Turning Victory Into Defeat

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Think of it as a reverse miracle. Seventeen years of American war in this century waged by a military considered beyond compare on a planet that, back in 2001, was almost without enemies. How, then, was it possible, month after month, year after year, to turn the promise of eternal victory … Continue reading “Turning Victory Into Defeat”

Afghanistan and the Implosion of America

Originally posted at TomDispatch. As I approach 75, I’m having a commonplace experience for my age. I live with a brain that’s beginning to dump previously secure memories – names, the contents of books I read long ago (or all too recently), events, whatever. If you’re of a certain age yourself, you know the story. … Continue reading “Afghanistan and the Implosion of America”

Living the Nuclear Past – and Future

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Let me tell you a little story about Hiroshima and me: As a young man, I was anything but atypical in having the Bomb (we capitalized it then) on my brain, and not just while I was ducking under my school desk as sirens howled their nuclear attack warnings outside. Like … Continue reading “Living the Nuclear Past – and Future”

Bases: One Down, Who Knows How Many To Go?

Originally posted at TomDispatch. As TomDispatch’s Nick Turse reminds us today, the United States remains an imperial military presence unlike any other – not just in this moment but in the history of empire. Never has a single country had so many military bases on so many parts of Planet Earth. Consider that a striking … Continue reading “Bases: One Down, Who Knows How Many To Go?”

Ringing in a New Year of War

Originally posted at TomDispatch. On December 9th, the Washington Post covered Donald Trump’s offhand, if long expected, announcement of the ousting of retired Marine General John Kelly from an embattled White House. Its report focused on the chief of staff’s “rocky tenure” there with a nod to his many merits, among them that he “often … Continue reading “Ringing in a New Year of War”

On Board the USS Detention

Originally posted at TomDispatch. After six all-American decades in business, Toys “R” Us crashed in 2018, closing its 735 U.S. stores and filing for bankruptcy. As it happens, however, the Washington-branded outfit, Mistreatment and Misconduct “R” Us (or M&M “R” Us), continues to thrive, as it has this century so far. In case the holiday … Continue reading “On Board the USS Detention

The Coming of Hyperwar

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Imagine, for a moment, a country that no longer rebuilds or reinforces its sagging infrastructure but just can’t stop pouring money into its military. Oh wait, you don’t have to imagine that at all! You just have to look at the United States. This fall, for instance, the president who swore … Continue reading “The Coming of Hyperwar”

Rule Number One in Warfare: Know Your Enemy

Originally posted at TomDispatch. It’s now more than 17 years later, years in which American commanding generals in Afghanistan repeatedly hailed the U.S. military’s “progress” there and regularly applauded the way we had finally “turned a corner” in the Afghan War — only to find more Taliban fighters armed with RPGs around that very corner. … Continue reading “Rule Number One in Warfare: Know Your Enemy”

Misremembering Vietnam

Originally posted at TomDispatch. “I’m going to Saigon,” said Secretary of Defense James Mattis last month before correcting himself. “Ho Chi Minh City – former Saigon.” It was the fifth time that Mattis would meet with his Vietnamese counterpart, Minister of National Defense Ngo Xuan Lich, and it marked the defense secretary’s first visit to … Continue reading “Misremembering Vietnam”

Entering the Second Nuclear Age?

Originally posted at TomDispatch. He was the candidate who, while talking to a foreign policy expert, reportedly wondered "why we can’t use nuclear weapons." He was the man who would never rule anything out or take any "cards," including nuclear ones, off the proverbial table. He was the fellow who, as president-elect, was eager to … Continue reading “Entering the Second Nuclear Age?”