The Perils of Forgetting: Learn From the Afghan War or Repeat It!

Just over two months before the military mission in Kabul – along with broader American delusions – collapsed, the Center for International Policy released a report on America’s failed and futile Afghanistan adventure. It was a war that took four lives and five limbs from soldiers I commanded. Two bled to death, one died at … Continue reading “The Perils of Forgetting: Learn From the Afghan War or Repeat It!”

Self-Delusion Is Cruelest of All: The Collapse of Afghanistan and American Illusions

Yesterday I found myself dry-heaving and hyper-ventilating in broad daylight, crouched behind the corner of an unused outdoor patio bar in Kansas. I hadn’t had but two beers, but I’d had more than enough of American obtuseness. On a smoke break from wielding my geek-stick (highlighter) with a fatalist fury – brushing-up for today’s Afghanistan … Continue reading “Self-Delusion Is Cruelest of All: The Collapse of Afghanistan and American Illusions”

Antiwar.com and Mainstream Media: A Study in Contrasts, at Forever War Year 20

To say that the mainstream press’s recent coverage of America’s ostensible Afghan War withdrawal – and Iraq-Syria mission muddle-throughs – has been atrocious could be a competitive candidate for understatement of the year. Nearly everyday is the same, when I open my email newsletters from publications like the Washington Post and New York Times – … Continue reading “Antiwar.com and Mainstream Media: A Study in Contrasts, at Forever War Year 20”

A Life and Nation Transformed: 20 Years On From West Point’s Gates and the War on Terror

When I entered West Point’s Thayer Gate – and army life – 20 years ago last month, America was not at war. Not really anyway. Back then, when a 17-year-old’s mother (had to) sign him into the military, he might expect some peacekeeping duty in Kosovo or – at worst – an unlucky street battle … Continue reading “A Life and Nation Transformed: 20 Years On From West Point’s Gates and the War on Terror”

Nakhichevan: Corridor to the Next Round of Nagorno-Karabakh Combat

Ever since the "end" of the latest forty-four day war between Turkish and Israeli-backed – and American-enabled – Azerbaijan and (at best vaguely) Russian-aligned Armenia, there’ve been a slew of policy-wonkish laments about the resultant "illiberal peace." That’s mainly a function of the Russia- and China-hysteria that passes for sound strategic judgment in the Emerald … Continue reading “Nakhichevan: Corridor to the Next Round of Nagorno-Karabakh Combat”

Israel Screams for Ice Cream: The Minutiae and Madness of a Toxic Relationship

No matter how powerful or influential, a nation’s government is ultimately just a pack of people – a clique of flawed and fallible human beings. Now I don’t know about you, but in my own wee experience, when a person over-the-top-overreacts over some small matter – this tends to mask a massive insecurity, blind spot, … Continue reading “Israel Screams for Ice Cream: The Minutiae and Madness of a Toxic Relationship”

Spare Us an Afghan Threequel, Joe: Don’t Get Pulled Back In!

"Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!" ~ Michael Corleone, The Godfather III (1990) Kandahar Airfield ("KAF") was as bizarre as it was dusty. You sort of tasted it before you smelled it – and smelled before you saw it. It’s been a full decade since I first did. When … Continue reading “Spare Us an Afghan Threequel, Joe: Don’t Get Pulled Back In!”

Manufactured Mission: The Iraq & Syria Forever War-Factories

It is by now a near cliché in defense-watcher circles to talk about the common peril of "mission creep” in military interventions. Naturally, that’s not translated to America avoiding this tendency – of gradually shifting objectives during the course military missions, until stuck in unplanned long-term quagmires – very much at all. Nevertheless, as if … Continue reading “Manufactured Mission: The Iraq & Syria Forever War-Factories”

Out of the Freezer for Good: The Seeds of the Next Nagorno-Karabakh War

This past September, Turkey and Israel encouraged Azerbaijan’s "mini-Stalin" of a strongman to forcefully seize the disputed mountainous patch of Armenian-inhabited Caucasus-earth known as Nagorno-Karabakh. These treaty or decisively de-facto allies, respectively, armed and backed Baku’s decision to take what’s been called a "frozen conflict" out of the freezer for good – thereby committing the … Continue reading “Out of the Freezer for Good: The Seeds of the Next Nagorno-Karabakh War”

How To Lose a Country in 10 Years: The Burkina Faso Formula

If the US Government was trying to destroy Burkina Faso, it could hardly have done it any better. But this already impoverished, landlocked West African country is simply symptomatic of Franco-America’s Sahel-wide exercise in absurdity. It goes like this: in the years following the 9/11 attacks there was no Islamist militant threat to speak of … Continue reading “How To Lose a Country in 10 Years: The Burkina Faso Formula”