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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Give Donald Trump credit. As a businessman, he’s brought into office some skills that previous presidents lacked. Take, for example, his willingness to plough staggering sums of money into five casinos destined to go bankrupt (and then Space Force, which will cost a pretty penny -- as much as failed) Strategic Defense Initiative, popularly known... Read More
Has the Arms Industry Captured Trump’s Pentagon?
The way personnel spin through Washington’s infamous revolving door between the Pentagon and the arms industry is nothing new. That door, however, is moving ever faster with the appointment of second largest contractor, as the Trump administration’s acting secretary of defense. Shanahan had previously been deputy secretary of defense, a typical position in recent years... Read More
Back in the mid-1990s, I wrote the following in my book
Militarizing the Economy in the Name of Defense
Given his erratic behavior, from daily Twitter eruptions to
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Hint: They’re Winning in Other Ways
As America enters the 18th year of its war in
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A Simple Equation Proves That the U.S. Armed Forces Have Triumphed in the War on Terror
4,000,000,029,057. Remember that number. It’s going to come up again later. But let’s begin with another number entirely: 145,000 -- as in, 145,000 uniformed soldiers striding down Washington’s
And Ten Steps to Take to Do So
However ambitious President Barack Obama's domestic plans, one unacknowledged issue has the potential to destroy any reform efforts he might launch. Think of it as the 800-pound gorilla in the American living room: our longstanding reliance on imperialism and militarism in our relations with other countries and the vast, potentially ruinous global empire of bases... Read More
Pump Up the Pentagon
Other than shouting about building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, one of Donald Trump’s most frequently proclaimed promises on the 2016 campaign trail was the launching of a
Who could forget it?
On the campaign trail in 2016, Donald Trump wasn’t shy when it came to the issue of debt. As he TomDispatch regular Stephanie Savell, co-director of the still spreading, may, when the costs finally come due, lend a hand in the bankrupting of America and leave those who don’t fit comfortably into the 1% bracket... Read More
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Today’s War-Financing Strategies Will Only Increase Inequality
In the name of the fight against terrorism, the United States is currently waging “
American Wars and Self-Decline
Think of it as the all-American version of the human comedy: a great power that eternally knows what the world needs and offers copious advice with a tone deafness that would be humorous, if it weren’t so grim. If you look, you can find examples of this just about anywhere. Here, for instance, is a... Read More
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The Gravy Train Rolls On
The Military-Industrial Complex Strikes (Out) Again
Did you know the U.S. Air Force is working on a
Remember Donald Trump’s magical grade of D+ in 2017)? Why should you, especially since that plan is now suggests that 55% of Americans think the president is not giving this country’s crumbling infrastructure appropriate attention, while only 26% think he is. There is, however, a seldom-noted exception to this growing American reality. You already know... Read More
Mark Karlin: How much money has gone to the U.S. war on terror and what has been the impact of this expenditure? Tom Engelhardt: The best figure I’ve seen on this comes from the Watson Institute’s Costs of War Project at Brown University and it’s a staggering
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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
The U.S. Military Takes Us Through the Gates of Hell
[This essay is the introduction to Tom Engelhardt’s new book,
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Sanguijuelas, Garrapatas, Piojos, Capulinas, Lampreys
A few thoughts on our disastrous trillion-dollar military: It is unnecessary. It does not defend the United States. The last time it did so was in 1945. The United States has no military enemies. No nation has anything even close to the forces necessary to invade America, and probably none the desire. A fifth of... Read More
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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
Normalizing Budgetary Bloat
Imagine for a moment a scheme in which American taxpayers were taken to the cleaners to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars and there was barely a hint of criticism or outrage. Imagine as well that the White House and a majority of the politicians in Washington, no matter the party, acquiesced in... Read More
What company gets the most money from the U.S. government? The answer: the weapons maker Lockheed Martin. As the Washington Post recently TomDispatch regular and weapons industry expert William Hartung makes clear today in a deep dive into the (ir)realities of the Pentagon budget. When it comes to the Department of Defense, though, perhaps we... Read More
Recently, the Pentagon’s top Asia official, Randall Schriver, told senators that the Afghan war would cost this country’s taxpayers
