America and Russia: The Tale of the Tape

There’s no there there. The Mueller Report is (basically) in and (gasp!) and it seems the special counsel found no evidence of overt collusion between President Trump and Russia. You could almost hear the life force being sucked out of Rachel Maddow and a mainstream liberal crew that had foolishly gone all in on Mueller … Continue reading “America and Russia: The Tale of the Tape”

With Friends Like These: Abusive Frenemies and American Mideast Policy

Pop quiz: name the two largest (by far) recipients of U.S. foreign military aid and one other country which recently negotiated the biggest American arms sale deal in world history. Let’s call them the Big three (beneficiaries of largesse, that is). Need some hints? One is ruled by a dictatorial general who came to power … Continue reading “With Friends Like These: Abusive Frenemies and American Mideast Policy”

On Leaving the US Army

Originally posted at TomDispatch. It turns out that I can thank former Army colonel and historian Andrew Bacevich for the fact that U.S. Army Major Danny Sjursen began his article-writing career at TomDispatch. That was in February 2017. His first piece was headlined “Mission Unaccomplished, 15 Years Later” and it began this way: “The United … Continue reading “On Leaving the US Army”

A Cruel, Costly, and Anxious ‘Cold’ War

This article originally appeared at TruthDig. Nothing is inevitable. Not war, not peace. Those writers and politicians who tell readers or constituents otherwise are selling snake oil. So it is, oftentimes, with proclamations about the Cold War. Americans have been taught, programmed even, to believe that a permanently bellicose nuclear standoff with the Soviet Union … Continue reading “A Cruel, Costly, and Anxious ‘Cold’ War”

Still Waiting: 2020 Fever and the Quest for a Progressive Foreign Policy

The 2020 election will not turn on global issues – and more’s the pity. After all, thanks to decades upon decades of accumulating executive power in an increasingly imperial presidency, it is in foreign affairs that the commander-in-chief possesses near dictatorial power. Conversely, in domestic policy, a hostile Congress can – just ask Barry Obama … Continue reading “Still Waiting: 2020 Fever and the Quest for a Progressive Foreign Policy”

Empire of Absurdity: Recycled Neocons, Recycled Enemies

There are times when I wish that the United States would just drop the charade and declare itself a global empire. As a veteran of two imperial wars, a witness to the dark underside of America’s empire-denial, I’ve grown tired of the equivocation and denials from senior policymakers. The U.S. can’t be an empire, we’re … Continue reading “Empire of Absurdity: Recycled Neocons, Recycled Enemies”

Uncle Sam Sent Me to Rehab for PTSD

This article originally appeared at TruthDig. I arrived an absolute mess; most of us did. Bloated cheeks, sunken eyes, wearing my PTSD and depression on every inch of my face. I can’t say I really wanted to be there, even if I had volunteered. Ironic, wasn’t it? This, a civilian treatment facility in nowhere, Arizona, … Continue reading “Uncle Sam Sent Me to Rehab for PTSD”

The Israel Liability: Moral and Strategic Hazards of an Ill-Advised Alliance

Blindly backing Israel has become an article of faith, a civic religion even, for mainstream American politicians. Rarely do any dare publicly question the costs and benefits of this decades-old relationship. Such hesitancy is understandable. After all, to criticize Israeli policy, however mildly, is to risk near certain rebuke and reflexive charges of anti-semitism. Denouncing … Continue reading “The Israel Liability: Moral and Strategic Hazards of an Ill-Advised Alliance”

An Officer’s Path to Dissent

This article originally appeared at TruthDig on January 3, 2018. For a while there, I was a real star. High up in my class at West Point, tough combat deployments in two wars, a slew of glowing evaluations, even a teaching assignment back at the military academy. I inhabited a universe most only dream of: … Continue reading “An Officer’s Path to Dissent”

Syria’s Sunken Cost Fallacy: Not a Reason To Stay

I’m just old enough to remember a time – before 9/11 – when the death of a US soldier in combat was an exceptionally rare thing. Indeed, its hard not to look back fondly on those days of relative peace. Since then, nearly 7000 Americans – and perhaps half a million local civilians – have … Continue reading “Syria’s Sunken Cost Fallacy: Not a Reason To Stay”