Defence Today

A multinational warship crew of the 16th century
Defence Today, Front Lines

A multinational warship crew of the 16th century

The crew of the Tudor warship Mary Rose was a diverse bunch, hailing from as far away as continental Europe, the Mediterranean and Africa, says new research that reinforces Britain’s long history as a society of multiple races and ethnicities. In 2021, scientists published the results of isotope analysis of the teeth in eight of 179 crew whose remarkably well-preserved remains were recovered along with 19,000 artifacts and much of the ship, which was sunk on July 19, 1545, during the Battle of the Solent off England’s south coast. Isotopes helped construct what one expert described as “unparalleled” biographies suggesting several of the tested subjects were raised on African, Mediterranean or other diets differing from the relatively limited fare on which most Britons relied at the t...
The threat of domestic extremism
Defence Today, Front Lines

The threat of domestic extremism

Domestic extremists, not foreign terrorists, pose the greatest threat to American security, says a new report that criticizes the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for failing to adapt to an evolving environment since the 9/11 attacks. “The threat from domestic terrorists who are not inspired by foreign terrorist organizations has increased.” There have been 230 unsuccessful attacks or plots in the United States since New York’s World Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington were hit in 2001 at a cost of nearly 3,000 lives. Just 28 of the planned attacks were directed by foreign terrorist organizations. The Brown University-based Costs of War project says 118 foiled attacks involved homegrown violent extremists inspired by such organizations, and 84 were planned by domesti...
Too young—and too old—to join the fight
Defence Today, Front Lines

Too young—and too old—to join the fight

Clifford Robinson Oulton was just 14 years old and baby-faced when he walked into a recruiting office in Moncton, N.B., on Feb. 1, 1916. The Great War was raging in France, Belgium and beyond and young Clifford wanted to be a part of it. Oulton was technically still a child who, by the looks of him, wasn’t yet shaving. His father George, a railroad pipefitter, had died. He’d lost a brother in 1909. His mother Dora and four sisters lived just outside of town, in Bridgedale. Times were tough, no doubt. Oulton’s army medical history demanded to know “when vaccinated last.” The doctor who conducted his physical examination, a major, wrote “when a child.” Weighing 120 pounds and standing five-foot-four-and-a-half-inches tall, Oulton was technically still a child who, by the looks of him...
Lessons to learn
Defence Today, Eye On Defence

Lessons to learn

The fall of Afghanistan prompts a tough question: “Was it worth it?”   The Afghanistan government of Ashraf Ghani collapsed in mid-August and the Taliban, which harboured the 9/11 terrorists, now reigns supreme over the troubled country.  The 9/11 attacks led directly to the invocation of NATO’s Article 5—the collective security clause—which led Canada directly into the war in Afghanistan in the fall of 2001. Now, after 20 years of fighting, the war has been lost. The extreme Islamist group rules again. It is easy to blame the collapse of the Ghani government on President Joe Biden’s hasty withdrawal of the remaining American troops from Afghanistan, but Canadians also have tough questions to answer about what we were doing there in the first place.   Canada sent more than ...
Viking settlement predates latest discovery: archeologist
Defence Today, Front Lines

Viking settlement predates latest discovery: archeologist

“We don’t know how long before and after they were there.” A co-author of a groundbreaking study that pinpointed Viking activity in North America to the summer of 1021 AD says Norse explorers likely arrived at the Newfoundland site years before they cut the wood on which the finding was based. Longtime Parks Canada archeologist Birgitta Wallace, one of the world’s foremost experts on Vikings (Norse) on this continent, said the finding using a new form of radiocarbon dating may well represent the last year the Norse explorers spent at L’Anse aux Meadows on Newfoundland’s Great Northern Peninsula. “It’s slightly later than we would have expected,” Wallace said in an interview with Legion Magazine. “We have one date, but we don’t know how long before and after they were there. “Fr...
Vikings settled Newfoundland centuries before Columbus sailed: new research
Defence Today, Front Lines

Vikings settled Newfoundland centuries before Columbus sailed: new research

“The Vikings (or Norse) were the first Europeans to cross the Atlantic.” Vikings conclusively settled in Newfoundland nearly 500 years before Christopher Columbus reached the Bahamas, says new research that disproves once and for all the myth that the Italian explorer was the first European to discover the Americas. By radiocarbon dating wood the explorers harvested at the L’Anse aux Meadows archaeological site in Newfoundland, scientists pinpointed the felling of trees to precisely 1021 AD, long before Columbus dropped anchor in the Caribbean in October 1492. “The Vikings (or Norse) were the first Europeans to cross the Atlantic,” declares the peer-reviewed article in the scientific journal Nature. The discovery “lays down a marker for European cognizance of the Americas, and ...

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