Creating a Hypersonic Pentagon Budget

Originally posted at TomDispatch. In our present social media world, who even remembers that the Internet’s first “mothership,” as Ben Tarnoff put it at the Guardian years ago, was the U.S. military, thanks to a Cold War era urge to link computer communication to the potential front lines of war? The world that we now … Continue reading “Creating a Hypersonic Pentagon Budget”

Is a Chinese Invasion of Taiwan Imminent?

Originally posted at TomDispatch. News flash! Ten thousand Marines and other U.S. troops recently invaded southern California and captured Twentynine Palms in the Mojave Desert — 1,200 square miles of desert seized! Oh, wait, my mistake! Those were just a series of war games in which U.S. bases took the place of islands in the … Continue reading “Is a Chinese Invasion of Taiwan Imminent?”

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”

Ukraine, Taiwan, and Other Flashpoints in a New Age of Geopolitics

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been widely described as the beginning of a new cold war, much like the old one in both its cast of characters and ideological nature. "In the contest between democracy and autocracy, between sovereignty and subjugation, make no mistake – freedom will prevail," President Biden asserted … Continue reading “Ukraine, Taiwan, and Other Flashpoints in a New Age of Geopolitics”

Welcome to the New Cold War in Asia

Originally posted at TomDispatch. For a moment, imagine an upside-down military world. Instead of U.S. guided-missile destroyers and other ships regularly carrying out “freedom of navigation operations” near Chinese-claimed islands in the South China Sea and such destroyers no less regularly passing through the Strait of Taiwan between that disputed island and the People’s Republic … Continue reading “Welcome to the New Cold War in Asia”

Countdown to World War III?

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Yep, it happened again for the 11th time this year. (In 2020, the number was 13.) An American warship, in this case the guided-missile destroyer Milius, sailed through the Taiwan Strait between mainland China and the disputed island of Taiwan to, as a Navy spokesperson put it, “demonstrate the U.S. commitment … Continue reading “Countdown to World War III?”

An All-American Path to War?

Originally posted at TomDispatch. The single scariest night of my life may have been on October 22, 1962, when I thought that all the duck-and-cover moments of my childhood were coming home to roost. President John F. Kennedy appeared on national television (and radio) to warn us all to duck and cover. The Soviet Union, … Continue reading “An All-American Path to War?”

A Game of Chicken in Asia With the World at Stake

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Think of it as Cold War II or, as President Biden put it in his first news conference, “a battle between the utility of democracies in the twenty-first century and autocracies.” In other words, it’s us versus Vladimir Putin’s Russia and, above all, of course – since the Russian economy is … Continue reading “A Game of Chicken in Asia With the World at Stake”

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?”