The Civilian Deaths You Haven’t Heard About

Originally posted at TomDispatch. My father was in the U.S. Air Force in World War II when it was still the Army Air Corps. He was operations officer for the First Air Commandos in Burma. Years later, when I was boy, I can still remember sitting in the back seat of our car with our … Continue reading “The Civilian Deaths You Haven’t Heard About”

How Pentagon Contractors Are Cashing in on the Ukraine Crisis

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has brought immense suffering to the people of that land, while sparking calls for increased military spending in both the United States and Europe. Though that war may prove to be a tragedy for the world, one group is already benefiting from it: U.S. arms contractors. Even before hostilities broke … Continue reading “How Pentagon Contractors Are Cashing in on the Ukraine Crisis”

Will the Pentagon Budget Ever Shrink?

Originally posted at TomDispatch. I have a question for you: What would it take in today’s world for America’s military spending to go down? Here’s one admittedly farfetched scenario: Vladimir Putin loses his grip on power and Russia retrenches militarily while reaching out to normalize relations with the West. At the same time, China prudently … Continue reading “Will the Pentagon Budget Ever Shrink?”

Washington Should Think Twice Before Launching a New Cold War

Originally posted at TomDispatch. A growing chorus of pundits and policymakers has suggested that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine marks the beginning of a new Cold War. If so, that means trillions of additional dollars for the Pentagon in the years to come coupled with a more aggressive military posture in every corner of the world. … Continue reading “Washington Should Think Twice Before Launching a New Cold War”

Arsenal of Democracy or Simply an Arsenal?

Originally posted at TomDispatch. When it comes to bravery in relation to the war in Ukraine, let me just tip my cap to all the antiwar protesters in Russia who have taken to the streets across that ever more autocratic land. They’ve risked arrest to say “no to war” and “shame on you!” to the … Continue reading “Arsenal of Democracy or Simply an Arsenal?”

Ukraine, Taiwan, and Other Flashpoints in a New Age of Geopolitics

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been widely described as the beginning of a new cold war, much like the old one in both its cast of characters and ideological nature. "In the contest between democracy and autocracy, between sovereignty and subjugation, make no mistake – freedom will prevail," President Biden asserted … Continue reading “Ukraine, Taiwan, and Other Flashpoints in a New Age of Geopolitics”

The Forgotten People Displaced By War

Originally posted at TomDispatch. We live on a planet in motion, a world of collision and drift. This was once an Earth of super-continents – Gondwana, Rodinia, Pangea. The eastern seaboard of the United States sidled up against West Africa, while Antarctica cozied up to the opposite side of the African continent. But nothing in … Continue reading “The Forgotten People Displaced By War”

War With Russia?: How Did We Get Here?

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Understandably enough, commentaries on the crisis between Russia and the West tend to dwell on Ukraine. After all, more than 100,000 Russian soldiers and a fearsome array of weaponry have now been emplaced around the Ukrainian border. Still, such a narrow perspective deflects attention from an American strategic blunder that dates … Continue reading “War With Russia?: How Did We Get Here?”

Mission (Im)possible – and You’re Paying for It

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Whatever the U.S. military may be considered, it isn’t usually thought of as a scam operation. Maybe it’s time to change that way of thinking, though. After all, we’re talking about a crew with a larger “defense” budget than the next 11 countries combined (and no, that’s not a misprint). Mind … Continue reading “Mission (Im)possible – and You’re Paying for It”

Why Washington Can’t Learn

Who even remembers when President Bush – no, not George W. but his father! – exclaimed, "By God, we’ve kicked the Vietnam Syndrome!" That was in the wake of Operation Desert Storm (aka the First Gulf War of 1991) and it was indeed true that the U.S. military had kicked Iraqi autocrat Saddam Hussein’s troops … Continue reading “Why Washington Can’t Learn”