35 Years Since the Fall of Saigon

The United States’ wars have always been very expensive and capital-intensive, fought with the most modern weapons available and assuming a modern, concentrated enemy such as the Soviet Union. The ever growing Pentagon budget is virtually the only issue both Republicans and Democrats agree upon. But there are major economic and social liabilities in increasingly … Continue reading “35 Years Since the Fall of Saigon”

How to Inflame the Entire Muslim World

How will history describe the Israeli war against the Palestinians in Gaza? Another Holocaust, this time perpetrated by the descendants of the victims? An election ploy by ambitious Israeli politicians to win votes in the February 10 elections? A test range for new American weapons? An effort to lock the new Obama Administration into an … Continue reading “How to Inflame the Entire Muslim World”

Destabilizing the Islamic World

The following is an excerpt from Kolko’s 2002 Book Another Century of War, published by New Press. Communism’s virtual disappearance caused the geopolitical and strategic factors that produced alliances and coalitions after 1947 to decline and lose their justifications everywhere, but new ones have been more difficult to make. The situation in the entire Islamic … Continue reading “Destabilizing the Islamic World”

‘The US Will Lose War Regardless What it Does’

In an interview with Der Spiegel online, American military historian Gabriel Kolko argues that the situation in Iraq is worse than ever and that the artificial nation, created after World War I, is breaking up. The “surge,” he says, is also failing. SPIEGEL: The long-awaited results of the “surge” are now in. Has the surge … Continue reading “‘The US Will Lose War Regardless What it Does’”

Mechanistic Destruction: American Foreign Policy at Point Zero

The United States has rarely lost any conventional military battle since at least 1950. Nor has it, at the same time, ever won a war. It has successfully overthrown governments through interventions or subversion but the political results of all its efforts – as in Afghanistan in the 1980s and Iran in 1953 – have … Continue reading “Mechanistic Destruction: American Foreign Policy at Point Zero”

Israel: Mythologizing a 20th Century Accident

One of the many quirks of the nineteenth century’s intellectual heritage was the great intensification of nationalism and – to quote one expert – the creation of "nation-ness," the consequences of which have varied dramatically all the way from the negligible to the crucial (as in the case of Israel) to war and peace in … Continue reading “Israel: Mythologizing a 20th Century Accident”

A Rational Perspective on Our Present Crises

It is understandable that intelligent people should be preoccupied with the crises reported in the daily press, but they are best comprehended in their historical context. That context, and the crucial causes and motives guiding American foreign policy since 1950, are crucial to understanding the often bewildering and multidimensional events since the year 2000. George … Continue reading “A Rational Perspective on Our Present Crises”

Israel’s Last Chance

The United States has given Israel $51.3 billion in military grants since 1949, most of it after 1974 – more than any other country in the post-1945 era. Israel has also received $11.2 billion in loans for military equipment, plus $31 billion in economic grants, not to mention loan guarantees or joint military projects. But … Continue reading “Israel’s Last Chance”

Three’s a Crowd: Israel, Iran, and the Bush Administration

There has been a qualitative leap in military technology that makes all inherited conventional wisdom, and war as an instrument of political policy, utterly irrelevant, not just to the United States but also to any other state that embarks upon it. Nations should have realized this a century ago, but they did not. But there … Continue reading “Three’s a Crowd: Israel, Iran, and the Bush Administration”