How Korea Could Become a Bright Spot in a World Gone Mad

Here’s a recent typical headline about the upcoming talks between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un: "Will Trump’s Ignorance (and Bolton’s Impetuousness) Doom the North Korea Summit?" When it comes to ignorance, there can be little question that the Trump administration is in a league all its own. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, … Continue reading “How Korea Could Become a Bright Spot in a World Gone Mad”

An Empire of Nothing at All?

Originally posted at TomDispatch. This essay is the introduction to Tom Engelhardt’s new book, A Nation Unmade by War, a Dispatch Book published by Haymarket Books. As I was putting the finishing touches on my new book, the Costs of War Project at Brown University’s Watson Institute published an estimate of the taxpayer dollars that … Continue reading “An Empire of Nothing at All?”

Gearing Up for the Third Gulf War

It’s already long forgotten here, but the theocratic regime in Iran was really our baby. After all, in 1953, the CIA and British intelligence engineered a coup to replace a democratic government in Iran with the autocratic Shah and so gave Iranians just what they didn’t want (including his creepy secret police, the Savak). In … Continue reading “Gearing Up for the Third Gulf War”

Why Can’t the World’s Best Military Win Its Wars?

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Almost 17 years after Washington’s war on terror was launched, déjà vu all over again hardly sums up the situation. Still, it’s a place to start. Take a headline from nearly a decade ago – July 2009, to be exact. By then, the American war in Afghanistan (the second Afghan War … Continue reading “Why Can’t the World’s Best Military Win Its Wars?”

Gunboat Diplomacy and the Ghost of Captain Mahan

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Amid the intense coverage of Russian cyber-maneuvering and North Korean missile threats, another kind of great-power rivalry has been playing out quietly in the Indian and Pacific oceans. The U.S. and Chinese navies have been repositioning warships and establishing naval bases as if they were so many pawns on a geopolitical … Continue reading “Gunboat Diplomacy and the Ghost of Captain Mahan”

Cleaning House, Enabling War

Originally posted at TomDispatch. His appointment was a genuine Bolton from the blue (so to speak). After all, everyone knew that former U.N. Ambassador (and Fox News commentator) John Bolton couldn’t be chosen for a major post in the Trump administration. No, not because of his outlandish views on war-making, or his responsibility for helping … Continue reading “Cleaning House, Enabling War”