Time to Study War Some More

W.J. Astore

There’s more to military history than decisive battles, great captains, and sexy weapons 

We sure could use honest and critical teaching about military history and war in America.

I don’t mean celebratory BS. I don’t mean potted histories of the American Revolution and its freedom fighters, the Civil War and its freeing of the slaves, World War II and America’s greatest generation and so on. I mean history that highlights the importance of war together with its bloody awfulness.

Two books (and book titles) come to mind: “War is a force that gives us meaning,” by Chris Hedges, and “A country made by war,” by Geoffrey Perret. Hedges is right to argue that war often provides meaning to our lives: meaning that we often don’t scrutinize closely enough, if at all. And Perret is right to argue that America was (and is), in very important ways, made by war, brutally so in fact.

Why study war? Shouldn’t we affirm that we ain’t gonna study war no more? Well, as Leon Trotsky is rumored to have said: You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you. Among other reasons, students of history should study war as a way of demystifying it, of reducing its allure, of debunking its alleged glories. War is always a bad choice, though there may be times when war is the least bad in a series of bad choices. (U.S. involvement in World War II was, I believe, less bad than alternatives like pursuing isolationism.)

How are we to make sense and reach sound decisions about war if we refuse to study and understand it? A colleague sent along an interesting article (from 2016) that argues there’s not enough military history being taught in U.S. colleges and universities, especially at elite private schools. Here’s the link: https://aeon.co/ideas/the-us-military-is-everywhere-except-history-books

Visit your local bookstore and you’ll probably see lots of military history — it’s very popular in America! — but critical military history within college settings is much less common.  This is so for a few reasons, I think:

1. Many professors don’t like the “stench” of military history. When I was at Oxford in the early 1990s, I had a professor who basically apologized for spending so much time talking about mercenary-captains and war in early modern Europe. Yet war and controlling it was a key reason for the growth of strong, centralized nation-states in Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries.

2. Many professors simply have no exposure to the military — they’re ignorant of it, almost proudly so. Having taught college myself for fifteen years, including survey subjects like world history, I know the difficulty of teaching topics and subjects where your knowledge is shallow or dodgy. Far easier to stand on firm ground and teach what you know and ignore what you don’t know — or don’t like. But the easier road isn’t always the best one.

3. Critical military history suggests lack of patriotism.  I taught college as a civilian professor for nine years, and I was once told to “watch my back” because I wrote articles that were critical of the U.S. military’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And I’m a retired Air Force officer!

So, with history professors often preferring to ignore or elide military subjects, military history is left to buffs and enthusiasts who focus on great captains, exciting battles, and famous weapons (often featured in glossy coffee-table books) like Tiger tanks and Spitfire fighters.  Such books often sell well and make for exciting reads. What they don’t do is to make us think critically about the costs of war and how disastrous wars often prove.

My own book on Paul von Hindenburg is a critical account of his life, including his complicity in the “stab in the back” myth and the rise of Adolf Hitler to power

A subject I taught at the USAF Academy was technology and warfare, and one of my concerns was (and remains) America’s blind faith in technology and the enormous sums of money dedicated to the same.  The Pentagon will spend untold billions on the latest deadly gadgets (actually, as much as $1.7 trillion alone on the F-35 jet fighterthroughout its lifespan) but academia won’t spend millions to think and teach more critically about war.

As an aside, weapons alone don’t make an effective military. It’s not the gladius sword that made Rome dominant but the citizen-soldier wielding it, empowered by republican ideals, iron discipline, and a proven system of leadership by example.

When the principled citizen-soldier ideal died in Rome, a warrior ideal consistent with a hegemonic empire replaced it. There’s much for Americans to learn here, as its own military today identifies as warriors and finds itself in the service of a global empire.

There’s more to military history than drums and trumpets — or bullets and bombs. For better or for worse, and usually for worse, we as a people are made and defined by war. We would all do well to study and understand it better.

(If you’d like to comment, please visit Bracing Views on Substack.)

Hypocrisy and “Tactical” Nukes

Don’t worry, it’s just a “little” tactical nuke!

W.J. Astore

With Russia issuing warnings about using all weapons at its disposal to protect its position in Ukraine, it’s a good time to talk about the distinction between “tactical” and “strategic” nuclear weapons.

