Now You See It, Now You Don’t

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Back in 2012, I stumbled across figures on the U.S. government’s classification of documents and was stunned. In 2011, 92,064,862 of them had been sequestered and 26,058,678 of those given “top secret” status. (Who even knew that so many documents could be generated by a single government?) And that top-secret figure, … Continue reading “Now You See It, Now You Don’t”

A Dollar-by-Dollar Tour of the National Security State

Originally posted at TomDispatch. In its latest budget request, the Trump administration is asking for a near-record $750 billion for the Pentagon and related defense activities, an astonishing figure by any measure. If passed by Congress, it will, in fact, be one of the largest military budgets in American history, topping peak levels reached during … Continue reading “A Dollar-by-Dollar Tour of the National Security State”

Ending the Pentagon’s Long Con

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Consider it a conundrum. Both parties in Congress and the president simply can’t pour enough money into the Pentagon and the rest of the national security state. As a result, theirs has been a cumulative trillion-dollar budget for years and it’s still on the rise. On the other hand, the domestic … Continue reading “Ending the Pentagon’s Long Con”

The Palestine Marathon

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Weren’t the president, his family, and his foreign-policy team lucky? After all, when they faced the conundrum that had stymied previous American presidencies, that had turned plan after plan, “roadmap” after “roadmap,” into dust in the Middle East, they lucked out. The Palestinians were gone. No need to give them aid … Continue reading “The Palestine Marathon”

No Need To Whisper, AFRICOM Isn’t Listening In

Originally posted at TomDispatch. What is it about the U.S. military and TomDispatch? Last August, I discovered (thanks to a correspondent in that military) that the Pentagon’s computer networks had blocked this website. (The message you received if you tried to get to it: “You have attempted to access a blocked website. Access to this … Continue reading “No Need To Whisper, AFRICOM Isn’t Listening In”

America’s Self-Inflicted Wound

Originally posted at TomDispatch. He was a graduate student when, in the midst of the Vietnam War, he started to explore the history behind the heroin epidemic then infecting the U.S. Army in Vietnam. He soon found himself, almost inadvertently, on the heroin trail across Southeast Asia and deep into the CIA’s involvement in an … Continue reading “America’s Self-Inflicted Wound”

India, Pakistan, and a Planet in Peril

Originally posted at TomDispatch. It’s still the most dangerous border on Earth. Yet compared to the recent tweets of President Donald Trump, it remains a marginal news story. That doesn’t for a moment diminish the chance that the globe’s first (and possibly ultimate) nuclear conflagration could break out along that 480-mile border known as the … Continue reading “India, Pakistan, and a Planet in Peril”

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”

The Death of Peace: How the US Empire Starts Wars, But Refuses To End Them

Originally posted at TomDispatch. How appropriate, don’t you think? America’s longest war, the Afghan one, now heading into its 18th year, may set another kind of record – for the longest withdrawal ever. The Pentagon recently revealed news of its daring “plan” to end that war. It will take up to five years to get … Continue reading “The Death of Peace: How the US Empire Starts Wars, But Refuses To End Them”