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”

Ending War, American-Style

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Years ago, a man drove me around Vietnam, day after day, taking me to villages where I interviewed people about their experiences during what they called the American War. They told me about how they had lost eyes or legs or siblings or parents. They told me about being shot or … Continue reading “Ending War, American-Style”

‘What Does War Have To Do With Me?’

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Of all the things I don’t remember anymore, here’s one I do. As a boy, I dreamt about being a foreign correspondent, a war reporter in particular – and I think that Bob Shaplen must have been the reason why. He was a friend of my family’s, perhaps because, in the … Continue reading “‘What Does War Have To Do With Me?’”

Will Technology Stamp a ‘Forever’ on America’s Wars?

Originally posted at TomDispatch. More than a decade ago, I saw the future – and it sure looked bleak. I was in Orlando, Florida (like I said, bleak!), for the 26th Army Science Conference, a showcase for emerging military technologies that was nothing if not underwhelming. All these years later, only a few memories leap … Continue reading “Will Technology Stamp a ‘Forever’ on America’s Wars?”

No Need To Whisper, AFRICOM Isn’t Listening In

Originally posted at TomDispatch. What is it about the U.S. military and TomDispatch? Last August, I discovered (thanks to a correspondent in that military) that the Pentagon’s computer networks had blocked this website. (The message you received if you tried to get to it: “You have attempted to access a blocked website. Access to this … Continue reading “No Need To Whisper, AFRICOM Isn’t Listening In”

How To Make Yourself an Exception to the Rule of Law

Originally posted at TomDispatch. If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? The advent of sound recording deep-sixed this age-old thought experiment and offered a definitive answer: Yes! I’ve got another one for you, though: if you water-torture someone at a secure military … Continue reading “How To Make Yourself an Exception to the Rule of Law”

US Counterterror Missions Across the Planet

Originally posted at TomDispatch. “Training.” It sounds so innocuous. It also sounds like something expected of a military. All professional soldiers undergo some sort of basic training. Think: calisthenics, negotiating obstacle courses, and marksmanship. Soldiers require instruction, otherwise they’re little more than rabble. Sometimes soldiers from one country even train the troops of another, imparting … Continue reading “US Counterterror Missions Across the Planet”

Bases: One Down, Who Knows How Many To Go?

Originally posted at TomDispatch. As TomDispatch’s Nick Turse reminds us today, the United States remains an imperial military presence unlike any other – not just in this moment but in the history of empire. Never has a single country had so many military bases on so many parts of Planet Earth. Consider that a striking … Continue reading “Bases: One Down, Who Knows How Many To Go?”