William J. Astore, a retired lieutenant colonel (USAF), has taught at the Air Force Academy and the Naval Postgraduate School. He currently teaches at the Pennsylvania College of Technology. A regular contributor to TomDispatch, he is the author of Hindenburg: Icon of German Militarism (Potomac, 2005). His email is wastore at pct.edu.
War! What is it good for? Profit and power.
Since the dawn of air power, supporters have advanced fantasies that, again and again, have failed to pan out—while civilians die in often staggering numbers.
Petraeus may have had the affair, but we're all responsible for the U.S' worshipful embrace of our military generals.
Why the real victor in Campaign 2012 won’t be Obama or Romney.
Weapons manufacturing in America is still going strong, even if the wisdom or morality of arms deals is rarely discussed.
The United States’ current conflicts abroad are “1 percent wars”—remote, imperial wars of choice in which 99 percent of Americans have no stake.
At the highest levels, what’s civilian and what’s military are increasingly difficult to tell apart as the two spheres blur and blend.
Our wars and their impact are kept in remarkable isolation from what passes for public affairs in this country, leaving most Americans with little knowledge and even less say about whether they should be, and how they are, waged.
“Support our troops” is an unconditional American mantra. We’re told to celebrate them as warrior-liberators, as heroes, as the finest fighters the world has ever known. What we’re not told to do is listen to them.
What it means when Obama says we have the world’s finest fighting force.