Military History: Armies Used to Hate Snipers

Im Westen, Scharfschütze

A brief history of armed conflict’s most controversial job

Snipers play a key role in the world’s armies. They’re excellent scouts and can target commanders on the opposing side with an outsize impact. Working by themselves, they can pin down a group, creating fear and confusion.

Thanks to movies such as Enemy at the Gates and American Sniper the specialty marksman is having a pop culture moment. People love watching snipers work in films, and they love picking up a sniper rifle in video games.

 But expert marksmen weren’t always so beloved. There was a time during the early part of the 20th century when a soldier caught sniping would face execution instead of capture. So what changed?

This week on War College we talk to Ian McCollum of Forgotten Weapons about the history of the sniper and how the position has gone from reviled to celebrated.

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Read the Original Article at War is Boring

How Oil Drives Conflict

War College is a podcast I have listened to for some time…This one is definitely worth a listen. -SF

030402-N-5362A-004 Southern, Iraq (Apr. 2, 2003) -- U.S. Army Sgt. Mark Phiffer stands guard duty near a burning oil well in the Rumaylah Oil Fields in Southern Iraq. Coalition forces have successfully secured the southern oil fields for the economic future of the Iraqi people and are in the process of extinguishing the burning wells that were set ablaze in the early stages of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Operation Iraqi Freedom is the multi-national coalition effort to liberate the Iraqi people, eliminate Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and end the regime of Saddam Hussein. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 1st Class Arlo K. Abrahamson. (RELEASED)

Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russia has used natural gas as a weapon against Ukraine and Europe as a whole. Threatening to turn shut off the pipes as the weather turns cold is a pretty effective way to influence foreign policy. But now it looks like one of Vladimir Putin’s key weapons is losing some its punch.

This week on War College, we’re looking at how shifts in the production of oil and natural gas are affecting global security, and where that leaves the United States.

 Thanks to the once high price of oil, advancements in hydraulic fracturing technology and the discovery of liquid natural gas deposits, America is closer to energy independence than at any other time in its recent history. According to energy expert Agnia Grigas, the United States is set to become the world’s largest energy exporter within the next decade.

But there’s a high cost to cheap energy. The natural gas boom lowering prices at the pump destabilizes countries that rely on oil profits. Venezuela, the Middle East and Russia are all feeling the squeeze of changing oil markets.

Today on War College, Grigas walks us through the fascinating world of energy and how cheap gas drives conflict.

The Podcast and Original Article can be found at War is Boring