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US Wars

Failed States And American Air Power

Tom Engelhardt | Posted 06.21.2016 | Politics
Tom Engelhardt

Almost 15 years later, with the Taliban again gaining ground, President Obama has just eased constraints on the U.S. military's use of airpower in Afghanistan.

The Pentagon As A Machine For Cost Overruns

Tom Engelhardt | Posted 06.16.2016 | Politics
Tom Engelhardt

When it comes to Pentagon weapons systems, have you ever heard of cost "underruns"? I think not. Cost overruns? They turn out to be the unbreachable norm, as they seem to have been from time immemorial.

The Pentagon's Real $trategy

Andrew Cockburn | Posted 06.16.2016 | Politics
Andrew Cockburn

After 15 years of grinding war with no obvious end in sight, pundit outrage may be misplaced. Focusing on Washington rather than on distant war zones, it becomes clear that the military establishment does indeed have a strategy, a highly successful one, which is to protect and enhance its own prosperity.

Poof! It's Forgotten

Peter Van Buren | Posted 05.16.2016 | Politics
Peter Van Buren

Perhaps General David Petraeus's all-time sharpest comment came in the earliest days of Iraq War 2.0. "Tell me how this ends," he said, referring to the invasion. That question should be asked daily in Washington. America's wars are too easily forgotten.

Washington's Military Addiction

Tom Engelhardt | Posted 05.12.2016 | Politics
Tom Engelhardt

In a Washington that seems incapable of doing anything but worshiping at the temple of the U.S. military, global policymaking has become a remarkably mindless military-first process of repetition.

Taliban Launch Spring Offensive with a Bloody Bang. Can the US Stop the Afghan Conflict?

Abdullah Sharif | Posted 04.25.2016 | World
Abdullah Sharif

April 19 Big Bang (Photo: Afghanoutlook.net) On Tuesday April 19th, a powerful Vehicle Born Improvised Explosive Device hit the headquarters of an Af...

How Many Boots on What Ground?

Tom Engelhardt | Posted 04.14.2016 | Politics
Tom Engelhardt

At the moment, there are a maximum of 3,870 U.S. military personnel (or 7,740 actual boots on the ground) in Iraq supporting the war against ISIS. Of course, that number doesn't include the other 1,130 American military types (or 2,260 boots), or the American private contractors also flowing into Iraq in growing numbers.

What's the Meaning of Failure?

William J. Astore | Posted 04.14.2016 | Politics
William J. Astore

The dishonesty of words illustrates the dishonesty of America's wars. Since 9/11, can there be any doubt that the public has become numb to the euphemisms that regularly accompany U.S. troops, drones, and CIA operatives into Washington's imperial conflicts across the Greater Middle East and Africa?

A Country That Never Saw a Conflict It Could Leave

Tom Engelhardt | Posted 03.22.2016 | Politics
Tom Engelhardt

In recent times, one of the strangest aspects of war, American-style, has been the inability of the most powerful military on the planet to extricate itself from any of the conflicts it's initiated or somehow gotten itself involved in -- even those it's officially walked away from.

A Force Unto Itself

William J. Astore | Posted 03.22.2016 | Politics
William J. Astore

In the decades since the draft ended in 1973, a strange new military has emerged in the United States. Think of it, if you will, as a post-democratic force that prides itself on its warrior ethos rather than the old-fashioned citizen-soldier ideal.

Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda

Tom Engelhardt | Posted 02.08.2016 | Politics
Tom Engelhardt

Maybe if we stopped claiming that we were the greatest, most exceptional, most indispensable nation ever and that the U.S. military was the finest fighting force in the history of the world, both we and the world might be better off and modestly more peaceful.

The Great American Perpetual War

Nan Levinson | Posted 11.09.2015 | Politics
Nan Levinson

It's nearly Veterans Day, that time of year when we remember we have veterans. As a reminder that we also have war, the headline in my local paper recently read, "US pledges to send 50 special-ops troops to Syria."

