Special Ops: 133 Countries Down, 17 to Go?

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Give them credit. As TomDispatch’s Nick Turse has so vividly reported over the last decade, America’s previously “elite” Special Operations forces — once small, specially trained units in a large military — have now essentially become a military in their own right, all 70,000 of them (larger, in fact, than many … Continue reading “Special Ops: 133 Countries Down, 17 to Go?”

Weaponized Keynesianism in Washington

Who could forget it? There were the $37 screws (no need to say who was getting screwed), the $2,043 nut (McDonnell Douglas made it specially for the U.S. Navy), the $7,622 coffee pot, the $74,165 aluminum ladder, and the $640 plastic toilet seats for the Air Force. All of those examples of Pentagon waste were … Continue reading “Weaponized Keynesianism in Washington”

How America’s Wars Fund Inequality at Home

Originally posted at TomDispatch. On the campaign trail in 2016, Donald Trump wasn’t shy when it came to the issue of debt. As he told Norah O’Donnell of CBS This Morning at the time, “I’m the king of debt. I’m great with debt. Nobody knows debt better than me. I’ve made a fortune by using … Continue reading “How America’s Wars Fund Inequality at Home”

Is a War With China on the Horizon?

Originally posted at TomDispatch. There’s no other imperial tradition like it. For two millennia, dynasty after dynasty rose and fell, spread and shrank, reaching into Southeast Asia and far out into the steppes of Eurasia, its commercial fleets — 3,500 ships in the fourteenth century — voyaging as far as Africa. It’s true that ours … Continue reading “Is a War With China on the Horizon?”

How the Last Superpower Was Unchained

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Think of it as the all-American version of the human comedy: a great power that eternally knows what the world needs and offers copious advice with a tone deafness that would be humorous, if it weren’t so grim. If you look, you can find examples of this just about anywhere. Here, … Continue reading “How the Last Superpower Was Unchained”

Promoting Islamophobia in America

Honestly, if you’re trying to grasp our strange new world, this Washington Post headline gets you at least part of the way there: “New NSC Chief of Staff Is From Group That Believes Muslims Are Plotting to Take Over U.S.” No, that NSC isn’t the National Student Clearinghouse or the Norfolk Southern Corporation or the … Continue reading “Promoting Islamophobia in America”

Not So Great Wars, Theirs and Ours

Originally posted at TomDispatch. In case you hadn’t noticed – and it wasn’t exactly front-page news – America’s eighth war commander in Afghanistan (and keep in mind that we’re only talking about this country’s second Afghan War), General John Nicholson, is about to be history. Sometime in the coming months, the ninth, Lieutenant General Austin … Continue reading “Not So Great Wars, Theirs and Ours”

The Military-Industrial Complex Strikes (Out) Again

Remember Donald Trump’s magical plan to turn $200 billion in federal money… hey, presto!… into $1.5 trillion in investment in America’s aging, underfunded infrastructure (to which the American Society of Civil Engineers gave a grade of D+ in 2017)? Why should you, especially since that plan is now officially dead in the water in Congress … Continue reading “The Military-Industrial Complex Strikes (Out) Again”

Tomorrow’s Terror Today

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Once upon a time, dystopian fiction was left to the novelists: Aldous Huxley, George Orwell, Margaret Atwood, Philip K. Dick. And once upon a time, the futuristic dreams of the military were distinctly upbeat. They were of generals leading armies to victory, of air power causing the morale of enemy nations … Continue reading “Tomorrow’s Terror Today”