War Media ArticlesExcerpts of Key War Media Articles in Major Media
Note: Explore our full index to key excerpts of revealing major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.
UN war crimes investigators have denounced a “staggering loss of civilian life” caused by the US-backed campaign to reclaim Raqqa, the de facto capital of Islamic State. The independent commission of inquiry tasked with investigating violations of international law, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Syria said the intensification of airstrikes by the US-led coalition had led to the deaths of at least 300 civilians in the city. The Raqqa operation began last week with a ground assault by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an umbrella group comprising Kurdish and Arab militiamen armed by the US and supported by coalition airstrikes. “The intensification of airstrikes ... has resulted not only in staggering loss of civilian life, but has also led to 160,000 civilians fleeing their homes and becoming internally displaced,” Paulo Pinheiro, the chairman of the UN commission of inquiry, told the human rights council in Geneva. The civilian cost of the campaign was highlighted last week when footage emerged of coalition planes deploying white phosphorus in the city, which is home to tens of thousands of civilians, prisoners of war, enslaved Yazidi women, and a few thousand Isis militants. Human Rights Watch urged the coalition separately on Wednesday to exercise great caution when using white phosphorus, saying it could cause “horrific and long-lasting harm” in crowded cities such as Raqqa.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.
A US Central Command investigation found that a March US airstrike in northern Syria did in fact strike a building that was part of a "mosque complex." For days following the March 16 strike, the Pentagon adamantly rejected the notion that a mosque was hit and that there were civilian casualties - even as numerous social media reports showed images of bodies being taken out of the rubble. Instead, in the initial hours following the strike by US drones and aircraft, the Pentagon insisted that it hit only a building some 40 feet away from the mosque, where it said al Qaeda members were holding a meeting. Typically any religious structure would be on a so-called no-strike list, along with hospitals and schools. There are procedures to move structures off the no-strike list if it is clear they have lost their protected status because terrorists are using them and there are no civilians present. It is ... not clear if the building was listed as a religious site on a database that the mission planners were unaware of. One official said the investigation found that "religious use" was a primary function of the building at times. The day after the strike, Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis told reporters: "We do not currently assess there were any civilian casualties."
Note: Record numbers of civilians have reportedly been killed by US-led strikes in recent months. Casualties of war whose identities are unknown are frequently misreported to be "militants". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.
The Mother of All Bombs made news last week after the U.S. military dropped its most powerful non-nuclear bomb at a site in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar Province. This massive ... explosive device may seem a high-tech marvel. But the technology is old news, based on ... World War II-era theories. Yet there’s plenty of new news on the military weapons front. The military’s new toys are often fantastically costly. Yet in some categories, technological advances create opportunities for cheap but powerful military tools ... starting with weaponized drones. The Defense Department is designing robotic fighter jets that would fly into combat alongside manned aircraft. It has tested missiles that can decide what to attack, and it has built ships that can hunt for enemy submarines ... without any help from humans. The dilemma posed by artificial intelligence-driven autonomous weapons - which some scientists liken to the “third revolution in warfare, after gunpowder and nuclear arms” - is that to take fullest advantage of such weapons, the logical move would be to leave humans entirely out of lethal decision-making, allowing for quicker responses to threats. But if future presidents and Pentagons trusted algorithms to make such decisions, conflicts between two nations relying on such technology could rapidly escalate - to possibly apocalyptic levels - without human involvement. More than 20,000 AI researchers, scientists and [others have signed] a ...petition endorsing a ban on offensive autonomous weapons.
Note: In 2013, the United Nations investigated the rise of lethal autonomous robots, and reported that this technology endangers human rights and should not be developed further without international oversight. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.
