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Tag: Pentagon


From Vietnam to Iraq: Turning a Nightmare Into a Fairy Tale

Our most popular Vietnam end-stories bury the long, ghastly history that preceded the “fall” while providing silver-lining tributes to good intentions and last-ditch heroism that may come in handy in the years ahead.

Posted on Apr 27, 2015 READ MORE



GOP’s Libertarians Aren’t All That Libertarian

A funny thing is happening on the way to the Republican primaries: The whole notion of small government libertarianism has been hijacked by politicians who often represent the opposite.

Posted on Apr 17, 2015 READ MORE



Manhunters Inc.: How the Predator Became Washington’s Calling Card

The metamorphosis of the drone from eye to weapon came about almost by chance as the new millennium began. Barely two months after the outbreak of hostilities in Afghanistan, President George W. Bush declared: “It is clear the military does not have enough unmanned vehicles.”

Posted on Apr 9, 2015 READ MORE


‘Left, Right & Center’: War in Yemen, President Cruz?, Harry Reid Will Retire (Video)

Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer and the other “Left, Right & Center” panelists discuss a new proxy war in the Middle East as the U.S. supports Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen. Also, Ted Cruz announces his run for president and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid says he will not seek re-election.

Posted on Mar 28, 2015 READ MORE



Your Money at War Everywhere

President Obama wants to raise the Pentagon’s budget for fiscal year 2016 by $35 billion more than the law currently allows. Sen. John McCain wants to see Obama’s $35 billion and raise him $17 billion more.

Posted on Mar 26, 2015 READ MORE



Did the Pentagon Just Concede That Israel Also Has Nuclear Bombs?

U.S. officials have finally publicly stated a fact about Israel many already feared was true; researchers are starting to study the effects of the Internet on education; and Latin America’s leaders are taking Venezuela’s side in its recent rift with the United States. These discoveries and more after the jump.

Posted on Mar 25, 2015 READ MORE


Leaving the Killing to Computers

The Washington editor of Harper’s Magazine, Andrew Cockburn, tells Jon Stewart about the increasingly technologically dependent and hands-off process that American officials use to kill militants and, inadvertently, civilians in other countries.

Posted on Mar 19, 2015 READ MORE



Uncle Pentagon: Growing Up in the Shadow of the American War State

The Pentagon loomed so large in my childhood that it could have been another member of my family. Maybe a menacing uncle who doled out put-downs and whacks to teach us lessons or a rich, dismissive great-aunt intent on propriety and good manners.

Posted on Mar 12, 2015 READ MORE



Are Pilots Deserting Washington’s Remote-Control War?

The U.S. drone war across much of the Greater Middle East and parts of Africa is in a kind of crisis: drone pilots are quitting in record numbers.

Posted on Mar 5, 2015 READ MORE



Ten Commandments for a Better American World

My suspicion is that what’s right and moral is also what’s practical and realistic. In that light, let me offer Ten Commandments for a better world in general.

Posted on Mar 2, 2015 READ MORE



Why Jeb Bush Can’t Escape Dubya’s Dubious Legacy

Being singled out as “the smart brother” in an American political and financial dynasty like the Bush family must be a heavy load.

Posted on Feb 20, 2015 READ MORE



Watching the Same Movie About American War for 75 Years

“American Sniper,” which started out with the celebratory tagline “the most lethal sniper in U.S. history” and now has the tagline “the most successful war movie of all time,” is just the latest in a long line of films that have kept Americans on their war game.

Posted on Feb 20, 2015 READ MORE



Ashton Carter Succeeds Chuck Hagel as U.S. Defense Secretary

Just shy of three months since Chuck Hagel was obliged to vacate the position, the Obama administration has a new secretary of defense—and Ashton Carter has his work cut out for him.

Posted on Feb 12, 2015 READ MORE



War Is the New Normal

Back in July 2010, I wrote an article for TomDispatch on the seven reasons why America can’t stop making war. More than four years later, with the war on terror still ongoing, with the mission eternally unaccomplished, here’s a fresh take on the top seven reasons why never-ending war is the new normal in America.

Posted on Feb 2, 2015 READ MORE



Pentagon Finally Identifies the Remains of a POW Lost Since 1942

Long buried alongside hundreds of other U.S. soldiers in the Philippines, Pvt. Arthur “Bud” Kelder is on his way home after a lawsuit by his family and an investigation by ProPublica and NPR.

Posted on Jan 28, 2015 READ MORE



‘More’ and ‘War’: The Tao of Washington

In a sense, there are only two operative words in twenty-first-century Washington: more and war. In this context, there really is just one well-policed party of thought in town.

Posted on Jan 22, 2015 READ MORE



AP/Marco Garcia

Letter to a Young Army Ranger (From an Old One)

Rory Fanning, an Army Ranger who served with Pat Tillman and became a conscientious objector, writes this letter to young Americans targeted by Army recruiters. (At right, a recruiter.)

