Pando

The War Desk

  1. The War Nerd: Let's put Islamic State's menacing advance into perspective by... looking at a map

    For a week now, we’ve been getting nonstop scare stories about Islamic State’s menacing advance on the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani. And as far as it goes, the stories are true: Islamic State (IS) did come within 14 km of Kobani, attacking from the South, West, and East, before US air strikes and reinforcements from the Turkish-Kurdish PKK militia stopped them.

    By Gary Brecher , written on

    From the War desk

  2. The War Nerd: Bombs away in the Middle East! But why is Israel so quiet?

    Where’s Israel? That’s one of the most interesting, and widely ignored, questions to come out of the US bombing campaign against Islamic State (IS) in Syria and Iraq. Two days into the bombing, and there's near-silence from Israel, a country not known for shyness about military operations on its borders.

    By Gary Brecher , written on

    From the War desk

  3. The War Nerd: The Day After 9/11

    The big anniversary is here again. The big Muslim/Western confrontation. Only it wasn’t on September 11, it was actually September 12. And it wasn’t just a couple of buildings falling down in Manhattan, it was way bigger than that. Those two towers that went down in Manhattan are like a counter-illustration of the old Phil 101 koan, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it…” This version goes, “If a couple of buildings fall down right down the street from the HQ of every major news organization, do they ever shut up about it?”

    By Gary Brecher , written on

    From the War desk

  4. The War Nerd: The long, twisted history of beheadings as propaganda

    Well, here we are: Another American journalist beheaded by the Islamic State (IS). First it was James Foley, a wild-child freelancer, who was shown kneeling on the sand in an orange jumpsuit—a little visual revenge on Guantanamo dress code—while a Brit jihadi scolded America for daring to interfere with the Islamic State’s blitzkrieg-lite campaign to overrun Northern Iraq.

    By Gary Brecher , written on

    From the War desk

  5. The War Nerd: Today is the 200th anniversary of the wimpy so-called burning of Washington

    Editor’s note: This is a slightly edited version of an article first published by NSFWCORP (now part of Pando) as part of The War Nerd’s Guide to the War of 1812.

    By Gary Brecher , written on

    From the War desk

  6. The War Nerd: World Cup vs. Jihad

    KUWAIT CITY—One of the weirdest mashups in recent history is going on right now, as World Cup 2014 plays out in the middle of the Sunni/I.S.I.S. blitz across the plains of Central Iraq.

    By Gary Brecher , written on

    From the War desk

  7. The War Nerd: Here's everything you need to know about "too extreme for Al Qaeda" I.S.I.S.

    As the Scriptures remind us, “Do not believe the hype.” The hype of the moment is ISIS, the Sunni militia that just drove the so-called Iraqi Army out of Mosul, Tikrit, and other Iraqi cities.

    By Gary Brecher , written on

    From the War desk

  8. The War Nerd: Iran is building a "fake" aircraft carrier? How can you tell?

    There’s a strange construction project underway in the Persian Gulf. Iran is building a two-third size replica of a US Nimitz-class aircraft carrier in a shipyard near Bandar Abbas. The carrier will have no planes, no crew, no weapons. Nobody knows why the Iranians are building it. It seems to have no sane military purpose, but that’s the only feature it shares with “real” aircraft carriers. (A little anti-carrier humor there, folks.)

    By Gary Brecher , written on

    From the War desk

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