Just over a week ago, the White House declared that ordering an American aircraft carrier into the Sea of Japan would send a powerful deterrent signal to North Korea and give President Trump more options in responding to the North’s provocative behavior. “We’re sending an armada,” Mr. Trump said to Fox News last Tuesday afternoon. The problem was that the carrier, the Carl Vinson, and the three other warships in its strike force were that very moment sailing in the opposite direction, to take part in joint exercises with the Australian Navy ... 3,500 miles southwest of the Korean Peninsula. White House officials said Tuesday that they had been relying on guidance from the Defense Department. Officials there described a glitch-ridden sequence of events ... which perpetuated the false narrative that a flotilla was racing toward the waters off North Korea. By the time the White House was asked about the Carl Vinson, its imminent arrival had been emblazoned on front pages across East Asia, fanning fears that Mr. Trump was considering a pre-emptive military strike. In South Korea ... fears of a full-blown war erupted. The government rushed to reassure the public that the Carl Vinson was coming only to deter North Korean provocations. After a week of war drums, fueled by the reports of the oncoming armada, tensions subsided when the weekend passed with only a military parade in Pyongyang and a failed missile test, [while] the Carl Vinson ... was thousands of miles from where most of the world thought it was.
A leading weapons academic has claimed that the Khan Sheikhoun nerve agent attack in Syria was staged. Theodore Postol, a [former scientific advisor at the Department of Defense (DoD)], issued a series of three reports in response to the White House's finding that Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad perpetrated the attack on 4 April. Postol said: "I have reviewed the [White House's] document carefully, and [it] does not provide any evidence whatsoever that the US government has concrete knowledge that the government of Syria was the source of the chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun, Syria. "In fact, a main piece of evidence that is cited in the document point to an attack that was executed by individuals on the ground, not from an aircraft, on the morning of 4 April. "My own assessment is that the source [of the sarin release] was very likely tampered with or staged, so no serious conclusion could be made from the photographs cited by the White House." The image Postol refers to is that of a crater containing a shell inside, which is said to have contained the sarin gas. His analysis of the shell suggests that it could not have been dropped from an airplane as the damage of the casing is inconsistent from an aerial explosion. Instead, Postol said it was more likely that an explosive charge was laid upon the shell containing sarin, before being detonated. The implication of Postol's analysis is that [the attack] was carried out by anti-government insurgents as Khan Sheikhoun is in militant-controlled territory of Syria.
Note: See an excellent list of 10 points with strong evidence Assad was not behind the chemical attacks the media has pinned on him. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the manipulation of mass media.
Vilified by accusations of using a chemical bomb, Syria’s president intensified his counterpropaganda campaign on Thursday, suggesting that child actors had staged death scenes to malign him and that American warplanes had bombed a terrorist warehouse full of poison gases, killing hundreds of people. In his first interview since an April 4 attack on the northern town of Khan Sheikhoun that killed over 80 people, sickened hundreds and outraged the world, President Bashar al-Assad of Syria not only repeated the government’s denials of responsibility but contended without evidence that the episode had been fabricated as a pretext for an American retaliatory missile strike. “We don’t know whether those dead children were killed in Khan Sheikhoun,” Mr. Assad told Agence France-Presse in the television interview from Damascus. Medical examiners in Turkey, where many of the Khan Sheikhoun victims were taken, have said that autopsies showed they had been attacked with sarin, a lethal nerve agent and a banned chemical weapon. The interview with Mr. Assad was broadcast as the Syrian government’s news agency asserted without evidence that American warplanes had bombed what it called a chemical weapons cache possessed by Islamic State militants in Syria on Wednesday, leaving hundreds dead, including “a large number of civilians, due to suffocation caused by the inhalation of toxic materials.”
Note: Isn't it strange the press blamed the April 4th chemical attacks on Assad, but no one bothered to ask him at the time and report if he claimed responsibility? Only nine days later did the above article come out reporting that he denied being behind them. And as reported on CNN, Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean called Democratic Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard a "disgrace" for questioning who was behind the chemical attack. Could the war mongers have so wanted to blame this on Assad that they purposely waited over a week to report this denial?
