America’s Forever Wars Have Come Home

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Here’s a little portrait of the United States in June 2020, a passage from a New York Times report on the National Guard’s treatment of a recent protest march of people chanting "We can’t breathe!" in Washington, D.C.: "A Black Hawk helicopter, followed by a smaller medical evacuation helicopter, dropped to … Continue reading “America’s Forever Wars Have Come Home”

The Paradox of America’s Endless Wars

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Here’s a word that essentially dropped out of Washington’s dictionary in this century: peace. It used to be part of the rhetoric, at least, of politicians there, but in the era of the war on terror it’s barely made an appearance. In election year 2020, however, it’s back, not as a … Continue reading “The Paradox of America’s Endless Wars”

Wars Without Victories, Weapons Without End

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Here was the headline that recently caught my eye: “Former Top U.S. General Dunford Joining UNICEF.” Okay, you knew it was a joke immediately, right? There’s really only one conceivable headline of that sort when you’re talking about a figure like four-star general Joseph Dunford, Jr., who commanded the 5th Marine … Continue reading “Wars Without Victories, Weapons Without End”

The Militarization of Everything

Originally posted at TomDispatch. We’re in an age in which the president who miraculously “captured” ISIS in “a month,” or so he recently claimed, and has tweeted his fervent desire to end America’s “endless wars” and “bring the troops home” can only imagine increasing an already astronomical military budget.  (Since May, by the way, at … Continue reading “The Militarization of Everything”

A Wasteful Weapon for America’s Forever Wars

How are you with numbers? I can deal with $1.5 million. I think I can even imagine $1.5 billion, a sum a thousand times greater. But how about a million times greater: $1.5 trillion? That happens to be the estimated cost of the Pentagon’s program to build, deploy, and maintain the no-longer-so-new F-35 jet fighter … Continue reading “A Wasteful Weapon for America’s Forever Wars”

Military Strength Is Our National Religion

Originally posted at TomDispatch. After almost 18 years of the war (or rather wars) on (or perhaps of) terror, there’s some good news! The Washington Post reports that American troops are finally coming home from Afghanistan! Actually, let me amend that slightly. They will only come home if Taliban and U.S. negotiators complete a deal … Continue reading “Military Strength Is Our National Religion”

Drowning in Militarism

Originally posted at TomDispatch. It’s no small thing to lodge a word or phrase of your own in our language. So give Dwight D. Eisenhower credit. In his presidential farewell address to the American people in 1961, the former five-star general of World War II warned – and who would have known better – of … Continue reading “Drowning in Militarism”

The American Cult of Bombing and Endless War

Originally posted at TomDispatch. In those pre-seat-belt years – it might have been 1953 – I can remember being in the back seat of the family car with our dog. My dad was driving, my mom sitting next to him. And I can still practically hear them launching, with remarkable gusto, into the first verse … Continue reading “The American Cult of Bombing and Endless War”

Ending the Pentagon’s Long Con

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Consider it a conundrum. Both parties in Congress and the president simply can’t pour enough money into the Pentagon and the rest of the national security state. As a result, theirs has been a cumulative trillion-dollar budget for years and it’s still on the rise. On the other hand, the domestic … Continue reading “Ending the Pentagon’s Long Con”

‘Great-Power Rivalry’ Is Back

Should we have a Department of Offense in place of a Department of Defense (DoD)? Wouldn’t “Offense” be more accurate? Perhaps in more ways than one? Consider the revival of “great-power rivalry,” meaning China and Russia as America’s main rivals. (Terrorists may be trouble, but you don’t necessarily need nuclear-powered carriers and stealth bombers to … Continue reading “‘Great-Power Rivalry’ Is Back”