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”

Cleaning House, Enabling War

Originally posted at TomDispatch. His appointment was a genuine Bolton from the blue (so to speak). After all, everyone knew that former U.N. Ambassador (and Fox News commentator) John Bolton couldn’t be chosen for a major post in the Trump administration. No, not because of his outlandish views on war-making, or his responsibility for helping … Continue reading “Cleaning House, Enabling War”

Selling Arms as if There Were No Tomorrow

Few American exports are more successful globally than things that go boom in the night: Hollywood movies – especially, of course, superhero films, which regularly garner vast international audiences – and advanced weaponry of just about every imaginable kind. As TomDispatch regular and Pentagon expert William Hartung points out today, while Donald Trump has been … Continue reading “Selling Arms as if There Were No Tomorrow”

Making Atrocities Great Again

Originally posted at TomDispatch. There’s been a lot of free-floating fear and horror in the media recently about the appointment as national security adviser of John Bolton, a man who’s been itching for war(s) since the 1990s. His approach to Iran and North Korea in particular (not quite nuke ’em!, but not that much short … Continue reading “Making Atrocities Great Again”

An American Reckoning

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Here’s a thoroughly humdrum figure from the post-9/11 world: this February an estimated 1,294 people were killed in Iraq and another 266 wounded, including ISIS militants, numerous civilians, Iraqi security forces, Kurds, and Turks. Few of them died in major combat, just low-level incidents, suicide bombings, and bodies found in mass … Continue reading “An American Reckoning”

The Pentagon Budget as Corporate Welfare for Weapons Makers

Originally posted at TomDispatch. What company gets the most money from the U.S. government? The answer: the weapons maker Lockheed Martin. As the Washington Post recently reported, of its $51 billion in sales in 2017, Lockheed took in $35.2 billion from the government, or close to what the Trump administration is proposing for the 2019 … Continue reading “The Pentagon Budget as Corporate Welfare for Weapons Makers”

Normalizing Nukes, Pentagon-Style

Despite the dystopian fantasies about nuclear terror and destruction that hit popular culture in the Cold War era and those "duck and cover" drills kids like me experienced in school in the 1950s, the American people were generally sheltered from a full sense of the toll of a nuclear cataclysm. Consider, for instance, the U.S. … Continue reading “Normalizing Nukes, Pentagon-Style”