"The whole basis of our presence in the Middle East is oil --and has always been oil.
​We don’t need their oil anymore.
We are paying far too much money for this oil today.      
​What we are spending for our 2 million barrels (per day) is easily $500-$600 per barrel because that is what the cost is to keep our military presence there."   

​ T.B. Pickens   CNN with Ali Belshi   10/21/12


"Since 9/11, more than 2.5 million Americans have worn the uniform. They have faced down our enemies, they’ve liberated millions, and in so doing showed the true compassion of a great Nation. They are the 1 percent of America who kept the 99 percent safe. 
​And we owe them, and their families, a deep debt of gratitude."

George W. Bush  February 2014, Dallas TX


Quotes from assorted News Media


“World-class health care requires first-class facilities, but through 13 years of war, VA construction accounts have only received 57 percent of what’s required, and we project VA will need to invest $31 billion over the next decade to close its major and minor construction gaps,” VFW National Commander William Thien said in the statement. The Independent Budget recommendations for revisions in actual spending for fiscal 2015 include:
$2.3 billion more for health care for fiscal 2015 than the $58.8 billion the administration recommended in advance.
$2.7 billion more than the $3.9 billion appropriated for all construction programs in fiscal 2015.
$25 million more than the $611 million appropriated for medical and prosthetics research in fiscal 2015.
​The budget recommendations also include $62.4 billion in advance appropriation for health care for fiscal year 2016.



A Push To Bridge The Gap Between Soldiers And Citizens
“As Americans forfeit personal direct responsibility for contributing to the country’s defense — abandoning the tradition of the citizen soldier — then the state gains ownership of the military,” Bacevich told Here& Now. “The army becomes Washington’s army, not our army. And Washington has demonstrated a penchant for using the army recklessly.”


As Commander-in-Chief, I’ll keep doing everything in my power to make sure we serve you as well as you’ve served us. And that means making sure you get the care and the benefits you need. It means making sure you don’t have to fight for a job when you get home. It means recognizing our military families and giving them the support that they deserve.” –President Obama 2014

"The intangibles veterans bring are important—discipline, teamwork, leadership. But those things are the icing when we thought they were the cake. We have a completely different mission to gain new expertise and education that complement our military-honed skills."



"From a singular focus on PTSD as "the" unseen wound of war, we have asked "What else do we also need to understand?" From versions of public engagement with war based on civilians-as-audience whose job is merely to listen, we have called for reciprocal military-civilian interchange, and for civilians who shoulder responsibility."
​A better way for us to deal with PTSD - The Denver Post


 "Twelve consecutive years of war have turned soldiers into the subjects of an unintended experiment in the impact of prolonged conflict on the human psyche. And the results are still out," according to Army Surgeon General Patricia Horoho, who testified Wednesday (4/9/14) at a congressional hearing.


"Of those no longer serving in the military,
45 percent have sought compensation for service-related disabilities, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Thirty-seven percent of them have been deemed disabled enough to receive lifelong payments, a figure that could increase as the department works through a mountain of unprocessed claims. 
Other Iraq and Afghanistan veterans may not feel the impact of their service for years. For those who fought in the last century's major wars, requests for disability care and compensation did not peak until three decades after the conflicts ended. "The burden borne by wounded warriors and their families, and thus the public responsibility to treat or compensate them, will persist for many years," the Institute of Medicine, the health-care arm of the National Academy of Sciences, warned in a 2010 report."



"A leading epidemiologist says that the Department of Veterans Affairs, charged with caring for millions who have served their country, neglected assisting suicidal veterans who participated in longitudinal studies and never released important research data on the exposure of Gulf War, Iraq and Afghanistan veterans to toxins, inhalational hazards and burn pits."




"The decline of American military influence actually began with 9/11 and the reflexive response to a growing threat the U.S. government never completely understood. It was exacerbated by the impetuous decision to go to war against Iraq in March 2003. Eleven years on, this course will be difficult to reverse."




General Martin Dempsey: "Well, I’m going to get a little philosophic with you here, but when you look at what the military instrument of power can accomplish, it is actually more effective in dealing with strength-on-strength situations than it is in dealing with strength-on-weakness scenarios.And we’re finding that a weakening of structures and central authority is pervasive in today’s world. The Middle East is a poster child for that dynamic. But if you look at almost any sector of civilization – from international organizations, to big corporations to places of worship – their authority has diminished over the past decade. That has to do with the spread of technology that has made information so ubiquitous in today’s world. But the result has been a weakened international order. And frankly, it’s harder to articulate the proper use of military power in that environment as opposed to a world with stronger centers of authority."




