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  • Originally published 06/08/2018

    Infinite War

    Andrew J. Bacevich

    Like our European Allies in World War I we are mired in a senseless war and don’t know how to stop it.

  • Originally published 02/05/2018

    Our Enemy, Ourselves

    William J. Astore

    Ten Commonsense Suggestions for Making Peace, Not War

  • Originally published 01/30/2018

    The Story of the Tet Offensive

    Robert Buzzanco

    Fifty years ago, the Tet Offensive exposed the US military and the global economic order it oversaw.

  • Originally published 12/19/2017

    The Bomb That Went Off Twice

    The explosive compound RDX helped make America a superpower. Now, it’s poisoning the nation’s water and soil.

  • Originally published 12/18/2017

    Why the “Merchants of Death” Survive and Prosper

    Lawrence Wittner

    As long as people retain their faith in the supreme value of military might, we can probably expect defense contractors to continue profiting from war at the public’s expense.

  • Originally published 12/11/2017

    Still Waiting

    Andrew J. Bacevich

    A Harvey Weinstein Moment for America’s Wars?

  • Originally published 10/09/2017

    Autopilot Wars

    Andrew J. Bacevich

    Sixteen Years, But Who’s Counting?

  • Originally published 09/18/2017

    Give Peace a Chance

    Maurice Isserman

    A review of the Ken Burns/Lynn Novick documentary.  Conclusion:  It's anti-revisionist (the war was wrongheaded). But it's also anti anti-war. 

  • Originally published 09/06/2017

    Did Outlawing War Actually Work?

    Chris Gehrz

    Two Yale law professors claim in a new book that the 1928 Kellogg-Briand Pact helped end the practice of countries using war in a land grab.  They mistake correlation with causation. 

  • Originally published 05/15/2017

    The Hazards of Military Worship

    Major Danny Sjursen

    Everyone loves the troops and their generals, but history indicates that military advice isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

  • Originally published 10/26/2016

    The Myth of the Quiet War Veteran

    Jerry Lembcke

    He exists, but why is he quiet? Does it make him heroic? Make us feel better about him? And what’s the story he’s declining to tell?

  • Originally published 10/18/2016

    The $5 trillion wars

    Linda J. Bilmes

    Yet the trillions of dollars and thousands of lives expended in these wars have rated barely a mention in the presidential campaign.

  • Originally published 08/30/2016

    Isn’t It Time to Ban the Bomb?

    Lawrence S. Wittner

    Only an unusually firm stand by the non-nuclear nations seems likely to awaken the officials of the nuclear powers from their long sleepwalk toward catastrophe.

  • Originally published 06/06/2016

    Grandpa’s World War II Secret

    Bruce Chadwick

    "War" is a moving play about what happened to so many thousands of GIs who fell in love with women in Germany, and later Japan, and in allied nations, in the World War II era (and in Vietnam later).

  • Originally published 10/19/2015

    Endless War Does Not Make Us Safer

    Ivan Eland

    Obama's recent decision to leave American troops in perpetuity in the Afghanistan War, despite a fourteen-year failed attempt to remodel the country, is as unsurprising as it is appalling.

  • Originally published 06/29/2015

    "Hi, I'm Uncle Sam and I'm a War-oholic"

    William Astore

    War on drugs. War on poverty. War in Afghanistan. War in Iraq. War on terror. The biggest mistake in American policy, foreign and domestic, is looking at everything as war.

  • Originally published 05/26/2015

    The myth of victory

    Mark Kukis

    War isn't like it used to be. Victory is more elusive, and a strong military doesn't count as much.

  • Originally published 05/24/2015

    The most expensive wars in U.S. history

    In every conflict before World War II, nearly all of the country's defense budget was spent on direct conflict — classified as wartime spending.

  • Originally published 02/26/2015

    The Warmongering Record of Hillary Clinton

    Gary Leupp

    Clinton’s record of her tenure in the State Department is entitled Hard Choices, but it has never been hard for Hillary to choose brute force in the service of U.S. imperialism and its controlling 1%.

