The Massive and Unseen Costs of America’s Post-9/11 Wars

Perhaps the strangest thing about America’s "forever wars" is how little obvious impact they’ve had here. A country – an imperial power, in fact, that liked to think of itself as the planet’s last or "lone" superpower – goes to war for so long (and with so little evident result) that even "the longest war" … Continue reading “The Massive and Unseen Costs of America’s Post-9/11 Wars”

We’re All Prisoners of War Now

Originally posted at TomDispatch. America has essentially been at war, nonstop, since the weeks after the 9/11 attacks. Those “forever wars,” as they’re now commonly called, have been both truly distant from and eerily close to us, far away and yet a deeply embedded part of American life. And here, to my mind, is the … Continue reading “We’re All Prisoners of War Now”

How Not To End Terror Wars

Originally posted at TomDispatch. As his time in office ends in a mob invasion of the Capitol and an avalanche of pardons for his pals and cohorts, Donald Trump also pardoned four American guards from the former private security company Blackwater (run by Erik Prince, brother of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos), part of a … Continue reading “How Not To End Terror Wars”

The Madness of War, American-Style

Originally posted at TomDispatch. The American invasion of Iraq began almost 18 years ago in mid-March 2003. By early April, that country’s capital, Baghdad, had fallen and before the month ended the war was considered over and won. On May 1st, President George W. Bush, in the co-pilot’s seat of a Navy fighter jet, landed … Continue reading “The Madness of War, American-Style”

All-War-All-the-Time?

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Hmmm… let me see if I’ve gotten this straight. In his last days in office, Donald Trump is “ending” America’s forever wars (as he long promised he would do) by leaving 2,500 American troops in Afghanistan, a similar number in Iraq, and continuing the air war across parts of the Greater … Continue reading “All-War-All-the-Time?”

Spilling Ink and Spilling Blood

Originally posted at TomDispatch. TomDispatch is essentially a no-submissions site. The only exception I’ve made over the years has been for those in the U.S. military or retired from it who, miraculously enough, became critical of it and the forever wars that it so relentlessly pursued. I’ve always felt that they had something of importance … Continue reading “Spilling Ink and Spilling Blood”

From the Forever Wars to the Cataclysmic Wars

Originally posted at TomDispatch. You may have noticed those U.S. aircraft carrier task forces repeatedly entering the South China Sea to challenge Beijing or the increased arms sales to Taiwan and the special visits high Trump administration officials have paid to that island (another way to challenge the Chinese leadership). I’ll bet, though, that you … Continue reading “From the Forever Wars to the Cataclysmic Wars”

Stop Thanking the Troops and Lend a Hand

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Nineteen years ago, the administration of George W. Bush responded to the 9/11 attacks by invading Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. And, yes, you won’t be shocked to learn that the Taliban is stronger now than at any time since that moment. Though U.S. troop strength in Afghanistan has been shrinking, thanks to the … Continue reading “Stop Thanking the Troops and Lend a Hand”

What If They Held an Election and Nothing Changed in the War State?

In this mystifying moment, the post-electoral sentiments of most Americans can be summed up either as "Ding dong! The witch is dead!" or "We got robbed!" Both are problematic, not because the two candidates were intellectually indistinguishable or ethically equivalent, but because each jingle is laden with a dubious assumption: that President Donald Trump’s demise … Continue reading “What If They Held an Election and Nothing Changed in the War State?”

A Washington Echo Chamber for a New Cold War

Originally posted at TomDispatch. War: what is it good for? Apparently, in Washington’s world of think tanks, the answer is: the bottom line. In fact, as the Biden presidency approaches, an era of great-power competition between the United States and China is already taken for granted inside the Washington Beltway. Much less well known are … Continue reading “A Washington Echo Chamber for a New Cold War”