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One Boy, One Rifle and One Morning in Malakal

When I was their age, I wasn’t trusted to drive, vote, drink, get married, gamble in a casino, serve on a jury, rent a car, or buy a ticket to an R-rated movie. No one would have thought it a good idea to put an automatic weapon in my hands. But someone thought it was acceptable for them, including the government of the United States.

Posted on May 18, 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


Texas Wingnuts

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Posted on May 4, 2015 READ MORE



Sex, Drugs and Dead Soldiers: What the U.S. Africa Command Doesn’t Want You to Know

As American military operations have ramped up across Africa, reports of excessive drinking, sex with prostitutes, drug use, sexual assaults, and other forms of violence by AFRICOM personnel have escalated, and many of them have been kept under wraps.

Posted on Apr 22, 2015 READ MORE



Military Missions at Record High After U.S. Signs Deal to Stay in Africa for Decades

Despite grim outcomes since the American military began “pivoting” to Africa after 9/11, the U.S. recently signed an agreement designed to keep its troops on the continent until almost midcentury.

Posted on Apr 15, 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


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



The Big Dick School of American Patriotism

The BDSP is based on a bedrock belief in how America should work: that the only strength that really matters is military and that a great country is one with the capacity to beat the bejesus out of everyone else.

Posted on Mar 18, 2015 READ MORE



U.S. May Supply Weapons to Ukrainian Forces

American officials on Sunday signaled their openness to supplying the Ukrainian military with arms in their fight against Russian-backed separatists, The New York Times reports.

Posted on Feb 2, 2015 READ MORE



The Golden Age of Black Ops

Just 66 days into fiscal 2015—America’s most elite troops had already set foot in 105 nations, approximately 80 percent of 2014’s total. This secret war across much of the planet remains unknown to most Americans.

Posted on Jan 20, 2015 READ MORE



Guantanamo Diary Reveals Horrors of U.S. Torture Program

A harrowing memoir by a current Guantanamo detainee illuminates the U.S. rendition and torture program from the perspective of one of its victims. The author’s advocates struggled for six years to get the manuscript declassified.

Posted on Jan 17, 2015 READ MORE



Feds Bar Companies’ Long-Distance Lawsuits Against Soldiers

In the latest move against companies targeting military customers, federal regulators prohibit two Virginia-based lenders from suing out-of-state debtors in Virginia courts.

Posted on Dec 27, 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



The Bases of War in the Middle East

There is almost no way to overemphasize how thoroughly the U.S. military now covers the Greater Middle East. After 35 years of base-building there, it’s long past time to look carefully at how this garrisoning affects the region, the U.S., and the world.

Posted on Nov 14, 2014 READ MORE



American Weapons Provided to Syrian Rebels Fall into al-Qaeda’s Hands

The al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra (the Succor Front) not only took the territory of the moderate Muslim Syria Revolutionaries Front this weekend, it also polished off the Movement of the Resolute.

Posted on Nov 6, 2014 READ MORE



Marines (CC BY-NC 2.0)

The U.S. Is Backing Out of Afghanistan and Taking Its Military Housing With It

After 13 years in Afghanistan, a belligerent period considered to be “America’s longest war,” combat troops are coming home. But they’re not the only ones packing up in the country.

Posted on Oct 22, 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



Pirates of the Gulf of Guinea

If the Gulf of Guinea rings any bells at all, it’s probably because of the Ebola outbreak in, and upcoming U.S. military “surge” into, Liberia, the nation on the northern edge of that body of water. But for those in the know, the Gulf itself is an intractable hot spot on a vast continent filled with them and yet another area where U.S. military efforts have fallen short.

