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”

Guantánamo’s Forever Elusive Endgame

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Yes, many of its prisoners, swept up in the early days of the war on terror, had committed no hostile acts against this country or its allies (55% of them, according to one study). And yes, they were dressed in those unforgettable orange jumpsuits that ISIS would later so horrifically put … Continue reading “Guantánamo’s Forever Elusive Endgame”

The Cold War, Reborn and Resurgent

Originally posted at TomDispatch. In the early 1960s, at the height of America’s original Cold War with the Soviet Union, my old service branch, the Air Force, sought to build 10,000 land-based nuclear missiles. These were intended to augment the hundreds of nuclear bombers it already had, like the B-52s featured so memorably in the … Continue reading “The Cold War, Reborn and Resurgent”

Welcome to the New Cold War in Asia

Originally posted at TomDispatch. For a moment, imagine an upside-down military world. Instead of U.S. guided-missile destroyers and other ships regularly carrying out “freedom of navigation operations” near Chinese-claimed islands in the South China Sea and such destroyers no less regularly passing through the Strait of Taiwan between that disputed island and the People’s Republic … Continue reading “Welcome to the New Cold War in Asia”

A World of Killer Robots?

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Yes, it’s true. After 20 years of war – actually, more like 30 years if you count American involvement in the Russian version of that conflict in the 1980s – the U.S. has finally waved goodbye to Afghanistan (at least for now). Its last act in Kabul was the drone-slaughtering of … Continue reading “A World of Killer Robots?”

The War on Terror Is a Success – for Terror

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Here’s the question that comes to my mind as 2022 begins: If soon after the global war on terror began — with no special sources of inside information, nothing — I could see perfectly well that it was going to be a disaster, why couldn’t the people who mattered? It’s not … Continue reading “The War on Terror Is a Success – for Terror”

‘Mission Unaccomplished: America’s Underperforming Military

Originally posted at TomDispatch. “There’s no such thing as a free lunch” is an old American adage. Venerable, time-tested, and seemingly true, though here’s an exception: retired general, disgraced former CIA chief, and leaker of classified information, David Petraeus. For years, I’ve presented the retired general with an opportunity for that rarest of opportunities, a … Continue reading “‘Mission Unaccomplished: America’s Underperforming Military”