The Profits of War

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Was the Afghan War a disaster? Well, don’t ask Afghans, including the seven children who died in the final U.S. drone strike of that war, how they’re doing, or those about to go hungry as that land suffers a devastating drought while food prices soar, or the possible one million of … Continue reading “The Profits of War”

America Dominant Again (in Arms Sales)

Think about this: on Saturday, May 12th, with barely an hour’s notice, Israel took out the al-Jalaa Tower, a high-rise building in Gaza City that housed the Associated Press, al-Jazeera, and other media outlets. That act of destruction, among so many others, caused shock globally and protests not just by those media groups but by … Continue reading “America Dominant Again (in Arms Sales)”

How To Stuff the Middle East With Weaponry

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Yes, his first act on returning to the White House from Walter Reed Medical Center was to step out on a balcony and rip off his face mask to display to the world that thoroughly contagious look of his. He’s been a killer president in all sorts of ways (as I … Continue reading “How To Stuff the Middle East With Weaponry”

Lessons From Battling the Pentagon for Four Decades

The other day, after a three-year legal struggle, the Washington Post broke a story about a secret Afghan War project of the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction. Its focus was hundreds of interviews with American figures – from top officials and generals to lesser actors of every sort – involved in … Continue reading “Lessons From Battling the Pentagon for Four Decades”

America’s Arms Sales Addiction

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Honestly, if a single corporate entity controlled three-quarters of the global market in a product, you’d call it a monopoly, right? Well, in 2011, that was the situation of the United States when it came to the arms trade. This country sold more than three-quarters of the weapons on the global … Continue reading “America’s Arms Sales Addiction”

Eisenhower’s Worst Nightmare

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Congratulations to us! Talk about the art of the deal! Whether we know it or not, in the wake of those presidential Fourth of July festivities on the Washington Mall (“the biggest ever fireworks”), we’re all Saudis now. And here’s the good news: it only cost the Pentagon $1.2 million extra … Continue reading “Eisenhower’s Worst Nightmare”

A Dollar-by-Dollar Tour of the National Security State

Originally posted at TomDispatch. In its latest budget request, the Trump administration is asking for a near-record $750 billion for the Pentagon and related defense activities, an astonishing figure by any measure. If passed by Congress, it will, in fact, be one of the largest military budgets in American history, topping peak levels reached during … Continue reading “A Dollar-by-Dollar Tour of the National Security State”

The Pentagon’s Revolving Door Spins Faster

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Give Donald Trump credit. As a businessman, he’s brought into office some skills that previous presidents lacked. Take, for example, his willingness to plough staggering sums of money into five casinos destined to go bankrupt (and then jump ship, money in hand, leaving others holding the financial bag). Now, he seems … Continue reading “The Pentagon’s Revolving Door Spins Faster”

Jobs Are No Excuse for Arming a Murderous Regime

If the Saudi government is indeed behind the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi there should be consequences – political, military, economic, and reputational. Unfortunately, President Trump begs to differ. His reaction to questions about whether the United States would cut off arms sales to Saudi Arabia if Riyadh is proven to be behind the killing … Continue reading “Jobs Are No Excuse for Arming a Murderous Regime”

To Boldly Go Nowhere?

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Like many in my generation, undoubtedly including Donald Trump, I went into space early (and I’m not even counting all those hours in my early teens I spent reading Isaac Asimov’s Foundation trilogy or H.G. Wells’s War of the Worlds by flashlight under the covers while supposedly asleep). I’m thinking of … Continue reading “To Boldly Go Nowhere?”