Tales of American Hubris
The lessons of history? Who needs them? Certainly not Washington’s present cast of characters, a crew in flight from history, the past, or knowledge of more or less any sort. Still, just for the Hell of it, let’s take a few moments to think about what some of the... Read more
War Hawks and Chickenhawks
Sometimes I get sick of saying it, but just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse … Donald Trump’s continual cabinet reshuffling — otherwise the stuff of reality-T.V. drama — has become genuinely frightening. Like so many Russian matryoshki, or nesting dolls, the president has been removing one... Read more
Donald Trump and the Art of the Arms Deal
It’s one of those stories of the century that somehow never gets treated that way. For an astounding 25 of the past 26 years, the United States has been the leading arms-dealer on the planet, at some moments in near monopolistic fashion. Its major weapons-producers, including Boeing, Raytheon and... Read more
Making Atrocities Great Again
A barely noticed anniversary slid by on March 20, 2018. It’s been 15 years since the United States committed the greatest war crime of the 21st century — the unprovoked, aggressive invasion of Iraq. The New York Times, which didn’t exactly cover itself in glory in the run-up to... Read more
Something for Everyone in the Military-Industrial Complex
Think of it as the chicken-or-the-egg question for the ages. Do very real threats to the United States inadvertently benefit the military-industrial complex or does the national security state, by its very nature, conjure up inflated threats to feed that defense machine? Back in 2008, some of us placed... Read more
Follow the Russian Natural Gas
To make sense of Carter Page — an American oil consultant and former foreign-policy adviser to Donald Trump — you have to look at his proximity to Ukraine, Russia and some seemingly bizarre natural-gas deals. Back in the mid-2000s, future Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort set up shop in... Read more
Donald Trump Puts China and Russia First
In his State of the Union address in January 2018, Pres. Donald Trump warned grimly of “rivals like China and Russia that challenge our interests, our economy and our values.” In response, he demanded that Congress give even more money to “our great military” and fund the growth and... Read more
Empire of Graveyards
Recently, a memory of my son as a small boy came back to me. He was, in those days, terrified of clowns. Something about their strange, mask-like, painted faces unnerved him utterly, chilled him to the bone. To the rest of us, they were comic, but to him —... Read more
How to Build a Wall and Lose an Empire
As 2017 ended with billionaires toasting their tax cuts and energy executives cheering their unfettered access to federal lands as well as coastal waters, there was one sector of the American elite that did not share in the champagne celebration. Washington’s corps of foreign policy experts. Across the political... Read more
Expect Yet More War Under Donald Trump
I remember the day Pres. Barack Obama let me down. It was December 1, 2009, and as soon as the young president took the podium at West Point and — calm and cool as ever — announced a new troop surge in Afghanistan, I knew. There wasn’t a doubt... Read more
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