Five thoughts about the war in Ukraine, on the fifth day

Five thoughts about the war in Ukraine, on the fifth day 1. When Vladimir Putin continually insisted in public that Russians and Ukrainians are one people, he might not have considered whether this would seriously damage the morale and motivation of Russian soldiers when they are told to kill Ukrainians. 2. Grandmas heading out to … Read more

Civilian War Casualties Day

Civilian War Casualties Day This is a call for an informal Civilian War Casualties Day. A call to you to help a community group acknowledge once a year the suffering caused, intentionally or coincidentally, to civilians by war and terrorism. Are there many civilian war casualties? The ratio of civilian war deaths to combatants’ deaths … Read more

Review: Nothing But the Clouds Unchanged

Review: Nothing But the Clouds Unchanged This companion book to the excellent 2015 Getty Center exhibition of WWI art gathers 14 essays about 14 artists by 14 art historians. Their commentaries are uniformly excellent in their balancing biography, culture, and brief analyses of or observations about individual works. The book demonstrates that artists respond in … Read more

Kevin Perrin’s “The Shir Khan Bandar Bridge”

Kevin Perrin’s “The Shir Khan Bandar Bridge” blog post seems to me to have the potential to be one of those modest but telling anecdotes that succinctly illuminate the American military experience in Afghanistan, richer in specifics than a parable, but still lean and uncluttered. Kevin Perrin was in Afghanistan 2005-2006 as a U.S. Army … Read more

Marco Rubio’s lunatic notion of war

Thank goodness presidents seldom get to put into effect all of their bold, insincere, and self-serving campaign promises. And thank goodness Sen. Marco Rubio is unlikely to ever be president. But if you like cool wars and exciting international crises, and if you wish we would spend lots more on the military than either political … Read more

The 40th Anniversary of the Fall of Saigon

On April 30, 2015, the fortieth anniversary of the fall of Saigon, Robert F. Turner published an op ed piece in The Wall Street Journal that purports to dispel myths about the war, but instead perpetuates myths, ignores quite a bit of history, and endorses a relatively recent claim that the Vietnam War was not … Read more

No good will come of this: Obama’s speech on Islamic State

President Obama has promised air attacks in Syria, and increased air attacks in Iraq. He sounded disturbingly like President Bush in his September 10th national address, optimistically announcing deeper American involvement in the chaos of Iraq and Syria. “We will degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL” Degrade, sure. Destroy one organization whose name will probably change … Read more

No, Brian M. Welke, the Iraq War was not “worth it.”

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece, an Iraq War veteran tells readers the answer he gives to people who ask whether that war “was worth it.” Depending on who is asking, this question might be about the veteran’s own participation, but most often it is probably about American foreign policy. Was the war worth … Read more

Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden is another casualty, in the broadest sense of that word, of whatever Washington is now calling what used to be called the War on Terror, or the Long War. Like American soldiers and Afghan suicide bombers, Edward Snowden knew the personal risks and accepted them to serve what he considered a higher purpose. … Read more

Why the UK army wanted to fight in Afghanistan

If there is a good reason for America’s continuing war in Afghanistan, I have not yet heard it.  On the other hand, there are several bad reasons to continue the war, enough to assure us that it will go on. The British have already figured out that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were blunders, … Read more