The United States launched more airstrikes in Yemen this month than during all of last year. In Syria, it has airlifted local forces to front-line positions and has been accused of killing civilians in airstrikes. In Iraq, American troops and aircraft are central in supporting an urban offensive in Mosul. Indications are mounting that the United States military is deepening its involvement in a string of complex wars in the Middle East that lack clear endgames. Officials say that what is happening is a shift in military decision-making that began under President Barack Obama. Robert Malley, a former senior official in the Obama administration and now vice president for policy at the International Crisis Group, said the uptick in military involvement ... did not appear to have been accompanied by increased planning for the day after potential military victories. The lack of diplomacy and planning for the future in places like Yemen and Syria could render victories there by the United States and its allies unsustainable. Others fear that greater military involvement could drag the United States into murky wars and that increased civilian deaths could feed anti-Americanism and jihadist propaganda. Some insist that this has already happened. “Daesh is happy about the American attacks against civilians to prove its slogans that the Americans want to kill Muslims everywhere and not only the Islamic State’s gunmen,” a resident of the Syrian city of Raqqa wrote via WhatsApp, using the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State.
Note: There is no doubt that U.S. drone killings in the Middle East have created many terrorists. If your innocent mother or sister were killed by a foreign drone, do you think you might develop feelings against that country? Learn how even U.S. generals have said the U.S. has backed terrorists in this well researched essay on the origins of ISIS. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.
A sharp rise in the number of civilians reported killed in U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria is spreading panic, deepening mistrust and triggering accusations that the United States and its partners may be acting without sufficient regard for lives of noncombatants. Residents desperately trying to flee ... are being blocked by the militants, who frequently use civilians as human shields. Figures compiled by monitoring organizations and interviews with residents paint an increasingly bloody picture, with the number of casualties in March already surpassing records for a single month. The worst alleged attack was in Mosul, where rescue teams are still digging out bodies after what residents describe as a hellish onslaught. Iraqi officials and residents say as many as 200 died in U.S.-led strikes, with more than 100 bodies recovered from a single building. The escalation of U.S. strikes around the city of Raqqa occurred in February. In March, the tempo increased further, with more sites being targeted that have no obvious military value, according to a Syrian ... from Raqqa. “They are hitting everything that isn’t a small house,” including the barges that ferry passengers across the river dividing the city now that the bridges have been disabled, he said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of concern for his family.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.
A non-profit organization that tracks civilian casualties caused by airstrikes in the Middle East said it has shifted nearly all of its resources to track a surge of claims regarding U.S.-led strikes in Syria and Iraq. The group, called Airwars.org, had been tracking deaths caused by both Russian and U.S. airstrikes. “Almost 1,000 civilian non-combatant deaths have already been alleged from coalition actions across Iraq and Syria in March - a record claim,” Airwars said in a statement. In the last week, three mass casualty incidents have been attributed to U.S.-led forces in Iraq and Syria, making March one of the most lethal months for civilians in the the two-year-old war against the Islamic State. Last week, U.S. drones targeted what locals deemed a mosque in Aleppo province in a bid to target al-Qaeda leaders. Those on the ground said at least 47 civilians ... died in the strikes. On Monday, a conflict monitoring group ... said a strike near Raqqa targeted a school that was serving as a home for multiple families displaced by fighting in the area, killing at least 33. On Thursday, Iraqi media reported that an airstrike in Mosul killed more than 200 people. According to Airwars, more than 2,500 civilians have been killed by the U.S.-led coalition, which has admitted to killing only roughly 220 civilians.
Note: Killing civilians is a sure way to create more anti-US terrorists. Why do we let the US government get away with regularly killing civilians? If American civilians were killed, there would be an uproar. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.
US President Donald Trump has given the Central Intelligence Agency new authority to conduct drone attacks against suspected militants. The move would be a change from the policy of former President Barack Obama's administration of limiting the CIA's paramilitary role. The United States was the first to use unmanned aircraft fitted with missiles to kill militant suspects in the years after the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington. Strikes by missile-armed Predator and Reaper drones against overseas targets began under former President George W. Bush and were expanded by Obama. Critics of the targeted killing program question whether the strikes create more militants than they kill. They cite the spread of jihadist organisations and militant attacks throughout the world as evidence that targeted killings may be exacerbating the problem. In July, the US government accepted responsibility for inadvertently killing up to 116 civilians in strikes in countries where America is not at war.
Note: Drone strikes almost always miss their intended targets and reportedly create more terrorists than they kill. Casualties of war whose identities are unknown are frequently mis-reported to be "militants". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.
Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard met with President Bashar al-Assad during a secret, four-day trip to Syria, she told CNN's Jake Tapper Wednesday. "When the opportunity arose to meet with him, I did so because I felt that it's important that if we profess to truly care about the Syrian people, about their suffering, then we've got to be able to meet with anyone that we need to if there is a possibility that we can achieve peace," the Hawaiian congresswoman said. When asked ... whether she had reservations about meeting with Assad, who is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Syrian civilians, Gabbard said there has to be a dialogue between the US and Syria. "My commitment is on ending this war that has caused so much suffering to the Syrian people, to these children, to these families, many of whom I met on this trip," Gabbard said. [As] a member of the House Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committee, [Gabbard] recently introduced legislation that would prohibit sending federal funds to nations that support terrorist groups. "(The Syrians) asked me, 'Why are the United States and its allies supporting these terror groups which are destroying Syria, when it was al Qaeda that attacked the United States on 9/11, not Syria.' I didn't have an answer to them." The US government claims it does not fund these groups and only provides assistance to so-called moderate rebels. However, Gabbard said the Syrians she met with told her that there are no moderate rebels in the country.
Note: Don't miss the CNN interview with Gabbard which raises important questions. For more undeniable evidence on U.S. involvement in developing and supporting ISIS, see this excellent essay. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and terrorism.
Mice were turned into Walking Dead-style zombie killers by turning on a light that activated specific brain cells associated with hunting, scientists have revealed. The researchers found that firing one set of neurons prompted the mouse to pursue its prey, while doing the same to another set caused the animal to bite and kill its target. The effect was so strong that the otherwise perfectly ordinary creature would attack anything nearby, such as sticks or bottle caps, as well as more normal prey like crickets. A technique called optogenetics ... allowed [scientists] to activate specific brain cells using a laser. So one minute the mice would be behaving normally, but as soon as the laser was turned on they would aggressively attack whatever was around them. The effect was stronger in mice that were hungry, and they also did not attack other mice in the cage. Professor Ivan de Araujo, of Yale University School of Medicine, who took part in the research, said ... “The system is not just generalised aggression. It seems to be related to the animal’s interest in obtaining food.” he said. However, the effect was so powerful that the mice would attack inedible objects. The paper in Cell explained: “When a non-edible item was placed in the cage, laser activation caused the otherwise indifferent mice to immediately ... seize the object, which was then held with the forepaws and bitten. “Behaviour was interrupted immediately upon laser deactivation." It said the mice were never seen to attack inanimate objects unless the laser was used.
Note: Remember that secret military projects are often 10 to 20 years of anything being publicly announced. How far have they gone with this? Are soldier secretly being subjected to this technology? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing major media articles on secret government mind control programs.
The U.S. dropped an average of 72 bombs every day - the equivalent of three an hour - in 2016, according to an analysis of American strikes around the world. The report from the Council of Foreign Relations comes as Barack Obama finishes up [a] presidency ... that began with promises to withdraw from international conflicts. According to the New York City-based think tank, 26,171 bombs were dropped on Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan during the year. CFR warned that its estimates were "undoubtedly low, considering reliable data is only available for airstrikes in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Libya, and a single 'strike,' according to the Pentagon's definition, can involve multiple bombs or munitions." Some 24,287 bombs were used in Iraq and Syria. In 2015, the U.S. dropped 22,110 bombs in Iraq and Syria, CFR reported. Last year saw a sharp uptick in strikes in Afghanistan, with 1,337 compared with 947 in 2015.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.
Life as we know it almost ended in 1980. At a Titan II complex in Damascus, Ark., a technician dropped a wrench during routine service of one of the missiles. It bounced down the cavernous silo and punctured the missile’s fuselage. Rocket fuel poured out, and desperate efforts began to prevent the warhead – 600 times greater in explosive power than the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima – from detonating. With reenactments the equal of any thriller and gripping interviews with participants, experts, and survivors, Robert Kenner’s “Command and Control” shows how close we came to the brink of annihilation, and how likely the chances are of such an accident occurring again — with potentially catastrophic consequences. While “Command and Control” tells the story of a nuclear catastrophe that nearly happened in the past, Peter Galison and Robb Moss’s documentary “Containment” shows how the distant future - as in hundreds of thousands of years from now - might be a little dicey, too. The problem is the hundreds of millions of gallons of nuclear waste, some with a half-life in six digits, the residue of weapons making and reactors, that litter the landscape. Not only must secure places be found to store it, but some way must be devised to warn future generations who might not share the same language as us. Moss and Galison employ startling documentary footage and scintillating sci-fi-like animation in examining the danger.
