What If They Held an Election and Nothing Changed in the War State?

In this mystifying moment, the post-electoral sentiments of most Americans can be summed up either as "Ding dong! The witch is dead!" or "We got robbed!" Both are problematic, not because the two candidates were intellectually indistinguishable or ethically equivalent, but because each jingle is laden with a dubious assumption: that President Donald Trump’s demise … Continue reading “What If They Held an Election and Nothing Changed in the War State?”

The Things We Know, But Do Not Say, About the Costs of American War

This originally appeared at The Baraza. “Well, we like war. We’re a war-like people,” the comedian George Carlin, whom I’ve been missing of late, pronounced way back in 1992, on the heels of America’s triumphalist First Persian Gulf War “victory.” The cheers from his dedicated fanbase crowd aside, George’s wasn’t a popular view at the … Continue reading “The Things We Know, But Do Not Say, About the Costs of American War”

Max Boot’s Revenge: Biden’s ‘A-Team’ in Their Own Words

Beware savvy, sophisticate liberals bearing gifts of evasive and ethically empty prose. Having, for my sins, spent a few weeks reading just about everything on offer from what unrepentant neocon zealot – and born-again Washington Post columnist – Max Boot dubbed Joe Biden’s foreign policy "A-Team," I can vouch for the new transition team’s vapidity … Continue reading “Max Boot’s Revenge: Biden’s ‘A-Team’ in Their Own Words”

Where Are They Now? Leaders From My Afghan Tour Are on to Bigger and Bankable Things

It’s one hell of an inversion. The colonels and generals who commanded at high levels during my 2011-12 Afghan surge tour may have lost the war, but they sure won the personal prosperity battle. The military campaign – strategically, at least – wasn’t even close this time around. Whereas the first surge I had the … Continue reading “Where Are They Now? Leaders From My Afghan Tour Are on to Bigger and Bankable Things”

The Tortured Legacy of the Mexican-American War

I had a horror of the Mexican War … only I had not the moral courage enough to resign. ~ Ulysses S. Grant (1879) The phrase “regime change wars” has, of late, taken on profound meaning and stoked massive controversy. When either Donald Trump, or the current long-shot hopeful Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) calls for an end to such … Continue reading “The Tortured Legacy of the Mexican-American War”

America’s Still Strangelovian Schemes to ‘Win’ Nuclear Wars

"Global Thunder: Bombers practice for nuclear war." – Air Force Times, five days ago. The headline itself, its casual yet confident language – and that it barely raises a collective eyebrow – desperately deserves deconstruction. But in practice, this madness involves the definitionally a-strategic U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM) – in conjunction with British and Australian … Continue reading “America’s Still Strangelovian Schemes to ‘Win’ Nuclear Wars”

America’s Imperial Expenditures and Escapades Are Stranger Than Fiction

Who needs dystopian novelists or absurd satirists when otherwise banal bureaucrats of the U.S. national security state do the job for them? It’s an old story with a new tech-savvy twist. The late great Joseph Heller knew a thing or two about war’s foundational farce. He joined the army air corps at age 19 and … Continue reading “America’s Imperial Expenditures and Escapades Are Stranger Than Fiction”

The US Military’s ‘Lessons’ From Nagorno-Karabakh: God Help Us!

It is often said that military leaders tend to train and prepare for the last war. Thus, when the next conflict comes, mistakes are made, early engagements bloody, and sometimes whole wars lost. Each and every time, the past-war preparers styled themselves more forward-thinking than their stale forebears. Yet clinging to the comfort of dogma, … Continue reading “The US Military’s ‘Lessons’ From Nagorno-Karabakh: God Help Us!”

Driven By Delusions: The West’s Nagorno-Karabakh Hypocrisy

Something stands out in recent U.S. and most Western reporting on the ongoing bloodletting in Nagorno-Karabakh (NK). Well, two things actually: ignorance and hypocrisy. Having shuttered most of their foreign bureaus long ago, there’s a distinct lack of expertise in the mainstream press on this – and many other – regional hot spots. That’s translated … Continue reading “Driven By Delusions: The West’s Nagorno-Karabakh Hypocrisy”

No Dog in the Fight: Nagorno-Karabakh’s Conflict Isn’t About Us (or Russia)

Journalists and geo-strategists call it a "frozen conflict” – one of several such deadlocked disputes under tenuous ceasefire in the post-Soviet states. Only now, the long-standing battle between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh (NK) is anything but. For the third time since the Russian-brokered 22-year armed-truce – ending a bloody 1988-94 war that claimed some … Continue reading “No Dog in the Fight: Nagorno-Karabakh’s Conflict Isn’t About Us (or Russia)”