I Knew the War in Afghanistan Was a Lie

This article originally appeared at TruthDig. Nightmares still haunt me. Sometimes it’s the standard stuff associated with classic post-traumatic stress disorder: flashbacks of horrible attacks and images of my mutilated troopers. More often, though, peculiar as it may sound, I dream that my sociopathic, career-obsessed colonel calls to give me another late-night order to do … Continue reading “I Knew the War in Afghanistan Was a Lie”

The Real Collusion: How To Recruit for Forever War

I guess you can say I was raised on the old 1980s-era “Be, All that you can be” U.S. Army recruiting commercials. Cheesy, sure, but they were brilliant. I remember one that embodied the whole series. A racially diverse squad was helicoptered to a lovely green hilltop and proceeded to – almost instantaneously – set … Continue reading “The Real Collusion: How To Recruit for Forever War”

Potemkin Patrols: Performing the (Afghan) War

Series note: It has taken me years to tell these stories. The emotional and moral wounds of the Afghan War have just felt too recent, too raw. After all, I could hardly write a thing down about my Iraq War experience for nearly ten years, when, by accident, I churned out a book on the … Continue reading “Potemkin Patrols: Performing the (Afghan) War”

The Good, Bad Old Days: Bring Back Cold War Mideast Strategy

Cold War nostalgia is all the rage these days. The Democratic Party, well at least the MSNBC wing, seems intent on a full tilt replay of the standoff with nuclear-armed Russia. In their bizarre fantasy, Putin is the new Stalin, Trump is apparently a legit Manchurian candidate, and – in a revival of an old-fashioned … Continue reading “The Good, Bad Old Days: Bring Back Cold War Mideast Strategy”

America Will Never Live Down Trump’s War Crime Pardons

This article originally appeared at TruthDig. Donald Trump loves him some bluster, worships machismo, and always has. Spectacle over substance has long been the name of his game. Decades before his successful presidential run, back when he was still a cartoon billionaire playboy, Trump took out a full-page newspaper advertisement that argued that New York … Continue reading “America Will Never Live Down Trump’s War Crime Pardons”

What Was It All For: Iranian Intel Leaks and the US Folly in Iraq

East Baghdad, January 25, 2007. Newly minted 1st Lieutenant Danny Sjursen, all of 23-years-old, led his scout platoon – the "Ghost Riders” – on yet another meaningless presence patrol in an increasingly aimless war, at about 9:00pm local time in the Al Amin neighborhood of Shia-majority East Baghdad. We were no longer allowed to call … Continue reading “What Was It All For: Iranian Intel Leaks and the US Folly in Iraq”

If Not Now, When; If Not Us, Who?: Support Antiwar.com!

Sometime this year, the 19th in America’s longest, most futile, war in Afghanistan – really any day now – a young man (or woman) will be killed in a war older than he is. In these dark times, it feels like an inevitability, but it’s not quite – if only just. History rolls along, certainly, … Continue reading “If Not Now, When; If Not Us, Who?: Support Antiwar.com!”

A New Generation of Vets: Ending Endless War From the Right

They sure didn’t look the part. These weren’t a bunch of stereotypical hippie peaceniks. As I surveyed the room in the beautiful DC brownstone which hosted the BringOurTroopsHome.us opening night reception, I saw well-built, well-dressed men and women, many still sporting military-style haircuts (though often with a well-groomed beard). Instead of tie-dye shirts, I spied … Continue reading “A New Generation of Vets: Ending Endless War From the Right

The Trump Doctrine Demands a Democratic Response

This article originally appeared at TruthDig. I’ve been publishing antiwar material for more than five years now. Seeing as I only retired this past February, I did most of my dissenting while still on active duty, and much of it during the Obama years. During that time, the overwhelming majority of hate mail in my … Continue reading “The Trump Doctrine Demands a Democratic Response”

The Armistice We Need: Time for Vets To Reclaim Veterans’ Day

It wasn’t supposed to be this way; wasn’t meant to be celebrated as such – as Veterans’ Day, that is. When the guns fell silent after more than four years of slaughter in the Great War – which consumed at least 9 million soldiers’ lives – in a widely celebrated, long-awaited armistice, veterans, and even … Continue reading “The Armistice We Need: Time for Vets To Reclaim Veterans’ Day”