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The Fire Next Time

The Fire Next Time

By James Baldwin

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Tag: Pentagon


Flickr/New America Foundation

The Neocons vs. Chuck Hagel

If the neocons in the GOP who brought us the Iraq War and conjured up “weapons of mass destruction” to justify it are against Chuck Hagel for defense secretary, the former Republican senator gets bonus points in my book.

Posted on Jan 15, 2013 READ MORE



x-ray delta one (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Pentagon as a Global NRA

While the Obama administration is pledging to try to curb the wholesale spread of ever more powerful weaponry at home, what is it doing about the same issue abroad where it has so much more power to pursue the agenda it prefers?

Posted on Jan 15, 2013 READ MORE



Africa, Here We Come

The U.S. Army presence is rapidly increasing in Africa, especially in countries with alleged ties to al-Qaida; according to Fox News, teaching children algebra is just another liberal ploy; meanwhile, some researchers have started studying the effects of the “natural experiment” resulting from China’s one-child policy. These discoveries and more after the jump.

Posted on Jan 14, 2013 READ MORE


‘Most Antagonistic’ Toward Israel? That Would Be Ronald Reagan’s Defense Secretary

Whatever Chuck Hagel’s perspective on Mideast policy may be, it would be absurd to compare him with the secretary of defense whose hardline hostility toward Israel became notorious during the Reagan administration.

Posted on Jan 11, 2013 READ MORE



U.S. Army/Sgt. Matthew C. Moeller

Continued American Presence in Afghanistan a Recipe for More Disaster

Not all of the world—certainly not the Islamic world—wants America’s version of global security, which has required repeated American military interventions abroad, provoking guerrilla and terrorist resistance.

Posted on Jan 8, 2013 READ MORE


Hagel

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Posted on Jan 7, 2013 READ MORE



The U.S. Army (CC BY 2.0)

Indefinite War by Design

Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald asks “whether [the United States’] endless war [on terror] is the intended result of U.S. actions or just an unwanted miscalculation.”

Posted on Jan 4, 2013 READ MORE


The Truth Behind the Fiscal Cliff’s Reality TV Show

During the halcyon 1990s, we labeled annual congressional temper tantrums for what they were: standard, if boring, budget impasses.

Posted on Jan 4, 2013 READ MORE



JD Hancock (CC BY 2.0)

The U.S. Intelligence Community’s New Year’s Wish

Every few years, the intelligence community’s “center for long-term strategic analysis” has been intent on producing a document it calls serially Global Trends [fill in the future year]. The latest edition, out just in time for Barack Obama’s second term, is Global Trends 2030.

Posted on Jan 3, 2013 READ MORE



Obama’s New Year’s Resolution: Protect the Status Quo

Amidst the White House and congressional theatrics surrounding the so-called fiscal-cliff negotiations, a number of bills were signed into law by President Barack Obama that renew some of the worst excesses of the Bush years.

Posted on Jan 2, 2013 READ MORE



U.S. Army/Specialist Ken Scar

Need for Straight Talk From U.S. Defense Department

Christmas has provided a day of distraction from war, the usual condition for most of the world, and the steady-state of the modern American nation, so to speak.

Posted on Dec 29, 2012 READ MORE



DoD/D. Myles Cullen

Veterans Denounce Neoconservative ‘Swiftboating’ of Chuck Hagel

If Chuck Hagel is nominated by President Obama to serve as secretary of defense, there will be at least three compelling arguments in his favor.

Posted on Dec 26, 2012 READ MORE



Official U.S. Navy Imagery (CC BY 2.0)

U.S. Prepares to Sell Spy Drones to South Korea

Seoul is seeking four “advanced” surveillance drones priced at a total of $1.2 billion to gather intelligence on North Korea’s activities after the U.S. turns over wartime command of Korean troops—a legacy of the 1950s Korean War—later this decade.

Posted on Dec 26, 2012 READ MORE


Coaches Over the Common Good

This is the microcosmic lesson of the University of Colorado’s recent decision to pay a new football coach $2 million a year. The move - and the reaction to it - is a perfect illustration of America’s values, or lack thereof.

Posted on Dec 21, 2012 READ MORE


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Posted on Dec 21, 2012 READ MORE    



pareeerica (CC BY 2.0)

How the U.S. Intelligence Community Came Out of the Shadows

The Invisible Government, published by David Wise and Thomas B. Ross in 1964, was groundbreaking, shadow-removing, illuminating. It caused a fuss from its very first paragraph, which was then a shockeroo: “There are two governments in the United States today. One is visible. The other is invisible.”

Posted on Dec 18, 2012 READ MORE



AP/Patrick Semansky

The Shameful Exploitation of Bradley Manning

The major news outlets that were thrilled to profit from the information that Bradley Manning uncovered are deeply afraid of being associated with the brave whistle-blower himself.

Posted on Dec 14, 2012 READ MORE



The Trials of Bradley Manning

Pfc. Bradley Manning was finally allowed to speak publicly, in his own defense, in a preliminary hearing of his court-martial.

