Drone of the Day: Pioneer

William M. Arkin · 07/09/15 11:10AM

Gone, but it shouldn’t be forgotten. Pioneer has the distinction of being the only U.S. military drone that has flown in every major conflict from 1991’s Desert Storm to the 2003 Operation Return for Another Try. Officially retired in 2010 after its “successful” use by the Marines in al Anbar province in western Iraq, Pioneer has flown. And flown. And flown.

Happy 1st Birthday ISIS, Fuck You

William M. Arkin · 06/29/15 02:20PM

It’s been a year since ISIS announced its “caliphate” over an area straddling Iraq and Syria, accelerating its reign of terror and persisting in expanding its reach into the so-called civilized world. The brutality of the rampagers is now a given–the extreme acts of killing, genocide, and systematic rape all featured on social media and intended to be a bullet aimed straight at western sensibilities; offensive clickbait that demands a response, any response.

Ask Judith Miller About Iraq, the New York Times' War Reporting, and WMD

William M. Arkin · 06/22/15 11:30AM

Judith Miller is a journalist and author specializing in terrorism, the Middle East and other national security issues. She won the Pulitzer Prize while working for New York Times from 1977 to 2005, and was its first female bureau chief in the Arab World. She reported on the first Iraq war and then became famous—some would say infamous—for her reporting on weapons of mass destruction leading up to the second Iraq War. In 2005, she spent 85 days in jail to protect a confidential source, receiving a First Amendment Award from the Society of Professional Journalists. She is author of four books, most recently The Story: A Reporter’s Journey. Judy blogs at and can be seen as a regular commentator for Fox News. She will be here it 1 p.m. to answer your questions under the Kinja user name @jmfreespeech.

Me And Saddam

William M. Arkin · 05/18/15 10:25AM

In person, he was pretty much what I imagined — he talked almost 90 minutes non-stop and I took notes and drank tea. He explained why Iraq didn’t withdraw from Kuwait under international pressure before the 1991 war but yet how it was also okay that Iraq was defeated by the whole of the world’s army — a matter of physics, he said.

An Intelligence Vet Explains ISIS, Yemen, and "the Dick Cheney of Iraq"

William M. Arkin · 04/22/15 10:50AM

Today marks the beginning of what I hope will be many opportunities to introduce true practitioners in the world of spying and killing to Phase Zero readers. Our first guest is Malcolm Nance, a 34-year veteran intelligence officer who has worked the Iraq mission since 1987, fighting in all of our Middle East wars since 1983. He has lived in and out of Iraq since 2003.