The Imperial Debris of War

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Today’s piece by Stephanie Savell, co-director of the invaluable Costs of War Project at Brown University’s Watson Institute, goes hand-in-hand with the release of a new report by that very group, “The Human and Financial Costs of the Explosive Remnants of War in Afghanistan.” You can read the report itself by … Continue reading “The Imperial Debris of War”

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”

Ending War, American-Style

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Years ago, a man drove me around Vietnam, day after day, taking me to villages where I interviewed people about their experiences during what they called the American War. They told me about how they had lost eyes or legs or siblings or parents. They told me about being shot or … Continue reading “Ending War, American-Style”

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”

Creating a Spectacle of Slaughter at the Movies

Call it a summer whim or something about this grim moment of ours, but I had an urge to post at TomDispatch my very first piece of published writing. It appeared 48 years ago in what was, at the time, one of the more obscure journals on the face of the Earth, one I helped … Continue reading “Creating a Spectacle of Slaughter at the Movies”

The Military-Industrial Jobs Scam

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Imagine this for a moment: the bipartisan debt and budget bill just passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate will soon become the law of the land. In the next two years, that means, American taxpayers will spend a staggering $1.48 trillion (yes, trillion) on the U.S. military, the … Continue reading “The Military-Industrial Jobs Scam”

Could Donald Trump End the Afghan War?

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Recently, at a confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Mark Esper, President Trump’s nominee to be the new secretary of defense, faced questioning on all sorts of subjects, including on his past position as the top Washington lobbyist for weapons-maker Raytheon and on Turkey’s purchase of a Russian missile … Continue reading “Could Donald Trump End the Afghan War?”

Eisenhower’s Worst Nightmare

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Congratulations to us! Talk about the art of the deal! Whether we know it or not, in the wake of those presidential Fourth of July festivities on the Washington Mall (“the biggest ever fireworks”), we’re all Saudis now. And here’s the good news: it only cost the Pentagon $1.2 million extra … Continue reading “Eisenhower’s Worst Nightmare”

It’s Always About the Oil

Originally posted at TomDispatch. What more did you need to know once Secretary of State Mike Pompeo insisted that a suicide bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan, claimed by the Taliban, was Iranian-inspired or plotted, one “in a series of attacks instigated by the Islamic Republic of Iran and its surrogates against American and allied interests”? In … Continue reading “It’s Always About the Oil”