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?”

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”

Trump’s Grand Strategy

Originally posted at TomDispatch. If you don’t happen to be part of Donald Trump’s base and you’re a member of the “fake media,” it’s a commonplace to assume that our president is a creature of impulse, a giant id with hardly rhyme, no less reason for what he does. News headlines and those of opinion … Continue reading “Trump’s Grand Strategy”

Is a War With China on the Horizon?

Originally posted at TomDispatch. There’s no other imperial tradition like it. For two millennia, dynasty after dynasty rose and fell, spread and shrank, reaching into Southeast Asia and far out into the steppes of Eurasia, its commercial fleets — 3,500 ships in the fourteenth century — voyaging as far as Africa. It’s true that ours … Continue reading “Is a War With China on the Horizon?”

Gearing Up for the Third Gulf War

It’s already long forgotten here, but the theocratic regime in Iran was really our baby. After all, in 1953, the CIA and British intelligence engineered a coup to replace a democratic government in Iran with the autocratic Shah and so gave Iranians just what they didn’t want (including his creepy secret police, the Savak). In … Continue reading “Gearing Up for the Third Gulf War”