Put bluntly, there’s no real distinction. All nuclear weapons, regardless of size and yield, are devastating and potentially escalatory to a full-scale nuclear war. Were Russia to use “tactical” nuclear weapons, the U.S. and NATO would likely respond in kind.  Even if a major nuclear war could be avoided, resulting political disruptions would likely aggravate ongoing economic dislocation, triggering a serious global recession, even a Great Depression, further feeding the growth of fascism and authoritarianism.

When you build weapons, there’s a temptation to use them. Weapons don’t exist in a vacuum. Within the military, people are trained to use them. Doctrine is developed along with contingency plans. Exercises are run to prepare for deployment and use in wartime, “just in case.” In short, we can’t count on sane heads to prevail here, not when some people seem to think you can use a “little” nuke to send a message.

Fortunately for the world, nuclear weapons haven’t been used in war since Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. But they are used daily in the sense of intimidating other countries.  Currently, Russia is using its nuclear forces to try to contain US/NATO aid to Ukraine and involvement in the Russia-Ukraine War. Russia is drawing a nuclear red line, and I doubt it’s a bluff.

It’s hypocritical of both the US and Russia to accuse the other of nuclear brinksmanship since both countries have contingency plans to use nukes. Hopefully, it’s obvious to both countries how devastating it would be if a nuclear exchange, even a “limited” or “tactical” one, were to occur.

Even as bluffs, nuclear threats are reckless, since there’s always some fool who may seek to call the bluff. Let’s hope the US/NATO collective doesn’t play the fool. We have enough problems in the world without tossing nuclear warheads of whatever size or yield at each other.

Bully Boys with Bull Bars

W.J. Astore

Even as gas and diesel prices soar along with global temperatures, American vehicles continue to get bigger. In my first Air Force job in 1985, I had a friend who drove a classic Ford Bronco. It was a little bigger than a jeep and truly meant for off-road adventures in Colorado where four-wheel drive is a necessity. Nowadays, Ford trucks and SUVs are much more likely to resemble military vehicles like Humvees or even MRAPs. Bigger is better, especially for the truck makers and fossil fuel companies, who profit much more by selling and fueling steroidal trucks than Ford Escorts or hybrids.

But there’s a darker side to these steroidal, quasi-military vehicles on America’s roads, notes Stan Cox today at TomDispatch.com. They’re being used to intimidate, to bully, even to injure and kill people that the drivers of these vehicles don’t like. Typical targets are protesters for the BLM movement or women trying to protect abortion rights. When Dodge named their Ram pickup, I really don’t think they meant you should use it as a battering ram, but that seems to be crude animus motivating more than a few white male drivers today.

This phenomenon isn’t just limited to flyover states like Kansas, where Stan Cox lives. Here in Blue Massachusetts, I recently saw a pickup that was proudly flying a “Fuck Joe Biden” flag, modeled after Trump MAGA flags. Heck, I don’t much like Joe Biden, but I don’t feel the need to mount a giant flag on my vehicle to that effect. I guess I’m just too humble or shy — or sane.

Steroidal trucks are nothing new in America, and I’ve seen plenty with stickers that say “No Fear” or even “Fear This.” (You learn quickly to give these idiots on wheels a wide berth.) But using these trucks to hurt people is truly cowardly. What kind of young men are we producing?

The wars are coming home again, America. Just look around at all the mini-tanks in America’s parking lots and driveways.

A final caution: Beware of bully boys with bull bars, coming soon (though I hope not) to a protest near you. If you stand your ground, they might just run you over — and in some states you’ll be to blame for blocking their way.

So use common sense and get out of their way. You’re not the coward: they are.

Fear this!

“Responsible” Gun Laws

Matthew McConaughey holds a photo of Alithia Ramirez, 10, killed in the Uvalde mass shooting

W.J. Astore

The bottom line on gun laws in the USA is, surprise, profit. What matters most is not banning any guns, including military-style assault weapons. There are already more than 20 million AR-15-type assault weapons in the hands of Americans, with more being sold legally every day. They and their related gear (ammo, ammo magazines, and so on) are a big source of profit to American gun makers and gun sellers, so you can be sure that those guns will be protected, unlike the victims of them.

