Blogs of War

John Little has been breaking national security news and leveraging thousands of conflict, intelligence, security, technology & political sources to provide level-headed analysis in a complex news environment since 2002. @blogsofwar

All Filler, No Killer

A Review of Robert Baer’s “The Perfect Kill: 21 Laws for Assassins” by Theodore W. Weaver

Theodore W. Weaver Theodore W. Weaver is a former Intelligence Officer within the CIA’s National Clandestine Service and the Directorate of Science and Technology. He has close to a decade working as a Special Agent with several Federal agencies and has worked against counter proliferation, human trafficking/smuggling, child exploitation, Intellectual Property . . .

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February 25, 2015

Counterintelligence: William J. Tucker Breaks Down the Challenges

Covert Contact Episode 12

In episode 12 of Covert Contact I’m talking to William J. Tucker about counterintelligence. It is a complex discipline that is often misunderstood – even by intelligence professionals. But it presents as many opportunities as it does challenges and this conversation hints at that. Like all intelligence disciplines, it is faced with a rapidly . . .

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January 30, 2015

Counterterrorism Challenges – Pondering Seemingly Unsolvable Problems with Phillip Smyth

Covert Contact Episode 11

The first Covert Contact interview features University of Maryland Laboratory for Computational Cultural Dynamics researcher Phillip Smyth. Phillip is also well known for his Hizballah Cavalcade project on Jihadology

Phillip specializes in Shia militias, and we touch on that topic, but most of the interview is spent looking at the big . . .

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December 22, 2014

The Senate Torture Report

Covert Contact Episode 10

It is always disheartening when America does not live up to the standards many of us expect and in the adoption and execution of enhanced interrogation we have failed to do that on many levels.

The primary failure is that our elected officials and the people who serve them strayed into territory where most of us instinctively know America . . .

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December 10, 2014

Art in Afghanistan: Francesca Recchia Updates from Kabul

Covert Contact Episode 9

Episode nine focuses on the unusual work of Francesca Recchia. Francesca is an independent researcher and writer who has worked in many challenging places including Iraq, Pakistan, and Palestine. She is currently in Kabul and this episode features several daily updates that I asked her to record shortly after I started this project. . . .

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November 28, 2014

The Navy SEAL Who Killed Osama bin Laden and the Heroes You’ll Never Know

Covert Contact Episode 8

In episode eight I look at the case of Navy SEAL Rob O'Neill and the culture that lures men and women like him out of the shadows and into a world of fame, ego gratification, and financial reward. I examine the role that military leadership and our culture at large plays in chipping away at the notion of quiet professionalism and share . . .

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November 14, 2014

Dr. Aaron Mannes: A Veterans Day Reflection

Binding the Past & Present

The battalion change of command ceremony was not long. There was no elaborate pageantry. The core components of the ceremony were straightforward. The officers, sympathetic to the soldiers standing in formation under the West Texas sun, spoke briefly. Yet the event carried the weight of centuries.

On June 5, 2014 I visited Fort Bliss’ . . .

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November 11, 2014