Posted on Sep 26, 2014 READ MORE


Ebola Troops

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Posted on Sep 23, 2014 READ MORE



The U.S. Army (CC BY 2.0)

Shiite Militias of Iraq Reject U.S. Return, Threaten to Attack U.S. Forces

The pan-Arab, London-based daily Al-Sharq al-Awsat (The Middle East) reports that the major Shiite militias of Iraq are denouncing Prime Minister Haydar al-Abadi for welcoming U.S. air support in the fight against the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Posted on Sep 18, 2014 READ MORE



Why Washington’s War on Terror Failed: The Underrated Saudi Connection

By continuing contradictory policies in Iraq and Syria, the U.S. has ensured that ISIS can reinforce its fighters in those countries and vice versa. So far, Washington has been successful in escaping blame for the rise of ISIS by putting all the blame on the Iraqi government. In fact, it has created a situation in which ISIS can survive and may well flourish.

Posted on Aug 22, 2014 READ MORE



‘The End of a Country, and the Start of a New Dark Age’

In a terrifying excerpt from his essential new book, “The Jihadis Return: Isis and the New Sunni Uprising,” veteran Middle East correspondent Patrick Cockburn describes the native barbarous forces overcoming Iraq and the surrounding region, and the kind of society—thanks in large part to the failed U.S. intervention there—they look set to build.

Posted on Aug 10, 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



Thank You for Your Service: How One Company Sues Soldiers Worldwide

With stores near military bases across the country, the retailer USA Discounters offers easy credit to service members. But when those loans go bad, the company uses the local courts near its Virginia headquarters to file suits by the thousands.

Posted on Jul 26, 2014 READ MORE



Still Living With Jack Bauer in a Terrified New American World

Once upon a time, if a character on TV tortured someone, it was a sure sign that he was a bad guy. Now, the torturers are the all-American heroes. From “24” to “Zero Dark Thirty,” it’s been the good guys who wielded the pliers and the waterboards. We’re not only living in a post-9/11 world, we’re stuck with Jack Bauer in the 25th hour.

Posted on Jul 11, 2014 READ MORE



Gays in the Military

A new photo book puts a face to the struggles of homosexual men and women in the U.S. armed forces.

Posted on Jul 4, 2014 READ MORE



Pity the Children

War brings with it a host of horrors, but the worst is what it does to children. The suffering of the young, perpetrated by those who carry weapons, exposes war’s demented pathology.

Posted on Jun 30, 2014 READ MORE



300 U.S. Troops Are Heading to Iraq

President Obama announced Thursday that up to 300 “military advisers” will assist Iraq’s embattled army against advancing Sunni insurgents, and insisted that the U.S. would not be drawn into another war in the country.

Posted on Jun 19, 2014 READ MORE



Obama Sends Troops as Isis Sweeps Iraq

Amid a rampant insurgency in Iraq and forced talks between the U.S. and Iran, President Obama has ordered the urgent deployment of several hundred armed troops in and around Iraq.

Posted on Jun 17, 2014 READ MORE



‘Urgent’ U.S. Attack in Iraq and Syria Possible

The Obama administration is considering an air assault on Islamic extremists taking control of areas throughout Syria and Iraq.

Posted on Jun 13, 2014 READ MORE



VA Secretary Says 18 More Veterans Died in Phoenix

In a new revelation about the growing VA scandal, the organization’s acting secretary said Thursday that an additional 18 veterans whose names were kept off an electronic medical appointment list died while awaiting appointments.

Posted on Jun 6, 2014 READ MORE



‘The Failed State Chick’ on Boko Haram

“The abduction of the girls is, of course, an extremely grave crime,” journalist Corinne Dufka says. “But to focus exclusively on the girls lacks an appreciation of the wide and systematic crimes committed by Boko Haram in recent years, and also by the Nigerian army since the state of emergency was declared almost a year ago.”

Posted on May 24, 2014 READ MORE



The U.S. Military’s New Normal in Africa

The real “new normal” for U.S. Africa Command is the culmination of years of construction, ingratiation, and interventions, the fruits of wide-eyed expansion and dismal policy failures, the backing of proxies to fight America’s battles, while increasing U.S. personnel and firepower in and around the continent.

Posted on May 15, 2014 READ MORE



Washington’s Back-to-the-Future Military Policies in Africa

The U.S. has been making common cause with one of the continent’s former European colonial powers in a set of wars that seem to be spreading, not staunching violence and instability in the region.

