William J. Astore returns to the show to discuss his latest article for Antiwar.com “On Afghanistan, Trump Is Right To Be Skeptical.” Astore discusses Trump’s apparent cognitive dissonance: he’s happy to bomb the Middle East indiscriminately, but is skeptical of escalating troops in Afghanistan and speculates that it’s Trump’s impatience, which is frequently a danger, which may be a saving grace in Afghanistan. Astore thinks Trump might have a nose for a losing approach, and that the last thing Trump wants is to be associated with what he believes is a losing effort in Afghanistan. But Trump, like Obama, faces increasing pressure from his generals. Scott and Astore discuss how the lack of an anti-war movement both in politics and in society generally have incentivized Barack Obama and Donald Trump to fold to the national security state and prolong the wars. Finally, Astore is particulary worried that the latest propaganda that Russia and Iran are backing the Taliban could lead to something far more serious.
Discussed on the show:
- “Petraeus: Afghan war a ‘generational struggle’ that will not end soon” (PBS)
- “Afghanistan: Operation Enduring Musery,” by Eric Margolis (Huffington Post)
- “Trump Says U.S. ‘Losing’ Afghan War in Tense Meeting With Generals” (NBC News)
- Helmand Province
- “Petraeus backs July 2011 Afghan withdrawal date” (CNN)
- Erik Prince
- “Bannon & Kushner Want to Outsource Afghanistan to Mercenaries,” by Mark Perry (The American Conservative)
- “How Obama Abandoned Democracy in Iraq” (Politico)
- “How America Armed Terrorists in Syria,” by Gareth Porter (The American Conservative)
- “CNN Poll: Afghanistan war arguably most unpopular in U.S. history” (CNN)
- “John McCain and Lindsey Graham: Why we need more forces to end the stalemate in Afghanistan” (Washington Post)
- Our Latest, Longest War: Losing Hearts and Minds in Afghanistan, edited by Aaron B. O’Connell
- “Empire of Bases,” by Chalmers Johnson (New York Times)
- Bagram Air Base
- “Douglas Macgregor Full interview with Tucker Carlson (8/1/2017)” (YouTube)
- “Toward an ‘America First’ Foreign Policy,” by Douglas Macgregor (Washington Times)
- “Inside the Pentagon’s Fight Over Russia,” by Mark Perry (Politico)
- Ayman al-Zawahiri
- “Battlefield Casualties and Ballot Box Defeat: Did the Bush-Obama Wars Cost Clinton the White House?” (SSRN)
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Scott Horton has done over 5,400 interviews with military leaders, whistleblowers, and investigative journalists. Avoid being part of the mob that calls for innocent blood by learning from foreign-policy experts, and spread the message of peace to others.