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Afghanistan and the AK-47

Photographs and story by Stephen J. Thorne   With more than 75 million estimated to be in circulation, the Avtomat Kalashnikova, or AK-47 (for the year Mikhail Kalashnikov completed his work), is the most popular and most copied weapon in the world. Light, simple, reliable and stable, the AK-47 has for decades been the...
  • COVID-19: War is not the answer

    April 8, 2020 by Stephen J. Thorne
    Politicians, health professionals and news people have likened the challenges, responses and prospective solutions spawned by the coronavirus pandemic to a war. But is it? “I am a soldier in this battle, I am fighting my piece and I ask you to fight yours,” wrote...
  • “I would rather suffer with coffee than be senseless.” – Napoleon Bonaparte When times are tough and you’re far from home, it’s often the little things that mean the most. You’d be hard-pressed to find a soldier who wouldn’t put coffee near the top of...
  • U.S. army research gives new meaning to G.I. ‘Joe’

    March 24, 2020 by Stephen J. Thorne
    Ah, caffeine. That little pause that refreshes. But if you’re in the military, that cuppa joe or caffeine-laced energy drink can literally be a lifesaver. That’s why scientists in the United States military have spent 10 years researching the benefits of caffeine. They’ve come up...
  • New ships raise issue of missile defence

    March 24, 2020 by David J. Bercuson
    When it comes to Canadian defence policy, there is something poison about the words “missile defence.” The United States attempted to get Ottawa to sign on to its missile-defence program as far back as 2005 when then-prime minister Paul Martin turned the U.S. away after...
  • The evolution of war photography

    March 18, 2020 by Stephen J. Thorne
    In an age when technology limited most photography to static studio poses and bland, if not severe, countenances, Canadian army photographer William Rider-Rider elevated the art to a higher level under the most trying of circumstances. Armed with a bulky 4×5 box camera, the lieutenant...
  • Looking to recruit more women—or anyone, for that matter—the Royal Canadian Navy is switching to gender-neutral terms for its junior ranks. The ranks master seaman, leading seaman, able seaman and ordinary seaman will be scrapped and likely replaced by equivalent ‘hands’ or ‘rates,’ depending on...
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