The World’s Other Nuclear Flashpoint

Originally posted at TomDispatch. I hope you were suitably cheered up when, on a recent trip to Asia, Vice President Kamala Harris assured American troops in Japan that, in response to China’s “disturbing behavior” in the East China and South China Seas and its “provocations across the Taiwan Strait,” Washington would never look away. After … Continue reading “The World’s Other Nuclear Flashpoint”

Something Is Rotten in the US Military

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Here’s the curious thing: since at least the Vietnam War era of the 1960s and early 1970s, the United States has been almost continuously at war. Certain of those conflicts like the Vietnam War itself and those in Iraq and Afghanistan in this century are still remembered by many of us. … Continue reading “Something Is Rotten in the US Military”

Call It the National (In)security Budget

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Yes, Afghanistan went down the drain and Washington’s global war on terror ended (more or less) in disaster 20 years after it began. But the urge to militarize the planet? Not a chance in an American world where, as TomDispatch regular William Hartung lays out in striking detail today, the Pentagon … Continue reading “Call It the National (In)security Budget”

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”

A Graduation Speech to Air Force Cadets

Originally posted at TomDispatch. It’s that moment again. Graduation time in high schools and colleges across the country. Because I’ve always thought that graduation speeches had a certain je ne sais quoi, I’ve given a number of them at TomDispatch to… well, I must admit, never anyone actually graduating from anyplace anywhere, but only, as … Continue reading “A Graduation Speech to Air Force Cadets”

Arsenal of Autocracy?

Originally posted at TomDispatch. There really isn’t a word for it. Bonanza hardly does the trick. Stroke of luck? Not appropriate, given the subject. Hit the jackpot? Well, it wouldn’t be inaccurate, that’s for sure. Not in recent memory has there been a U.S. arms transfer to another country quite like the latest one designated … Continue reading “Arsenal of Autocracy?”

Ukraine: An Antiwar Dilemma

Originally posted at TomDispatch. As we think about the nightmarish war in Ukraine, let me just offer you a few figures: almost a million dead, nearly 400,000 of them civilians; at least 38 million people turned into war refugees or internally displaced; and perhaps $8 trillion in money squandered on that hell on Earth. Oh … Continue reading “Ukraine: An Antiwar Dilemma”

The Civilian Deaths You Haven’t Heard About

Originally posted at TomDispatch. My father was in the U.S. Air Force in World War II when it was still the Army Air Corps. He was operations officer for the First Air Commandos in Burma. Years later, when I was boy, I can still remember sitting in the back seat of our car with our … Continue reading “The Civilian Deaths You Haven’t Heard About”

How Pentagon Contractors Are Cashing in on the Ukraine Crisis

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has brought immense suffering to the people of that land, while sparking calls for increased military spending in both the United States and Europe. Though that war may prove to be a tragedy for the world, one group is already benefiting from it: U.S. arms contractors. Even before hostilities broke … Continue reading “How Pentagon Contractors Are Cashing in on the Ukraine Crisis”

Will the Pentagon Budget Ever Shrink?

Originally posted at TomDispatch. I have a question for you: What would it take in today’s world for America’s military spending to go down? Here’s one admittedly farfetched scenario: Vladimir Putin loses his grip on power and Russia retrenches militarily while reaching out to normalize relations with the West. At the same time, China prudently … Continue reading “Will the Pentagon Budget Ever Shrink?”