Posted on Dec 12, 2012 READ MORE



The U.S. Army (CC BY 2.0)

Picking Up a $170 Billion Tab

How much does the United States spend each year occupying the planet with its bases and troops? Since the onset of “the Global War on Terror” in 2001, the total cost for our garrisoning policies, for our presence abroad, has probably reached $1.8 trillion to $2.1 trillion.

Posted on Dec 12, 2012 READ MORE



quinn.anya (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Do Americans Deserve to See These Secret Documents?

From the memo detailing the right to assassinate U.S. citizens worldwide to the paper negotiating the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas, the U.S. government has kept many documents classified for dubious reasons. David Wallechinsky of AllGov looks at 11 of them.

Posted on Dec 11, 2012 READ MORE



PhotoAtelier (Glen) (CC BY 2.0)

The Washington Straitjacket

Dear President Obama: Nothing you don’t know, but let me just say it: the world’s a weird place. I mean, do you ever think about how you ended up where you are?

Posted on Dec 5, 2012 READ MORE



twicepix (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Pentagon to Double Its Spy Payroll

The intelligence arm of the Pentagon aims to recruit up to 1,600 intelligence “collectors” to create an international spy network that would rival the CIA in size, sources told The Washington Post.

Posted on Dec 2, 2012 READ MORE



army.arch (CC BY 2.0)

What Is the U.S. Military Building in Israel?

At an Israeli air force base not far from Tel Aviv, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will supervise construction of a $100 million five-floor underground facility for the Israel Defense Forces termed “Site 911,” and no one in the press, including The Washington Post’s national security reporter, seems to know its precise purpose.

Posted on Nov 29, 2012 READ MORE



US Army Africa (CC BY 2.0)

Sucking Up to the Military Brass

Pruning a few bad apples from the upper branches of the military tree is going to do little enough when the rot extends to root and branch. Required is more radical surgery if America is to avoid ongoing debilitating conflicts and the disintegration of our democracy.

Posted on Nov 29, 2012 READ MORE



Mike Licht (CC-BY)

Obama Rushed Rules for Drone Assassinations in Case Romney Won

The New York Times reports that there is internal strife within the administration about the willy-nilly use of drones to kill people abroad (2,500 since President Obama took office) and, fearing defeat at the polls, the Obama administration was working overtime to lay down a set of rules governing robotic assassination.

Posted on Nov 25, 2012 READ MORE



roberthuffstutter (CC BY 2.0)

Memo to the Military: Give a Damn About the Warming Planet

Global warming could be American imperialism’s undoing if Pentagon officials don’t prepare accordingly, a group of experts effectively reported in a study warning against such “climate surprises” as natural disasters, sea-level rise, drought and epidemics.

Posted on Nov 10, 2012 READ MORE


Beyond Bayonets and Battleships

During its years in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Pentagon has begun to fuse biometrics, cyber-warfare, and a potential future aerospace shield into a robotic information regime that could produce a platform of unprecedented power for the exercise of global dominion—or for future military disaster.

Posted on Nov 8, 2012 READ MORE


Drone Warfare: An Illegal Tactic Sure to Perpetuate U.S.-Muslim War Indefinitely

It is a profound but nearly universal mistake among Americans (and others) to think that the withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan in 2013 or 2014 will end the American war with the Muslim world that began on September 11 in 2001.

Posted on Oct 30, 2012 READ MORE



NASA

Sandy Teaches a Lesson

Back when he was being “severely conservative,” Mitt Romney suggested that responsibility for disaster relief should be taken from the big, bad federal government and given to the states, or perhaps even privatized. Hurricane Sandy would like to know if he’d care to reconsider.

Posted on Oct 29, 2012 READ MORE



Democracy Now!

NSA Whistle-Blower: Obama’s ‘Disposition Matrix’ is an ‘Undisciplined Slaughter’

Former National Security Agency official and whistle-blower William Binney is appalled but unsurprised by last week’s revelation that President Obama has institutionalized a mechanism for generating targets for his secretive assassination list.

Posted on Oct 27, 2012 READ MORE



Skley (CC BY-ND 2.0)

A Failed Formula for Worldwide War

Several times this year, America’s war chiefs have assembled at the Marine Corps Base in Quantico to conduct a futuristic war-game-meets-academic-seminar about the needs of the military in 2017. There, a giant map of the world, larger than a basketball court, was laid out so the Pentagon’s top brass could shuffle around the planet.

Posted on Oct 26, 2012 READ MORE



AP/Susan Walsh

Daniel Ellsberg Urges People in Swing States to Vote for Obama

The famed whistle-blower has been a sharp critic of the president, but he says a Romney/Ryan administration would be “catastrophically worse.”

Posted on Oct 18, 2012 READ MORE



Photo by Peter Pearson (CC-BY-SA)

Arab Awakening and a Failed European Aeronautics Merger

From the beginning of the Arab Awakening (“Arab Springtime,” as it was, but alas two springtimes have already passed), my opinion has been to stay out of these events, as far as possible, and certainly not to attempt to control them.