Note: Watch a riveting 10-minute clip from the documentary on the near disaster in Arkansas. One former officer involved in the incident states, "You had to be ready to destroy an entire civilization." For lots more on this important documentary, see this PBS webpage.
Africa has seen the most dramatic growth in the deployment of America’s elite troops of any region of the globe over the past decade. In 2006, just 1% of commandos sent overseas were deployed in the U.S. Africa Command area of operations. In 2016, 17.26% of all U.S. Special Operations forces ... deployed abroad were sent to Africa, according to data supplied to The Intercept by U.S. Special Operations Command. That total ranks second only to the Greater Middle East where the U.S. is waging war against enemies in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. Brigadier General Donald Bolduc, the chief of U.S. Special Operations Command Africa, told African Defense, a U.S. trade publication, “We are not at war in Africa - but our African partners certainly are.” That statement stands in stark contrast to this year’s missions in Somalia where, for example, U.S. Special Operations forces assisted local commandos in killing several members of the militant group, al-Shabab and Libya, where they supported local fighters battling members of the Islamic State. These missions also speak to the exponential growth of special operations on the continent. U.S. special operators were actually deployed in at least 33 African nations, more than 60% of the 54 countries on the continent, in 2016. The majority of African governments that hosted deployments of U.S. commandos in 2016 have seen their own security forces cited for human rights abuses by the U.S. State Department.
We might already be living through the first world cyberwar – it’s just that we haven’t acknowledged or named it yet. What might a timeline of that war look like? Well, 2007 seems like a good bet as a starting point – with a concerted series of cyber-attacks on Estonia. In 2008 there were events that a historian might weave into a narrative of a global cyberwar, when several underwater internet cables were cut during the course of the year, interrupting internet communication and particularly affecting the Middle East. In 2010 the Stuxnet worm was used to attack Iran’s nuclear program. Another event from 2010, the WikiLeaks American embassy cables release ... would be irresistible for a historian to refer to in this context. One of the things that makes the first world cyberwar different from conventional warfare [is] the mix of nation states being involved with pressure groups, whistleblowers and hackers. Historians will be unable to ignore ... the 2016 US election campaign being influenced by alleged hacked and leaked emails. What reason is there to suppose that these events might eventually be grouped together as a single world cyberwar by historians? It is the idea that hostilities might formally come to an end. You can envisage a scenario where Russia, China and the US can see a mutual benefit in de-escalating cyber-attacks between the three of them.
Note: A 2007 New York Times article describes the formation of the Air Force Cyberspace Command to arm the US military in anticipation of widespread computer-based warfare. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.
Suicide - not combat - is the leading killer of U.S. troops deployed to the Middle East to fight Islamic State militants, according to newly released Pentagon statistics. U.S. casualties have been relatively low since the U.S.-led war effort began with a bombing campaign in August 2014, reflecting the limited combat exposure for troops. Of the 31 troops who have died as of Dec. 27 in Operation Inherent Resolve, 11 have taken their own lives. Eight died in combat, seven in accidents and four succumbed to illness or injury. The cause of one death is under investigation. The reasons suicide ranks as the No. 1 cause of troop deaths ... likely include mental illnesses that enlistees brought with them to boot camp, post-traumatic stress, multiple combat deployments and heightened anxiety in a military at war for 16 years. By far, 2016 has been the most dangerous for U.S. forces since the war began. Seven of the eight combat deaths have occurred in 2016, and 21 of the 26 troops wounded in action suffered their injuries this year. But the military's suicide problem continues. Between 2001 and 2010, the rate of suicide in the military doubled. The chief spike occurred around 2005 when fighting and combat deaths soared in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the Army shouldered most of the war’s burden. The Army still has the highest percentage among the services for suicide. As a whole, the military’s rate of suicide of about 20 per 100,000 troops in 2014 was comparable to the same civilian population.
