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Tag: William J Astore


A Dictionary of Euphemisms for Imperial Decline

Cloaking violent, even murderous actions in anodyne language might help a few doubting functionaries sleep easier at night, but it should make the rest of us profoundly uneasy.

Posted on Apr 18, 2016 READ MORE


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A Military Leviathan Has Emerged as America’s 51st and Most Powerful State

A military increasingly divorced from ordinary Americans blends soldiers with privatized mercenaries, empowers commanders to cash in on retirement and wields a quasi-missionary imperial force in at least 135 countries.

Posted on Mar 25, 2016 READ MORE



The U.S. Military Suffers from Affluenza

The Pentagon has immense difficulty shouldering blame for its massively fatal failures and wrongdoing, and thus suffers from an institutional version of affluenza.

Posted on Feb 12, 2016 READ MORE



Taking Selfies in Iraq and Afghanistan: America’s Peculiar Brand of Global Imperialism

Overloaded with gadgets, ignorant of foreign cultures, spoiling for action, and never (individually) staying long, American troops have become the imperial equivalent of globetrotting tourists.

Posted on Oct 30, 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



America’s Got War: Poverty, Drugs, the Middle East and Terror

When you define something as war, you dictate the use of militarized or coercive forces as the primary instruments of policy. Violence becomes the means of decision, total victory the goal. Anyone who suggests otherwise is labeled a dreamer, an appeaser or even a traitor.

Posted on Jun 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



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



The American Cult of Bombing

When you do something again and again only to see indifferent or even negative results, you wouldn’t be surprised if a neutral observer questioned your sanity. Yet few Americans question the sanity or cult-like behavior of American presidents as they continue to seek solutions to complex issues by bombing Iraq (as well as numerous other countries across the globe).

Posted on Aug 21, 2014 READ MORE



Drafted by the National Security State

This country has changed a lot since I joined ROTC in 1981, was fingerprinted, typed for blood, and otherwise poked and prodded. Nowadays, in Fortress America, every one of us is, in some sense, government issue in a surveillance state gone mad.

Posted on Jun 13, 2014 READ MORE



Hossam el-Hamalawy ???? ???????? (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Business of America Is War

There is a new normal in America: our government may shut down, but our wars continue. Congress may not be able to pass a budget, but the U.S. military can still launch commando raids in Libya and Somalia, and the military-industrial complex can still dominate the world’s arms trade.

Posted on Oct 20, 2013 READ MORE



Tjebbe van Tijen / Imaginary Museum

Drone Warfare Is Neither Cheap, Nor Surgical, Nor Decisive

Encouraging politicians to seek seemingly low-cost, Olympian solutions to complex human problems—like Zeus hurling thunderbolts from the sky—has fostered fantasies of illimitable power emboldened by contempt for human life. But the mortals on the receiving end have shown surprising strength in frustrating the designs of the air power gods. The fact requires explanation.

Posted on Mar 26, 2013 READ MORE


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