Stop Thanking the Troops and Lend a Hand

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Nineteen years ago, the administration of George W. Bush responded to the 9/11 attacks by invading Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. And, yes, you won’t be shocked to learn that the Taliban is stronger now than at any time since that moment. Though U.S. troop strength in Afghanistan has been shrinking, thanks to the … Continue reading “Stop Thanking the Troops and Lend a Hand”

What If They Held an Election and Nothing Changed in the War State?

In this mystifying moment, the post-electoral sentiments of most Americans can be summed up either as "Ding dong! The witch is dead!" or "We got robbed!" Both are problematic, not because the two candidates were intellectually indistinguishable or ethically equivalent, but because each jingle is laden with a dubious assumption: that President Donald Trump’s demise … Continue reading “What If They Held an Election and Nothing Changed in the War State?”

A Washington Echo Chamber for a New Cold War

Originally posted at TomDispatch. War: what is it good for? Apparently, in Washington’s world of think tanks, the answer is: the bottom line. In fact, as the Biden presidency approaches, an era of great-power competition between the United States and China is already taken for granted inside the Washington Beltway. Much less well known are … Continue reading “A Washington Echo Chamber for a New Cold War”

Dominance in the Name of Internationalism

Originally posted at TomDispatch. I was never in the military myself, but I did spend time at a U.S. military base and I have to admit that it remains a treasured experience among my memories. Sometime in the 1950s, my father ran a gas station on Governors Island in New York Harbor. Now largely a … Continue reading “Dominance in the Name of Internationalism”

How To Stuff the Middle East With Weaponry

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Yes, his first act on returning to the White House from Walter Reed Medical Center was to step out on a balcony and rip off his face mask to display to the world that thoroughly contagious look of his. He’s been a killer president in all sorts of ways (as I … Continue reading “How To Stuff the Middle East With Weaponry”

A Game of Nuclear Chicken With Russia and China

The MQ-9 Reaper, a drone armed with Hellfire missiles, has been a workhorse in Washington’s forever wars across the Greater Middle East and Africa, but its days could be numbered. According to Air Force Magazine, that service "has grown skeptical that the Reaper could hold its own against advanced nations like Russia and China, which … Continue reading “A Game of Nuclear Chicken With Russia and China”

Ending the Pentagon’s Pandemic of Spending

Suckers? Give me a break. It’s perfectly clear that Donald Trump considers just about every last one of us a sucker (including the members of his base) and that’s not news at all. It’s only news when he calls the military dead of past wars "suckers" and "losers," as reported by Jeffrey Goldberg in an … Continue reading “Ending the Pentagon’s Pandemic of Spending”

Artificial (Un)intelligence and the US Military

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, the U.S. military, as TomDispatch regular Michael Klare informs us today, has had a brilliant idea – robot generals (!) – into which to sink yet more billions of our tax dollars as divestment in our infrastructure, schools, health care, and the … Continue reading “Artificial (Un)intelligence and the US Military”

Could Covert War With Iran Become Overt Before November 3rd?

Originally posted at TomDispatch. History’s a joke, right? We know that from our president who creates laughable moments of history daily – as when, reading from a script recently, he pronounced America’s famed Yosemite National Park “Yo-Semite.” In that context, let me bring up one of his favorite countries: I-Run. Its modern history, if anybody … Continue reading “Could Covert War With Iran Become Overt Before November 3rd?”

War and Pandemic Journalism

Originally posted at TomDispatch. In the midst of the pandemic from hell, with a president who seems incapable of grasping the reality of, no less dealing with, the spreading virus, as deaths mount and cases cascade, in a land where a Covid-19 “second wave” in the fall isn’t conceivable because the first will never have … Continue reading “War and Pandemic Journalism”