To illustrate this, two stories popped up in my email today. The first, from CNN, is a quick summary of where we stand on gun control measures in Congress:

The current changes to gun laws under consideration include hardening school security, providing more funding for mental health care and ensuring that juvenile records can be considered when a person between the ages of 18 and 21 wants to buy a semi-automatic weapon. Federal incentives for states to pass so-called red flag laws are also being discussed. However, despite the ongoing talks, it remains unclear whether there will be enough Republican support to push the legislation forward.

Note that Orwellian term: the “hardening” of school security. Schools are now being talked about in military terms as “soft” targets for mass shooters. Naturally, the solution isn’t to deny shooters their assault weapons. No: let’s turn every school into a “hardened” fortress, with more fences, cameras, locking doors, and armed guards (perhaps with AR-15s?). How long before our schools are indistinguishable from our prisons?

You’ll note, of course, that none of the “new” gun laws being considered by Congress will reduce the number of guns in circulation. Gun sales will continue to soar. When you think about it, guns now have more rights in America than people do.

The second story involves a Hollywood celebrity, Matthew McConaughey, who was born in Uvalde, Texas, and who’s been working with the Biden administration in the cause of “responsible” gun control. He’s called for “universal background checks, raising the minimum age for purchasing an AR-15 to 21, a waiting period for purchasing AR-15s and the implementation of red flag laws.” These steps are better than nothing, but again they will not impact the profit margins of gun makers/sellers. Even so, they are likely to be judged too radical by Republicans in Congress.

President Biden has called for a ban on new assault weapons, but it’s simply empty words. He knows a ban stands no chance of getting through Congress. If the Democrats really wanted to accomplish something, they’d get rid of the filibuster in the Senate, but they’re not about to do that, especially since they’re likely to lose control of the Senate after the November elections.

Speaking of Joe Biden, I saw this hilarious headline at NBC News today: “Biden’s gaffes might actually be his selling point.” The gist of the op-ed is that Biden often misspeaks and sounds both angry and confused, but these qualities make him “authentic” to voters, therefore “let Biden be Biden” and don’t try to handle or edit him.

That’s where we’re at as a country. Guns have more rights than people and our president is to be embraced for all the gaffes he makes. What a country!

Weapons as “Gamechangers”

W.J. Astore

Americans have a remarkable faith in weapons as “gamechangers,” as simple panaceas to complex problems.

Yesterday, Donald Trump addressed the NRA convention in Houston, offering guns as a panacea to mass shootings. Once again, Trump said that “highly trained” teachers should be allowed to carry concealed guns in the classroom. Apparently, teachers should now be the equivalent of Special Forces warriors, ready to confront shooters with assault weapons at a moment’s notice. When he was president, Trump suggested these warrior-teachers might even see a small bump in pay for their willingness to carry guns and to serve as quasi-SWAT team members at schools. What generosity!

Just as many Americans see more guns as the answer to domestic violence like mass shootings, yet bigger guns and missiles are seen as “game changers” for complex foreign issues like the Russia-Ukraine War. According to CNN, the U.S. government is considering sending the MLRS (multiple launch rocket system) to Ukraine, which has a range of up to 300 miles, to counter Russian troops. One Congressman in particular thinks it’s a dandy idea:

Democratic Rep. Jason Crow of Colorado, who was part of a congressional delegation trip to Kyiv earlier this month, told CNN he believes the systems could help Ukraine gain significant momentum against Russia. 

“I think it could be a gamechanger, to be honest with you,” Crow said, not only for offensive attacks but also for defense. He explained that Russian conventional artillery, which has a range of about 50km, “would not get close” to Ukrainian urban centers if MLRS systems were positioned there. “So it would take away their siege tactics,” he said of the Russians.

Where to begin? Are Ukrainian troops trained on such a system? How do you get the system into Ukraine to begin with? What if the system is used to strike targets inside of Russian territory? What about Russian warnings that such a system could lead to reprisals against European or American assets? What if less-than-well-trained Ukrainian troops fire a bunch of missiles that end up killing dozens, even hundreds, of innocent people?

No matter. The “answer” is always more guns, more howitzers, more missiles. They’re “gamechangers”!

Indeed, they just may be. Just not in the way that Trump imagines, or Congressman Crow.

Finally, that word: “gamechanger.” It’s a common practice in America to talk about war as if it’s a sport, a game. Call it the triumph of dumbass thinking. War is neither sport nor game, and you’re not going to “game-change” the Russia-Ukraine War, as in turning the tide so Ukraine wins, just by sending the MLRS, just as you’re not going to decrease mass shootings in schools by arming teachers with guns.

