William Astore

William J. Astore, a retired lieutenant colonel (USAF) and professor of history, is a TomDispatch regular.  He welcomes reader comments at wjastore@gmail.com. To listen to Timothy MacBain's latest TomCast audio interview in which Astore discusses the difficulty of speaking one’s mind in the military, click here, or download it to your iPod here.

 

Articles by this author

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Friday, August 12, 2016 - 9:45am
Our Greatest National Security Threat? Perpetual War
The United States is now engaged in perpetual war with victory nowhere in sight. Iraq is chaotic and scarred . So, too, is Libya . Syria barely exists. After 15 years, “progress” in Afghanistan has proven eminently reversible as efforts to rollback recent Taliban gains continue to falter. The...
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Tuesday, July 12, 2016 - 1:45pm
We Are The Empire
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...
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Tuesday, June 21, 2016 - 10:15am
Dominating the Skies – and Losing the Wars
In the era of the long war on terror, Thursday, June 2nd, 2016, was a tough day for the U.S. military. Two modern jet fighters, a Navy F-18 Hornet and an Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon , flown by two of America’s most capable pilots, went down, with one pilot killed . In a war that has featured...
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Saturday, June 4, 2016 - 11:15am
Hillary Clinton’s Flat and Misleading Foreign Policy Speech
On Thursday, Hillary Clinton gave a foreign policy speech in San Diego that was notably flat and misleading. It’s been getting decent reviews in the mainstream media for the zingers she tossed at Donald Trump. But when you listen to the speech (you can watch it here ) and think about it, you...
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Thursday, April 14, 2016 - 3:45pm
What's the Meaning of American Failure?
The dishonesty of words illustrates the dishonesty of America’s wars. Since 9/11, can there be any doubt that the public has become numb to the euphemisms that regularly accompany U.S. troops, drones, and CIA operatives into Washington’s imperial conflicts across the Greater Middle East and Africa...
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Tuesday, March 22, 2016 - 5:00pm
America's Post-Democratic Military
In the decades since the draft ended in 1973, a strange new military has emerged in the United States. Think of it, if you will, as a post-democratic force that prides itself on its warrior ethos rather than the old-fashioned citizen-soldier ideal. As such, it’s a military increasingly divorced...
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Thursday, February 11, 2016 - 11:15am
Imperial Affluenza: The Pentagon as the World's Deadliest Spoiled Brat
The word “ affluenza ” is much in vogue. Lately, it’s been linked to a Texas teenager, Ethan Couch , who in 2013 killed four people in a car accident while driving drunk. During the trial, a defense witness argued that Couch should not be held responsible for his destructive acts. His parents had...
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Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 12:30pm
Tourists of Empire: America’s Peculiar Brand of Global Imperialism
The United States is a peculiar sort of empire. As a start, Americans have been in what might be called imperial denial since the Spanish-American War of 1898, if not before. Empire -- us? We denied its existence even while our soldiers were administering “ water cures ” (aka waterboarding) to...
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Thursday, September 3, 2015 - 7:30am
Training Wheels: The Fatal Flaw in U.S. Foreign Policy
You read it here first: the fatal flaw in U.S. foreign policy is training wheels . Yes, those supplemental wheels you add to your child's bike when she's first trying to learn how to balance herself as she pedals. How so? Listen closely to America's leaders as they talk about helping Iraqis,...
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Tuesday, August 18, 2015 - 2:15pm
Time to Hold Military Boots to the Fire: On 70 Years of Military Mediocrity
Thomas Jefferson Hall , West Point’s library and learning center, prominently features two quotations for cadets to mull over. In the first, Jefferson writes George Washington in 1788: “The power of making war often prevents it, and in our case would give efficacy to our desire of peace.” In the...
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