  • Originally published 02/18/2015

    Hey, Buddy, Wanna Buy A Used War?

    Lawrence Reichard

    One might not always like the way history turned out – who won and who lost – but it is important to be truthful to the historical record. We owe that to future generations.

  • Originally published 02/16/2015

    When the U.S. dropped barrel bombs in war

    The United States dropped barrels packed with fuel in an attempt to burn foliage in the dense forests of Vietnam and smoke out Viet Cong guerrillas.

  • Originally published 01/23/2015

    Drones and the new ethics of war

    Neve Gordon

    Because drones transform warfare into a ghostly teleguided act orchestrated from a base in Nevada or Missouri, whereby soldiers no longer risk their lives, the critical attitude of citizenry towards war is also profoundly transformed.

  • Originally published 11/26/2014

    When Is a War Over?

    Elizabeth D. Samet

    Knowing when — and how — to stop is a problem as old as war itself.

  • Originally published 11/14/2014

    Do Wars Really Defend America’s Freedom?

    Lawrence S. Wittner

    U.S. politicians and pundits are fond of saying that America’s wars have defended America’s freedom. But the historical record doesn’t bear out this contention.

  • Originally published 08/13/2014

    The War over War

    Peter Turchin

    Is Steven Pinker right that violence has been declining over time?

  • Originally published 06/10/2014

    Don’t Walk Away from War

    Tom Engelhardt

    Here are five straightforward lessons that could be drawn from that last half century of every kind of American warfare.

  • Originally published 05/30/2014

    Does War Have a Future?

    Lawrence S. Wittner

    There are some reasons why war might actually be on the way out.

  • Originally published 05/28/2014

    How Americans View the Afghan War

    Concern about instability in the wake of a withdrawal may be driving support for keeping some United States forces there.

  • Originally published 05/24/2014

    Lost in the Past

    Timothy Egan

    Ask a high school senior what the Great War was all about and you’re likely to get a shrug or a stab based on a recent episode of “Game of Thrones.”

  • Originally published 04/16/2014

    The Slaughter Bench of History

    Ian Morris

    How war created civilization over the past 10,000 years—and threatens to destroy it in the next 40.

  • Originally published 11/18/2013

    War Was Becoming Obsolete in 1884?

    William J. Astore

    The American philosopher John Fiske predicted war would become obsolete in his 1884 "The Destiny of Man."

  • Originally published 10/23/2013

    How to Claim a Continent

    Adam Clulow

    Sovereignty claims as used by Christopher Columbus, Vasco da Gama and a host of lesser known explorers, adventurers and settlers.

  • Originally published 10/03/2013

    The Italian Job

    David Vine

    How the Pentagon is using your tax dollars to turn Italy into a launching pad for the wars of today and tomorrow.

  • Originally published 08/19/2013

    Clinging to Mass Violence

    Lawrence S. Wittner

    Resorting to violence is a long-term, deeply-ingrained habit in human history, and is not easily discarded.

  • Originally published 07/22/2013

    The Pipe Dream of Easy War

    H.R. McMaster

     “A GREAT deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep,” the novelist Saul Bellow once wrote. We should keep that in mind when we consider the lessons from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — lessons of supreme importance as we plan the military of the future.

  • Originally published 03/21/2013

    Roy Scranton: Why Fiction Tells the Truth About War

    Roy Scranton, an Iraq veteran, was an artilleryman in the Army. He is co-editor, with Matt Gallagher, of Fire and Forget: Short Stories from the Long War.This week we look back and think about what it meant that we invaded Iraq ten years ago. What kind of story do we tell? What’s our narrative? It’s not an easy question, but it’s an important one, because the stories we tell about how we got where we were turn into stories about where we’re going.Some might think this is a job strictly for history. Since 9/11, if not before, people have talked about reality outstripping fiction, as if fiction can’t keep pace with events. More, we’re all tired of government duplicity, overblown product claims, scripted reality shows, and faked memoirs. When someone tells us they’ve made something up, we’re apt to feel what David Shields called “reality hunger”: Don’t sell me the well-crafted fake, buddy, give me the real deal.

