WJ Astore: There are trillions of dollars of fossil fuels still in the ground, and who wants to leave it there when there’s so much money to be made in extraction?
WJ Astore: Considering the scale of our mistakes over the last decade in Iraq and Afghanistan, if we as a country truly want to pursue a leaner, smarter, more effective foreign policy, the first step we must take is to stop listening to the siren song of our own imperial rhetoric.
WJ Astore: Together with the Trump administration, Congress is a rubber stamp for the Pentagon. Meanwhile, Congress will fight tooth and nail over a few million dollars to support the arts, humanities, and similar “wasteful” programs.
William J. Astore: These athletes at Fort Jackson may have owed their lives to a post commander who preferred winning at sports to shipping the most able-bodied troops overseas to fight the enemy.
WJ Astore: I understand athletes are proud to represent their countries, and understandably pumped after winning a medal. But do all U.S. medal-winners now have to pose with a flag draped about them?
William J. Astore: Losing a jet over Syrian lands isn’t just seen as a mundane loss of military equipment in combat: it’s seen as a loss of potency by the attacker.
WJ Astore: A massive increase in military and war spending, perhaps as high as $320 billion over two years, is a recipe for excessive waste and even more disastrous military adventurism.
WJ Astore: The president has a juvenile fascination with parades and other forms of pomp and circumstance, but more than anything I’m guessing he relishes the thought of posing as “The Leader,” reviewing and saluting “his” troops and generals as they pass in review.
WJ Astore: By the count of the Pentagon, at the end of the last fiscal year about 291,000 personnel (including reserves and Department of Defense civilians) were deployed in 183 countries worldwide, which is the functional definition of a military uncontained.
WJ Astore: In the wars of the past decade, hundreds of Army generals were deployed to the field, and the available evidence indicates that not one was relieved by the military brass for combat ineffectiveness.
WJ Astore: European leaders compared JFK’s bungling to “a gifted amateur practicing with a boomerang and suddenly knocking himself cold. They were amazed that so inexperienced a person should play with so lethal a weapon.
William J. Astore: America’s empire, it is clear, is now in decline, and a key reason is imperial overstretch as manifested by endless wars and overspending on the military.
WJ Astore: Even though America is treading water in the Afghan war, Hollywood has cherry-picked an episode from the early days of that war, in the tradition of a John Wayne movie (like “The Horse Soldiers“).