Buttering Up the Pentagon

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Recently, the Pentagon’s top Asia official, Randall Schriver, told senators that the Afghan war would cost this country’s taxpayers $45 billion in 2018, including $5 billion for the Afghan security forces, $13 billion for U.S. forces in that country, and $780 million in economic aid. How the other $26 billion would … Continue reading “Buttering Up the Pentagon”

The Hidden Costs of America’s Wars

Originally posted at TomDispatch. When it comes to America’s wars, more than 16 years later our generals are victorious. Not, of course, in the distant lands where those conflicts grind on unendingly, but in the one place that matters: Washington, D.C. Could there be a more striking sign of that than the elevation of three … Continue reading “The Hidden Costs of America’s Wars”

Whistling Past the Graveyard (of Empires)

Originally posted at TomDispatch. If you’re in the mood, would you consider taking a walk with me and, while we’re at it, thinking a little about America’s wars? Nothing particularly ambitious, mind you, just – if you’re up for it – a stroll to the corner.  Now, admittedly, there’s a small catch here. Where exactly … Continue reading “Whistling Past the Graveyard (of Empires)”

The US Military’s Drug of Choice

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Donald Trump has, it seems, finally offered his plan for dealing with the opioid crisis in America. He did so during his State of the Union address to Congress, filled with Republican applause (none louder than The Donald’s), introducing the country to an Albuquerque policeman who had decided to adopt the … Continue reading “The US Military’s Drug of Choice”

Wrong on Nam, Wrong on Terror

Originally posted at TomDispatch. I recently read Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House. No book – that antiquated object that displays writing on pages of paper – has gotten news attention quite like it in a long time. Of course, that’s what happens when only one person truly matters anymore – … Continue reading “Wrong on Nam, Wrong on Terror”

2018 Looks Like an Arms Bonanza

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Here’s a cheery note for you: the last mass killing of 2017 took place moments before midnight on New Year’s Eve. A 16-year-old New Jersey boy picked up a semi-automatic rifle, “lawfully acquired” by a member of his family, and killed his father, mother, sister, and a family friend. In doing … Continue reading “2018 Looks Like an Arms Bonanza”

Seeing Our Wars for the First Time

Originally posted at TomDispatch. He left Air Force Two behind and, unannounced, “shrouded in secrecy,” flew on an unmarked C-17 transport plane into Bagram Air Base, the largest American garrison in Afghanistan. All news of his visit was embargoed until an hour before he was to depart the country. More than 16 years after an … Continue reading “Seeing Our Wars for the First Time”