A U.S. Military Contractor Allegedly Laundered Money From Iran
The chairman of a key U.S. military contractor in the Middle East was recently charged with multiple felonies in a major fraud, money laundering and public corruption scheme. According to court papers in Kuwait, where the charges were filed, misappropriated investor money so far totals more than $160 million,... Read more
James Comey’s Testimony Cements It—Trump Is a Walking Disaster
There’s a popular meme among U.S. Pres. Donald Trump’s online followers that depicts him as a man playing 4-D chess against opponents who barely understand 2-D checkers. According to the meme, Trump is a brilliant political tactician playing a game his opponents can never hope to understand. If only... Read more
How the Pentagon’s Wasteful Budget Hurts the Military
The Pentagon lost track of equipment worth more than a billion dollars, according to a declassified Department of Defense audit obtained by Amnesty International last month. The F-35 program has already cost $100 billion to develop, and may not even be ready for combat according to an ex-director. The... Read more
The United States Is Making the Soviet Union’s Mistakes
Jump into your time machine and let me transport you back to another age. It’s May 2001 and the Atlantic Monthly has just arrived in the mail. I’m tantalized by the cover article. “Russia is finished,” the magazine announces. The subtitle minces no words: “The unstoppable descent into social... Read more
America’s Iran Hysteria
“Everywhere you look, if there is trouble in the region, you find Iran,” Secretary of Defense James Mattis told reporters on a mid-April 2017 visit to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. I must admit that when I stumbled across that quote it brought up uncomfortable personal memories. East Baghdad, Jan. 25,... Read more
How Not to Build an Aircraft Carrier
Pres. Donald Trump used the Navy’s next-generation aircraft carrier, USS Gerald R. Ford, as a backdrop to unveil his vision for the next defense budget in March 2017. The moment was meant to symbolize his commitment to rebuilding the military, but it also positioned the president in front of... Read more
Goodbye Pacific Pivot, Hello Pacific Retreat
Asia has been the future for more than a generation. When Americans try to glimpse what’s to come, images of the Pacific Rim flood the imagination. For movie audiences in 1982, the rain-soaked Los Angeles of Blade Runner looked like downtown Tokyo. By 2014, the City of Angels in... Read more
Senators Are Forcing the U.S. Navy to Buy Crappy Ships It Doesn’t Want
This year’s Pentagon budget originally included a small victory for taxpayers—it reduced its request for the troubled Littoral Combat Ship to only one ship for $1.2 billion. “The Navy doesn’t want them,” Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told Hugh Hewitt earlier this month. Yet, while sailors... Read more
I’m a Portlander. Political Extremism Is Poison
On May 26, 2017, tragedy struck my hometown when a white supremacist stabbed three people on a train. Two died of their wounds. The incident began when 35-year-old Jeremy Christian began aggressively harassing two young women riding the Portland MAX line. The women were black and one wore a... Read more
The Pentagon Is Still Worried About Climate Change
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis isn’t exactly the type of person environmentalists would typically pin their hopes on. The retired Marine general is best known to most Americans for his quotable musings on killing and the thrill of combat. However, while environmental issues may not be Mattis’ top priority he... Read more
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