A Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin Will Widen the Civil-Military Gap

Civilian control of the military has been a central tenet of democratic governance. The trenchant warning from retiring President Dwight D. Eisenhower on the dangers to democracy from a permanent “military-industrial complex” is the most memorable presidential farewell warning in our history. The civil-military gap has widened over the years, starting with the controversy over the Vietnam War in the 1970s; the Goldwater-Nichols Act in the 1980s; and the Global War on Terror in the wake of the attacks in New York City and Washington in 2001. Our bloated defense budget, which accounts for more than one trillion dollars when all departments of government are included and two-thirds of discretionary spending, contributes to the belief that only a professional military class can manage the sophisticated technology of the Pentagon.

Read more on CounterPunch

Recent News and Latest Book

Meet the Newest Apologist for Israel: Rear Admiral John Kirby

Tuesday’s press conference highlighted the worst of the administration’s predictable defenses and apologies for Israel’s illegal and immoral military campaign against Palestinian civilians.  Once again, the worst of Kirby’s remarks were not referenced in the Washington Post and received an anodyne one-sentence summary in the New York Times.  I believe it is important to understand the meaning and implications of Kirby’s callous and callow remarks. 

Washington Post Believes U.S. & Israel “Can Get Back on the Same Page”

President Biden seems to believe that the recent U.S. abstention on the cease-fire resolution at the United Nations Security Council and the feckless warnings about avoiding a humanitarian nightmare in southern Gaza allow his administration to pose as an “honest broker” between Israelis and Palestinians.  The United States has never been a genuine “honest broker.” 

Containing the National Security State

Containing the National Security State