The Pentagon Pitches Its New Strategic Narrative

A proposal for a new “grand strategy,” aimed at mobilizing broad domestic support for a decades-long projection of U.S. global power, is currently receiving considerable attention among an expanding circle of foreign policy planners, think-tank academics, public-opinion makers and private-sector elites. It has come not from the State Department or the intelligence community, but from … Continue reading “The Pentagon Pitches Its New Strategic Narrative”

American Warscapes

The other day, at the invitation of economics professor Marty Melkonian, I took a rare jaunt out of my hometown to Hofstra University on Long Island and gave a talk in that college’s lecture series, The International Scene, to a group of lively young students. It was filmed and will soon appear on C-SPAN’s Book … Continue reading “American Warscapes”

Long Warfare Theory

“No nation ever profited from a long war.” – Sun Tzu Sun Tzu’s immortal The Art of War translates into a shade over 10,000 words of American English, roughly 40 pages of aphoristic wisdom presented in language that probably 75 percent of public-school third-graders could understand. One hundred percent of our military officers should understand … Continue reading “Long Warfare Theory”

Are Obama’s Hands Tied?

A splendid and courageous new book, Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War, by Andrew J. Bacevich of Boston University (and for many years previously, the U.S. Army), describes with lucidity the degree to which the power of the American presidency over war and peace has been weakened in our day, and, in important respects, … Continue reading “Are Obama’s Hands Tied?”

Will Our Generals Ever Shut Up?

The fall issue of Foreign Policy magazine features Fred Kaplan’s “The Transformer,” an article-cum-interview with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. It received a flurry of attention because Gates indicated he might leave his post “sometime in 2011.” The most significant two lines in the piece, however, were so ordinary that the usual pundits thought them … Continue reading “Will Our Generals Ever Shut Up?”

The Dog Ate My Exit Timeline

Those poor Iraqi kids. Who’s going to keep them supplied with new soccer balls after we leave? Will the poor things have to go back to eating Iraqi food after all the Hershey bars run out? (Cue Sally Struthers). And what will happen to all those adorable puppies American G.I.s adopted as pets that get … Continue reading “The Dog Ate My Exit Timeline”

Pavlov’s Dogs of War Revisited

Super Dave Petraeus, newly installed as top banana in the Bananastans*, is practicing the exploding-cigar kind of diplomacy Dick Cheney and his cabin boys perfected during the Li’l Bush regime. Following policies outlined by the neoconservative cabal in their September 2000 manifesto Rebuilding America’s Defenses, Dick and the Destroyers’ negotiations with Iran amounted to a … Continue reading “Pavlov’s Dogs of War Revisited”

‘Til the Fat General Sings

President Obama’s troop withdrawal deadlines continue to vanish like a blind dowager’s silverware. At his June 15 testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, “King David” Petraeus fainted like Blanche DuBois when inquisitors from both sides of the aisle tried to wedge him into saying that he thought President Obama’s July 2011 withdrawal date for … Continue reading “‘Til the Fat General Sings”