Posted on Oct 16, 2012 READ MORE



pasukaru76 (CC BY 2.0)

Overwrought Empire

The U.S. is now the sole planetary Top Gun in a way that empire-builders once undoubtedly fantasized about: alone and essentially uncontested. By all the usual measuring sticks, it should be supreme in a historically unprecedented way. And yet it couldn’t be more obvious that it’s not.

Posted on Oct 10, 2012 READ MORE


Hearing an Echo on Foreign Policy

Mitt Romney claims to disagree with President Obama on many aspects of foreign policy. We’re still waiting to hear what those differences might be.

Posted on Oct 8, 2012 READ MORE



AP/John Minchillo

We Won—for Now

In January I sued President Barack Obama for authorizing the military to detain U.S. citizens indefinitely. U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest, in short, just declared the law unconstitutional.

Posted on Sep 17, 2012 READ MORE



oschene (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Dumb and Dumber

President Obama’s version of “smart power” has been anything but smart. It has maintained imperial overstretch at self-destructive expense, infuriated strategic competitors like China, hardened the position of adversaries like Iran and North Korea, and tried the patience of even longtime allies in Europe and Asia.

Posted on Sep 6, 2012 READ MORE



The U.S. Army (CC BY 2.0)

Afghanistan’s Base Bonanza

In early 2010, the U.S.-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) claimed that it had nearly 400 bases in Afghanistan. Today, a military spokesperson tells TomDispatch, the total tops around 550. And when you add in small checkpoints and foreign military installations of every type, the official count reaches a whopping 1,500 sites.

Posted on Sep 4, 2012 READ MORE


For GOP, Storm Has Already Gathered

The uninvited participation of a hurricane at next week’s Republican convention would be superfluous. Buffeted by powerful internal winds, the party may be flooded with cash, but it’s already kind of a debris-strewn mess.

Posted on Aug 24, 2012 READ MORE



irrezolut (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Mission Accomplished for Big Oil?

Big Oil has replaced U.S. troops in Iraq, and the country’s oil output, crippled for decades, is growing again, with Iraq recently reclaiming the number two position in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. Now there’s talk of a new world petroleum glut. So is this finally mission accomplished?

This piece originally appeared at TomDispatch.

Posted on Aug 23, 2012 READ MORE



U.S. Marine Corps/Cpl. Isaac Lamberth

Did Someone Say ‘War’?

Nobody in the U.S. and the allied countries, except for the relatives of the victims, gives a damn about Iraq. That will be true of Afghanistan, too, when it’s over. Or when it is replaced by war with Iran.

Posted on Aug 21, 2012 READ MORE



Illustration by Mr. Fish

The War in the Shadows

There are now many thousands of clandestine operatives, nearly all of them armed and equipped with a license to kidnap, torture and kill, working overseas or domestically with little or no oversight and virtually no transparency.

Posted on Aug 20, 2012 READ MORE


Who Is Paul Ryan?

Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan admires Ayn Rand, and if you believe Republican Party mythology, Ryan is a messianic John Galt who will save America from a secret socialist conspiracy.

Posted on Aug 17, 2012 READ MORE



U.S. Army/Staff Sgt. Joseph Wilbanks

Romney and Ryan Project Vague Foreign Policy

Foreign affairs will be the most important issue of all to address as the United States staggers forward into the void, yet the matter will seldom appear in what’s left of the presidential campaign.

Posted on Aug 14, 2012 READ MORE



Photo by CTJ71081 (CC-BY)

Criminalizing Dissent

The very name of the law itself—the Homeland Battlefield Bill—suggests the totalitarian credo of endless war waged against enemies within “the homeland” as well as those abroad.

Posted on Aug 13, 2012 READ MORE



MITNewsOffice/YouTube

Robo-Worm Might Give You the Creeps

Scientists funded by the Pentagon have created a robot for the purpose of looking into hard-to-reach places, from spaces trapped beneath earthquake rubble to the private quarters of state enemies.

Posted on Aug 11, 2012 READ MORE



michael baird (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Washington Puts Its Money on Proxy War

From Asia and Africa to the Middle East and the Americas, the Obama administration is increasingly embracing drones and special operations forces to fight scattered global enemies on the cheap. A centerpiece of this new American way of war is the outsourcing of fighting duties to local proxies around the world.

Posted on Aug 10, 2012 READ MORE



podknox (CC BY 2.0)

Medals for Drone Pilots?

The Pentagon is considering awarding distinctions to personnel in air-conditioned rooms who use remote control airplanes to kill people 7,500 miles away.

Posted on Jul 11, 2012 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force/Master Sgt. Jerry Morrison

Drone Warfare Foretells an Ever-Expanding and Illegal War

President Barack Obama’s acts consciously undermine the civilized order of modern society. The United States has quite deliberately made itself an outlaw state.

Posted on Jun 12, 2012 READ MORE



The Legend of the Spat-Upon Veteran

Desperate to cobble a pro-war cautionary tale out of a blood-soaked tragedy, we keep reimagining the loss in Vietnam not as a policy failure but as the product of an America that dishonored returning troops.

Posted on May 31, 2012 READ MORE


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