Why Blackwater cannot be the future of U.S. warfare

Can 6,500 mercenaries "fix" Afghanistan? The U.S. is resurrecting privatized warfare.

  • The West has stopped winning wars because it still operates on WWII strategies, says Sean McFate. Poor strategy results in so-called 'forever wars'.
  • To end the nearly 20-year-long war in Afghanistan, the U.S. is considering replacing all U.S. troops with Blackwater mercenaries.
  • Why is that so dangerous? Because this is what the future looks like when you resurrect privatized warfare.
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  • Though we know today that his policies eventually ended the Great Depression, FDR's election was seen as disastrous by some.
  • A group of wealthy bankers decided to take things into their own hands; they plotted a coup against FDR, hoping to install a fascist dictator in its stead.
  • Ultimately, the coup was brought to light by General Smedley Butler and squashed before it could get off the ground.
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Politics & Current Affairs

China refutes U.S. claim that it's pushing space 'arms race'

"Here I want to remind all of you of a fact that the U.S. publicly defines outer space as a new battlefield," a Chinese foreign minister said.

U.S. Air Force
  • A Chinese foreign minister refuted U.S. claims that China and Russia are developing space weaponry.
  • China and Russia have recently ramped up cooperation on space programs.
  • Meanwhile, the U.S. has been skeptical of both nations, arguing that they're likely developing an array of space weapons.
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In Switzerland, gun ownership is high but mass shootings are low. Why?

In the face of seemingly unstoppable gun violence, Americans could stand to gain by looking to the Swiss.

  • According to a recent study, the U.S. had the second highest number of gun-related deaths in 2016 after Brazil.
  • Like the U.S., Switzerland has a high rate of gun ownership. However, it has a considerably lower rate of deaths from gun violence.
  • Though pro-gun advocates point to Switzerland as an example of how gun ownership doesn't have to correlate with mass shootings, Switzerland has very different regulations, practices, and policies related to guns than America.
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Why a Japanese WWII soldier refused to surrender for 29 years

For the Japanese in World War II, surrender was unthinkable. So unthinkable that many soldiers continued to fight even after the island nation eventually did surrender.

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  • Japan may have surrendered to the Allies on August 15, 1945, but many Japanese soldiers did not get word until much later.
  • The culture of death before surrender that permeated the Japanese military caused many to continue to fight even after Japan's formal surrender.
  • Hiroo Onada was one such holdout. He engaged in a guerrilla war in the jungles of the Philippines for nearly 30 years.
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