A Forever Wall for Our Forever Wars

Originally posted at TomDispatch. In the wake of the American withdrawal from Afghanistan, among the many things barely mentioned or already long forgotten (if ever even noticed), were the wedding parties U.S. air power took out there. Since the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were attacked by al-Qaeda’s four-plane air force in September 2001, … Continue reading “A Forever Wall for Our Forever Wars”

Why Are So Many of Our Military Brothers and Sisters Taking Their Own Lives?

In what seems like another life, I used to interview American veterans of the Vietnam War. Over the course of a decade, I spoke with hundreds of them, mostly about one topic: war crimes. Some were unrepentant. An interrogator who had tortured prisoners, for instance, told me that such actions – beatings, waterboarding, electric shock … Continue reading “Why Are So Many of Our Military Brothers and Sisters Taking Their Own Lives?”

A Pandemic of Sexual Assault in the Military?

Originally posted at TomDispatch. From the dawn of recorded history, humans have been making war and rape has been part of it. In ancient Greece, the rape of a woman was considered a property crime; that is, a crime against her father, husband, or master. But in war, rape was socially acceptable and the women … Continue reading “A Pandemic of Sexual Assault in the Military?”

How Not To End Terror Wars

Originally posted at TomDispatch. As his time in office ends in a mob invasion of the Capitol and an avalanche of pardons for his pals and cohorts, Donald Trump also pardoned four American guards from the former private security company Blackwater (run by Erik Prince, brother of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos), part of a … Continue reading “How Not To End Terror Wars”

America’s Commandos Deployed to 141 Countries

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Nick Turse began covering what might be thought of as the secret history of American war in this century – the rise and spread of American Special Operations forces – for TomDispatch in 2011. That was the year when he first revealed that special-ops deployments had doubled from 60 countries annually … Continue reading “America’s Commandos Deployed to 141 Countries”

America’s Plans To ‘Win’ the Afghan War

Next August 5th and 7th will be the 75th anniversaries of the devastating U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. To this day, they remain the only wartime uses of nuclear weapons. Given the giant arsenals developed by the superpowers of the Cold War era (growing again in the twenty-first century) and the spread of … Continue reading “America’s Plans To ‘Win’ the Afghan War”

Moral Injury and America’s Endless Conflicts

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Many men do monstrous things. And some men are very nearly monsters, capable of killing without compunction or remorse. In the everyday civilian world, we generally seek to lock them up. In war, they have a chance to fully flower. And if they serve in militaries that fight serial conflicts where … Continue reading “Moral Injury and America’s Endless Conflicts”

Bases, Bases, Everywhere, and Not a Base in Sight

Originally posted at TomDispatch. In January 2004, Chalmers Johnson wrote this about what he called America’s “empire of bases” or its “Baseworld”: “As distinct from other peoples, most Americans do not recognize – or do not want to recognize – that the United States dominates the world through its military power. Due to government secrecy, … Continue reading “Bases, Bases, Everywhere, and Not a Base in Sight”

The Forgotten Trauma of a Forgotten War

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Thanks to the looming impeachment crisis, the already Trumpian news cycle – the media has dealt with The Donald as no human being in history – is reaching a bizarre crescendo. And so is a president who seems to spend most of his White House time watching TV and tweeting ever … Continue reading “The Forgotten Trauma of a Forgotten War”