News

National Security & Defense

Iran Shoots Down U.S. Military Drone in ‘Unprovoked Attack’

U.S. airmen prepare an MQ-9 Reaper drone at Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan, in 2016. (Josh Smith/Reuters)

On Thursday, Iran shot down a U.S. military drone that the country claims was flying over Iranian air space in the southern Gulf region, further escalating tensions between the two nations.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps website said the “spy” drone was shot down over the southern province of Hormozgan. The U.S. Navy, meanwhile, said the drone was flying in international air space over the Strait of Hormuz, a major thoroughfare through which one-third of the world’s global oil supply flows.

“Iranian reports that the aircraft was over Iran are false,” Captain Bill Urban, a U.S. Central Command spokesman, said in a statement. “This was an unprovoked attack on a U.S. surveillance asset in international airspace.”

The Navy’s MQ-4C Triton drone, which costs roughly $180 million and provides real-time intelligence and surveillance to forces on the ground, was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile, U.S. Central Command said. The Iranians also unsuccessfully attempted to shoot down a second drone.

Tensions between the U.S. and Iran have continued to escalate since the U.S. withdrew from the 2015 international nuclear accord last year. There have been six explosive attacks on oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz since May. While Iranian officials have denied responsibility for the attacks, U.S. intelligence agencies have determined that Iran is the only actor in the region with the capacity to execute the sophisticated operations.

In response to the most recent spate of attacks last week, the Pentagon announced on Monday the deployment of 1,000 additional troops to the Middle East in addition to the 1,500 troops deployed to the region after the tanker attacks in May.

A commander for Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, which the Trump administration declared a terrorist organization earlier this year, said the attack should serve as a “clear message” to the U.S.

“We do not have any intention for war with any country, but we are fully ready for war,” Revolutionary Guard commander general Hossein Salami said in a televised address.

Asked about the incident Thursday morning, President Trump told reporters that Iran made a “big mistake” by further escalating hostilities with the U.S. When asked by a reporter at the White House if he would launch a strike against Iran in response, Trump said “you’ll find out.”

Most Popular

White House

The Impeachment Clock

Adam Schiff’s impeachment inquiry is incoherent. Given the impossibility of a senatorial conviction, the only strategy is to taint the president with the brand of impeachment and weaken him in the 2020 election. Yet Schiff seems to have no sense that the worm has already turned. Far from tormenting Trump and ... Read More
White House

The Impeachment Clock

Adam Schiff’s impeachment inquiry is incoherent. Given the impossibility of a senatorial conviction, the only strategy is to taint the president with the brand of impeachment and weaken him in the 2020 election. Yet Schiff seems to have no sense that the worm has already turned. Far from tormenting Trump and ... Read More
Economy & Business

Who Owns FedEx?

You may have seen (or heard on a podcast) that Fred Smith so vehemently objects to the New York Times report contending that FedEx paid nothing in federal taxes that he's challenged New York Times publisher A. G. Sulzberger to a public debate and pointed out that "the New York Times paid zero federal income tax ... Read More
Economy & Business

Who Owns FedEx?

You may have seen (or heard on a podcast) that Fred Smith so vehemently objects to the New York Times report contending that FedEx paid nothing in federal taxes that he's challenged New York Times publisher A. G. Sulzberger to a public debate and pointed out that "the New York Times paid zero federal income tax ... Read More
Elections

Warren’s Wealth Tax Is Unethical

Senator Warren would impose a 2 percent annual tax on wealth above $50 million, and a 6 percent annual tax on wealth above $1 billion. These numbers may seem small, but remember that they would be applied every year. With wealth taxes, small numbers have large effects. Applied to an asset yielding a steady ... Read More
Elections

Warren’s Wealth Tax Is Unethical

Senator Warren would impose a 2 percent annual tax on wealth above $50 million, and a 6 percent annual tax on wealth above $1 billion. These numbers may seem small, but remember that they would be applied every year. With wealth taxes, small numbers have large effects. Applied to an asset yielding a steady ... Read More
Immigration

The ‘Welfare Magnet’ for Immigrants

That term refers to a controversial concept -- and a salient one, given the Trump administration's efforts to make it harder for immigrants to use welfare in the U.S. A new study finds that there's something to it: Immigrants were more likely to come to Denmark when they could get more welfare there. From the ... Read More
Immigration

The ‘Welfare Magnet’ for Immigrants

That term refers to a controversial concept -- and a salient one, given the Trump administration's efforts to make it harder for immigrants to use welfare in the U.S. A new study finds that there's something to it: Immigrants were more likely to come to Denmark when they could get more welfare there. From the ... Read More