We Talk Strangely About Guns

W.J. Astore

Guns are the only innocents in America. To be clear, I’m being sarcastic.

Whenever there’s a school shooting, you can count on the shooter being denounced as evil, as monstrous, as out of his mind. But the guns the shooter uses? There are always people who tell us not to blame the guns. Guns aren’t evil. Guns aren’t monstrous. Guns are, in a word, innocent.

It’s all very strange. I think of the children killed in Texas, along with their teachers, as being innocent. I wish we’d have kept them safe. I wish their rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness hadn’t been cut down by bullets. But wish in one hand …

We hear a lot of talk about gun rights and gun safety, almost as if guns indeed had rights, almost as if America’s true goal was to keep guns safe.

America is indeed a country where guns are safe, secure, and free to roam. We have more than 400 million of them, including more than 20 million military-style assault weapons. Congress is not seriously acting to put meaningful restrictions on guns. We’re lucky if we’ll see a “red-flag” law (allowing the confiscation of guns from a person who makes deadly threats before he decides to go on a murderous rampage), or possibly universal background checks. Of course, neither of these will curtail gun purchases and availability, and neither would have stopped the latest shooter in Texas, who purchased his guns legally and apparently showed no clear “red flag” before he attacked a school and killed 19 innocent children.

And there’s that word again. Innocent. We need to focus on child rights and child safety, not gun rights and gun safety. Don’t you think?

I’ve been a gun owner and have shot everything from a pellet rifle and .22 pistol to a .44 magnum Model 29 Smith & Wesson, made famous by Clint Eastwood in “Dirty Harry.”

Model 29 Smith & Wesson .44 Magnum.

I’ve felt the powerful allure of guns. I also have no problem with hunters, target shooters, and all the responsible gun owners we have in America. But when guns are responsible for 45,000 deaths a year in America (data from 2020), and when mass shootings become almost forgettable in their repetition (except in the most heinous cases, like the latest mass murder event in Texas), it’s time to admit that guns are not the innocents here. They are part of the problem, and restrictions to their ownership is part of the solution.

The Murderous Madness of Trillions for Nuclear Weapons

W.J. Astore

Supporting trillions of dollars “to update and modernize our nuclear arsenal” is akin to advocating for more production of Zyklon B and improved gas chambers.

Incendiary claim? I think not. Like Zyklon B, nuclear weapons are genocidal. They are designed to kill millions; used en masse, they will kill billions. They are ecocidal as well; nuclear weapons with their intense heat and blast and radiation kill virtually everything in their radius. How can anyone who’s sane want more of them?

I happened to catch Kelly Ayotte, a former U.S. senator who’s now the Chair of the Board of Directors for BAE Systems, a major weapons contractor, say that she’s “always” been a strong supporter of updating and modernizing the U.S. nuclear arsenal. Of course, she and her company stand to profit from this. But at what cost to life on this planet?

Nevertheless, nuclear “modernization” proceeds apace in the U.S. at an estimated cost of nearly $2 trillion over the next few decades. Is this not the very definition of a murderous insanity?

As Daniel Ellsberg pointed out, U.S. nuclear attacks plans in the early 1960s could have resulted in the death of 600 million people, mainly in China and the Soviet Union. As Ellsberg noted, the U.S. was prepared to launch 100 Holocausts in the name of defending its “ideals.” (And this was before we knew about the dangers of nuclear winter.)

This murderous madness has to stop before we put an end to ourselves and our planet.

We’ll produce new nuclear missiles like so many sausages. But it’s all OK because we need to “update” and “modernize” our (genocidal and ecocidal) nuclear arsenal. Sure makes me proud to be an American.

Addendum: When you think of nuclear weapons as “investments” or as “sensible” (see comments), please consider this scene from “Terminator II.”

What is “sensible” about any of this? Sorry, count me out of “investing” in mass death via nuclear holocaust.

Don’t Think About the Unthinkable

W.J. Astore

Originally posted at Antiwar.com

Thirty years ago, I co-taught a course on the making and use of the atomic bomb at the U.S. Air Force Academy. We took cadets to Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, where the first nuclear weapons were designed and built during World War II, and we also visited the Trinity test site, where the first atomic device exploded in a test conducted in July of 1945. It was after that first test when J. Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the atomic bomb, mused that he had become death, the destroyer of worlds. And that is what nuclear weapons are: they are death, and they can literally destroy our world, producing nuclear winter and mass sickness and starvation.

