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Articles by: Danny Sjursen

Watching My Students Turn Into Soldiers of Empire

Watching My Students Turn Into Soldiers of Empire

Patches, pins, medals, and badges are the visible signs of an exclusive military culture, a silent language by which soldiers and officers judge each other’s experiences, accomplishments, and general worth. In July 2001, when I first walked through the gate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point at the ripe young age of 17, the “combat patch” on one’s[Read More…]

A Veteran in a World of Never-Ending Wars and Improvised Explosive Devices

A Veteran in a World of Never-Ending Wars and Improvised Explosive Devices

  Recently, on a beautiful Kansas Saturday, I fell asleep early, exhausted by the excitement and ultimate disappointment of the Army football team’s double overtime loss to highly favored Michigan. Having turned against America’s forever wars and the U.S. military as an institution while I was still in it, West Point football, I’m almost ashamed to admit, is my last[Read More…]

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A new study from Brown University's Costs of War Project found that the U.S. "War on Terror" has killed half a million people in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. (Photo: Spc. Phillip McTaggart/Flickr/cc)

Could Donald Trump End the Afghan War?

Could Donald Trump end the Afghan war someday? I don’t know if such a possibility has been on your mind, but it’s certainly been on the mind of this retired U.S. Army major who fought in that land so long ago. And here’s the context in which I’ve been thinking about that very possibility. Back in the previous century, it[Read More…]

President Donald Trump meets with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Oval Office of the White House, Tuesday, March 20, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

 Key American Allies in the Middle East Are the Real Tyrants

American foreign policy can be so retro, not to mention absurd. Despite being bogged down in more military interventions than it can reasonably handle, the Trump team recently picked a new fight — in Latin America. That’s right! Uncle Sam kicked off a sequel to the Cold War with some of our southern neighbors, while resuscitating the boogeyman of socialism.[Read More…]

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Danny Sjursen, On Leaving the U.S. Army

Danny Sjursen, On Leaving the U.S. Army

 “Patriotism, in the trenches, was too remote a sentiment, and at once rejected as fit only for civilians, or prisoners.” — Robert Graves, Goodbye To All That(1929). I’m one of the lucky ones. Leaving the madness of Army life with a modest pension and all of my limbs intact feels like a genuine escape. Both the Army and I knew it was[Read More…]