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 Hartung Archive

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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
Militarizing the Economy in the Name of Defense
Given his erratic behavior, from daily Twitter eruptions to
Smoke and Mirrors or a Step Towards War in Space?
On June 18th, President Trump
The NRA and the Gun Industry in the Global Stratosphere
American weapons makers have dominated the global arms trade for decades. In any given year, they’ve accounted for somewhere between
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
How the Saudis Took Donald Trump for a Ride
It’s another Trump affair -- this time without the allegations of sexual harassment (and worse), the charges and counter-charges, the lawsuits, and all the rest. So it hasn’t gotten the sort of headlines that Stormy Daniels has garnered, but when it comes to influence, American foreign policy, and issues of peace and war, it couldn’t... Read More
Donald Trump and the Art of the Arms Deal
It’s one of those stories of the century that somehow never gets treated that way. For an astounding 25 of the past 26 years, the United States has been the
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
Another Good Year for Weapons Makers Is Guaranteed
As Donald Trump might put it, major weapons contractors like Boeing, Raytheon, and Lockheed Martin cashed in “
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 “
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Ten Ways Your Tax Dollars Pay for War -- Past, Present, and Future
You wouldn’t know it, based on the endless cries for more money coming from the
The Saudi Regime Is Playing Donald Trump With Potentially Disastrous Consequences
At this point, it’s no great surprise when Donald Trump walks away from past statements in service to some impulse of the moment. Nowhere, however, has such a shift been more extreme or its potential consequences more dangerous than in his sudden love affair with the Saudi royal family. It could in the end destabilize... Read More
Never Has a Society Spent More for Less
When Donald Trump wanted to “do something” about the use of chemical weapons on civilians in Syria, he had the U.S. Navy lob 59 cruise missiles at a Syrian airfield (
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Could War With Iran Be on Washington’s Agenda?
In the splurge of “news,” media-bashing, and Bannonism that’s been Donald Trump’s domestic version of a shock-and-awe campaign, it’s easy to forget just how much of what the new president and his administration have done so far is simply an intensification of trends long underway. Those who already pine for the age of Obama --... Read More
Trump’s Vision of a Militarized America
At
Is a Trump Presidency Good News for the Military-Industrial Complex?
As with so much of what Donald Trump has said in recent months, his positions on Pentagon spending are, to be polite, a bundle of contradictions. Early signs suggest, however, that those contradictions are likely to resolve themselves in favor of the usual suspects: the arms industry and its various supporters and hangers-on in the... Read More
Why Is It So Hard to Reduce the Pentagon Budget?
Through good times and bad, regardless of what’s actually happening in the world, one thing is certain: in the long run, the Pentagon budget won’t go down. It’s not that that budget has never been reduced. At pivotal moments, like the end of World War II as well as war's end in Korea and Vietnam,... Read More
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Weapons “R” Us (But You’d Never Know It)
When American firms dominate a global market worth more than
Slush Funds, Smoke and Mirrors, and Funny Money Equal Weapons Systems Galore
Now you see it, now you don’t. Think of it as the Department of Defense’s version of the street con game, three-card monte, or maybe simply as the Pentagon shuffle. In any case, the Pentagon’s budget is as close to a work of art as you’re likely to find in the U.S. government -- if,... Read More
Five Decades Later, the Military Waste Machine Is Running Full Speed Ahead
From
The Madness of Funding the Pentagon to “Cover the Globe”
President Obama and Senator John McCain, who have clashed on almost every conceivable issue, do agree on one thing: the Pentagon needs more money. Obama wants to