Over the last two years, the Covid-19 pandemic has killed millions of people across the globe. A general nuclear war could kill billions of people in a matter of days. As Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev reportedly said in 1963, “The living will envy the dead” after such a nuclear cataclysm.

Not a good idea

Despite this, an intellectual fad of the Cold War era was to “think about the unthinkable,” to “war game” or plan for various nuclear “exchanges” resulting in the deaths of hundreds of millions of people, even to imagine that there could be a “winner” of such a war. Remarkably, in the context of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, that fad is returning today as pundits write articles that suggest the US needs to show the Russians it is willing and able to fight and win a nuclear war, as an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal argued on April 27th of this year.

Such suggestions are madness.

As a young Air Force lieutenant, I sat in the Missile Warning Center in Cheyenne Mountain during an exercise that simulated a nuclear war. This was 35 years ago, but I still remember those simulated Soviet missile tracks crossing the North Pole and ending in various American cities. There were no snazzy special effects or colorful high-definition computer monitors. It all happened in silence on a monochrome monitor as I sat under two thousand feet of solid granite in America’s largest nuclear bomb shelter. “There goes Kansas City,” somebody quietly said. It was a sobering experience that I’ll never forget.

Many years later, I watched a stunning documentary, The Day After Trinity, that detailed the development of the atomic bomb. I’ll never forget the words of Hans Bethe, legendary physicist and one of the bomb’s key developers. The first reaction among the scientists to the news the bomb had exploded over Hiroshima, Bethe recalled, was a feeling of fulfillment. The crash project to build the bomb had worked. The second reaction was one of shock and awe, of “What have we done,” Bethe quietly noted. And the third reaction: It should never be done again. And after Nagasaki the world somehow managed not to do it again, despite nearly catastrophic events like the Cuban Missile Crisis 60 years ago.

I was raised Roman Catholic, and I can think of no worse crime against humanity than mass murder by genocidal weaponry, not only of ourselves but of all life forms that would be vaporized by thermonuclear warheads. Let’s not think about the unthinkable; let’s not think we must show the Russians (or anyone else) that we’re willing to use nuclear weapons. Rather, let’s achieve the difficult but doable. The only sane course of action here is for all the world’s nations to negotiate major reductions in nuclear arsenals with the eventual goal of total nuclear disarmament.

Air Force Core Values

W.J. Astore

I was thinking today about my old service branch’s core values. No — not “more fighters, more bombers, more missiles” or “put bombs on target” or “jet noise is the sound of freedom” or “show me the money!” or that old Strategic Air Command classic, “peace is our profession.” No — the core values all airmen are supposed to uphold — integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all we do, in that order, sometimes abbreviated as integrity, service, excellence. How’s the Air Force doing here?

Not well, I’m afraid. Think of “integrity,” which I think of as truth-telling. Over the last 20 years, and indeed over the life of the service, going back to 1947 and before, the Air Force has consistently overestimated the accuracy of its bombing and consistently underestimated the number of civilians and non-combatants killed by that bombing. And that’s putting it charitably. In reality, the Air Force has conspired to advance an image of airpower as surgical and precise when it clearly isn’t, and indeed never has been. My old service branch advances this image because it’s good for the Air Force. It’s really that simple. Such image-making, i.e. lying, may be good for the Air Force budget, but it isn’t good for integrity. Nor is it good for America or those unfortunates on the receiving end of U.S. munitions.

Turning to “service before self,” I think of a system that when I served often stressed and rewarded self before service. For example, the promotion system in the military was structured to reward the hard-chargers, the overachievers, Type-A personalities, the thrusters and the true believers. Perhaps this is true of most bureaucracies, but the emphasis on ticket-punching and hoop-jumping in the Air Force was conducive to a narrow form of achievement in which “service” played second fiddle, when it played at all. Another way of putting it is that a certain kind of personal selfishness is more than acceptable as long as it advances institutional goals and agendas — a quite narrow form of service, if one is again being charitable.

