As U.S. Defense Secretary, James Mattis Plots His Own Course
In his first three months as U.S. defense secretary, James Mattis has embraced elements of Pres. Donald Trump’s aggressive war policy while also breaking from the Trump administration on several high-profile issues. Mattis is, in other words, still very much his own man. And the Pentagon under Mattis has,... Read more
The 21st Century’s Refugee Crisis Is Just Getting Started
Not since World War II have more human beings been at risk from disease and starvation than at this very moment. On March 10th, Stephen O’Brien, under secretary-general of the United Nations for humanitarian affairs, informed the Security Council that 20 million people in three African countries—Nigeria, Somalia, and... Read more
On the Frontlines During the Last Days of Standing Rock
After a year of protests, Standing Rock began to clear out in February 2017. But to one observer, the standoff stood out for how much it resembled a war zone. Marty Skovlund, Jr. is a U.S. Army veteran who served in the 1st Ranger Battalion. He fought in both Iraq... Read more
Is North Korea Downplaying a Potential Nuclear Test?
North Korea is unpredictable enough that it could conduct its sixth nuclear test any second. But trying to predict the DPRK’s moves isn’t easy. The best we have to go on are satellite images—we highly recommend the analysts at 38 North—of North Korea’s Punggye-ri nuclear site, showing work consistent with an... Read more
What Does an ‘America-First’ Foreign Policy Actually Mean?
What does an “America-first” foreign policy look like under President Donald Trump? As a start, forget the ancient label of “isolationism.” With the end of Trump’s first 100 days approaching, it looks more like a military-first policy aimed at achieving global hegemony, which means it’s a potential doomsday machine.... Read more
Sleepwalking Toward Nuclear War
On April 6, 2017, the 100th anniversary of the United States entering World War I, American warships launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at regime targets in Syria. The base that absorbed the attack, Al Shayrat air base in Homs province, houses both Russian and Syrian troops, who are allies... Read more
The U.S. Navy Is Waging War on the Gulf of Alaska
This essay is a joint TomDispatch/Truthout report. It’s war in the Gulf and the U.S. Navy is on hand to protect us. No, not that Gulf! I’m talking about the Gulf of Alaska and it’s actually mock war — if, that is, you don’t happen to be a fin whale... Read more
What the Heck Are These Electronic Devices in Trump’s Situation Room?
On April 6, 2017, Pres. Donald Trump ordered a missile strike on Syria in response to a chemical weapons attack — widely attributed to the regime of Syrian president Bashar Al Assad — that killed an estimated 70 people in the country. Trump was at his Mar-a-Lago estate in... Read more
The Curious, Quiet Success of Italian Counter-Terrorism
After a wave of recent terrorist attacks, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Belgium have all debated their existing security strategies. The duty of politics is to answer public fears—however this always comes with the risk that fears will guide reactive counter-terrorism policies that ultimately fail. Italy, however, has... Read more
The War on Terror’s ‘Unholy Trinity’ Is Poised for a Resurrection
When George W. Bush and Dick Cheney launched their forever wars—under the banner of a “Global War on Terror”—they unleashed an unholy trinity of tactics. Torture, rendition and indefinite detention became the order of the day. After a partial suspension of these policies in the Obama years, they now... Read more
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