An American Reckoning

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Here’s a thoroughly humdrum figure from the post-9/11 world: this February an estimated 1,294 people were killed in Iraq and another 266 wounded, including ISIS militants, numerous civilians, Iraqi security forces, Kurds, and Turks. Few of them died in major combat, just low-level incidents, suicide bombings, and bodies found in mass … Continue reading “An American Reckoning”

The Pentagon Budget as Corporate Welfare for Weapons Makers

Originally posted at TomDispatch. What company gets the most money from the U.S. government? The answer: the weapons maker Lockheed Martin. As the Washington Post recently reported, of its $51 billion in sales in 2017, Lockheed took in $35.2 billion from the government, or close to what the Trump administration is proposing for the 2019 … Continue reading “The Pentagon Budget as Corporate Welfare for Weapons Makers”

Normalizing Nukes, Pentagon-Style

Despite the dystopian fantasies about nuclear terror and destruction that hit popular culture in the Cold War era and those "duck and cover" drills kids like me experienced in school in the 1950s, the American people were generally sheltered from a full sense of the toll of a nuclear cataclysm. Consider, for instance, the U.S. … Continue reading “Normalizing Nukes, Pentagon-Style”

Buttering Up the Pentagon

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Recently, the Pentagon’s top Asia official, Randall Schriver, told senators that the Afghan war would cost this country’s taxpayers $45 billion in 2018, including $5 billion for the Afghan security forces, $13 billion for U.S. forces in that country, and $780 million in economic aid. How the other $26 billion would … Continue reading “Buttering Up the Pentagon”

The Hidden Costs of America’s Wars

Originally posted at TomDispatch. When it comes to America’s wars, more than 16 years later our generals are victorious. Not, of course, in the distant lands where those conflicts grind on unendingly, but in the one place that matters: Washington, D.C. Could there be a more striking sign of that than the elevation of three … Continue reading “The Hidden Costs of America’s Wars”

Whistling Past the Graveyard (of Empires)

Originally posted at TomDispatch. If you’re in the mood, would you consider taking a walk with me and, while we’re at it, thinking a little about America’s wars? Nothing particularly ambitious, mind you, just – if you’re up for it – a stroll to the corner.  Now, admittedly, there’s a small catch here. Where exactly … Continue reading “Whistling Past the Graveyard (of Empires)”

The US Military’s Drug of Choice

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Donald Trump has, it seems, finally offered his plan for dealing with the opioid crisis in America. He did so during his State of the Union address to Congress, filled with Republican applause (none louder than The Donald’s), introducing the country to an Albuquerque policeman who had decided to adopt the … Continue reading “The US Military’s Drug of Choice”

Wrong on Nam, Wrong on Terror

Originally posted at TomDispatch. I recently read Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House. No book – that antiquated object that displays writing on pages of paper – has gotten news attention quite like it in a long time. Of course, that’s what happens when only one person truly matters anymore – … Continue reading “Wrong on Nam, Wrong on Terror”