And now we come to “excellence in all we do,” which brings to mind all kinds of disasters, such as drone strikes that kill innocents, or wayward generals, or cheating nuclear missile crews, and so on. But I’d like to focus on recent procurement practices, such as the lamentable F-35 jet fighter, which was supposed to be a fairly low-cost, high-availability fighter but which even the Air Force Chief of Staff now compares to a Ferrari, i.e. super-expensive and often in the shop. From tankers that can’t refuel to fighter planes that can’t shoot straight to nuclear bombers and missiles that the country (and, for that matter, humanity) simply doesn’t need, the Air Force’s record of excellence is spotty indeed.

What are we to do with a service that is so unwilling or unable to live up to its core values? Well, as usual, accountability and punishment are out of the question. I guess we’ll just have to give the Air Force more money while hoping it’ll reform itself, because you know that strategy always works.

The F-35 “Ferrari”: It costs a lot and is often in the shop, but it looks kinda sexy. Too bad the F-35 was supposed to be a reliable workhorse, not a temperamental stallion. Interestingly, the inspiration for the Ferrari symbol of a prancing horse came from an Italian fighter pilot during World War I.

Reading Defense Contractor Ads

W.J. Astore

I subscribe to a news feed called “Breaking Defense” (the name may be more ironic than the site creators intended). I saw this advertisement today, which sums up much of what is common in America, where jargon substitutes for thought:

Kratos’ next generation unmanned aerial target drones and their capabilities continue to evolve to represent ever changing, evolving threats from near-peer adversaries to best prepare the American warfighter while keeping costs down for the American taxpayer

I know nothing about the company (Kratos), but it does appear to have a good command of Pentagon jargon. Those “near-peer adversaries” (meaning China and Russia, mainly). Those “ever changing, evolving threats.” And of course the almost obligatory appeal to the “warfighter.”

From this ad (and others like it), it’s simply assumed that America will always be at war. There’s also an assumption that Americans fall into two basic categories: warfighters and taxpayers. Warfighters are the doers, the hard men and women on the front lines, deserving of everlasting support and praise, and the taxpayers are there to fund it all and cheer along. Naturally, there’s no mention of “peacemakers.”

If we truly want to keep costs down for the American taxpayer, maybe we shouldn’t buy any of these target drones?

In the same email send-out, here’s a sample of the articles at “Breaking Defense”:


For Space Force, it’s acquisition, acquisition, acquisition: 2022 Preview 

In 2022, the Pentagon will need to see real movement on acquisition reform to reduce long understood vulnerabilities that have been essentially ignored for many years.

The Pentagon’s new strategy might already be behind the times: 2022 Preview 

A Russian invasion of Ukraine could derail the Defense Department’s planning. 

For the Army, looming budgets and multi-domain everything: 2022 Preview 

Here’s the key Army storylines we’ll be tracking at Breaking Defense next year. 

Seems like the “Space Force” will be spending lots of money in 2022 due to “vulnerabilities.” Meanwhile, a Russian invasion of Ukraine might “derail” the DoD’s “new strategy.” And the Army is looking at “multi-domains,” which I assume is a smart way for the Army to expand its budgetary reach in the new year.

Nice to know the Pentagon has a new strategy, but how could a Russian incursion into Ukraine derail it? If the U.S. invaded Mexico, would that derail Russia’s defense planning? Or China’s?

Here’s another ad from a different “Breaking Defense” send-out.

Systel’s fully rugged computing solutions are purpose-built for the most demanding environments and workloads. High performance, SWaP-optimized, single LRU solutions supporting edge AI and force-protection missions. MOSA/CMOA, SAVE, and GCIA-compliant. Fully rugged, configurable, and modular. Centralized sensor ingest and data fusion support.

Ah, the good old days of military acronyms! Again, I know nothing about Systel, but the company has a solid command of opaque acronyms. Even the ad has redundancy in the sense that it mentions “fully rugged” twice! Note the mission of “force-protection,” as in keeping U.S. “warfighters” safe while in harm’s way.

Maybe we should keep our troops safe by not putting them in harm’s way, unless the defense of America truly requires it?

There’s nothing special about these ads or stories, which is why I cite them here. Just another day in the American empire of warfighters buying weapons systems to force-protect and confront near-peer threats out to exploit our vulnerabilities across multiple domains. Or, put simply, multi-domain everything!

Happy New Year, everyone.