from Our Experts
Afghanistan: Twelve Years Later
It is fitting that as we pass the 12-year mark of the U.S. and Western invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, the U.S. government is shut down, our economy, education system and infrastructure continues their persistent degradation, and the American people, for the first time ever, now believe their children will not be better off than they. The failure of the United States’ war in Afghanistan, a failure that has been obvious for quite some time, like our own domestic failings, is a testament to a broken American political order and a $1 trillion a year national security Leviathan. Of course, the Afghan people are no closer to becoming a country at peace than at any time since the 1970s and the United States must and should understand its responsibility and culpability in the continuing death, loss and chaos.
Official Win Without War Statement on Syria
Response by Stephen Miles Tom Andrews
The Win Without War coalition is strongly opposed to American military intervention in Syria and urges Congress to reject any proposed authorization for the use of military force.
The use of chemical weapons is abhorrent. However, we urge our leaders to pursue a response to the apparent use of these weapons in Syria that rejects the false choice between bombing and impunity.
We agree with US military leaders who assert that only a political solution will end the suffering of the Syrian people and urge all parties to pursue such a settlement.
A Call for Smart Spending Cuts at the Pentagon
Response by William Hartung
I think we may want to say that it's more important than ever to cut Pentagon waste at a time when we need to focus spending on programs and personnel that best address 21st century threats. That means cutting overhead at the Pentagon, which has over three-quarters of a million civilian employees. But we need smart savings in all areas of Pentagon spending, including weapons procurement. That is why it is so disappointing that the budget documents suggest that there will be no reductions in the F-35 combat aircraft, an overpriced, under-performing and unnecessary aircraft that is a bad deal for taxpayers.
The Relevance and Future of Europe (and U.S.) and Their Role in the World
Response by Harry Blaney
Many critical pundits have observed that Europe and the United States appear to be in decline, raising doubts about their future role in the world. Yet if observers only examine the phenomenon of decline without seeking improvement, this becomes self-defeating and counter-productive. Undoubtedly, America and Europe face new and unprecedented challenges, but critics fail to propose constructive solutions to these problems. Though there are indeed many solutions to the financial issues facing Europe and the United States, many pessimistic leaders seem determined to fight any proposed measures. In America, that amounts to a mindless opposition from many Republicans in Congress to anything Obama does. But to do nothing when doing “something” might help is abandonment of responsibility. Both Europe and the U.S. need less pessimism and a more determined leadership that focuses on solving problems.
East Coast Missile Defense Scheme: Unnecessary, Unworkable and Unaffordable
Response by William Hartung
The Pentagon budget shouldn’t be a jobs program. And at a time of tightening budgets, we can’t afford to waste money on unnecessary, unworkable and unaffordable projects like the East Coast missile defense scheme. The system is unnecessary because Iran is far from developing a nuclear warhead that can be mated to a long-range ballistic missile capable of reaching the United States, and it may never do so. In the extremely unlikely event that it does, Iran’s leaders would be deterred from launching a nuclear strike against the United States because they know that their country would be completely destroyed in return. An East Coast missile defense is unworkable because after spending nearly three decades and well over $100 billion trying to develop an interceptor that can reliably block a long-range nuclear-armed missile, the Pentagon has yet to succeed.