Playing With Fire in Ukraine

Originally posted at TomDispatch. As Alfred McCoy suggests today, we’re now in the latest version of a “cold war” when it comes to Russia and China. Let’s take a minute, though, to think about that grim term, which, until relatively recently, seemed to be a relic of history. During the original Cold War, it had … Continue reading “Playing With Fire in Ukraine”

How Washington Lost the Ultimate Drug War

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Shouldn’t we be amazed? After all, for almost 20 years, the U.S. military has been supporting, equipping, training, and building up the Afghan military to the tune of more than $70 billion. The result: a corrupt mess of a force likely to prove incapable of successfully defending the U.S.-backed Afghan state … Continue reading “How Washington Lost the Ultimate Drug War”

America’s Self-Inflicted Wound

Originally posted at TomDispatch. He was a graduate student when, in the midst of the Vietnam War, he started to explore the history behind the heroin epidemic then infecting the U.S. Army in Vietnam. He soon found himself, almost inadvertently, on the heroin trail across Southeast Asia and deep into the CIA’s involvement in an … Continue reading “America’s Self-Inflicted Wound”

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”

Washington’s Drug of Choice in the War on Terror

Originally posted at TomDispatch. As you read today’s piece by historian and TomDispatch regular Alfred McCoy, author most recently of In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of U.S. Global Power, think of Afghanistan as the gateway drug for three Washington administrations. Within weeks of the 9/11 attacks, George W. Bush … Continue reading “Washington’s Drug of Choice in the War on Terror”

How To Read the Senate Report on CIA Torture

Introduction: The recent Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on CIA torture is arguably the single most important U.S. government document released to date in this still-young 21st century. Yet even with all its richly revealing detail about the CIA’s recourse to torture since 9/11, the report’s impact on the ongoing US debate over impunity is muted … Continue reading “How To Read the Senate Report on CIA Torture”