The Buzz

Did Israel's Arrow Really Shoot Down a Syrian Rocket?

Last week’s report that Israel’s Arrow missile-defense system shot down a Syrian missile was remarkable on two levels.

It was the first time that the Arrow had shot down a missile in combat. And, the target the Arrow destroyed wasn’t a ballistic missile like a Scud—it was a Russian-made surface-to-air missile. This would mark the first time that a missile-defense interceptor shot down a SAM.

How Russia Gave Birth to THAAD

The antiballistic missile that promises to defend South Korea from North Korean nukes has its origins in a Cold War requirement to defend U.S. forces from Soviet tactical missiles. Despite a rocky development history, the Terminal High Altitude Area Air Defense (THAAD) missile defense system now appears to be Seoul’s best defense against a similar attack from the north.

The Mosin-Nagant: The Russian Sniper Rifle Nazi Germany Feared Most

The Soviet government often exaggerated tales of its front-line snipers for propaganda purposes. The sniper duel between famed Soviet sniper Vasily Zaitsev and “Major Konig” was probably myth, although Zaitsev was unquestionably a remarkable soldier.

Such myths are a weapon in a fight for national survival, and a tool for building morale. But in terms of history, the myths complicate the picture.

Forget North Korea: A Nuclear War Betweeen India and Pakistan Should Terrify You

While the United States is preoccupied by the threat of nuclear weapons in the hands of potential adversaries such as Russia, China or North Korea, the danger of nuclear conflict may actually be greatest between two of its allies, Pakistan and India. The two nations have engaged in four wars starting since their partition along religious lines in 1947. A fifth could be drastically more costly, as their nuclear capabilities continue to grow and diversify.

Why Nobody Wants to Fight America's Tanks: Uranium "Silver Bullets"

A tank is a fast-moving, well-protected, heavily armed behemoth designed to dominate the land battlefield. As the primary offensive weapon in any army, nations compete to field the best tanks in both peace and war. In the 1980s, the U.S. Army took the drastic step of arming its tank, the M1 Abrams, with the ultimate upgrade: a tank-killing round made of uranium, the heaviest naturally occurring element on Earth. The result is an unmatched tank killer capable of destroying any fielded tank.

The Real Reason America Lost the War in Vietnam: Japan

In March of 1945, and just five months before surrendering to the Allies, Japan did something with profound consequences: it conquered Vietnam—and ultimately embroiled the United States in its first lost war.

To be accurate, Japan did not seize Vietnam as we conceive of Vietnam today. It seized French Indochina, that region of Southeast Asia comprising Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, which France had conquered in the name of the French Empire.

In 1968, North Korea Captured and Tortured 81 U.S. Sailors (They Kept The Ship as a Trophy)

When the USS Pueblo slipped from its quay in Yokosuka, Japan on January 5, 1968, its crew of eighty-three could not have anticipated that what would have been a routine mission would turn into an eleven month ordeal that would bring the United States and North Korea to the brink of war and back. The Pueblo’s crew would be confronted with a no-win scenario intended to distract from Pyongyang’s recent indiscretions, and further intrigues within the Eastern Bloc.