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Special Ops

Gas emanates from a leak on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
Gas emanates from a leak on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

Russia May Use Nord Stream Aftermath to Cause More Trouble

An investigation of the leaks may cause a standoff with Russia.

Men in military dress kneel around a coffin decorated with the Iranian flag.
Men in military dress kneel around a coffin decorated with the Iranian flag.

Why Does Israel Keep Assassinating Iranian Officials? Because It Works.

Targeting senior leaders critical to an enemy program makes strategic sense from Israel’s perspective.

A fire rages at the Central Research Institute of the Aerospace Defense Forces in Tver, Russia
A fire rages at the Central Research Institute of the Aerospace Defense Forces in Tver, Russia

Could Sabotage Stop Putin From Using the Nuclear Option?

If the West is behind mysterious fires in Russia, the ongoing—but deniable—threat could deter Putin from escalating.

U.S. President Donald Trump salutes during the presidential inaugural parade in Washington on Jan. 20, 2017. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump salutes during the presidential inaugural parade in Washington on Jan. 20, 2017. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

Donald Trump Is Pushing America’s Special Forces Past the Breaking Point

America has never had more counterterrorism raids — and less of a counterterrorism strategy.

Special operations Blackhawk takes off fast in Afghanistan.
Special operations Blackhawk takes off fast in Afghanistan.
Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 10.18.56 AM
Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 10.18.56 AM

Naylor’s ‘Relentless Strike’: the real thing

Here’s a Best Defense guarantee: If you are interested in what this blog covers, you will be fascinated by Foreign Policy contributing editor Sean Naylor’s "Relentless Strike," his new history of the Joint Special Operations Command.

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 11.04.58 AM
Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 11.04.58 AM

Naylor’s book is very good, but I’ve got some issues with the people who blabbed

Sean Naylor’s Relentless Strike is a superb piece of writing that will be at the top of every bad guy’s reading list for months to come.

401175 01: U.S. Army 101st Airborne Sgt. Jason Deer from Franklinville, New York flies in a Blackhawk helicopter as he mans his M-60 Delta machine gun February 16, 2002 during a reconnasance mission in Kandahar, Afghanistan. He is part of a United States force that is continuing to pursue and fight the Taliban and Al Qaeda forces in the country. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
401175 01: U.S. Army 101st Airborne Sgt. Jason Deer from Franklinville, New York flies in a Blackhawk helicopter as he mans his M-60 Delta machine gun February 16, 2002 during a reconnasance mission in Kandahar, Afghanistan. He is part of a United States force that is continuing to pursue and fight the Taliban and Al Qaeda forces in the country. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Killing Abu Ghadiya

The untold story of a risky Delta Force mission to take out a senior al Qaeda militant inside Syria.

An Afghan policeman stands guard as smoke and flames rise from the site of a huge blast struck near the entrance of Kabul's international airport, in Kabul on August 10, 2015. A huge blast struck near the entrance of Kabul's international airport on August 10 during the peak lunchtime period, officials said, warning that heavy casualties were expected. "The explosion occurred at the first check point of Kabul airport," said deputy Kabul police chief Sayed Gul Agha Rouhani. AFP PHOTO / SHAH Marai        (Photo credit should read SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images)
An Afghan policeman stands guard as smoke and flames rise from the site of a huge blast struck near the entrance of Kabul's international airport, in Kabul on August 10, 2015. A huge blast struck near the entrance of Kabul's international airport on August 10 during the peak lunchtime period, officials said, warning that heavy casualties were expected. "The explosion occurred at the first check point of Kabul airport," said deputy Kabul police chief Sayed Gul Agha Rouhani. AFP PHOTO / SHAH Marai (Photo credit should read SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images)

Insurgent Bombings Rise as U.S. Eases off the Taliban

America's most elite troops are largely ignoring the Afghan militants who once sheltered al Qaeda.

ABBOTTABAD, PAKISTAN - MAY 3:  People walk past Osama Bin Laden's compound, where he was killed during a raid by U.S. special forces, May 3, 2011 in Abottabad, Pakistan. Bin Laden was killed during a U.S. military mission May 2, at the compound. According to reports May 4, 2011, the Obama administration has decided not to release photographs of Bin Laden's body.  (Photo by Getty Images)
ABBOTTABAD, PAKISTAN - MAY 3: People walk past Osama Bin Laden's compound, where he was killed during a raid by U.S. special forces, May 3, 2011 in Abottabad, Pakistan. Bin Laden was killed during a U.S. military mission May 2, at the compound. According to reports May 4, 2011, the Obama administration has decided not to release photographs of Bin Laden's body. (Photo by Getty Images)

SEAL Team 6 by the Numbers

GAO report publishes Navy special mission unit's personnel strength.

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 10.56.18 AM
Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 10.56.18 AM

An Army business reading list, and Special Ops lessons for business

I admit it. I was prepared to scoff, because too many times I have seen military officers recommend today’s pop favorite biz book. But I found this a surprisingly good list.

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