• Is the absence of war harming economic growth? Tyler Cowen thinks so. John Horgan over at Scientific American is distinctly unimpressed with this line of argument. 
  • It's safe to say that the JSF is a source of controversy in every country that has signed up to it. David Axe takes a close look at Lockheed Martin's PR efforts to defend its F-35 sales.
  • While London likes to tout its 'special relationship', the magnitude of Britain's trans-Atlantic defence dependency gets downplayed. As Jeffrey Lewis illustrates, the UK's independent nuclear deterrent is anything but.
  • The Brookings Institute's Kenneth Pollack has a detailed overview on the state of play with respect to ISIS's advances through Iraq. One key takeaway: 

[T]his is a traditional ethno-sectarian militia waging an intercommunal civil war. (They are also not an insurgency.) They are looking to conquer territory. They will do so using guerrilla tactics or conventional tactics—and they have been principally using conventional tactics since the seizure of Fallujah over six months ago. Their entire advance south over the past week has been a conventional, motorized light-infantry offensive; not a terrorist campaign, not a guerrilla warfare campaign.

  • Meanwhile, over at Dart-Throwing Chimp Jay Ulfelder challenges the artificiality of the distinction between civil and international wars.
  • As the Obama Administration ponders how to respond to ISIS's recent successes, Micah Zenko laments Washington's fixation with military force as a solution to complex political challenges.
  • David Ucko tries to get beyond the polemical debate in framing the nature, utility and limitations of counterinsurgency doctrine.
  • Finally, here's a feel-good piece for you. One guy is using Oculus Rift, a new virtual reality headset, to allow aging veterans to take to the skies again