October 23, 2013 |
Near the height of the Afghanistan war, the Pentagon spent $297 million on a seven-story blimp-like aircraft - as long as a football field - that would hover over the war zone for weeks at a time, beaming back crucial intelligence. But as the military wound down its presence in the Middle East, plans for the unmanned floating spy center deflated. The aircraft fell behind schedule, became 12,000 pounds overweight and was ultimately canceled after just one test flight. Last month, the Pentagon quietly decided to sell back the sophisticated spyship to the British company that built it for $301,000 - a fraction of its investment.
September 27, 2013 |
A Maryland-based Ku Klux Klan group plans on holding an event in Gettysburg National Military Park, site of the three-day Civil War battle, park officials said. The Confederate White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, a white supremacy group, will stage a three-hour event on Oct. 5, on the battlefield's grounds, just a stone's throw from the national cemetery. President Lincoln's Gettysburg Address - regarded as one of most famous speeches in U.S. history - was delivered at the dedication of the national cemetery.
September 16, 2013 |
Here's a scorecard on how the U.S.-Russia deal to rid Syria of its chemical weapons may play out for some of the key players: • A relief for the Obama administration and even more for the American public, which opposes the potential slippery slope of even a limited intervention. • A setback for interventionists who favor greater U.S. involvement on Syria, where 99% of the deaths have been from conventional weapons. • A boon for Russian President Vladimir Putin, who's struggled to rebuild Moscow's status on the world stage since the Soviet Union's demise.
September 4, 2013
Re "To Mideast, U.S. policy on region seems adrift," Sept. 2 Friends and foes alike are angry at us. Maybe we're on to something. The Syrian rebels are angry because we won't bomb immediately, whereas the Syrian government thinks we're soft. Israel, our alleged best friend in the region, thinks we haven't shown enough gumption. And no one's asking why we aren't talking to the new president of Iran, who claims to want an opening of new avenues. The Middle East is dangerous and uncontrollable.
March 29, 2013 |
TEL AVIV - Israel's highest-ranking female soldier says efforts to draft male ultra-Orthodox students into the Israel Defense Forces should not come at the expense of women's advancement in the army. Last year, the nation's Supreme Court determined that a legal exemption for the ultra-Orthodox from mandatory military service was unfair, and the issue is a top legislative priority of the newly formed Israeli government. Orna Barbivai, 50, Israel's first female major general and commander of the army's personnel department, says the nation has come a long way in integrating women into meaningful military professions, including allowing them to serve as pilots and in a special combat battalion with 60% female members.
February 4, 2013 |
British soldiers on the front lines in Afghanistan have been armed with pocket-sized spy drones that can give operators bird's-eye views of the battlefield below. The little flying machine, dubbed Black Hornet Nano, is just 4 inches long and weighs about a half-ounce. It flies like a helicopter, allowing it to hover and dart back and forth. “We used it to look for insurgent firing points and check out exposed areas of the ground before crossing, which is a real asset,” Sgt. Christopher Petherbridge with Britain's Brigade Reconnaissance Force told the Associated Press . The drone, which resembles a child's toy, is made by the Norwegian company Prox Dynamics AS. According to the company's website, the Hornet can fly indoors or outdoors.