Something for Everyone (in the Military-Industrial Complex)
Think of it as the chicken-or-the-egg question for the ages: Do very real threats to the United States inadvertently benefit the military-industrial complex or does the national security state, by its very nature, conjure up inflated threats to feed that defense machine? Back in 2008, some of us placed our faith, naively enough, in the... Read More
When it comes to the art of the deal, at least where arms sales are concerned, American presidents, their administrations, and the Pentagon have long been Trumpian in nature. Their role has been to beat the drums (of war) for the major American weapons makers and it’s been a highly profitable and successful activity. In... Read More
Brought to You By the Nuclear-Industrial Complex
[This piece has been updated and adapted from William D. Hartung’s “Nuclear Politics” in
Your Tax Dollars Support Troops of Defense Contractor CEOs
Here’s a question for you: How do you spell boondoggle? The answer (in case you didn’t already know): P-e-n-t-a-g-o-n. Hawks on Capitol Hill and in the U.S. military routinely justify increases in the Defense Department's already munificent budget by arguing that yet more money is needed to “
I’m sure you’ve heard about the $65 million. Or was it $86 million? Or was it even more? You know, the funds the Pentagon sunk into that hotshot plane it was preparing for its Afghan drug interdiction program. You haven’t? Well, as Megan Rose $65 billion (yep, billion!) that went into the
Flush With Cash, Running on Empty
One of the never ending claims made by proponents of the military technical revolution is that emerging complex weapons technologies create more combat power per unit of labor — that we are substituting capital for labor and technology-intensive capital goods are the key America’s competitive advantage, given America’s high cost labor. This claim is bullshit... Read More
In the spring of 1986, Back to the Future, the Michael J Fox blockbuster featuring a time-traveling DeLorean car, was less than a year old. The Apple Macintosh, launched via a single, iconic ad directed by Ridley Blade Runner Scott, was less than two years old. Ronald Reagan, immortalized by Gore Vidal as "the acting... Read More
My Safety ‘Tis of Thee, Sweet Land of Security
From the time I was little, I went to the movies. They were
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
It’s no news (and in fact rarely makes it off the inside pages of our newspapers) that the U.S. dominates -- one might almost say monopolizes -- the global arms market. In 2011, the last year for which figures are available, U.S. weapons makers tripled their sales to
This may be a propitious moment to offer an up-to-date version of a classic riddle: Which came first, the chicken or the terrorist? For many in this country, the Kenyan mall horror arrived out of the blue, out of nowhere, out of a place and a time without context. Next thing you know, it’s all... Read More
How the Pentagon Is Using Your Tax Dollars to Turn Italy into a Launching Pad for the Wars of Today and Tomorrow
The Pentagon has spent the last two decades plowing hundreds of millions of tax dollars into military bases in Italy, turning the country into an increasingly important center for U.S. military power. Especially since the start of the Global War on Terror in 2001, the military has been shifting its European center of gravity south... Read More
Of Oodle-oops and Error
I recently found in The American Conservative
An Inside Look at the Defense Industry
In early 2035, the thirty-fourth year of the war against Al Qaeda, the Pentagon issued a White Paper saying that the F22 Raptor, the front-line fighter plane of the United States, was nearing the end of its useful life and needed to be replaced. Not everyone agreed. Various budget-cutting organizations argued that the Raptor had... Read More
In the preface to his 1974 classic,
Re-Purposing America's War Machine
A trillion dollars. It's a lot of money. In a year it could send 127 million college students to school, provide health insurance for 206 million people, or pay the salaries of seven million schoolteachers and seven million police officers. A trillion dollars could do a lot of good. It could transform or save a... Read More
NEW YORK – In the colorful, pithy Scottish language, there’s a delightful expression, “greet an’ gurn.” Which means to loudly moan and groan. That’s what’s happened this week across the United States as the fiscal Ides of March grow close. On March 1, unless Congress and the White House come to an agreement on cutting... Read More
Journalism Explained
I want my money back.I recently bought The Complex, by Nick Turse. It purports to deal with the militarization of American society, its economy, education, and so on. I can think of no more important topic. The militarization is happening. Huge sums go for weapons we don’t need to fight enemies we don’t have. Much... Read More
A Call to Democrats
The United States Military is the greatest destabilizing force in the world today. With over 700 bases in over 130 countries its tentacles extend to every corner of the earth. In its current incarnation, under the rubric of the war on terror, the military is being employed for the sole purpose of securing the world's... Read More