Another Military Comedy of Errors

Tom Engelhardt | Posted 08.18.2015 | Politics
Tom Engelhardt

The U.S. remains the greatest military power on the planet, but what does that even mean, given the last nearly 14 years of woeful performance, mishaps, defeats, disappointments, and endless war?

The Vietnam War: After 40 Years

Lawrence Wittner | Posted 05.18.2016 | World
Lawrence Wittner

Traveling through Vietnam during the latter half of April 2015 with a group of erstwhile antiwar activists, I was struck by the transformation of what was once an impoverished, war-devastated peasant society into a modern nation.

War Porn

Peter Van Buren | Posted 04.21.2015 | Politics
Peter Van Buren

In the age of an endless stream of war zone losses and ties, it can be hard to keep Homeland enthusiasm up for perpetual war. But like propaganda films and sexual pornography, Hollywood movies about America at war have changed remarkably little over the years.

War Is the New Normal

William J. Astore | Posted 04.04.2015 | Politics
William J. Astore

Pentagon insiders called it "the long war," an open-ended, perhaps unending, conflict against nations and terror networks mainly of a radical Islamist bent. Over the years, its chief characteristic became ever clearer: a Groundhog Day kind of repetition.

Ali Watkins

Foreign Policy Issues Becoming A Headache? There's An AUMF For That

HuffingtonPost.com | Ali Watkins | Posted 11.17.2014 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- As Congress wrestles with its role in authorizing the president to use military force overseas, a quick look through the archives reveal...

Don’t Walk Away From War

Tom Engelhardt | Posted 08.10.2014 | Politics
Tom Engelhardt

The US has been at war nearly nonstop since the Vietnam War began. That's more than half a century of experience with war, American-style, and yet few in our world bother to draw the obvious conclusions.

What Could Possibly Go Wrong? A Tale of America at War in the 21st Century

Tom Engelhardt | Posted 03.18.2014 | Politics
Tom Engelhardt

To use a sports analogy, if since 9/11 Washington has been the globe's cleanup hitter, it not only hasn't managed to knock a single ball out of the park, it's struck out enough times to make those watching dizzy, and it's batting .000. You;d think that someone in D.C. might have drawn a lesson or two from such a record, something simple like: Don't do it!

America’s Secret War in 134 Countries

Nick Turse | Posted 03.18.2014 | Politics
Nick Turse

The Obama presidency has seen the U.S. military's elite tactical forces increasingly used in an attempt to achieve strategic goals. But with Special Operations missions kept under tight wraps, Americans have little understanding of where their troops are deployed, what exactly they are doing, or what the consequences might be down the road.

Torture in U.S. Custody: Why It Will Happen Again If We Don't Address It Now

Mehroz Baig | Posted 01.23.2014 | San Francisco
Mehroz Baig

If we don't take an introspective look at the policies and actions we've taken in the name of national security, actions that grossly violate our fundamental values, then we are leaving the door open for this to happen again.

More Boots on the Ground for Peace

Rep. Charles Rangel | Posted 04.16.2013 | Politics
Rep. Charles Rangel

Whether as an active duty soldier in a distant land or as an educated citizen here at home, each of us has a vital role to play in ensuring our collective security.

America's Military Leadership Disaster

The Atlantic | Posted 11.18.2012 | Politics

Looking back on the troubled wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, many observers are content to lay blame on the Bush administration. But inept leadership by...

Homer Simpson and the WMDs in Iraq... (Doh)... I Mean Iran

Nicolas J.S. Davies | Posted 12.08.2012 | World
Nicolas J.S. Davies

Can American policy makers and politicians take for granted that they are ruling a nation of Homer Simpsons who can be duped into war by the very same trick that we just fell for ten years ago? Our leaders are being extra-careful not to say "WMD"s, but surely Bart and Lisa can connect the dots.

Dumb Question of the 21st Century: Is It Legal?

Tom Engelhardt | Posted 07.31.2011 | Politics
Tom Engelhardt

Is the Libyan war legal? Was bin Laden's killing legal? Were those "enhanced interrogation techniques" legal? These questions are irrelevant. In terms of "foreign policy," and "national security," the U.S. is now a post-legal society.