Posted on Mar 14, 2014 READ MORE



Why Didn’t Anyone Ever Question the Legality of Quebec’s Referenda on Independence?

Crimea, like the Canadian province, should have the right to vote on its future status; the U.S. is prepared for a “military response” in Ukraine; meanwhile, the creator of the World Wide Web explains, “Nothing is perfect.” These discoveries and more after the jump.

Posted on Mar 13, 2014 READ MORE


Vulnerable Foreign Laborers Toil on U.S. Bases in Afghanistan

Al-Jazeera America looks at the human trafficking system that brings tens of thousands of foreign laborers to work on U.S. military bases in Afghanistan.

Posted on Mar 10, 2014 READ MORE



Drone Base Expansion Into Central Asia?

After the imminent exit of American troops from Afghanistan, the United States may attempt to maintain military control of the region by putting U.S. drones inside air bases in Central Asia.

Posted on Feb 17, 2014 READ MORE



The Special Ops Surge In 134 Countries

All over the planet, the Obama administration is waging a secret war whose full extent has never been fully revealed—until now.

Posted on Jan 16, 2014 READ MORE


Bush’s Masterpiece

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Posted on Jan 14, 2014 READ MORE


Exiting Afghanistan

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I like to think we left an impact on the Middle East.
Posted on Jan 12, 2014 READ MORE



What the Iraq War Has to Do With Afghanistan

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates says America’s approach to foreign affairs is too militarized, evidenced by its two most recent wars; American viewers can hardly recognize news anchors anymore; meanwhile, people still believe Greek art was white, despite proof of its once garish colors. These discoveries and more after the jump.

Posted on Jan 11, 2014 READ MORE


Iraq Violence

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Posted on Jan 9, 2014 READ MORE



Irene Young

Truthdigger of the Week: Ann Jones

Jones’ new book, “They Were Soldiers,” was written to give veterans and their families alienated and estranged by war a chance to find their way back to one another.

Posted on Nov 10, 2013 READ MORE



D.James | Darren J. Ryan (CC BY-ND 2.0)

The Fantasy of a Clean War

The day Obama was sworn in for the second time, a U.S. drone strike hit Yemen. It was the third such attack in that country in as many days. Despite the rhetoric from the president on the Capitol steps, there was abundant evidence that he would continue to preside over a country that is in a state of perpetual war.

Posted on Oct 31, 2013 READ MORE



smplstc (CC BY 2.0)

Always and Everywhere

The abiding defect of U.S. foreign policy? It’s isolationism, my friend: fostering war, impeding the spread of democracy and inhibiting trade and prosperity.

Posted on Oct 25, 2013 READ MORE



DVIDSHUB (CC BY 2.0)

Why Washington Can’t Stop

In terms of advanced and unchallenged military power, there has been nothing like the U.S. armed forces since the Mongols swept across Eurasia. No wonder American presidents now regularly use phrases like “the finest fighting force the world has ever known” to describe it.

Posted on Oct 24, 2013 READ MORE



Beverly & Pack (CC BY 2.0)

The Etiquette of War and Surveillance

An old and knowledgeable friend, Colonel Manners (ret.), is ready to step into the void left by the Dear Abby column in the classic military newspaper Stars and Stripes. His assignment: to answer letters from Americans puzzled by the etiquette, manners, and language of the arcane national security world of Washington.

Posted on Oct 12, 2013 READ MORE



jczart (CC BY-SA 2.0)

‘Iraq Invades the United States’ and Other Headlines

March 9. On this early morning in 1916, Pancho Villa crossed the border with his horsemen, set fire to the city of Columbus, killed several soldiers, nabbed a few horses and guns, and the following day was back in Mexico to tell the tale.

Posted on Jul 25, 2013 READ MORE



The National Guard (CC BY 2.0)

The Classic Military Runaround

For my trouble, on my return to the United States, I was detained at Kennedy Airport in New York by agents of the Department of Homeland Security. Their question for me: Was I planning to fight against U.S. forces in Afghanistan?

Posted on Jul 9, 2013 READ MORE


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