A Saudi Love Affair in Washington

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Imagine that you paid a special visit to a family you hardly knew halfway around the world and they were so pleased to see you that they spent an estimated $68 million on your welcome, while mounting “festivities” like the one in which you danced with them sword in hand? Yes, … Continue reading “A Saudi Love Affair in Washington”

The Caliphate of Trump

Originally posted at TomDispatch. They are the extremists. If you need proof, look no further than the Afghan capital, Kabul, where the latest wave of suicide bombings has proven devastating. Recently, for instance, a fanatic set off his explosives among a group of citizens lining up outside a government office to register to vote in … Continue reading “The Caliphate of Trump”

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”

The New ‘Long War’

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Someday, it may seem like history’s classic example of imperial overstretch. There was, after all, only one superpower left on this planet after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. It was challenged by… well, next to no one. Or rather by a single jihadist, his modest set of followers, and an … Continue reading “The New ‘Long War’”

Selling Arms as if There Were No Tomorrow

Few American exports are more successful globally than things that go boom in the night: Hollywood movies – especially, of course, superhero films, which regularly garner vast international audiences – and advanced weaponry of just about every imaginable kind. As TomDispatch regular and Pentagon expert William Hartung points out today, while Donald Trump has been … Continue reading “Selling Arms as if There Were No Tomorrow”

Making Atrocities Great Again

Originally posted at TomDispatch. There’s been a lot of free-floating fear and horror in the media recently about the appointment as national security adviser of John Bolton, a man who’s been itching for war(s) since the 1990s. His approach to Iran and North Korea in particular (not quite nuke ’em!, but not that much short … Continue reading “Making Atrocities Great Again”