Merchants of Death: Origin of the Military-Industrial Complex

Merchants of Death: Origin of the Military-Industrial Complex

This article was originally featured at The American Conservative and is republished with permission of author. Is it unethical to profit off the mass death of your countrymen, and should something be done about it? In a society where wealth of any origin is increasingly looked at with suspicion and envy, weapons contractors have somehow avoided the spotlight. Even domestic gunmakers have withstood more public criticism than the producers of battleships, humvees, and fighter jets. When did a healthy skepticism of war profiteering turn into social acceptance of massive corporate structures...

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Soldiers Are Losing Faith in Their Commanders

Soldiers Are Losing Faith in Their Commanders

During the founding of the United States, Pennsylvania earned the nickname “keystone” for its essential role—geographic, economic, and political—in winning American independence. Two and a half centuries later, Pennsylvania maintained its Keystone State status in the now concluded war in Afghanistan. In 2013, after the peak of the insurgency, state Adjutant Gen. Wesley Craig said that Pennsylvania endured "by far" the most National Guard deaths of any state. In the past two decades, according to tracker icasualties.org, the state has seen 93 U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan in addition to...

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‘Newspaper Generals’: The Shared Legacy of David Petraeus and Nelson Miles

‘Newspaper Generals’: The Shared Legacy of David Petraeus and Nelson Miles

As the United States closes the door on its two-decade war in Afghanistan, the last person the American people need to hear from is the man who not only contributed to the war being prolonged a decade, but who wants it to continue for another (or more). And yet here is “King David” Petraeus, former commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, riffing in a casual interview with The New Yorker about how his counterinsurgency ideas were never given a large enough time frame to succeed, and hocking the same “lessons” he’s been repeating for years. Should the man who lengthened and exacerbated the...

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Happy 140th Birthday, Smedley Butler

Happy 140th Birthday, Smedley Butler

For the first thirty years of the twentieth century, when there was trouble on the peripheries of the emerging U.S. empire in the form of rebellions, bandits, or resistence, Washington could always rely on one soldier to restore order. Invariably, days after his appearance, newspapers nationwide would carry the identical headline, “The Marines arrived and everything is quiet.” So how did it happen that, after three decades as a reliable hatchetman, this soldier turned and took aim at the same military, financial, and political leaders whom he had served? Smedley Darlington Butler was born...

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All Vices Created Equal: Brandi Love and TPUSA

All Vices Created Equal: Brandi Love and TPUSA

For the past decade people have become comfortable in their Culture War trenches, which for the better part of the 2010s have pitted an evangelical, PC-imposing leftwing against a more laissez-faire rightwing. When it comes to the freedom to think and speak verboten ideas that dissent from the cultural monolith, the right has been much more friendly to liberty. There is, however, a portion of conservatives whose world outlook remains much more Tipper Gore than Dee Snider. And they made themselves loud and clear this past weekend responding to the controversy between Turning Point USA and...

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American Historians Misjudge American Presidents

American Historians Misjudge American Presidents

"They adored him as no man in a democracy deserves to be adored,” Walter Lippmann wrote, describing progressive worshippers of Theodore Roosevelt in 1916. American historians suffer from the same malady, a predisposition to hero-worshipping chief executives (T.R. included). What causes this persistent love affair? Is it a preference for studying big changes and swift actions, which occur most often under muscular presidents? Is it a sympathy for big government and the men who implemented the policies liberal historians themselves prefer? Whatever the cause of this fondness, the resulting...

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The American Conservative Reviews Scott Horton’s Newest Book

The American Conservative Reviews Scott Horton’s Newest Book

We’re approaching the 20th anniversary of the Global War on Terror when the George W. Bush administration made the decision to ruin the 21st century. Trillions of dollars spent, a permanent and expanding war bureaucracy on our shores, upwards of a million civilians dead, tens of millions more displaced, entire regions of the globe destabilized, and the American people no safer than they were on September 10. When the immensity of the nefariousness is laid bare, a normal man is tempted, in the words of satirical cynic H.L. Mencken, “to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin...

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Sgt. Dan McKnight Testifies for “Defend the Guard” Legislation in South Dakota

On Monday, Chairman Dan McKnight of BringOurTroopsHome.US traveled to Pierre, South Dakota to testify in front of the House Military and Veterans Affairs Committee in favor of the "Defend the Guard" bill introduced by State Rep. Aaron Aylward (R-Harrisburg). This legislation would prohibit the deployment of the South Dakota National Guard without an official declaration of war by the U.S. Congress. Watch his opening testimony HERE.

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Hunter DeRensis

Hunter DeRensis is editor at the Libertarian Institute and communications director of the veterans advocacy organization Bring Our Troops Home. His writing has been featured at The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Real Clear Politics, Real Clear Defense, Antiwar.com, and the Ludwig von Mises Institute.



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Last Rights: The Death of American Liberty

Last Rights: The Death of American Liberty

Americans today have “freedom” to be fleeced, groped, injected, harassed, surveilled, vilified, disarmed, beaten, detained, and maybe shot by federal agents. From hapless homeowners hit by SWAT raids to pandemic lockdowns pointlessly paralyzing lives, government...

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