Alex Kingsbury

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All wars have their iconic weapons, from the AK-47 to the I.E.D. In Ukraine, it’s the drone.

A vast number and variety of drones — unmanned aerial vehicles — have been used on both sides of the war, including large military-grade machines and smaller consumer models. Drone operators are the new snipers, even though they are often miles from the battlefield.

Consider a video that circulated widely on social media in the past few weeks: A drone hovers above a bomb-shattered neighborhood in Ukraine.

Below it, several troops in Russian uniforms get into a truck. The drone releases a small explosive, which plummets toward their parked truck.…  Seguir leyendo »

Soldiers arrive home in the middle of the night to a snowstorm at Fort Drum in 2011. Credit Damon Winter/The New York Times

Outside the headquarters of the Army’s 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum stands a monument to the unit, the one most frequently deployed in the years since the attacks of 9/11. Two wiry soldiers, frozen in bronze, help each other ascend a crag with the help of a rope. Etched around the monument is the unit’s motto: “Climb to Glory.”

I walked around the stone and bronze, in the frigid darkness of upstate New York, for a good 20 minutes last month, as my old friend Capt. Richard Murphy stood just out of earshot and spoke on his phone about his looming deployment to Afghanistan and about suicide.…  Seguir leyendo »