The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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 William J. Astore Archive

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America's Senior Generals Find No Exits From Endless War
“Veni, Vidi, Vici,” boasted Julius Caesar, one of history’s great military captains. “I came, I saw, I conquered.” Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton echoed that famed saying when summing up the Obama administration’s military intervention in Libya in 2011 -- with a small alteration. “We came, we saw, he died,” she lasting victory. “Failure is... Read More
Overfunded, Overhyped, and Always Over There
One of the finest military memoirs of any generation is Defeat Into Victory, British Field Marshal 12 Strong, a Hollywood film with a cavalry charge that echoed the best of John Wayne. That victory, however, quickly turned first into quagmire and then, despite various “surges” and a seemingly endless series of U.S. commanders (influence over... Read More
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Hint: They’re Winning in Other Ways
As America enters the 18th year of its war in
The Militarization of Sports and the Redefinition of Patriotism
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 --... Read More
The Military-Industrial Complex Strikes (Out) Again
Did you know the U.S. Air Force is working on a
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Blitzkrieg Overseas, Sitzkrieg in the Homeland
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
Ten Commonsense Suggestions for Making Peace, Not War
Whether the rationale is the need to wage a war on terror
Out Everywhere and Winning Nowhere
When it comes to the “
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 “
The Slow-Motion Collapse of the American Empire
Jump into your time machine and let me transport you back to another age. It’s
Putting the U.S. Military First, Second, and Third
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 doomsday machine. Candidate Trump vowed he’d make the... Read More
Thrashing About in the Afghan Petri Dish
America’s war in Afghanistan is now in its 16th year, the
Weapons, Warriors, and Fear as the New Order in America
I came of age during
Trump’s Push to “Win” with Warriors is a Loss for America
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,
Freeing Democracy from Perpetual War
The United States is now engaged in perpetual war with victory nowhere in sight. Iraq is chaotic and
Of U.S. Military Interventions, Alien Disaster Movies, and Star Wars
Perhaps you’ve heard the
Air Supremacy Isn’t What It Used to Be
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
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A Dictionary of Euphemisms for Imperial Decline
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
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A Military Leviathan Has Emerged as America’s 51st and Most Powerful State
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
Showering the Pentagon with Money and Praise
The word “
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America’s Peculiar Brand of Global Imperialism
The United States is a peculiar sort of empire. As a start, Americans have been in what might be called imperial denial since the Spanish-American War of 1898, if not before. Empire -- us? We denied its existence even while our soldiers were administering “
The Shared Failings of America’s Military Academies and Senior Officers
Poverty, Drugs, Afghanistan, Iraq, Terror, or How to Make War on Everything
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Chaos Spread, Casualties Inflicted, Missions Unaccomplished
It’s 1990. I’m a young captain in the U.S. Air Force. I’ve just witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall, something I never thought I’d see, short of a third world war. Right now I’m witnessing the slow death of the Soviet Union, without the accompanying nuclear Armageddon so many feared. Still, I’m slightly nervous... Read More
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Seven Deadly Reasons Why America’s Wars Persist
It was launched immediately after the 9/11 attacks, when I was still in the military, and almost immediately became known as the Global War on Terror, or GWOT. Pentagon insiders called it “
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Why American Efforts to Create Foreign Armies Fail
In June, tens of thousands of Iraqi Security Forces in Nineveh province north of Baghdad collapsed in the face of attacks from the militants of the Islamic State (IS or ISIS), abandoning
Why You Should Expect More Bombs to be Dropped Everywhere
When you do something again and again, placing great faith in it, investing enormous amounts of money in it, only to see indifferent or even negative results, you wouldn’t be entirely surprised if a neutral observer questioned your sanity or asked you if you were part of some cult. Yet few Americans question the sanity... Read More
The Militarized Realities of Fortress America
I spent four college years in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) and then served 20 years in the U.S. Air Force. In the military, especially in basic training, you have no privacy. The government owns you. You’re “government issue,” just another G.I., a number on a dogtag that has your blood type and religion... Read More
Disaster Capitalism on the Battlefield and in the Boardroom
There is a new normal in America: our government may shut down, but our wars continue. Congress may not be able to pass a budget, but the U.S. military can still launch commando raids in Libya and Somalia, the Afghan War can still be