William Astore

William Astore

William J. Astore is a retired lieutenant colonel (USAF), who has taught at the Air Force Academy and the Naval Postgraduate School, and now teaches History at the Pennsylvania College of Technology. He welcomes reader comments at wjastore@gmail.com.

Articles by this author

During the COVID-19 coronavirus emergency, tourists on the quay of the port of Naples are checked with a thermo scanner by Civil Protection personnel, dressed in overalls and masks to protect themselves. (Photo: Marco Cantile/LightRocket via Getty Images) Views
Tuesday, March 31, 2020
What My Father Taught Me About Living Through Coronavirus Hard Times
My dad was born in 1917. Somehow, he survived the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918-1919, but an outbreak of whooping cough in 1923 claimed his baby sister, Clementina. One of my dad’s first memories was seeing his sister’s tiny white casket. Another sister was permanently marked by scarlet fever. In...
Read more
Most of the time, those overseas conflicts are literally out of sight (and largely out of mind). (Photo:Reuters) Views
Tuesday, February 25, 2020
America’s Endless Wars Persist Because They Don’t Exist (For Americans)
There is no significant anti-war movement in America because there’s no war to protest. Let me explain. In February 2003, millions of people took to the streets around the world to protest America’s march to war against Iraq. That mass movement failed. The administration of George W. Bush and Dick...
Read more
The U.S., after all, hasn’t won a major conflict since World War II, when it was aided by a grand alliance that included Soviet dictator Josef Stalin’s godless communists. (Photo by Aurora Samperio/NurPhoto via Getty Images) Views
Tuesday, February 04, 2020
The Art of the Deal, Pentagon-Style
The expression " self-licking ice cream cone " was first used in 1992 to describe a hidebound bureaucracy at NASA . Yet, as an image, it’s even more apt for America’s military-industrial complex, an institution far vaster than NASA and thoroughly dedicated to working for its own perpetuation and...
Read more
"For a select few, war pays dividends in ways that peace doesn't," writes Astore. "In a nutshell, or perhaps an artillery shell, war is anti-democratic, anti-progressive, anti-intellectual, and anti-human." (Photo: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images) Views
Monday, December 02, 2019
American Exceptionalism Is Killing Planet Earth
Ever since 2007, when I first started writing for TomDispatch , I’ve been arguing against America’s forever wars, whether in Afghanistan , Iraq , or elsewhere . Unfortunately, it’s no surprise that, despite my more than 60 articles, American blood is still being spilled in war after war across the...
Read more
A state of permanent war is considered America’s new normal. (Photo: U.S. Army Photo by John Pellino/flickr) Views
Thursday, October 24, 2019
Killing Me Softly With Militarism
When Americans think of militarism , they may imagine jackbooted soldiers goose-stepping through the streets as flag-waving crowds exult; or, like our president , they may think of enormous parades featuring troops and missiles and tanks, with warplanes soaring overhead. Or nationalist dictators...
Read more
The F-35 isn't simply a product of the naked greed and power of the military-industrial-congressional complex. In a strange way, it also reflects the ongoing love affair Americans have had with weaponry of every sort. It's about, you might say, the 1.5 trillion ways we worship warplanes and everything they mean to us. (Photo: Forsvarsdepartementet/flickr/cc) Views
Monday, September 16, 2019
The Ultra-Costly, Underwhelming F-35 Fighter: A Wasteful Weapon for America's Forever Wars
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...
Read more
Views
Tuesday, August 13, 2019
In Wars and Weapons We Trust: Military Strength Is America's 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...
Read more
Nineteen years into a new century, with its forever wars on terror still ongoing across startlingly large stretches of the planet, the U.S. military is now turning as well to preparations for future wars with its so-called peer competitors (China and Russia). (Photo: DVIDSHUB/flickr/cc) Views
Tuesday, July 09, 2019
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...
Read more
Views
Tuesday, June 04, 2019
The American Cult of Bombing and Endless War
From Syria to Yemen in the Middle East, Libya to Somalia in Africa, Afghanistan to Pakistan in South Asia, an American aerial curtain has descended across a huge swath of the planet. Its stated purpose: combatting terrorism. Its primary method: constant surveillance and bombing -- and yet more...
Read more
Views
Tuesday, April 30, 2019
How the Pentagon Took Ownership of Con Man Donald Trump
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...
Read more

Pages