Prioritizing the Pentagon in a Pandemic

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Since it began in 2002, TomDispatch has been following the twenty-first-century rise of the Pentagon and the rest of the U.S. national security state, amid distant wars that simply never seem to end. While much has, in this Covid-19 era of ours, been in the process of going down (billionaires aside), … Continue reading “Prioritizing the Pentagon in a Pandemic”

The All-American Way

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Today, in the context of the Black Lives Matter protests, TomDispatch regular Andrew Bacevich considers the all-American version of “extreme materialism” that Martin Luther King called out more than half a century ago. And when it comes to the overwhelming urge to get one’s hands on the goods, among the looters … Continue reading “The All-American Way”

Is There a Chinese Missile Crisis in Our Future?

Originally posted at TomDispatch. In the grimmest sense imaginable, this has already been an action-packed year. Try, in fact, to imagine a summary of this moment in historical terms: Right now, in June 2020, we’re experiencing a version of the 1918 “Spanish flu” pandemic; an instant rerun of the Great Depression; another round of the … Continue reading “Is There a Chinese Missile Crisis in Our Future?”

How the Saudis, the Qataris, and the Emiratis Took Washington

Originally posted at TomDispatch. It was a bare-knuckle brawl of the first order. It took place in Washington, D.C., and it resulted in a KO. The winners? Lobbyists and the defense industry. The losers? Us. And odds on, you didn’t even know that it happened. Few Americans did, which is why it’s worth telling the … Continue reading “How the Saudis, the Qataris, and the Emiratis Took Washington”

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 End of War As We Know It?

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Consider it strange. The U.S. has been fighting in Somalia on and off (mostly on) since the early 1990s. (Who, of a certain age, doesn’t remember the "Black Hawk Down" fiasco?) Almost 30 years later, at a time when the U.N. secretary-general, supported by dozens of countries, has reasonably enough called … Continue reading “The End of War As We Know It?”

The Betrayal of the American Soldier

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Someday, America’s Afghan Wars – the first was against the Soviet Union, 1979-1989; the second began with the post-9/11 invasion of that country and has never ended – may be seen as follies of an unprecedented sort. Certainly, the wars that invasion set off across the Greater Middle East and Africa … Continue reading “The Betrayal of the American Soldier”

A Greatest Generation We Are Not

Originally posted at TomDispatch. There was certainly a hint that the previous century was not going to unfold in a particularly propitious manner when World War I, “the war to end all wars” (a phrase famously attributed to American President Woodrow Wilson), proved but an introduction to a second world war that would make the … Continue reading “A Greatest Generation We Are Not”

Trump’s Own Military Mafia

Originally posted at TomDispatch. I’m sure you still remember them. The president regularly called them “my generals.” They were, he claimed, from “central casting” and there were three of them: retired Marine Corps General John Kelly, who was first appointed secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and then White House chief of staff; Army … Continue reading “Trump’s Own Military Mafia”

What Americans Don’t Know About Military Families

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Though my father served in World War II (an experience he would seldom talk about), I was never in a war myself, nor has the rest of my family been. Nothing strange there. It’s typical, in fact, of American life since the draft was abolished in 1973 and the all-volunteer military … Continue reading “What Americans Don’t Know About Military Families”