The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
Show by  
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>
 BlogviewPhilip Giraldi Archive
/
American Military

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
AgreeDisagreeLOLTroll
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used once per hour.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
bombing-iran
Fake news about a terrorist connection could serve as a pretext for war
Observers of developments in the Middle East have long taken it as a given that the United States and Israel are seeking for an excuse to attack Iran. The recently terminated conference in Warsaw had that objective, which was clearly expressed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but it failed to rally European and Middle... Read More
The humiliation of United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Warsaw last week was a good thing. The ancient Greeks, exercising their demonstrated ability to synthesize defining characteristics, had a word for it: hubris. Hubris is when one develops an extreme and unreasonable feeling of confidence in a certain course of action that inevitably... Read More
America Is Ready for a Genuine Peace Candidate
https://www.strategic-culture.org/images/news/2019/02/14/or-42231.jpg The lineup of Democrats who have already declared themselves as candidates for their party’s presidential nomination in 2020 is remarkable, if only for the fact that so many wannabes have thrown their hats in the ring so early in the process. In terms of electability, however, one might well call the seekers after the... Read More
The neocon metamorphosis is nearly complete as many of the neocons, who started out as Democrats, have returned home,...
The Roman poet Ovid’s masterful epic The Metamorphoses includes the memorable opening line regarding the poem’s central theme of transformation. He wrote In nova fert animus mutatas dicere formas corpora, which has been translated as “Of shapes transformed to bodies strange, I purpose to entreat…” Ovid framed his narrative around gods, heroes and quasi-historical events... Read More
mission-accomplished
Is it for real or more bait and switch?
Never before has any presidential administration been as all over the place in terms of national security and foreign policy as is that of Donald J. Trump. Indeed, one might well argue that there is no overriding policy at all in terms of a rational doctrine arrived at through risk versus gain analysis of developing... Read More
christmas-in-syria
A Christmas present for the American and Syrian people
President Donald Trump’s order to withdraw from Syria has been greeted, predictably, with an avalanche of condemnation culminating in last Thursday’s resignation by Defense Secretary James Mattis. The Mattis resignation letter focused on the betrayal of allies, though it was inevitably light on details, suggesting that the Marine Corps General was having some difficulty in... Read More
peaceable-kingdom
Why can't we just leave everyone alone?
President Donald Trump’s recent statement on the Jamal Khashoggi killing by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince might well be considered a metaphor for his foreign policy. Several commentators have suggested that the text appears to be something that Trump wrote himself without any adult supervision, similar to the poorly expressed random arguments presented in his tweeting... Read More
hodges
Fighting Russia, China and al-Qaeda simultaneously requires more money
Some believe that the Cold War ended in 1991, when the Soviet Union fell apart. In retrospect, many observers also believe that a golden opportunity was missed to heal the wounds inflicted by over 45 years to hostility between the Washington and Moscow. Rather than encouraging development of a Russia that would adhere to Western... Read More
liberty-leading-the-people
Time for the sans-culottes to rise up against Washington's insanity
On October 21st there will be a Women's March on the Pentagon hosted by the Global Women’s Peace Action. My wife and many of our friends will be going and even I will tag along in support in spite of my gender. We participate with some reservations as we have only demonstrated publicly twice since... Read More
doomsday-clock
Last week Washington threatened Iran, Syria, China, Venezuela and Russia
The nuclear war doomsday clock maintained on the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists website has advanced to two minutes before midnight, the closest point to possible atomic apocalypse since the end of the Cold War. In 1995 the clock was at fourteen minutes to midnight, but the opportunity to set it back even further was lost... Read More
syrian-army
Will a new war be the October Surprise?
It’s official. The Syrian Army assisted by Russian air support is closing in on the last major pocket of terrorists remaining in the country in the province of Idlib near Aleppo. The United States, which has trained and armed some of the trapped gunmen and even as recently as a year ago described the province... Read More
There has been a dramatic shift in how the United States government carries out its business internationally. Admittedly, Washington has had a tendency to employ force to get what it has wanted ever since 9/11, but it also sometimes recognized that other countries had legitimate interests and accepted there was a place for diplomacy to... Read More
star-trek-2
Beam me up, Scotty!
