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Monte Wolverton | Cold War II … the Winner? / politicalcartoons.com

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Special Project | Explained: The Way Forward on North Korea

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Part 1: The North Korean Crisis: On the Brink of a Breakthrough or a Bust?
Part 2: A series of one-pagers that help explain what a strategy should look like
Related: A Murderous History of Korea

Center for American Progress

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Part 1: The North Korean Crisis: On the Brink of a Breakthrough or a Bust?

Monday, March 19, 2018 | The planned meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un took the world by surprise. This diplomatic opening is a positive and necessary step forward toward addressing the nuclear threat from North Korea, but the upcoming diplomatic process—and especially the summit meeting—are a minefield for the United States and its allies. What does it all mean, what should the United States do now, and what comes next? For analysis on recent developments on North Korea, please join the Center for American Progress for an event with former senior government officials and North Korea experts.

Full story … 

Part 2: North Korea poses a serious challenge to U.S. national security.

Monday, March 19, 2018The United States needs a proactive, comprehensive, and consistent strategy on North Korea—one that is led by diplomacy and bolstered by deterrence, pressure, and containment. While the United States has been dealing with this threat for decades, events often move quickly and unpredictably on the Korean Peninsula. With so much uncertainty over the future of U.S. policy on North Korea, the Center for American Progress has created a series of one-pagers that help cut through the noise and explain what a strategy should look like; outline specific recommendations for each component of the strategy—diplomacy, deterrence, and pressure; and sift through the myths surrounding the North Korea policy debate.

• The Way Forward on North Korea
• The Costs of Preventive War with North Korea
• The Case for Deterrence
• The Case for Diplomacy with North Korea
• Ramping Up Pressure to Contain North Korea
• Myths About North Korea

The Center for American Progress is an independent nonpartisan policy institute that is dedicated to improving the lives of all Americans, through bold, progressive ideas, as well as strong leadership and concerted action. Our aim is not just to change the conversation, but to change the country.

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Related:

https://portside.org/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/field/image/koreawar_0.jpg?itok=-2jKP4c6A Murderous History of Korea, Bruce Cumings , London Review of Books

  • In the West, treatment of North Korea is one-sided and ahistorical. No one even gets the names straight. But if American commentators and politicians are ignorant of Korea’s history, they ought at least to be aware of their own.
  • Related: Battlefield Earth: All the Countries John McCain Has Wanted to Attack
     

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The Violent American Century: War and Terror Since World War II ~ John Dower

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  • A timely, compact, and utterly compelling exposé of the myriad contradictions besetting U.S. national security policy. John Dower has written a powerful book. —Andrew J. Bacevich, author of America's War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History
  • Related: Tomgram: Nick Turse, Killing People, Breaking Things, and America's Winless Wars

Reviewed in TomDispatch

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http://www.tomdispatch.com/images/managed/violentcenturydower_118.jpgMay 16, 2017 | World War II marked the apogee of industrialized “total war.” Great powers savaged one another. Hostilities engulfed the globe. Mobilization extended to virtually every sector of every nation. Air war, including the terror bombing of civilians, emerged as a central strategy of the victorious Anglo-American powers. The devastation was catastrophic almost everywhere, with the notable exception of the United States, which exited the strife unscathed and unmatched in power and influence. The death toll of fighting forces plus civilians worldwide was staggering. 

The Violent American Century addresses the U.S.-led transformations in war conduct and strategizing that followed 1945—beginning with brutal localized hostilities, proxy wars, and the nuclear terror of the Cold War, and ending with the asymmetrical conflicts of the present day. The military playbook now meshes brute force with a focus on non-state terrorism, counterinsurgency, clandestine operations, a vast web of overseas American military bases, and—most touted of all—a revolutionary new era of computerized “precision” warfare. In contrast to World War II, postwar death and destruction has been comparatively small. By any other measure, it has been appalling—and shows no sign of abating.

John Dower is the winner of numerous national prizes for his historical writings, including the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.

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Related:

Tomgram: Nick Turse, Killing People, Breaking Things, and America's Winless Wars,

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Nick Turse, TomDispatch.com

  • If you’ve ever wondered how those inside the planet’s self-proclaimed mightiest military force assess their handiwork over these last 15 (or for that matter 50) years, it’s fortunately no longer necessary to guess. Thanks to TomDispatch’s Nick Turse, we now have a document from within that military which will answer your every question on war, American-style, even if those answers beg questions all their own.
  • Related: You Must Be Kidding!


