to Next-Gen Submarines

Russia is scrapping its Project 677 Lada-class diesel-electric submarine program in favor of the new Kalina-class.

The Russian navy will complete the two Lada-class vessel that are currently under construction before moving on to the much more advanced fifth-generation Kalina-class boats. The first Project 677 submarine, Sankt Peterburg (pictured), is currently in service with the Russian Baltic Fleet.

Is Saudi Arabia the Next Syria?

The Islamic State group (ISIS) is running up against a wall. As national coalitions take a larger role in the fight against ISIS, the group will become increasingly unable to operate on as large a scale as it has in years past, and it will be pushed out of its previously held territories—its decline may take years or even decades, but it will ultimately decline. But although ISIS may deplete its resources and feel increasing pressure from the international community, its members will not simply disappear as the group loses momentum.