Posted on Jan 13, 2015 READ MORE



U.S. Centcom’s Twitter Account ‘Hacked by Islamic State’

Hackers claiming to back Islamic State took control of the YouTube and Twitter accounts of the U.S. Defense Department’s central command, posting threats and internal military documents.

Posted on Jan 12, 2015 READ MORE



Overreach

A new book is arguably the best account of what went wrong with the project to turn Baathist Iraq into a liberal democracy, but flawed by the insistence that failure was inevitable due to Iraq’s sociopolitical realities.

Posted on Jan 9, 2015 READ MORE



A Self-Perpetuating Machine for American Insecurity

Imagine yourself in January 1963, alive and chastened by a world in which you could be obliterated at any moment. Imagine as well that someone from our time suddenly invited you into the American future some 52 Januaries hence.

Posted on Jan 8, 2015 READ MORE



Pentagon: 3 Major ISIS Leaders Killed in Iraq

American forces have killed three high-ranking Islamic State leaders in Iraq in recent weeks, according to Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Posted on Dec 18, 2014 READ MORE



CIA Crimes Without Punishment

With the release of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report on the use of torture by the CIA after 9/11, the final defense of the indefensible by its perpetrators, advocates and publicists is falling apart before our eyes.

Posted on Dec 10, 2014 READ MORE



Party On!

Unbelievably enough, a bankrupt 13-year-old policy of war to the horizon remains ascendant in Washington, and “war fever” seems to be breaking out yet again. In this context, it’s curious that four crucial aspects of war, American-style, were missing from the blitz of Hagel reportage.

Posted on Dec 4, 2014 READ MORE



DoD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo

A Soldier Among Chickenhawks

Chuck Hagel’s departure from his post as defense secretary has been attributed to his failure to fit in with the Obama cabinet’s crowd. Among his other reported deficiencies was that he was only a sergeant in Vietnam, twice wounded.

Posted on Nov 25, 2014 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force/Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz

Does Hagel’s Departure Pave the Way for Combat Troops to Iraq?

It’s a surprise to see President Obama actually fire someone. But I have to worry that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s forced departure may signal further expansion of U.S. military involvement in Iraq and Syria.

Posted on Nov 25, 2014 READ MORE



Malarkey on the Potomac

Unlike my friend M, the well-informed and normally sober Washington Post columnist David Ignatius clings to the fantasy that “Iraq” is or ought to be politically viable, militarily capable, and socially cohesive. But surely this qualifies as wishful thinking.

Posted on Nov 24, 2014 READ MORE



Shrinking the Empire: A Session on the Imperial Couch

What follows is a transcript of a therapy session between the American Empire and a psychiatrist whose name we at TomDispatch have agreed not to disclose. Normally we wouldn’t consider publishing such a private encounter, but the probative news value of the exchange is so obvious that we decided to make an exception.

Posted on Nov 13, 2014 READ MORE



Four Months Into Iraq War 3.0, the Cracks Are Showing

What happens to a war in the absence of coherent state policy? Washington’s Iraq War 3.0, Operation Inherent Resolve, is what happens. As the mission enters its fourth month it may be time to ask, in all seriousness: What could possibly go right?

Posted on Nov 10, 2014 READ MORE



Thank You for Your Valor, for Your Service, Thank You, Thank You ...

My heart sank, my shoulders slumped. Special guests at the Concert for Valor were to include: Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, and Steven Spielberg. The mission of the concert, according to a press release, was to “raise awareness” of veterans issues and “provide a national stage for ensuring that veterans and their families know that their fellow Americans’ gratitude is genuine.”

Posted on Oct 27, 2014 READ MORE



White House/Pete Souza

President Obama’s ‘Dumb’ War

The adventure against the Islamic State increasingly resembles the sort of conflict Barack Obama launched his career opposing.

Posted on Oct 24, 2014 READ MORE



Will the War on Terror Be the Template for the Ebola Crisis?

Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that, while President Obama was sending at least 1,600 military personnel to fight ISIS, his first response to the Ebola crisis was also to send 3,000 troops into Liberia in what the media has been calling an “Ebola surge.”

Posted on Oct 23, 2014 READ MORE



Executive of ‘The Safest Place on the Internet’ Answers Privacy Exposé

The chief executive of the “anonymous” social media app that The Guardian determined was tracking its users did not dispute the accuracy of the paper’s report and said in his first public statement on the matter, “We realize that we’re not infallible.”

Posted on Oct 19, 2014 READ MORE



Seven Worst-Case Scenarios in the Battle With Islamic State

The U.S. is again at war in the Middle East, bombing freely across Iraq and Syria and searching desperately for some non-American boots to put on the ground. Here are seven worst-case scenarios in a part of the world where the worst case has regularly been the best that’s on offer.

Posted on Oct 17, 2014 READ MORE



Fred Branfman Risked His Life for Ordinary People

Fred was one of the bravest and most decent journalists I ever encountered.

