Fear of Defeat and the Vietnam War

Fear of defeat drives military men to folly. Early in 1968, General William Westmoreland, America’s commanding general in Vietnam, feared that communist forces might overrun U.S. military positions at Khe Sanh. His response, according to recently declassified cables as reported in the New York Times today, was to seek authorization to move nuclear weapons into … Continue reading “Fear of Defeat and the Vietnam War”

The Military-Industrial Complex Strikes (Out) Again

Remember Donald Trump’s magical plan to turn $200 billion in federal money… hey, presto!… into $1.5 trillion in investment in America’s aging, underfunded infrastructure (to which the American Society of Civil Engineers gave a grade of D+ in 2017)? Why should you, especially since that plan is now officially dead in the water in Congress … Continue reading “The Military-Industrial Complex Strikes (Out) Again”

Ending Wars, Not ‘Winning’ Them, Should Be America’s Goal

You can’t win wars that should never have been fought. The U.S. should never have fought the Iraq and Afghan wars, nor should we have fought the Vietnam War. It’s not that we need to know and master the foreign enemy. We need to know and master the enemy within. The domestic enemy. For the … Continue reading “Ending Wars, Not ‘Winning’ Them, Should Be America’s Goal”

Taking War Off Its Pedestal

Originally posted at TomDispatch. The groundwork is already laid for America’s next war(s) in the Middle East and, in the process, one of the last relatively undamaged areas of Syria (at least before the Turkish military began to pound it with air strikes and artillery, then moving in tanks) is about to be added to … Continue reading “Taking War Off Its Pedestal”

New Year’s Resolution: End America’s Quagmire Wars

Here’s a New Year’s resolution: How about ending America’s quagmire wars? There are many reasons why Afghanistan, Iraq, and similar countries will always be quagmires for the U.S. military. US troops have difficulty identifying friend from foe, and indeed “friendly” troops and police sometimes turn on their US counterparts. US troops will always be a … Continue reading “New Year’s Resolution: End America’s Quagmire Wars”

Ellsberg’s The Doomsday Machine: The Madness of America’s Nuclear Weapons

I just finished Daniel Ellsberg’s new book, The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner. Talk about hair-raising! Ellsberg, of course, is famous for leaking the Pentagon papers, which helped to end the Vietnam war and the presidency of Richard Nixon as well. But before Ellsberg worked as a senior adviser on the Vietnam … Continue reading “Ellsberg’s The Doomsday Machine: The Madness of America’s Nuclear Weapons”

Selling Drones, Exporting War

The business of America is weapons sales. That much is true when you consider the following snippet today from FP: Foreign Policy: Drone sales. The United States is looking to make changes to a major international arms control treaty that would open the door for wider exports of military drones, Defense News reports. The proposed … Continue reading “Selling Drones, Exporting War”

Business as Usual at the Pentagon

The revolving door between major defense contractors and the Pentagon is spinning ever more rapidly, notes FP: Foreign Policy. Here’s a telling report from last week: McCain says enough, but does he mean it? During a hearing Thursday to vet several Trump administration nominees for top Pentagon jobs, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said he was … Continue reading “Business as Usual at the Pentagon”