I thought that perhaps I had tuned into John Oliver or to Saturday Night Live in error, but no doubt about it, there was an unmistakable President Donald Trump speaking before an audience at the National Space Council. He was saying that on his own presidential authority "I'm hereby directing the Department of Defense and... Read More
trump-and-kim
Who is he and what does he want to do?
I had coffee with a foreign friend a week ago. The subject of Donald Trump inevitably came up and my friend said that he was torn between describing Trump as a genius or as an idiot, but was inclined to lean towards genius. He explained that Trump was willy-nilly establishing a new world order that... Read More
joint-chiefs
Pay and benefits are out of control
America’s Republican politicians complain that “entitlements,” by which they mean pensions and medical care, are leading the country to bankruptcy even as they fatten the spending on the Pentagon, which now takes 12 percent of the overall budget. And it should be noted that while workers contribute to the social programs during all their years... Read More
u-s-vice-president-mike-pence-shakes-hands-with-israeli-prime-minister-benjamin-netanyahu-during-a-meeting-at-the-prime-ministers-office-in-jerusalem
True believer Mike Pence could be a whole lot worse
When President Donald Trump traveled to Davos last week, the second foreign head of government he met with was Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu. When the expected groveling before Bibi was concluded the rest of the world learned that Trump is right on board the Netanyahu bandwagon when it comes to making sure that the Palestinians somehow... Read More
trump-national-security-speech
Proliferating enemies with no end in sight
The end of the year is full of goodies. I watched with glee the 128 to 9 vote at the United Nations condemning the Trump Administration decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and was even more amused when the Associated Press and the New York Post tried to twist the story into a... Read More
austere-challenge-2012
How the United States military has become Zionized
There has been a report that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is looking into foreign lobbying in Washington while another story relates how his team is investigating the alleged contact of a Donald Trump associate with a Hungarian. Both are part of the ongoing investigation into Russiagate. Unless I am wrong, which happens occasionally, Hungary is... Read More
isis-convoy
Did the US allow ISIS to escape to keep the fighting going?
Americans have been living in a country that has not known peace since 9/11, when President George W. Bush and his posse of neoconservatives delivered the message to the world that “you are either with us or against us.” The threat was coupled with flurry of hastily conceived legislation that opened the door to the... Read More
interceptor
Missile defense might be a lie
Sometimes it is possible to read or view something that completely changes the way one looks at things. I had that experience last week when I read an article at Lobelog entitled “A Plea for Common Sense on Missile Defense,” written by Joe Cirincione, a former staffer on the House Armed Services Committee who now... Read More
Scott Horton's Afghanistan primer will impress both casual readers and experts
I was one of the first American officials to arrive in Kabul at the end of 2001. The war that seemed to be ending back then is currently in its 16th year with no end in sight, and for those of us who were there at the beginning it now sometimes seems like it was... Read More
Trump's anti-war promises were just glib campaign rhetoric
Something peculiar happens to American presidents after they take office on January 20. Campaign promises to right the easily perceived misdirections in foreign policy are abandoned, and the new program for dealing with the rest of the world winds up looking very much like the old one. Bill Clinton was an anti-Vietnam War draft dodger... Read More
chicken-hawk
More chickenhawks on parade for war with Russia
The latest Democratic Party shill to demonize Russia is, I am ashamed to say, my state of Virginia’s Senator Mark Warner, who, on Thursday said “Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a deliberate campaign carefully constructed to undermine our election.” Last Thursday, Warner was the top Democrat on a Senate Intelligence Committee panel investigating Moscow’s alleged... Read More
american-war-on-terror
Anyway you look at it, it's a failure
The twenty-first century, at least up until this point, might well be described as the age of the terrorist. Even though most Americans and Europeans rank terrorism as low among their concerns, the repercussions when a terrorist attack does take place are greatly magnified by the sheer horror associated with the mass killing of innocent... Read More
obama-running-2
Lots of talk, not much to show
In between nearly daily campaign stops shilling for Hillary, President Barack Obama has been promoting his record as Head of State. To Obama’s credit, he talks nice and appears to be both thoughtful and rational, qualities that were not always evident in his predecessor in office. But the hype about what was achieved in his... Read More
Voters should wake up to the issue of war versus peace
