Editor’s note: The following video is a clip from a 19-part series filmed at a Truthdig and KPFK co-sponsored event in Los Angeles. The discussion features Oliver Stone, the Academy Award-winning screenwriter and director, and Robert Scheer, Truthdig’s editor in chief. The two talk about “The Putin Interviews,” a new Showtime series by Stone, as well as the published transcript, for which Scheer wrote the foreword. We have been publishing one video per day. This is the 19th and final installment.

Truthdig Editor in Chief Robert Scheer has a question he hopes Americans will ask themselves: “Does the United States need a permanent war economy?”

Scheer poses the question in the clip above and goes on to argue that this “is the question nobody wants to address.”

“You can’t justify a sophisticated military-industrial complex to fight people based in caves in the desert,” Scheer says, referring to the U.S. military fighting small groups of terrorists in the Middle East. “Trump’s biggest mistake so far, aside from his immigrant-bashing, is he’s jacking up the defense budget. That’s what the hawks wanted all along.”

Watch the full video, in which Scheer and director Oliver Stone also discuss U.S.-Russia relations, in the player above.

Watch past clips in the series here.

—Posted by Emma Niles

Your support matters…

Independent journalism is under threat and overshadowed by heavily funded mainstream media.

You can help level the playing field. Become a member.

Your tax-deductible contribution keeps us digging beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that unearths what's really happening- without compromise.

Give today to support our courageous, independent journalists.