The Wrath of the US Along the Euphrates River

Originally posted at TomDispatch. You would barely know it, living in this country, but the essence of modern warfare is what our military tends to call “collateral damage”: the killing or wounding of civilians, not combatants. The Global War on Terror – more than 15 years later a no-name set of conflicts still spreading across … Continue reading “The Wrath of the US Along the Euphrates River”

The Trillion-Dollar National Security Budget

Originally posted at TomDispatch. In May 2012, TomDispatch featured a piece by Chris Hellman and Mattea Kramer, both then analysts at the National Priorities Project, headlined “War Pay: The Nearly $1 Trillion National Security Budget.” The two of them ran through the figures for the cumulative annual budget for what we still mysteriously call “national … Continue reading “The Trillion-Dollar National Security Budget”

Bombing the Rubble

Originally posted at TomDispatch. You remember. It was supposed to be twenty-first-century war, American-style: precise beyond imagining; smart bombs; drones capable of taking out a carefully identified and tracked human being just about anywhere on Earth; special operations raids so pinpoint-accurate that they would represent a triumph of modern military science.  Everything “networked.”  It was … Continue reading “Bombing the Rubble”

Returning to Cheyenne Mountain

Originally posted at TomDispatch. My childhood was a nuclear one and I’m not talking about the nuclear family. I’m thinking of those duck-and-cover moments when, with air raid sirens screaming outside, we went under our school desks, hands over head, to test out our readiness for a Cold War nuclear exchange and the coming of … Continue reading “Returning to Cheyenne Mountain”

Two Impulsive Leaders Fan the Global Flames

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Every now and then something lodges in your memory and seems to haunt you forever. In my case, it was a comment Newsweek attributed to an unnamed senior British official “close to the Bush team” before the invasion of Iraq in 2003. “Everyone wants to go to Baghdad,” he said. “Real … Continue reading “Two Impulsive Leaders Fan the Global Flames”

Fighting the War You Know (Even If It Won’t Work)

Originally posted at TomDispatch. In America’s Afghanistan, it’s all history – the future as well as the past, what’s going to happen, as well as what’s happened in these last nearly 16 years of war.  You’ve heard it all before: there were the various “surges” (though once upon a time sold as paths to victory, … Continue reading “Fighting the War You Know (Even If It Won’t Work)”

America at War Since 9/11

Originally posted at TomDispatch. At 36% to 37% in the latest polls, Donald Trump’s approval rating is in a ditch in what should still be the “honeymoon” period of his presidency. And yet, compared to Congress (25%), he’s a maestro of popularity. In fact, there’s just one institution in American society that gets uniformly staggeringly … Continue reading “America at War Since 9/11”

Trump’s Love Affair With the Saudis

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Not that anyone in a position of power seems to notice, but there’s a simple rule for American military involvement in the Greater Middle East: once the U.S. gets in, no matter the country, it never truly gets out again. Let’s start with Afghanistan. The U.S. first entered the fray there … Continue reading “Trump’s Love Affair With the Saudis”