We Need To Talk About Chad: Franco-America’s Favorite Hired Gun

After some hints to the contrary, it turns out French troops in the Sahel aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. So said President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on February 16, even before his virtual summit with France’s former-colonial "partners" – Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali, Mauritania, and Chad – comprising the G5 Sahel Joint Force. Formed in … Continue reading “We Need To Talk About Chad: Franco-America’s Favorite Hired Gun”

All Risk, No Reward: The Perils and Absurdity of Iraq War 4.0

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken might have been "outraged” by a rocket attack on a U.S. base in northern Iraq – that killed a foreign contractor and wounded an American service member and several other contractors – but he shouldn’t have been surprised. After all, it’s the muddled US military mission and ongoing troop presence … Continue reading “All Risk, No Reward: The Perils and Absurdity of Iraq War 4.0”

We’ve Gone a Year Without a Combat Death in Afghanistan – Will Biden Break the Streak?

February 9th marked the first time in nearly two decades that the U.S. military went one full year without a trooper killed in Afghanistan action. Now, with newly minted President Biden weighing his Afghan options – and under immense bipartisan insider pressure to stay-put or even ramp-up – a simple question leaps forth: Does Amtrak … Continue reading “We’ve Gone a Year Without a Combat Death in Afghanistan – Will Biden Break the Streak?”

Joe’s Just Gotta Let Us Know: Will He Stay or Will He Go?

Real talk: Joe Biden hasn’t had too many finest hours in his 47 years plus years on the national scene. To be fair, he’s had his moments – like a powerful, earthy, and impassioned 1986 speech he delivered to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, opposing the Reagan administration’s apologism for the "repulsive, repugnant" Afrikaner apartheid … Continue reading “Joe’s Just Gotta Let Us Know: Will He Stay or Will He Go?”

Biden’s Bolt From Yemen?: Symbolic Step, Systemic Limits, and Linguistic Gymnastics

The Intercept labeled it a "dramatic policy shift.” And here’s hoping it’s that. Still, President Joe Biden’s announcement – during his first major foreign policy address – that he would end American support for Saudi and United Arab Emirates-led "offensive operations" in Yemen, needs more nuance. In the second month of 2021, it seems all but … Continue reading “Biden’s Bolt From Yemen?: Symbolic Step, Systemic Limits, and Linguistic Gymnastics”

Backing France’s African Adventures: What Could Go Wrong?… Everything

In Africa, Islamic State, and other Islamists, are just the tip of an underlying conflicts iceberg. Still, for decades, French Titanics – fueled by America – have rammed the symptomatic spire whilst ignoring the subsurface bulk of problems Paris largely caused or catalyzed. As for those running that nuance-free Emerald City of Washington – they’ve … Continue reading “Backing France’s African Adventures: What Could Go Wrong?… Everything”

Peering Into a Forever-War Crystal Ball

Originally posted at TomDispatch. More than 19 years ago, the U.S. launched the air war that would become the ground invasion and “liberation” of Afghanistan. More than 17 years ago, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld declared “major combat” over in that country with just 8,000 US troops still stationed there. Approximately nine years after that, … Continue reading “Peering Into a Forever-War Crystal Ball”

ISIS-Africa Alarmism: Brought to You Context-Free by Defense Analysts

Long before he played various roles in the Obama administration, Robert Berschinski was described as among the “rarest of creatures.” For starters, he was an R.O.T.C. cadet at an Ivy League school – Yale – on September 11, 2001, at a time when graduates of elite universities have been conspicuously absent from the military’s ranks. … Continue reading “ISIS-Africa Alarmism: Brought to You Context-Free by Defense Analysts”

In Other News: Another Franco-American Forever War Failing in Africa – Mali Edition

This past August, a U.S. military-trained African army officer staged a coup in an impoverished country – Mali – wracked by violence that’s long been folded under the opportunist umbrella of a global war on terror. Washington subsequently feigned surprise, pretended chagrin, suspended some aid – and quietly continued to back the new regime and … Continue reading “In Other News: Another Franco-American Forever War Failing in Africa – Mali Edition”

The [Neocon] Empire Strikes Back: Victoria Nuland, and the Kagans Who Love Her

Recently on Twitter, a someone graciously dubbed me a "prophet" after rereading my April article arguing that "American Exceptionalism Scars Both Victim and Victimizer" – and which pivoted around actual philosophical prophet, Ms. Simone Weil. This social media follower, "TheAyatollaOfRocknRolla," is clearly a man of cinematic allusion – to 1981’s Mad Max 2: The Road … Continue reading “The [Neocon] Empire Strikes Back: Victoria Nuland, and the Kagans Who Love Her”