In the American failure in Afghanistan lies the greatest policy paradox of the century: Washington’s massive military juggernaut has been stopped dead in its steel tracks by a pink flower, the opium poppy.
While Presidents Eisenhower and Bush decided on exceptions that violated national boundaries and international treaties, President Obama is exercising his exceptional prerogatives in the unbounded domains of aerospace and cyberspace.
For well over a century, what might be called “surveillance blowback” from America’s wars has ensured the creation of an ever more massive and omnipresent internal security and surveillance apparatus. Its future (though not ours) looks bright indeed.
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.