US Epic Fail in Niger

This originally appeared at TomDispatch. TomDispatch is distinctly a forever-war creation. When I began it almost 23 years ago, the U.S. had just invaded Afghanistan and, of course, there wasn’t the faintest sense that what had been launched then, in the wake of the 9/11 attacks on this country, would still be going on globally … Continue reading “US Epic Fail in Niger”

Remote Warfare and Expendable People

In war, people die for absurd reasons or often no reason at all. They die due to accidents of birth, the misfortune of being born in the wrong place — Cambodia or Gaza, Afghanistan or Ukraine — at the wrong time. They die due to happenstance, choosing to shelter indoors when they should have taken … Continue reading “Remote Warfare and Expendable People”

The Pentagon Proclaims Failure in its War on Terror in Africa

I started TomDispatch in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and the launching of what President George W. Bush quickly labeled “the Global War on Terror.” And here we are, 22 years after Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld stood in the ruins of the Pentagon and told an aide, “Near term target needs – go … Continue reading “The Pentagon Proclaims Failure in its War on Terror in Africa”

What US Africa Command Doesn’t Want You To Know

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Today’s Nick Turse piece on U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) plunged me into an all-American past that, in light of this planet’s chaotic present, had faded from my mind a bit. After all, TomDispatch began more than 20 years ago in the wake of the al-Qaeda attacks of September 11, 2001. In … Continue reading “What US Africa Command Doesn’t Want You To Know”

The Civilian Deaths You Haven’t Heard About

Originally posted at TomDispatch. My father was in the U.S. Air Force in World War II when it was still the Army Air Corps. He was operations officer for the First Air Commandos in Burma. Years later, when I was boy, I can still remember sitting in the back seat of our car with our … Continue reading “The Civilian Deaths You Haven’t Heard About”

The Forgotten People Displaced By War

Originally posted at TomDispatch. We live on a planet in motion, a world of collision and drift. This was once an Earth of super-continents – Gondwana, Rodinia, Pangea. The eastern seaboard of the United States sidled up against West Africa, while Antarctica cozied up to the opposite side of the African continent. But nothing in … Continue reading “The Forgotten People Displaced By War”

The War on Terror Is a Success – for Terror

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Here’s the question that comes to my mind as 2022 begins: If soon after the global war on terror began — with no special sources of inside information, nothing — I could see perfectly well that it was going to be a disaster, why couldn’t the people who mattered? It’s not … Continue reading “The War on Terror Is a Success – for Terror”

‘Mission Unaccomplished: America’s Underperforming Military

Originally posted at TomDispatch. “There’s no such thing as a free lunch” is an old American adage. Venerable, time-tested, and seemingly true, though here’s an exception: retired general, disgraced former CIA chief, and leaker of classified information, David Petraeus. For years, I’ve presented the retired general with an opportunity for that rarest of opportunities, a … Continue reading “‘Mission Unaccomplished: America’s Underperforming Military”

After Vindication, Afghan War Skeptics Ignored by Media

Originally posted at TomDispatch. In 2006, Newsweek dubbed him “a rising star” and one of the “Jedi knights who are fighting in what [Vice President] Cheney calls ‘the shadows.’” The particular Jedi knight being touted to the skies was Army General Stanley McChrystal, then running the Pentagon’s super-secret Joint Special Operations Command. And such language … Continue reading “After Vindication, Afghan War Skeptics Ignored by Media”

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”