The United States again ranked first in global weapons sales last year, signing deals for about $40 billion, or half of all agreements in the worldwide arms bazaar, and far ahead of France, the No. 2 weapons dealer with $15 billion in sales, according to a new congressional study. Developing nations continued to be the largest buyers of arms in 2015, with Qatar signing deals for more than $17 billion in weapons last year, followed by Egypt, which agreed to buy almost $12 billion in arms, and Saudi Arabia, with over $8 billion in weapons purchases. The United States and France increased their overseas weapons sales in 2015, as purchases of American weapons grew by around $4 billion and France’s deals increased by well over $9 billion. The report, “Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 2008-2015,” was prepared by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, a division of the Library of Congress, and delivered to legislators last week. The annual review is considered the most comprehensive assessment of global arms sales available in an unclassified form. Russia, another dominant power in the global arms market, saw a modest decline in orders for its weapons, dropping to $11.1 billion in sales from the $11.2 billion total in 2014. China reached $6 billion in weapons sales, up from its 2014 total of over $3 billion. The largest buyers of weapons in the developing world in 2015 were Qatar, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Pakistan, Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Iraq.
Note: Read about a lavish party thrown for a Pentagon official in charge of administering arms sales by weapons industry executives. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.
The ex-British Ambassador to Syria has accused the Foreign Office of lying over the country’s civil war and said British policy there has "made the situation worse". [Peter] Ford, who was Britain's ambassador to Syria from 1999 to 2003, claimed that the UK had misread and misrepresented the situation in the country since the start of the conflict. He said: "The British Foreign Office to which I used to belong, I’m sorry to say has gotten Syria wrong every step of the way. "They told us at the beginning that Assad’s demise was imminent. "But then they told us that the opposition was dominated by these so-called moderates. That proved not to be the case and now they're telling us another big lie – that Assad can’t control the rest of the country. Well I’ve got news for them – he’s well on the way to doing so." Mr Ford said that when the conflict started the UK should have either "put everything, including our own forces on to the battlefield, or if in our judgement – as it would have been my judgement – that was not realistic, refrain from encouraging the opposition to mount a doomed campaign." He claimed the UK’s tough talk on one hand, followed by little action to back rebels in Syria on the other had preceded a rebellion that had "only led to hundreds of thousands of civilians being maimed and killed". "We have made the situation worse." He added: "It was eminently foreseeable to anyone who was not intoxicated with wishful thinking." The UK has consistently taken the line that Assad cannot be a part of Syria’s future.
Note: Regarding the recent chemical attack in Syria, the BBC has not posted it, but you can watch this BBC interview in which former U.K. ambassador to Syria Peter Ford raises serious questions about what happened and who is behind it. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.
The systems devised to govern the use of nuclear weapons, like all complex technological systems, are inherently flawed. But the failure of a nuclear command-and-control system can have [serious] consequences. Millions of people, perhaps hundreds of millions, could be annihilated inadvertently. Today, the odds of a nuclear war being started by mistake are low - and yet the risk is growing, as the United States and Russia drift toward a new cold war. Many of the nuclear-weapon systems on both sides are aging and obsolete. The personnel who operate those systems often suffer from poor morale and poor training. In 2013, the two-star general in charge of the entire Minuteman [intercontinental ballistic missile] force was removed from duty after going on a drunken bender during a visit to Russia. The following year, almost a hundred Minuteman launch officers were disciplined for cheating on their proficiency exams. In 2015 ... a launch officer at Minot Air Force Base, in North Dakota, was sentenced to twenty-five years in prison for heading a violent street gang. As the job title implies, launch officers are entrusted with the keys for launching intercontinental ballistic missiles. The Minuteman III is a relic of the Cold War not only in design but also in its strategic purpose. When the atomic bomb was being developed ... the destruction of cities and the deliberate targeting of civilians was just another military tactic. The Geneva Conventions later classified those practices as war crimes - and yet nuclear weapons have no other real use.
Note: The above was written by Eric Schlosser, author of the 2013 book "Command and Control," which documents errors and accidents in the arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union. The US came very close to accidentally starting a nuclear war in 1973. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.
Important Note: Explore our full index to key excerpts of revealing major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.