From the Forever Wars to the Cataclysmic Wars

Originally posted at TomDispatch. You may have noticed those U.S. aircraft carrier task forces repeatedly entering the South China Sea to challenge Beijing or the increased arms sales to Taiwan and the special visits high Trump administration officials have paid to that island (another way to challenge the Chinese leadership). I’ll bet, though, that you … Continue reading “From the Forever Wars to the Cataclysmic Wars”

How Will the US Counter China?

It has become common for journalists and politicians to speak of a “new cold war” between the United States and China, comparing the current chill in Sino-American relations to the hostility that long prevailed between the US and the Soviet Union. But it would be a mistake to view the current situation as a replica … Continue reading “How Will the US Counter China?”

A Game of Nuclear Chicken With Russia and China

The MQ-9 Reaper, a drone armed with Hellfire missiles, has been a workhorse in Washington’s forever wars across the Greater Middle East and Africa, but its days could be numbered. According to Air Force Magazine, that service "has grown skeptical that the Reaper could hold its own against advanced nations like Russia and China, which … Continue reading “A Game of Nuclear Chicken With Russia and China”

Artificial (Un)intelligence and the US Military

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, the U.S. military, as TomDispatch regular Michael Klare informs us today, has had a brilliant idea – robot generals (!) – into which to sink yet more billions of our tax dollars as divestment in our infrastructure, schools, health care, and the … Continue reading “Artificial (Un)intelligence and the US Military”

A World of ‘Killer Robots’ But Not ‘National Security’

As Covid-19 was spreading across the planet in April and the crew of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt was being consumed by the virus, I wrote a piece for TomDispatch in which I wondered: "Will our troops, trainers, advisers, and military contractors soon find themselves in what may be little short of pandemic wars?" … Continue reading “A World of ‘Killer Robots’ But Not ‘National Security’”

Is There a Chinese Missile Crisis in Our Future?

Originally posted at TomDispatch. In the grimmest sense imaginable, this has already been an action-packed year. Try, in fact, to imagine a summary of this moment in historical terms: Right now, in June 2020, we’re experiencing a version of the 1918 “Spanish flu” pandemic; an instant rerun of the Great Depression; another round of the … Continue reading “Is There a Chinese Missile Crisis in Our Future?”

World War III’s Newest Battlefield

In early March, an estimated 7,500 American combat troops will travel to Norway to join thousands of soldiers from other NATO countries in a massive mock battle with imagined invading forces from Russia. In this futuristic simulated engagement – it goes by the name of Exercise Cold Response 2020 – allied forces will "conduct multinational … Continue reading “World War III’s Newest Battlefield”

It’s Always About the Oil

Originally posted at TomDispatch. What more did you need to know once Secretary of State Mike Pompeo insisted that a suicide bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan, claimed by the Taliban, was Iranian-inspired or plotted, one “in a series of attacks instigated by the Islamic Republic of Iran and its surrogates against American and allied interests”? In … Continue reading “It’s Always About the Oil”

The Navy’s War vs. Bolton’s War

We’re plunged into a world in which yesterday’s strangeness is instantly overwhelmed by today’s, which, in turn, is guaranteed to be overshadowed by tomorrow’s. Our president regularly regales his infamous base while mocking his enemies in ways that, not long ago, would have been presidentially inconceivable. It’s a world in which he recently flew to … Continue reading “The Navy’s War vs. Bolton’s War”

War With China?

Originally posted at TomDispatch. These days, the trade "war" between the Trump administration and China is regularly in the headlines and, sometimes, so are the bases the Chinese are building in the South China Sea, the ships the U.S. Navy is sending ever more provocatively close to them, and the potential clashes that might result. … Continue reading “War With China?”