The Superpower That Fought Itself – and Lost

Originally posted at TomDispatch. After 19 al-Qaeda militants armed only with box-cutters and knives hijacked four American commercial airliners, the U.S. military moved with remarkable efficiency to rectify the problem. In the years since, in its global war on terror, the Pentagon has ensured that America’s enemies in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere have regularly … Continue reading “The Superpower That Fought Itself – and Lost”

How the Pentagon Snatched Innovation From the Jaws of Defeat

Originally posted at TomDispatch. In the early 1950s, my father ran a gas station on Governors Island, a military base in New York harbor. In those years, it would be my only encounter with the suburbs. And there, for maybe a dime on any Saturday afternoon, I could join the kids from military families at … Continue reading “How the Pentagon Snatched Innovation From the Jaws of Defeat”

War in the Greater Middle East, Maybe We’re the Bad Guys

Originally posted at TomDispatch. In some closet, I still have toy soldiers from my 1950s childhood. They played a crucial role in an all-American world of good guys and bad guys I learned about, in part, from the westerns and war movies my father took me to at local movie theaters. I can still remember … Continue reading “War in the Greater Middle East, Maybe We’re the Bad Guys”

Trump’s Generals: The Last Men Standing

Originally posted at TomDispatch. It was bloody and brutal, a true generational struggle, but give them credit. In the end, they won when so many lost. James Comey was axed. Sean Spicer went down in a heap of ashes. Anthony Scaramucci crashed and burned instantaneously. Reince Priebus hung on for dear life but was finally … Continue reading “Trump’s Generals: The Last Men Standing”

Avoiding War With Pyongyang

Originally posted at TomDispatch. If you happen to be a dystopian novelist, as TomDispatch regular John Feffer is, then you’re in business these days. Back in 2015, when Donald Trump’s campaign for the presidency was just heating up and Feffer was writing Splinterlands, his vivid look back from the year 2050 at our shattered planet, … Continue reading “Avoiding War With Pyongyang”

Welcome to the Post-American World

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Let me try to get this straight: from the moment the Soviet Union imploded in 1991 until recently just about every politician and mainstream pundit in America assured us that we were the planet’s indispensable nation, the only truly exceptional one on this small orb of ours. We were the sole … Continue reading “Welcome to the Post-American World”

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”