23 thoughts on “America’s Disastrous 60-Year War

  1. I don’t think Iraq and Afghanistan were “wars” but battlegrounds in the war on terror. In addition, Iraq had been allowed to blatantly ignore no fly zones under Clinton that were imposed on it from the Gulf War of 1991 (I was there. We won). Vietnam was in response to communist aggression that had been building due to the cold war that was won under Reagan.

    No matter how you may feel about our involvement, there was a justifiable reason being the US or our alllies were attacked. What would you have the US do, nothing and allow communists and terrorists do as they please?

    I’m really afraid of the answer because it appears the left wing embraces socialist/communist ideals and think playing nice nice with Islamic extremists is the answer.

    In any case, what “nice” things are you doing without?


    1. “What would you have the US do…?”

      In the case of Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, Iran, Cuba, Guatemala, El Salvador, Argentina, Grenada, and most of the others, yes. Nothing. Leave people alone.

      When you say “terrorists,” I assume you mean post 9/11? I would have preferred we reevaluate our special relationship with Saudi Arabia, the country where most of the attackers and their money came from. I would not have invaded Iraq or Afghanistan, who had nothing to do with it. The Taliban offered to give up Bin Laden before the invasion. We decided we’d rather secure their mineral wealth and control opium production.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Even a liberal rag throws cold water on your claims the Taliban was ready to turn over Bin Laden. They had no intention of doing so and Bush was no dummy. Pure smoke and mirrors with their insistence on not givinghim to us but to a “third” party.
        You lost me on minerals and controlling opium production. Are you suggesting the US participates in the opium trade? Cite?


        1. Right. They wanted him to get a trial and not just disappear into a black site. Regardless, they were trying to negotiate, but we had other plans.

          Afghanistan has tremendous mineral wealth and the US and its intelligence agencies has a long history in facilitating/participating in the drug trade. Coke running was a big part of Iran-Contra, then Bush’s father (former CIA director) became president, pardoned everyone involved, and the whole thing went away.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. It’s a good way to fund groups you’d prefer not to let congress know about. It goes back to post WWII. Several journalists–Gary Webb and Alexander Cockburn, especially–have written about this. It’s a fairly well known thing. Even the DEA has at several points directly accused the CIA of being involved with trafficking.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. WTF does Joe Biden have to do with conspiracy theories of the US participating in drug trafficking to pay for “secret missions” behind Congress. Is your uber secret swoop scoop cadre of info miners responsible for that baloney ? Like I said, I don’t play conspiracy theories so that should answer your question clearly.


  2. Pretty much spot on. The MIC may not specifically demand war, but when alternatives arise in a conflict, we have folks who think bombs are better than words. The culture around the MIC is all about weapons with lip service to diplomacy. Or when you have the biggest hammer, all problems look like nails.

    WW2 was an obvious real threat. But the same industrial strength that gave us a war machine was not going away.

    To boot, we now have a professional army so foreign policy at the point of a smart bomb is sold as a palatable option. With conscription we had an argument after the Vietnam War to stay out of war since our best and brightest should not be involuntarily sacrificed for foreign policy agendas.

    One has to wonder if the MIC had more than enough influence to eliminate the draft thus eliminating the horror of drafting our young to die on some foreign field in countries most could find on a map.

    If democracies die in war, we are well on our way.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. TomDispatch is right about the damages that war and war spending produce, but the authors are wrong about the economics. They seem to think that defense contractor greed and profiteering are a form of exploitation of workers/taxpayers. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    First, having been a defense contract proposal writer/manager on scores of bid projects over several decades I can report that profit margins I saw tended to be very low, typically around 3%.

    Second, and more important, is that the real cost of defense spending is not the dollar amount, but the opportunity cost. As President Eisenhower said, you can have guns or you can have butter. The real cost of the guns is the lost opportunity of having butter.

    Note, too, that it doesn’t even matter whether you use the guns or not. Living without butter is pretty much the same during times of peace or war.

    It is important to get the economics right, because it is simply not feasible for a big, rich country like the U.S. to remain secure without a credible military defense. For us, war and peace are both expensive.


        1. “The F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter program began development in 2001 and remains DOD’s most expensive weapon system program. Currently, the program is more than 8 years delayed and $165 billion over original cost expectations.”

          And the delays keep costing more and more and more and…..


        2. Pithy, yes. Guilty. But I was just responding to the specific argument you made.

          Now I’ll be serious. Boeing, Lockheed, NG, Raytheon, et al. are all very capable companies full of talented people. There is no reason they couldn’t be contracted to design and build high-speed rail, more efficient solar panels, better building materials–things that benefit the citizens that pay their contracts. My problem isn’t with companies receiving large government contracts. The issue is that the biggest contracts go to weapons and surveillance technology–things that kill people overseas and make you and me less safe and free.

          Liked by 1 person

        3. RE: “The issue is that the biggest contracts go to weapons and surveillance technology–things that kill people overseas and make you and me less safe and free.”

          As a matter of perspective, we spend far more on Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security than we do for defense each year. I don’t like the fact my country kills a lot of people overseas, but even if we killed no one, we’d spend nearly the same to have a good military.


          1. It’s amazing how you guys demand accountability and transparency from public school budgets and see corruption behind everything, but when it comes to lining the pockets of some of the richest people in the country, “actually the profit margins aren’t even that big. We need to spend more than everyone else combined. It’s good actually.”

            You’re not fiscal conservatives. You’re old fashioned conservatives–servile to your betters and staunch defenders of the ruling class.

            Liked by 2 people

          2. Well, if you know of a way to make the military unnecessary, I’m sure many people would love to hear it.


          3. As much as I hate to say it, we have enough nukes to destroy all life on earth. Our military could take a significant haircut and we’d still be protected from invasion or whatever. I don’t really thing that’s how war works anymore anyway.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. RE: “Our military could take a significant haircut and we’d still be protected from invasion or whatever.”

            You are being vague (“significant haircut”). I would suggest to you that nuclear war may be a deterrent for nuclear war, but it is not much of a deterrent against other forms of war.

            So, where we stand is: You have no alternative to current military strategy or doctrine.

            Here is my alternative: We should adopt a policy similar to the Prime Directive of Star Trek fame. U.S. foreign policy should be rigorously non-interventionist.


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