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, 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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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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