The relentless drumbeat against Donald Trump continues. The Washington Post on October 14 endorsed Hillary Clinton for president while also including in the print edition nine articles, three op-eds, and three letters blasting the GOP candidate, including pieces in the Style and Metro sections of the paper. On the following day there were five articles,... Read More
cabal
One explanation why U.S. policies serve no national interests
On September 9th the Washington Post featured a front page article describing how the Defense Department had used warplanes to attack targets and kill suspected militants in six countries over the Labor Day weekend. The article was celebratory, citing Pentagon officials who boasted of the ability to engage “multiple targets” anywhere in the world in... Read More
hillary-flags
America the inexorable
I had the misfortune of watching a recent episode of Real Time with Bill Maher. For those who are not familiar with the show, it is an HBO weekly one hour long feeding frenzy consisting of a series of rapid fire overwhelmingly progressive half-truths cheered relentlessly by a select audience that is constantly engaged in... Read More
u-s-secretary-of-defense-carter-and-chairman-of-the-joint-chiefs-of-staff-general-dempsey-testify-during-a-senate-armed-services-committee-hearing-on-capitol-hill-in-washington
Washington finds enemies everywhere
Secretary of War Ash Carter is concerned about America’s posture. No, it’s not about sitting with your back straight up and your knees placed primly together. It all has to do with how many enemies there are out there threatening the United States and what we have to do, globally speaking, to make them cry... Read More
The White House emphasis on humanitarianism may be turning some military leaders against Obama
Earlier this year, Seymour Hersh, America’s leading investigative journalist, published an intriguing article on U.S. policy towards the growing conflict in Syria and Iraq. “Military to Military,” which appeared in the London Review of Books, maintains that the Pentagon’s intelligence analysts have, since 2013, been advising against the White House policy of removing Syrian President... Read More
Should NSA listen in when a foreign government seeks to shape America's foreign policy?
The Wall Street Journal story revealing that the Barack Obama administration used the National Security Agency (NSA) to listen to phone calls made by the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his aides is being spun in a number of different directions depending on one’s political proclivities. Sen. Rand Paul told Fox News that he... Read More
Nearly everyone claims to want to do something about ISIS, but nothing ever happens. In reality, the only powers directly affected by ISIS that are willing to fight are Iran and Syria, with a little help from Lebanon’s Hezbollah. Pessimistic intelligence assessments prepared for the Pentagon warn that there are multiple agendas being pursued by... Read More
Can the U.S. resist the siren call of easy satellite intercepts as it tries to rebuilt its human intelligence against ISIS?
After his confirmation hearing in 2013, CIA Director John Brennan and other senior managers explained that the Agency would be seeking to enhance its ability to spy using human agents. It was an admission that to a large extent the United States intelligence community had forgotten how to engage in what was once a core... Read More
The reckless use of a charity to sneak spy equipment into North Korea will endanger Christians across the world
Was a Christian non-governmental organization funded by the Pentagon used to smuggle spy equipment into North Korea? Investigative journalist Matthew Cole of the The Intercept has done yeoman’s work in ferreting out the details of what must surely be one of the most ill-conceived military intelligence operations of all time, and that is saying quite... Read More
shutterstock_2103533
How Hollywood has changed our perception of war
Memorial Day used to be a somber occasion, dedicated to reflection and remembrance of those killed in America’s wars. Today it is instead a celebration of ongoing wars, a long shopping weekend and the unofficial start of summer. Part of the problem with America’s shifting perception of the price to be paid when one goes... Read More
shutterstock_184208579
America's soldiers have become too expensive to use
During the Second World War there was a tongue in cheek song about the benefits of joining the army. It promised “twenty-one dollars a day once a month.” Back when I found myself in basic training at Fort Leonard Wood in 1968 the refrain was largely the same but my recollection is that we were... Read More
shutterstock_97488068
As Those Who Will Not See
My wife and I had a number of visitors over the holidays, including several foreign friends from our time spent in Europe and the Middle East. Both the Americans and the visitors from overseas eventually came around to wanting to discuss how deformed United States foreign policy has become, noting generally that the elite that... Read More
shutterstock_110179493-2
You'll be dead before you know it
If you read a major newspaper on a regular basis you will no doubt have seen the full page ads placed by defense contractors. The ads generally are anodyne, featuring ubiquitous flags and eagles while praising America’s soldiers and war fighting capabilities, sometimes to include a description of a new weapon or weapons system. That... Read More
Every year, congressional delegations and government officials rack up millions of dollars worth of publicly funded...
