WJ Astore: Reading these letters written by citizen-soldiers of the “greatest generation” reminds me of how much we’ve lost since the end of the Vietnam War and the rise of the “all volunteer” military.
The Military Industrial Complex
President Eisenhower warned against the dangers of developing a military industrial complex. It appears that when all you have in your toolbox is hammers, everything looks like a nail. The articles below give a sense of the many ways we use all of the hammers we've invested in.
Gareth Porter: The CIA’s “Operation Merlin,” which involved providing Iran with a flawed design for a nuclear weapon and resulted in an alleged whistleblower going to prison, was the perfect example of creating intelligence in order to justify operations.
Kathy Kelly: In war-torn Afghanistan, there’s a desperate need to rebuild agricultural infrastructure and help people grow their own food. People verging on despair feel encouraged by possibilities of replenishing and repairing their soil.
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.
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.
Robert Wing and Coleen Rowley: A numbed, distracted America has reached the point where bellicose presidential threats to destroy North Korea with its puny nuclear arsenal, and cancel the agreement keeping Iran from developing one, barely elicit shrugs among us.
Steve Hochstadt: The decision by the two Korean governments to field one slate of athletes was an unexpected effort at unity through sport, the most hopeful sign in decades of a possible reduction in hostilities.
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: 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.
Murray Polner: Talk about diplomacy, deterrence, even living side by side a nuclear-armed North, is rarely if ever heard from the Democrats and their long list of wannabe candidates for the White House and Congress.
Kevin B. Anderson: The US has for the first time in its history a president, Donald Trump, who gives every impression of itching to start a nuclear war, who openly states that he may destroy an entire country of 25 million.
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.