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November 25, 2015
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Tag: Pentagon

AFRICOM’s New Math, the U.S. Base Bonanza and ‘Scarier’ Times Ahead in Africa

In the shadows of what was once called the “dark continent,” a scramble has come and gone. Look hard enough and you’ll find the results of that effort: a network of bases, compounds and other sites whose sum total exceeds the number of nations on the continent.

Posted on Nov 18, 2015 READ MORE

American War in the 21st Century: A Scam, a Swindle and a Fraud

In the post-9/11 years, “reconstruction” and “war” have really been euphemisms for what, in other countries, would be recognized as a massive system of corruption.

Posted on Nov 12, 2015 READ MORE

How to Thank a Veteran on Veterans Day

Please don’t call us “heroes.” Honor our service by telling us you participate in our democracy.

Posted on Nov 11, 2015 READ MORE

The CIA Is an Ethics-Free Zone

Members of America’s spy agency don’t even learn the rules.

Posted on Nov 4, 2015 READ MORE

Watchdog Accuses Pentagon of Evading Questions on $800 Million Afghanistan Program

Despite lacking access to key documents and personnel, the inspector general determined that nearly $43 million had been spent on a natural gas station that should have cost closer to $300,000.

Posted on Nov 3, 2015 READ MORE

The Pentagon Spent $43 Million on a Project That Should Have Cost $300,000

The Department of Defense claims it is unable to provide an explanation for the high cost of the project—a compressed natural gas station in Afghanistan—according to a special inspector general’s report released Monday.

Posted on Nov 2, 2015 READ MORE

Creating an Un-Intelligence Machine

Reports that U.S. Central Command employs some 1,500 analysts indicate that the military has been ramping up its own labyrinthine set of intelligence structures that are drowning in “information.”

Posted on Oct 15, 2015 READ MORE

On Building Armies and Watching Them Fail: Why Washington Can’t Prop Up Foreign Militaries

Prudence might counsel Washington to assume that when it comes to organizing, training, equipping and motivating foreign armies, the United States is essentially clueless.

Posted on Oct 14, 2015 READ MORE

Kunduz Hospital Bombing: Probable Cause That the U.S. Committed a War Crime

The Pentagon has access to video and audio recordings taken from the gunship that carried out the attack that killed 22, so officials must know what actually occurred. It’s time for a full accounting.

Posted on Oct 13, 2015 READ MORE

U.S. Government’s Bid to Train Overseas Security Forces Has Basically Been a Wash

When asking an expert how the U.S. government’s very expensive and time-consuming push to train security forces in other countries has fared, the last thing that government would want to hear is this kind of description: “Our track record at building security forces over the past 15 years is miserable.”

Posted on Oct 4, 2015 READ MORE

Air Force Times Runs Veterans’ Ad Urging Drone Pilots to Refuse to Fly

In mid-September, the weekly military newspaper published an advertisement carrying a message from 54 U.S. military veterans urging U.S. drone operators to refuse to follow orders to fly surveillance and attack missions, citing international law.

Posted on Sep 19, 2015 READ MORE

U.S. Is Finalizing a $1 Billion Arms Deal With Saudi Arabia

In a move to allay the Persian Gulf state’s concerns over the Iran nuclear deal, the Pentagon is completing an agreement to provide weapons for the Saudi military effort against Islamic State and Yemen.

Posted on Sep 4, 2015 READ MORE

From Japan to Vietnam, Radiation and Agent Orange Survivors Deserve Justice From the U.S.

Besides being criminal, the United States’ use of nuclear weapons in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and its poisoning of Vietnam and Okinawa with Agent Orange are a shameful legacy. The denial and cover-up of each of these crimes add U.S. insult to injury.

Posted on Aug 19, 2015 READ MORE

The Shared Failings of America’s Military Academies and Senior Officers

Familiar as America’s most senior military officers may be with the warnings of Thomas Jefferson, they have consistently ignored or misapplied them, facilitating our current state of endless war and national decline.

Posted on Aug 19, 2015 READ MORE

Torture, Impunity and the American Psychological Association

This month, the APA released a stunning independent report that confirms what whistleblowers and dissident psychologists have maintained for close to a decade.

Posted on Jul 15, 2015 READ MORE

Pentagon Working on Plan to Allow Transgender People to Serve Openly in Military

Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Monday paved the way for transgender people to serve openly in the U.S. military. Some estimates put the number of transgender people in the military at 15,000.

Posted on Jul 13, 2015 READ MORE

No Lone Rangers in Drone Warfare

There’s nothing “lone” about drone warfare. Think of the structure for carrying out Washington’s drone killing program as a multidimensional pyramid populated with hundreds of personnel and so complex that just about no one involved really grasps the full picture.

Posted on Jul 13, 2015 READ MORE

Psychologists Who Concealed U.S. Torture Program May Face Charges

The country’s largest professional organization of psychologists faces a crisis after a damning independent review alleging post-9/11 “collusion.”

Posted on Jul 10, 2015 READ MORE

How Endless War Helps Old Dixie Stay New

The Department of Defense says it isn’t even reviewing the possibility of a ban on the Confederate flag, deciding instead to leave any such move to the various service branches, while military bases named after Confederate officers will remain so. One factor in this decision: The South provides more than 40 percent of all military recruits, many of them white; only 15 percent are from the Northeast.

Posted on Jul 8, 2015 READ MORE

Five Things That Won’t Work in Iraq

It’s the American Way to believe with all our hearts that every problem is ours to solve and every problem must have a solution, which simply must be found. As a result, the indispensable nation faces a new round of calls for ideas on what “we” should do next in Iraq.

Posted on Jun 25, 2015 READ MORE

Robert Scheer: Cyberwarfare Is ‘Where the Real Money Is’ (Part 1 of 10)

Just how and when did the military-industrial complex become the military-intelligence complex? And what’s the link between Amazon and the Pentagon?

Posted on Jun 9, 2015 READ MORE

Thou Shalt Not Kill

Repulsed by tales of U.S. atrocities told by veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, Spc. Robert Weilbacher applied for and was granted conscientious objector status. Then the Pentagon pulled a fast one, leaving him trapped in a hypermasculine dystopia.

Posted on Jun 7, 2015 READ MORE

Hillary Clinton’s State Department Authorized Billions in Arms Sales to Foundation Donors

As secretary of state, Clinton was charged with rejecting or approving weapons deals—and when it came to Clinton Foundation donors, Clinton’s State Department did a whole lot of approving.

Posted on May 29, 2015 READ MORE

The American Military Uncontained

Despite all the happy talk about a “new world order” after the Cold War, the U.S. military never gave a serious thought to becoming a “normal” military for normal times. Instead, in the words of Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer, our leaders sought to “reshape norms, alter expectations, and create new realities” by “unapologetic and implacable demonstrations of will.”

Posted on May 14, 2015 READ MORE

Jade Helm

Posted on May 9, 2015 READ MORE

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


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

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