Imagining a Progressive Pentagon

In September 2007, retired Air Force lieutenant colonel and historian William Astore emailed me out of the blue. He’d been reading TomDispatch articles on this country’s Global War on Terror, especially the invasion of, and never-ending conflict in, Iraq. And as a former military man, something struck him: the staggering rows of medals and ribbons … Continue reading “Imagining a Progressive Pentagon”

The Most Fundamental Problem with the US Military

Reprinted from Bracing Views with the author’s permission. “Integrity First” is the fundamental core value of the U.S. Air Force. Two other core values speak to “service before self” and “excellence in all we do.” But integrity remains the wellspring, and it’s the U.S. military’s stunning lack of integrity that has cost the American people … Continue reading “The Most Fundamental Problem with the US Military”

An Exceptional Military for the Exceptional Nation

Originally posted at TomDispatch. I can still remember my parents singing a somewhat cleaned-up version of the World War I-era song “You’re in the Army Now.” (“You’re in the Army now, You’re not behind a plow; You’ll never get rich, you son of a bitch, You’re in the Army now.”) As it happens, though, that song … Continue reading “An Exceptional Military for the Exceptional Nation”

Silencing Voices for Peace

Reprinted from Bracing Views with the author’s permission. In the “liberal” New York Times today, I saw an article on “Putin’s forever war” that has the following short synopsis: “Vladimir Putin wants to lead Russians into a civilizational conflict with the West far larger than Ukraine. Will they follow him?” Is this true?  Does Putin … Continue reading “Silencing Voices for Peace”

The Russia-Ukraine War and the Management of Expectations

Reprinted from Bracing Views with the author’s permission. It can’t be coincidence. In the past few days, I’ve seen articles at mainstream media outlets like the New York Times and Wall Street Journal that the much-hyped and much-delayed Ukrainian “spring” counteroffensive has stalled, and at high cost to Ukrainian troops. Here’s a quick online headline … Continue reading “The Russia-Ukraine War and the Management of Expectations”

Cluster Munitions for Ukraine

Reprinted from Bracing Views with the author’s permission. News that the Biden administration is sending cluster munitions to Ukraine highlights the dangerous escalatory nature of wars. These are special bombs and artillery shells with hundreds of “bomblets” that disperse to kill or maim as many people as possible. They persist in the environment; children have … Continue reading “Cluster Munitions for Ukraine”

The End Stage of American Empire

Originally posted at TomDispatch. All around us things are falling apart. Collectively, Americans are experiencing national and imperial decline. Can America save itself? Is this country, as presently constituted, even worth saving? For me, that last question is radical indeed. From my early years, I believed deeply in the idea of America. I knew this … Continue reading “The End Stage of American Empire”

Fighting the Military-Industrial Complex

Reprinted from Bracing Views with the author’s permission. The military-industrial-congressional complex (MICC) has a huge advantage over its critics. Its proponents are united by greed and power. They know exactly what they want. Like Johnny Rocco in “Key Largo,” they want MORE. More money. More authority. And obviously more weapons and more war. Whereas critics … Continue reading “Fighting the Military-Industrial Complex”

America’s Mercenary Wars

A very useful and informative site, Michigan War Studies Review, recently stopped publishing book reviews after 18 years. The site’s editor, James Holoka, posted several reviews written by yours truly, including this one in 2013 on Jeremy Scahill’s book, Dirty Wars. The idea that “the world is a battlefield” grows ever stronger in America. As … Continue reading “America’s Mercenary Wars”

Nuking the Promise of America

Originally posted at TomDispatch. I turn 60 this year. My health is generally good, though I have aches and pains from a form of arthritis. I’m not optimistic enough to believe that the best years of my life are ahead of me, nor so pessimistic as to assume that the best years are behind me. … Continue reading “Nuking the Promise of America”