American air superiority has been so complete for so long that we take it for granted. For more than half a century, we’ve made only rare use of the aerial-combat skills of a man like Cesar Rodriguez, who retired two years ago with more air-to-air kills than any other active-duty fighter pilot. But our technological edge is eroding—Russia, China, India, North Korea, and Pakistan all now fly fighter jets with capabilities equal or superior to those of the F-15, the backbone of American air power since the Carter era. Now we have a choice. We can stock the Air Force with the expensive, cutting-edge F‑22—maintaining our technological superiority at great expense to our Treasury. Or we can go back to a time when the cost of air supremacy was paid in the blood of men like Rodriguez.
For millions of football fans watching at home every Sunday, it seems as though NFL games make a seamless transition from the gridiron to the television screen. But spend a weekend with a network production crew, and you’ll discover what it really takes to turn the on-field action into televised entertainment—intense preparation, frantic effort, brilliant improvisation, and an artistic genius named “Fish.”
How the greatest game in football history looks 50 years later, through the eyes of a modern NFL head coach
Rupert Murdoch wants his Wall Street Journal to displace The New York Times as the world’s paper of record. His ambitions could be good news for the newspaper industry— or another nail in the coffin of serious journalism.
How David Simon’s disappointment with the industry that let him down made The Wire the greatest show on television—and why his searing vision shouldn’t be confused with reality
Beatles fan Mark Bowden chats with Pat Dinizio about his band's new Beatles tribute album, "Meet the Smithereens"
The inside story of how the interrogators of Task Force 145 cracked Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s inner circle—without resorting to torture—and hunted down al-Qaeda’s man in Iraq
A kidnapping at a Philippine resort triggered a yearlong hunt for pirate terrorists and their American hostages. A behind-the-scenes tale of intrigue, spycraft, and betrayal
In April 1980, President Jimmy Carter sent the Army’s Delta Force to bring back fifty-three American citizens held hostage in Iran. Everything went wrong. The fireball in the Iranian desert took the Carter presidency with it.
In defense of the last writer in the world who needs defending
December 1979: Christmas comes for the Great Satan
For Iran's new president, running from the 1979 hostage-taking is like John Hancock's running from the Declaration. What's his problem?
As he prepared to leave office, the deputy secretary of defense engaged in a series of conversations with the author on Iraq, democracy, intelligence, 9/11, and how he believes America must make its way in the world
Twenty-five years ago in Tehran a group of Iranian students stormed the U.S. embassy and took hostage the entire American diplomatic mission—igniting a fifteen-month international crisis whose impact is reverberating still. Now, for the first time, many of the leading hostage-takers speak candidly about their actions—which a surprising number deeply regret
Terrorists depend on the cooperation of the media. It's time to stop providing it
The photographs were shocking—but the disturbing reality is that for some people they clearly weren't
Al Sharpton will presumably have a moment in the spotlight at this summer's Democratic convention. But his goal has never been the presidency; he wants to become the leader of Black America. Problem is, that job no longer exists
Hollywood is not a reliable moral arbiter of anything, so it's not surprising that when it holds a mirror up to journalism, Shattered Glass is the result
As the Philadelphia Eagles' Hank Fraley demonstrates, the behemoth who snaps the ball must also be one of the most mentally nimble players on the field
The most effective way to gather intelligence and thwart terrorism can also be a direct route into morally repugnant terrain. A survey of the landscape of persuasion