  • Originally published 02/21/2013

    Besieged commander's 'Victory or Death' letter returns to the Alamo for first time

    A plea for help penned in 1836 by the commander of the besieged rebel Texas forces at the Alamo, in which he vowed "Victory or Death," returns to old Spanish mission for the first time Friday. William Barret Travis' famous letter to "the People of Texas and All Americans in the World," will get a police escort from the state archive in Austin to the Alamo, which is now in the heart of downtown San Antonio. The weathered, single-page letter will go on display for two weeks, starting this weekend, and will be kept in a special display cabinet and given round-the-clock guards....  

  • Originally published 01/31/2013

    The Hagel Hearings

    Nick Turse

    Via Flickr/Secretary of Defense.Originally posted on TomDispatch.com

  • Originally published 04/15/2004

    Why Americans Are Satisfied with Simple Explanations of Foreign Wars

    William McKee Evans

    The Civil War stands alone in the sophistication of its historiography. No educated American would take seriously a person who said the war came because the Confederates fired on Fort Sumter. If we knew as much about the nation's other wars there might be fewer of them.

  • Originally published 08/12/2014

    The 100th Anniversary of the Great State Crime

    Liberty and Power

         Last week marks the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, the four-year bloody nightmare that claimed 16 million lives — 7 million of them noncombatants — and wounded over 20 million people.    That would have been bad enough, but the conflict was merely Act One in a much bigger war. The “peace” settlement vindictively branded Germany uniquely culpable and imposed border adjustments that made Act Two a virtual certainty. The so-called Second World War, which began after the 21-year intermission from 1918 to 1939, claimed at least 60 million lives, at least 19 million of which were noncombatants.

  • Originally published 08/12/2014

    A Hundred Years of War

    Liberty and Power

    The worst regimes and cataclysms of the first half of the twentieth century had roots in the international war that began a hundred years ago today. It was the beginning of three decades of unspeakable suffering, what some scholars collectively call the hemocylsm—World War I, the Soviet atrocities, World War II and its atrocities from the Holocaust to the atomic bombings. These terrors of course gave way to the Cold War, the fears of MAD, the mutually reinforcing cycle of violence between Islamic fundamentalism and Western imperialism.

  • Originally published 07/27/2014

    In Foreign Affairs, Not Doing Anything is the Thing to Do

    Liberty and Power

    The heartbreaking violence in the Middle East, Ukraine, and elsewhere carries many messages, but here’s one Americans shouldn’t miss: The United States — no matter who the president is — cannot manage world conflict. The corollary is that when a president tries to manage it,things will usually get worse. Foresight is always defective, and tragic unintended consequences will prevail.

  • Originally published 07/18/2014

    War, Peace, and Murray Rothbard

    Liberty and Power

    With wars raging in the Middle East, it seems like a good time to revisit a classic work by Murray Rothbard (1926–1995), the economist, historian, and political philosopher who had a lot to do with the birth and evolution of the modern libertarian movement. His “War, Peace, and the State” is something that all peace advocates — not just self-conscious libertarians — ought to be familiar with.

  • Originally published 06/28/2014

    Smedley Butler and the Racket That Is War

    Liberty and Power

    From 1898 to 1931, Smedley Darlington Butler was a member of the U.S. Marine Corps. By the time he retired he had achieved what was then the corps’s highest rank, major general, and by the time he died in 1940, at 58, he had more decorations, including two medals of honor, than any other Marine.  He published a short book with the now-famous title War Is a Racket, for which he is best known today. Butler opened the book with these words:War is a racket. It always has been.

  • Originally published 06/18/2014

    Enemies of Enemies

    Liberty and Power

    The Obama administration is considering working with the Iranian government to deal with the full-blown horrors currently plaguing Iraq. As a non-interventionist, I’m committed to opposing such an approach. If I were a pragmatic realist or a utilitarian I’d be tempted to agree that such an alliance would be the lesser of evils, although as clear as that might seem today, I’d still have my reservations.