War With Russia?: How Did We Get Here?

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Understandably enough, commentaries on the crisis between Russia and the West tend to dwell on Ukraine. After all, more than 100,000 Russian soldiers and a fearsome array of weaponry have now been emplaced around the Ukrainian border. Still, such a narrow perspective deflects attention from an American strategic blunder that dates … Continue reading “War With Russia?: How Did We Get Here?”

Wars of Unintended Consequences

Originally posted at TomDispatch. TomDispatch began with the Afghan War — with a sense I had from its earliest moments that it was a misbegotten venture of the first order. Here, for instance, is a comment I wrote about that disaster in December 2002, a little over a year after the U.S. began bombing and … Continue reading “Wars of Unintended Consequences”

The Graveyard of Empires Redux

Originally posted at TomDispatch. On May 1st, the date Donald Trump signed onto for the withdrawal of the remaining 3,500 American troops from Afghanistan, the war there, already 19 years old, was still officially a teenager. Think of September 11, 2021 – the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and the date Joe Biden has … Continue reading “The Graveyard of Empires Redux”

The Hypersonic Race to Hell

Originally posted at TomDispatch. My life, in a sense, has been an arms race. The atomic bomb was initially tested at Alamogordo, New Mexico, on July 15, 1945, five days short of my first birthday. Less than a month later, atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Although the Soviet Union didn’t conduct its … Continue reading “The Hypersonic Race to Hell”

The American War in Yemen

Originally posted at TomDispatch. It was the rarest of graphics in the American news media: a CNN map in which recent Saudi air strikes in Yemen were represented by little yellow explosions. Below them were the number of civilians killed (“97,” “155,” “unknown casualties”) and, below those, the names of the makers of the weapons … Continue reading “The American War in Yemen”

Normalizing Nukes, Pentagon-Style

Despite the dystopian fantasies about nuclear terror and destruction that hit popular culture in the Cold War era and those "duck and cover" drills kids like me experienced in school in the 1950s, the American people were generally sheltered from a full sense of the toll of a nuclear cataclysm. Consider, for instance, the U.S. … Continue reading “Normalizing Nukes, Pentagon-Style”

A Second Korean War?

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Honestly, how many times in your life have you ever run across a headline like this: “Top general says he would resist ‘illegal’ nuke order from Trump”? That was Air Force General John Hyten, head of the U.S. Strategic Command, the present commander of American nuclear forces, speaking at a conference … Continue reading “A Second Korean War?”