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“).
WJ Astore: Ike knew that national safety shouldn’t be equated with military prowess; quite the reverse, as he warned us against the unchecked power of a burgeoning military-industrial-Congressional complex.
WJ Astore: B-52s, those venerable strategic bombers from the early Cold War era, are now being used in Afghanistan to “asymmetrically” destroy drug laboratories associated with Taliban funding, yet another instance of the U.S. military swinging a sledgehammer to kill a gnat.
WJ Astore: Our military is suffering from rampant grade inflation. We are giving ourselves far too many trophies. When even the Marines fall prey to ribbon and medal proliferation, it’s not a good sign for future combat effectiveness.
WJ Astore: For the occasion he donned a spiffy-looking leather military flight jacket, customized for him, as have other presidents and VPs going back at least as far as Ronald Reagan.
William J. Astore: America is the world’s leader in drone technology, and the companies that have developed them see even bigger profits on the horizon if they can sell them to America’s allies around the globe.
WJ Astore: The 100 biggest arms producers accounted for $375 billion in weapons sales in 2016, with US firms having by far the largest share at $217 billion.
WJ Astore: Basically, by embracing the military and elevating it (while feeding it lots of money), Trump has neutralized it as a rival to his power. Indeed, he is borrowing from the military’s authority and standing within our culture to bolster his own.
onald Trump is waging a global war on truth. He is the anti-truth president. From Trump steaks to his “university” to his support of the “birther” movement against Barack Obama, he’s perpetually selling lies. Now he’s selling lies on a global stage. By making everything potentially a lie, e.g. climate change as a “Chinese hoax,” […]
WJ Astore: Incredibly, some of these so-called alien enemy combatants have been imprisoned for up to 15 years without benefit of trial; indeed, without even being charged with a crime. How is this possible in a democracy? What does it say about our country?
WJ Astore: Deception is at the heart of war, but we’re supposed to be deceiving the enemy, not ourselves. We’ve allowed public relations — driven by dishonesty — to rule our thinking and reporting on war.
WJ Astore: U.S. and Coalition forces have been fighting the Afghan War for 16 years. Surges have come and gone. More than a trillion dollars has been spent. Yet the enemy retains the initiative and largely dictates the terms of the conflict.
WJ Astore: Does it matter to Americans if the true count of civilian deaths is closer to 10,000 than 500? To most Americans, sadly, I’m not sure it matters.