Following the epic siege of Winterfell, the Game of Thrones episode "The Last of the Starks" confronts its protagonist Daenerys Targaryen with wrenching military dilemmas that might have been ripped from today's headlines—and issues on the ethical issue of force that remain highly controversial today.
A Bradley firing a TOW missile. (DoD photo/Wikiimedia Commons)
Early in 2018, reports emerged that the Pentagon was considering heavily upgrading its fleet of Bradley infantry fighting vehicles to an M2A5 model with a new 30-millimeter gun turret and capacity for a full nine-soldier squad.
The aviation world is abuzz with rumors that the U.S. Air Force is evaluating the purchase of a brand-new F-15X model of the legendary 45-year-old F-15 Eagle twin-engine fighter. Marcus Weisgerber first reported this possibility for Defense One, then expanded upon in an article by Tyler Rogoway at The Drive.
The cloaking device is a staple of science fiction. But while a Klingon Bird-of-Prey materializing out of thin air makes for fun special effects, real-world stealth technology has mostly focused on lowering observability to radar and infrared sensors that can see further than the human eye.
The F-16 Fighting Falcon bears an unusual distinctions: it is one of the only top jet fighters in the world to also be cost efficient. Fast and extremely agile, the light fighter does have some shortcomings in range and payload compared to larger twin-engine fighters like the F-15 Eagle, but that was easy to forgive due to costing less than half as much—around $18 million in 1999 ($27 million in 2017 dollars). This favorable bang-for-buck ratio has not been lost on air forces across the world—the F-16 currently remains the most popular aircraft in modern military service: out of 4,500 produced, nearly 2,700 currently remain in service in around twenty-six countries. Needless to say, the cutting-edge fourth-generation fighter of the 1980s will remain with us for a good while longer.
Christopher Nolan’s film Dunkirk inspired new attention to the famous evacuation by sea, in 1940, of four hundred thousand British troops under harrowing air attack. Had that evacuation failed, the United Kingdom would have been deprived of a land army to oppose Nazi Germany. But before Dunkirk, British and French troops fought desperate last stands in the channel ports of Calais and Boulogne that bought vital time for the evacuation in the Belgian Port. The situation grew so desperate at Boulogne that Allied destroyers were forced to blast their way into and back out of the harbor, using naval guns to duel with tanks, field guns and even snipers while evacuating panicky mobs of British soldiers.