Posted on Oct 16, 2014 READ MORE



Climate Change Threatens National Security, Pentagon Says

The Pentagon released a report earlier this week detailing the threats that climate change poses in the near future.

Posted on Oct 16, 2014 READ MORE



Why American Efforts to Create Foreign Armies Fail

When confronting IS and its band of lightly armed irregulars, a reputedly professional military melted back into the populace. What this behavior made clear was that U.S. efforts to create a new Iraqi army to the tune of $25 billion over 10 years had failed miserably.

Posted on Oct 16, 2014 READ MORE



White House/Pete Souza

White House Islamic State Strategy Amounts to Wishful Thinking

The notion that Iraq will “destroy” Islamic State at American behest is an illusion, and so is the notion that the coalition just formed can do it.

Posted on Oct 14, 2014 READ MORE



‘An Awfully Expensive Hammer to Hit a Couple of Cheap Nails’

“Last Saturday’s strikes” against Islamic State “are indicative of a key complexity of the U.S.-led campaign in Iraq and Syria,” Foreign Policy’s Justine Drennan writes at Stars and Stripes. “In throwing its hugely expensive 21st-century weaponry at a band of insurgents, the Pentagon is using planes that can cost nearly $200 million apiece against pickup trucks costing virtually pennies in comparison.”

Posted on Oct 10, 2014 READ MORE



Can China and Russia Squeeze Washington Out of Eurasia?

A specter haunts the fast-aging “New American Century”: the possibility of a future Beijing-Moscow-Berlin strategic trade and commercial alliance.

Posted on Oct 6, 2014 READ MORE



Global Warming and Global Warring

Hours after 400,000 people joined in the largest climate march in history, the United States began bombing Syria, starting yet another war.

Posted on Sep 24, 2014 READ MORE



Gage Skidmore (CC-BY-SA)

Republicans’ Reaction to Obama Speech Reveals Much—About Them

Minutes after President Barack Obama concluded his strong and sensible address explaining how he intends to destroy the terrorist organization the Islamic State, Republicans popped up on television like political snipers.

Posted on Sep 12, 2014 READ MORE



U.S. Army/Staff Sgt. Brendan Stephens

Is This Really a Good Time for the U.S. to Send Ground Troops to Ukraine?

Next week, the United States will send 200 troops to Ukraine to participate in training exercises. Yes, the same Ukraine engaged in civil war.

Posted on Sep 3, 2014 READ MORE


Pentagon Hymn, the Shores of Tripoli

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Posted on Aug 29, 2014 READ MORE



The Guns of August

What, if anything, have we learned from the disaster of World War I? Look no farther than Gaza, or Ferguson, Mo.

Posted on Aug 27, 2014 READ MORE



Has Surplus Military Gear Wound Up in Your City?

An interactive map of American counties lets readers see how many aircraft, armored vehicles, body armor, grenade launchers, vision accessories and assault rifles left over from the military-industrial complex’s bloody adventures in the Middle East have ended up in their hometown.

Posted on Aug 22, 2014 READ MORE



Pentagon Forbids Military Personnel to Read News Website

Citing claims of a potential “new leaker,” the U.S. military has blocked and banned its employees from visiting The Intercept, the NSA-focused investigative news website founded by Glenn Greenwald and Pierre Omidyar.

Posted on Aug 21, 2014 READ MORE


Will Airstrikes in Iraq Escalate Growing Crisis?

The Pentagon announced that the U.S. military carried out airstrikes in northern Iraq on Friday targeting artillery used by the militant group Islamic State. “Democracy Now!” hears from Phyllis Bennis, a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and author of the recent article, “Don’t Go Back to Iraq!: Five Steps the U.S. Can Take in Iraq Without Going Back to War.”

Posted on Aug 8, 2014 READ MORE



The Fourth Branch

As every schoolchild knows, there are three check-and-balance branches of the U.S. government: the executive, Congress, and the judiciary. That’s bedrock Americanism and the most basic high school civics material. Only one problem: It’s just not so.

Posted on Aug 4, 2014 READ MORE



Why Destroying Hamas Is a Terrible Idea

According to a Pentagon intelligence official, if eliminated, Hamas would be replaced by a far more dangerous alternative; a group of scientists warns we may be witnessing the beginning of the Earth’s sixth mass extinction, the likes of which wiped out dinosaurs; meanwhile, an activist contends the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement has had significant repercussions on the Israeli economy, especially since the recent attack on Gaza began. These discoveries and more after the jump.

Posted on Jul 30, 2014 READ MORE



U.S. Government Doesn’t Need Evidence to Call You a Terrorist

A key government document obtained by The Intercept confirms that the Obama administration does not require “concrete facts” or “irrefutable evidence” to brand Americans or foreigners as suspected terrorists.

Posted on Jul 24, 2014 READ MORE


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