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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Tuesday, February 28, 2017
In Afghanistan, America's Biggest Foe Is Self-Deception
America’s war in Afghanistan is now in its 16th year, the longest foreign war in our history. The phrase “no end in sight” barely covers the situation. Prospects of victory -- if victory is defined as eliminating that country as a haven for Islamist terrorists while creating a representative...
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Thursday, January 26, 2017
A Violent Cesspool of Our Own Making: The Dark [K]night of Donald Trump
I came of age during America's Cold War with the Soviet Union, witnessing its denouement while serving in the U.S. military. In those days, the USSR led the world's weapons trade, providing arms to the Warsaw Pact (the military alliance it dominated) as well as to client states like Cuba, Egypt,...
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Tuesday, December 20, 2016
All the President's Generals
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...
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Friday, August 12, 2016
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
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
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 04, 2016
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
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
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
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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