New Year’s Resolution: End America’s Quagmire Wars

Here’s a New Year’s resolution: How about ending America’s quagmire wars? There are many reasons why Afghanistan, Iraq, and similar countries will always be quagmires for the U.S. military. US troops have difficulty identifying friend from foe, and indeed “friendly” troops and police sometimes turn on their US counterparts. US troops will always be a … Continue reading “New Year’s Resolution: End America’s Quagmire Wars”

Ellsberg’s The Doomsday Machine: The Madness of America’s Nuclear Weapons

I just finished Daniel Ellsberg’s new book, The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner. Talk about hair-raising! Ellsberg, of course, is famous for leaking the Pentagon papers, which helped to end the Vietnam war and the presidency of Richard Nixon as well. But before Ellsberg worked as a senior adviser on the Vietnam … Continue reading “Ellsberg’s The Doomsday Machine: The Madness of America’s Nuclear Weapons”

Selling Drones, Exporting War

The business of America is weapons sales. That much is true when you consider the following snippet today from FP: Foreign Policy: Drone sales. The United States is looking to make changes to a major international arms control treaty that would open the door for wider exports of military drones, Defense News reports. The proposed … Continue reading “Selling Drones, Exporting War”

Business as Usual at the Pentagon

The revolving door between major defense contractors and the Pentagon is spinning ever more rapidly, notes FP: Foreign Policy. Here’s a telling report from last week: McCain says enough, but does he mean it? During a hearing Thursday to vet several Trump administration nominees for top Pentagon jobs, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said he was … Continue reading “Business as Usual at the Pentagon”

The Atrocious Nature of the Vietnam War

“It’s their [South Vietnam’s] war to win. We can help them … but in the final analysis, it’s their people and their government who have to win or lose this struggle.” ~ President Kennedy in September 1963 “We are not about to send American boys nine or ten thousand miles from home [to fight in Vietnam] to do what Asian … Continue reading “The Atrocious Nature of the Vietnam War”

Military Control of the Civilian: It’s Opposite Day in America

It’s becoming increasingly difficult for Americans to recall that civilian leaders are supposed to command and control the military, not vice-versa. Consider an article posted yesterday at Newsweek with the title, TRUMP’S GENERALS CAN SAVE THE WORLD FROM WAR – AND STOP THE CRAZY. The article extols the virtues of “Trump’s generals”: James Mattis as … Continue reading “Military Control of the Civilian: It’s Opposite Day in America”

On Afghanistan, Trump Is Right To Be Skeptical

NBC news reports that President Trump is skeptical about the U.S. military’s prospects in Afghanistan. The military is losing, not winning, Trump said, and he further suggested the US commander on the scene should be fired. Meanwhile, China is cleaning up with mineral rights (such as copper mining), even as America’s generals continue with a … Continue reading “On Afghanistan, Trump Is Right To Be Skeptical”

America’s Endless Afghan War

News this week that 300 Marines have returned to Helmand Province in Afghanistan recalls the failed surge of 2009-10, when roughly 20,000 Marines beat back the Taliban in the region, only to see those “fragile” gains quickly turn to “reversible” ones (to cite the infamous terms of General David Petraeus, architect of that surge). While … Continue reading “America’s Endless Afghan War”