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Articles by: William J Astore

The Ultra-Costly, Underwhelming F-35 Fighter

The Ultra-Costly, Underwhelming F-35 Fighter

How are you with numbers? I can deal with $1.5 million. I think I can even imagine $1.5 billion, a sum a thousand times greater. But how about a million times greater: $1.5 trillion? That happens to be the estimated cost of the Pentagon’s program to build, deploy, and maintain the no-longer-so-new F-35 jet fighter over its lifetime. How can any people invest so[Read More…]

Military Strength Is Our National Religion

Military Strength Is Our National Religion

  When I was a teenager in the 1970s, I looked to the heavens: to God and Christianity (as arbitrated by the Catholic Church) and to the soaring warbirds of the U.S. military, which I believed kept us safe. To my mind then, they were classic manifestations of American technological superiority over the godless Communists. With all its scandals, especially[Read More…]

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The Riptide of American Militarism 

The Riptide of American Militarism 

Put up with me for just a moment while I wax literary. It turns out that, if French novelist Marcel Proust lived today, he might have had to retitle his Remembrance of Things Past as Remembrance of Things Present, or even more sadly, Things Future. As an ex-military man who lived through part of the Cold War in uniform, let me make my point,[Read More…]

 Six Ways to Curb America’s Military Machine | William J. Astore

 Six Ways to Curb America’s Military Machine | William J. Astore

Donald Trump is a con man. Think of Trump University or a juicy Trump steak or can’t-lose casinos (that never won). But as president, one crew he hasn’t conned is the Pentagon. Quite the opposite, they’ve conned him because they’ve been at the game a lot longer and lie (in Trump-speak) in far biglier ways. People condemn President Trump for his incessant lying and his con games — and[Read More…]

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The U.S. Military’s Lost Wars

The U.S. Military’s Lost Wars

One of the finest military memoirs of any generation is Defeat Into Victory, British Field Marshal Sir William Slim’s perceptive account of World War II’s torturous Burma campaign, which ended in a resounding victory over Japan. When America’s generals write their memoirs about their never-ending war on terror, they’d do well to choose a different title: Victory Into Defeat. That would certainly be more[Read More…]

 The American Military Uncontained , Out Everywhere And Winning Nowhere 

 The American Military Uncontained , Out Everywhere And Winning Nowhere 

When it comes to the “world’s greatest military,” the news has been shocking. Two fast U.S. Navy ships colliding with slow-moving commercial vessels with tragic loss of life.  An Air Force that has been in the air continuously for years and yet doesn’t have enough pilots to fly its combat jets.  Ground troops who find themselves fighting “rebels” in Syria previously armed and trained by[Read More…]

What Does An “America-First” Foreign Policy Actually Mean? 

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. Candidate Trump vowed he’d make the U.S. military so strong[Read More…]

Too Many Generals Spoil The Democracy 

Too Many Generals Spoil The Democracy 

  America has always had a love affair with its generals. It started at the founding of the republic with George Washington and continued with (among others) Andrew Jackson, Zachary Taylor, Ulysses S. Grant, and Dwight D. Eisenhower.  These military men shared something in common: they were winning generals.  Washington in the Revolution; Jackson in the War of 1812; Taylor in the Mexican-American[Read More…]

 We Are The Empire Of U.S. Military Interventions, Alien Disaster Movies, and Star Wars

 We Are The Empire Of U.S. Military Interventions, Alien Disaster Movies, and Star Wars

Perhaps you’ve heard the expression: “We have met the enemy and he is us.” Cartoonist Walt Kelly’s famed possum, Pogo, first uttered that cry. In light of alien disaster movies like the recent sequel Independence Day: Resurgence and America’s disastrous wars of the twenty-first century, I’d like to suggest a slight change in that classic phrase: we have met the[Read More…]

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