William Arkin discusses the changing nature of America’s military, specifically the way that operations have shifted away from traditional “boots on the ground” and toward drone strikes, special forces, civilian contractors and intelligence analysts. In fact, for every soldier on the ground in the Middle East today, Arkin estimates that there are at least one hundred other people around the world to support that soldier. This has led to a Faustian bargain for the American people: the number of American troops getting killed and injured overseas is relatively low—on the other hand, this hugely built-up military complex makes it almost impossible to unwind any of our country’s forever wars. In the latest case of Biden’s supposed withdrawal from Afghanistan, Arkin thinks that this, too, is mostly theater: even if all “combat troops” come home, the U.S. will stay heavily involved in Afghanistan in other ways for years and years to come.
Discussed on the show:
- The Generals Have No Clothes: The Untold Story of Our Endless Wars
- “Why America Can’t End Its ‘Forever Wars'” (Newsweek)
- “Facing the Facts of War with Russia” (The American Conservative)
William Arkin is a military intelligence analyst, activist, author, journalist, academic and consultant. His award-winning reporting has appeared on the front pages of The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Los Angeles Times. He is the author of American Coup: How a Terrified Government Is Destroying the Constitution and The Generals Have No Clothes: The Untold Story of Our Endless Wars. Follow him on Twitter @warkin.
This episode of the Scott Horton Show is sponsored by: The War State, by Mike Swanson; Tom Woods’ Liberty Classroom; ExpandDesigns.com/Scott; Photo IQ; Green Mill Supercritical; Zippix Toothpicks; and Listen and Think Audio.