Military

Candidate portraits by uli knörzer for Foreign Policy

For the 2020 Democrats, It’s America First, Too

The slate of Democratic candidates includes two Rhodes scholars, two ex-soldiers, and a former chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. But don’t count on them to resurrect a Pax Americana.

U.S. Navy Secretary Richard Spencer testifies during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Navy readiness in Washington on April 9.

Navy Secretary Clashed With Trump Long Before Gallagher

Spencer’s ouster followed months of tensions with the White House over cost overruns and other issues.

U.S. President Donald Trump talks with West Point cadets

Trump Battled the Navy. Here Are the Casualties.

Ten takeaways from the biggest civil-military crisis (so far) of the Trump administration.

Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, the commander of U.S. Central Command

Top U.S. General: It’s ‘Very Possible’ Iran Will Attack Again

The threat from Tehran continues to increase despite U.S. military buildup, U.S. Central Command’s Gen. Kenneth McKenzie says.

A protective blast wall painted by a U.S. military unit stands at an air base in the Persian Gulf on Jan. 8, 2016.

In Future Wars, the U.S. Military Will Have Nowhere to Hide

New technologies enable Russia and China to destroy U.S. bases and logistics networks—including those on the homeland.

A U.S. RQ-4 Global Hawk drone lands at Misawa Air Base for a temporary intra-theater routine deployment in Japan on June 1, 2018.

With an Eye Toward China, Pentagon Weighs Slashing Global Hawk Drone

The surveillance aircraft on the chopping block is a variant of the type that Iran shot down this summer.

President Donald Trump visits U.S. troops in Japan.

Trump Asks Tokyo to Quadruple Payments for U.S. Troops in Japan

The move is part of the administration’s campaign to get U.S. allies to pay more for defense. South Korea is also being asked to pony up.

South Korean soldiers participate in the 71st annual Armed Forces Day at an air base in Daegu on Oct. 1.

Tired of U.S. Dependence, South Korea Seeks to Build—and Sell—Its Own Weapons

The military is turning its focus to domestic research and development and seeking to become a major arms supplier, and that is scaring North Korea.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo shakes hands with Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto

Jokowi Offers Prabowo a Piece of the Pie

The new Indonesian defense minister is a threat to the president—and democracy.

Students at Zhejiang Gongshang University learn to defend themselves with fistfight skills during military training in Hangzhou on March 10, 2018.

Chinese Universities’ First Course Is Nationalism 101

Mandatory military training for students is becoming even more fiercely ideological.

Ilham Ahmad, the president of the executive committee of the Syrian Democratic Council, attends a press conference at the European Parliament in Brussels on Oct. 10.

Trump Wants U.S. Troops to Guard Syria’s Oil. The Kurds May Not Welcome Them.

After capitulating to U.S. demands for years, Syrian Kurdish leader Ilham Ahmed has some conditions of her own.

A woman covers her face as she stands along the side of a road near the Syrian Kurdish town of Ras al-Ain.

Turkish Proxies Appear to Be Using White Phosphorus in Syria

Photos of children show horrific burns caused by what looks like white phosphorus.

People watch a TV showing a file image of a North Korean missile launch at the Seoul Station in Seoul on Oct. 2.

North Korean Missiles Just Keep Getting Better 

Pyongyang is using a diplomatic impasse to improve its weapons technology.

In this handout photo provided by the U.S. Navy, a RIM-7P NATO Sea Sparrow missile launches from the USS Abraham Lincoln during an exercise on Aug. 13, 2007.

The U.S. Navy Isn’t Ready to Take On Iran

That’s why, for now, tough talk may remain just that.

Ukrainian service members ride atop armored personnel carriers with Javelin antitank missiles during a military parade in Kyiv on Aug. 24, 2018, to celebrate Ukraine's Independence Day.

Did Trump Leverage a Missile Sale to Ukraine for Political Gain?

This may not be the first time the Javelin antitank missile has been caught in the political crosshairs.

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