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Exposing the Gun Industry Profiteers

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Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs, which is a big investor in the gun retailer Bass Pro.

(Here's) a series that:

  • surveys the main gun profiteers,
  • takes a closer look at gun retailer Bass Pro-Cabela’s and its backing from Goldman Sachs,
  • and examines Wells Fargo’s major ties to the NRA and firearms industry.

Derek, LittleSis.org via ActionNetwork.org

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April 13, 2018 | The tragic school shooting in Parkland, Florida placed a renewed focus on the gun industry. While many pointed their criticism - and rightly so - at the NRA and the gun lobby’s bought-off politicians, we also thought it was important to look at the key profiteers - the banks, hedge funds, asset managers, and top executives - who hold a lot of power within the gun industry.

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To this end, we put together a series that surveys the main gun profiteers, takes a closer look at gun retailer Bass Pro-Cabela’s and its backing from Goldman Sachs, and examines Wells Fargo’s major ties to the NRA and firearms industry.

Some of these articles also appeared in the Public and Truthout, while the focus on Wells Fargo even found its way onto MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews.

LittleSis.org: a free database detailing the connections between powerful people and organizations. We bring transparency to influential social networks by tracking the key relationships of politicians, business leaders, lobbyists, financiers, and their affiliated institutions.

Full story … As indicated, above.

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War Pay: The Pentagon Wants to Spend $716 Billion Next Year

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  • Part 1: The Pentagon Wants to Spend $716 Billion Next Year 
  • And they’re justifying it by playing on fear.
  • Part 2: War Pay
  • 
Another Good Year for Weapons Makers Is Guaranteed

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Part 1: The Pentagon Wants to Spend $716 Billion Next Year
 

https://www.thenation.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/afghanistan-mattis-nicholson-ap-img.jpg?scale=896&compress=80US Defense Secretary James Mattis and US Army General John Nicholson meet the Afghan delegation in Kabul, Afghanistan, on April 24, 2017. (Jonathan Ernst / Pool Photo via AP)

And they’re justifying it by playing on fear.
 
Danny Sjursen, Tom Dispatch

February 20, 2018 | Think of it as the chicken-or-the-egg question for the ages: Do very real threats to the United States inadvertently benefit the military-industrial complex or does the national security state, by its very nature, conjure up inflated threats to feed that defense machine?

Back in 2008, some of us placed our faith, naively enough, in the hands of mainstream Democrats—specifically, those of a young senator named Barack Obama. He would reverse the war policies of George W. Bush, deescalate the unbridled “Global War on Terror,” and right the ship of state. How’d that turn out?

Danny Sjursen is a US Army strategist and former history instructor at West Point. He served tours with reconnaissance units in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has written a memoir and critical analysis of the Iraq War, Ghostriders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge.

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Part 2: War Pay

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Another Good Year for Weapons Makers Is Guaranteed 


William D. Hartung, Tom Dispatch

January 11, 2018 | As Donald Trump might put it, major weapons contractors like Boeing, Raytheon, and Lockheed Martin cashed in “bigly” in his first year in office. They raked in tens of billions of dollars in Pentagon contracts, while posting sharp stock price increases and healthy profits driven by the continuation and expansion of Washington’s post-9/11 wars. But last year’s bonanza is likely to be no more than a down payment on even better days to come for the military-industrial complex.

President Trump moved boldly in his first budget, seeking an additional $54 billion in Pentagon funding for fiscal year 2018. That figure, by the way, equals the entire military budgets of allies like Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and Japan. Then, in a bipartisan stampede, Congress egged on Trump to go even higher, putting forward a defense authorization bill that would raise the Pentagon’s budget by an astonishing $85 billion. (And don’t forget that, last spring, the president and Congress had already tacked an extra $15 billion onto the 2017 Pentagon budget.)  The authorization bill for 2018 is essentially just a suggestion, however -- the final figure for this year will be determined later this month, if Congress can come to an agreement on how to boost the caps on domestic and defense spending imposed by the Budget Control Act of 2011. The final number is likely to go far higher than the staggering figure Trump requested last spring.

William D. Hartung, a TomDispatch regular, is the director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy.  His most recent book is Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military-Industrial Complex.

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