World War III’s Newest Battlefield

In early March, an estimated 7,500 American combat troops will travel to Norway to join thousands of soldiers from other NATO countries in a massive mock battle with imagined invading forces from Russia. In this futuristic simulated engagement – it goes by the name of Exercise Cold Response 2020 – allied forces will "conduct multinational … Continue reading “World War III’s Newest Battlefield”

Wars Without Victories, Weapons Without End

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Here was the headline that recently caught my eye: “Former Top U.S. General Dunford Joining UNICEF.” Okay, you knew it was a joke immediately, right? There’s really only one conceivable headline of that sort when you’re talking about a figure like four-star general Joseph Dunford, Jr., who commanded the 5th Marine … Continue reading “Wars Without Victories, Weapons Without End”

US Foreign Policy Goes Off the Rails

Originally posted at TomDispatch. What’s the value of an American life in the age of Donald Trump? If you were judging by the death of Nawres Hamid, an Iraqi-American contractor killed in late December after an American base in Iraq was mortared by a Shiite militia believed to have ties to Iran, the answer would … Continue reading “US Foreign Policy Goes Off the Rails”

How The Military-Industrial Complex Gets Away With Murder

Originally posted at TomDispatch. In late December 2018, when James “Mad Dog” Mattis resigned as secretary of defense after President Trump announced that he was going to pull U.S. troops out of Syria, it was a hell of a story. The former general was pundited to heaven and back as the last “adult in the … Continue reading “How The Military-Industrial Complex Gets Away With Murder”

From Obama to Trump, the Escalation of Drone Warfare

"Be assured of one thing: whichever candidate you choose at the polls in November, you aren’t just electing a president of the United States; you are also electing an assassin-in-chief… In previous eras… presidents either stayed above the assassination fray or practiced a kind of plausible deniability about the acts. We are surely at a … Continue reading “From Obama to Trump, the Escalation of Drone Warfare”

The Global War of Error

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Yes, our infrastructure stinks, our schools are failing, this country’s a nightmare of inequality, and there’s a self-promoting madman in the White House, so isn’t it time to take pride in the rare institutional victories America has had in this century? Arguably, none has been more striking than the triumphal success … Continue reading “The Global War of Error”

America’s Plans To ‘Win’ the Afghan War

Next August 5th and 7th will be the 75th anniversaries of the devastating U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. To this day, they remain the only wartime uses of nuclear weapons. Given the giant arsenals developed by the superpowers of the Cold War era (growing again in the twenty-first century) and the spread of … Continue reading “America’s Plans To ‘Win’ the Afghan War”

How War Targets the Young

Originally posted at TomDispatch. America’s forever wars and their fallout over these last 18 years have been hell for kids. Just ask Ismail or any of the other 56 wounded children who survived an August 2018 attack on their school bus in northern Yemen by Saudi planes armed with American weaponry. Of course, you can’t … Continue reading “How War Targets the Young”

Remembering America’s First (and Longest) Forgotten War on Tribal Islamists

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Retired U.S. Army Major Danny Sjursen offers a year-ending look at what “forever war” really means in the American experience. To do so, he turns not to the wars in which he personally took part in Afghanistan and Iraq, but to one that took place almost a century before his birth … Continue reading “Remembering America’s First (and Longest) Forgotten War on Tribal Islamists”

Lessons From Battling the Pentagon for Four Decades

The other day, after a three-year legal struggle, the Washington Post broke a story about a secret Afghan War project of the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction. Its focus was hundreds of interviews with American figures – from top officials and generals to lesser actors of every sort – involved in … Continue reading “Lessons From Battling the Pentagon for Four Decades”