Running an empire is not cheap. The revelation that Navy Secretary Ray Mabus has run up $4.7 million in travel expenses, over 930,000 miles, and a total of 373 days on the road in his five years in office should not surprise anyone, until one realizes that the numbers conceal as much as they reveal.... Read More
shadow-government
Tom Engelhardt's New Book Tells All!
I have just finished reading Tom Engelhardt’s latest book Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World. I will be completely frank – it is a book I would have liked to have written myself. Indeed, I did try to write something like it a couple of years back... Read More
Pierdelune / Shutterstock.com
A Long Tradition of Those Who Walk Away From War
The United States military should consider itself lucky that it only has Bowe Bergdahl. During the Vietnam War nearly 420,000 soldiers deserted, which means that they left their posts without any intent to return or failed to show up for deployment. Those who were gone for more than a month were administratively categorized as having... Read More
shutterstock_147465788
Bergdahl Must Be Treated Fairly
A fighting force is tied together by the bonds of comradeship and loyalty among the individual soldiers. Elite military units have translated this sense of brotherhood into “leave no man behind, living or dead” a concept that is as old as the ancient Greeks and Romans. The Greeks assiduously collected the fallen to give them... Read More
Religious zealotry runs rampant in the U.S. military, and among those wishing to deploy it
The connection between America’s wars in the Middle East—and its wars more generally—with the more fundamentalist forms of Christianity in the United States is striking. Opinion polls suggest that the more religiously conservative one is, the more one will support overseas wars or even what many might describe as war crimes. Fully 60 percent of... Read More
shutterstock_163493735
America's "civic religion" forgets the soldiers in its celebrations.
The American public’s apparent compulsion to demonstrate “support for our troops” in ways that are emotionally satisfying but ultimately meaningless has been described by Andrew Bacevich as the central tenet of our nation’s “civic religion.” It has rightly been noted that the best way to support soldiers, sailors, and Marines would be to bring them... Read More
From bribery to bigamy, war's corruption infects the Army's top echelons.
Two recent disciplinary actions involving U.S. Army generals suggest the extent to which the senior command structure has been compromised by the widespread corruption that has been clearly visible in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) is still in operation to oversee the much scaled-down assistance that... Read More
I don’t know if anyone pays attention to the ads that play during football games, but the latest Marine Corps effort, "Toward the Sounds of Chaos," is truly priceless. It is made to look like a video game, showing armored amphibious assault vehicles roaring up a beachhead surrounded by running riflemen in full battle gear... Read More
I learned something interesting while recently attending the retirement ceremony of an Army officer who is a friend of mine. In today’s volunteer force of professional soldiers someone is discharged on the day they actually leave the service. Back in my time during the Vietnam War, one left the army 48 to 72 hours before... Read More
In some countries the military is a respected institution because it is viewed as less corrupt than the corresponding civilian governments. The United States, which is now completing an eleventh consecutive year of soldier worship, has a somewhat different take on men and women in uniform. The pervasive corruption in America’s public life, to include... Read More
Philip Giraldi
About Philip Giraldi

Phil Giraldi is a former CIA Case Officer and Army Intelligence Officer who spent twenty years overseas in Europe and the Middle East working terrorism cases. He holds a BA with honors from the University of Chicago and an MA and PhD in Modern History from the University of London. In addition to TAC, where he has been a contributing editor for nine years, he writes regularly for Antiwar.com. He is currently Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest and resides with his wife of 32 years in Virginia horse country close to his daughters and grandchildren.


Personal Classics
A Modern Guernica Enabled by Washington
Pressuring Candidates Even Before They Are Nominated
But is it even a friend?
The gagged whistleblower goes on the record.
Today’s CIA serves contractors and bureaucrats—not the nation.
Pay no mind to the Mossad agent on the line.