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

Turn now to the invasion of Iraq: in May 2003, President George W. Bush cockily announced “Mission Accomplished” from the deck of an aircraft carrier, only to see victory in Baghdad degenerate into insurgency and a quagmire conflict that established conditions for the rise of the Islamic State. (Photo: DVIDSHUB/flickr/cc) Views
Monday, January 28, 2019
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...
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If you ask—and few Americans do these days—why this country’s losing wars persist, the answer should be, at least in part: because there’s no accountability. (Photo:Flickr/cc) Views
Thursday, October 25, 2018
Why American Leaders Persist in Waging Losing Wars
As America enters the 18th year of its war in Afghanistan and its 16th in Iraq, the war on terror continues in Yemen , Syria, and parts of Africa, including Libya, Niger , and Somalia . Meanwhile, the Trump administration threatens yet more war, this time with Iran . (And given these last years,...
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"When we blur sports and the military, adding corporate agendas into the mix, we're not just doing a disservice to our troops and our athletes; we’re doing a disservice to ourselves.' (Photo: Shaun King/Facebook) Views
Monday, August 20, 2018
Why Can’t We Just Play Ball?
As long as I can remember, I’ve been a sports fan. As long as I can remember, I’ve been interested in the military. Until recently, I experienced those as two separate and distinct worlds. While I was in the military -- I served for 20 years as an officer in the U.S. Air Force -- I did, of course,...
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"The United States has no real need for a new, stealthy, super-expensive, nuclear-capable, deep-penetrating strategic bomber for use against “peer” rivals China and Russia." (Photo: Department of Defense) Views
Monday, June 04, 2018
The Military-Industrial Complex Strikes (Out) Again
Did you know the U.S. Air Force is working on a new stealth bomber ? Don’t blame yourself if you didn’t, since the project is so secret that most members of Congress aren’t privy to the details. (Talk about stealthy!) Known as the B-21 Raider , after General Doolittle’s Raiders of World War II fame...
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Thursday, March 15, 2018
The Fog of America's Phony War
Overseas, the United States is engaged in real wars in which bombs are dropped, missiles are launched, and people (generally not Americans) are killed, wounded, uprooted, and displaced . Yet here at home, there’s nothing real about those wars. Here, it’s phony war all the way. In the last 17 years...
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"In our country, civilians should be in charge of the war makers, end of story." (Photo: Alejandro Alvarez/Twitter) Views
Monday, February 05, 2018
Our Enemy, Ourselves
Whether the rationale is the need to wage a war on terror involving 76 countries or renewed preparations for a struggle against peer competitors Russia and China (as Defense Secretary James Mattis suggested recently while introducing America’s new National Defense Strategy ), the U.S. military is...
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  Incessant warfare represents the end of democracy.  I didn’t say that, James Madison did. Views
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
The American Military: 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...
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Friday, July 14, 2017
Preparing for Doomsday: A Shelter-in-Place Mentality Is the New American Normal
Has there ever been a nation as dedicated to preparing for doomsday as the United States? If that’s a thought that hasn’t crossed your mind, maybe it’s because you didn’t spend part of your life inside Cheyenne Mountain. That's a tale I’ll get to soon, but first let me mention America’s “ doomsday...
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Tuesday, June 06, 2017
America’s Real Red Scare: The Slow-Motion Collapse of the American Empire
Jump into your time machine and let me transport you back to another age. It’s May 2001 and the Atlantic Monthly has just arrived in the mail. I’m tantalized by the cover article. “Russia is finished,” the magazine announces. The subtitle minces no words: “The unstoppable descent into social...
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Thursday, April 13, 2017
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...
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