Gratitude is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the others.  

                                        ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero 


Oil has always been part of U.S. decision-makingon Iraq, a key motive for the 2003 invasion and the bloody occupation that followed. Now, as President Obama returns U.S. forces to Iraq, the issue of oil has bubbled back to the surface, as oil analyst Antonia Juhasz explained to Dennis J Bernstein.

By Dennis J Bernstein

President George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq gave U.S. and other Western oil companies a major stake in the country’s giant oil fields, a foothold now threatened by the offensive launched by the Islamic State and offering at least a partial explanation for President Barack Obama’s decision to return the U.S. military to the conflict.

Another complicating factor is Kurdistan’s control of some giant oil fields and its push for independence. As oil industry analyst and investigative journalist Antonia Juhasz says: “Western oil companies and the Obama administration will not permit ISIL to control Kurdistan and are willing to engage militarily to achieve this goal.”  http://consortiumnews.com/2014/08/17/iraq-and-the-oil-wars/


Events in Iraq are headline news everywhere,and once again, there is no mention of the issue that underlies much of the violence: control of Iraqi oil. Instead, the media is flooded with debate about, horror over, and extensive analysis of a not-exactly-brand-new terrorist threat, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). There are, in addition, elaborate discussions about the possibility of a civil war that threatens both a new round of ethnic cleansing and the collapse of the embattled government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Under the seething ocean of Sunni discontent lies a factor that is being ignored. The insurgents are not only in a struggle against what they see as oppression by a largely Shiite government in Baghdad and its security forces, but also over who will control and benefit from what Maliki—speaking for most of his constituents—is Iraq's "national patrimony."



"Between June 2009 and 2010, insurgents’ use of improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, rose by 22 percent. More worrying, say senior US military officials, is that the rate of effective attacks – in other words, bombs that result in injuries to NATO troops or Afghan civilians – has increased 45 percent. Lt. Gen. Michael Oates, director of the Pentagon’s Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization, says there has been a “significant” rise in the number of roadside bombs because even as the US military has surged into Afghanistan, the Taliban has surged, too."


In a series of interactive maps, covering a dozen cities, the Media Lab has mapped the most efficient mode of transportation — by car, bike, foot or transit — between any two points in a city.



A half-hearted US war effort in the Middle East

 by Andrew J. Bacevich

A common thread connects U.S. military operations of the last 20 or more years: We've persistently tried to fight them on the cheap. In gauging the requirements of a prospective campaign, “What do we need to win?” has repeatedly taken a back seat to “What's the minimum we can get by with?”


Military Bases-Our Most Exclusive Gated
Communities-And That Hurts Veterans



A congressman/veteran says more medals are deserved to honor Iraq vets who sacrificed:

"For all of the success of the U.S. military, the Iraq operation was replete with political and diplomatic failures that saturated operational advancements. Many soldiers and Marines executing the ground war viewed these setbacks as a hindrance to mission success. They were right."



Europe helped set the state for ISIS conflicts


Type your paragraph here.


How an American Prison Helped Ignite an Islamic State



By almost any measure, the {procurement system is broken. Consider this: The Defense Department spent at least $46 billion between 2001 and 2011 on a dozen weapons systems that never even entered production, according to the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments



Five Things You Can Buy That Also Would Enhance Our National Security--for the price of one F-35 plane.




An invisible battle is raging between those who believe the U.S. military should rely only on secure defense suppliers and those who are willing to turn a blind eye, in the interest of globalization, to the dangers of foreign dependence.



No one benefits from the invasion of lawyers into the sphere of law.

The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were waged by Western leaders who lacked a popular political basis for intervention. US president George W Bush and UK prime minister Tony Blair sought to compensate for this lack of popular support by claiming a legal right to invasion.



We’ve been wrong for so long in Afghanistan but we can get it right
As troops pull out, the West can learn from its mistakes and let all Afghans, including the Taliban, build their future.
It’s time to recognise the death of the West’s nation-building effort in Afghanistan. The hope is that our leaders can learn from the campaign’s mis-steps.



​​The military may be fighting a war. Or wars.  But we, as a country, are not.

 Both fights will continue alongside what senior military leaders continually worry is the divide between those who fight America’s wars and everyone else.



"Wall of War" is a massive data visualization project by Dylan Halpern. Collaborators on the project include Lauren Thorson (faculty mentor), Tommy Petet (visualization programmer), and Matt Hill (App developer)Type your paragraph here.



In the U.S., a Turning Point in the Flow of Oil

“The export shipment symbolizes a new era in U.S. energy and U.S. energy relations with the rest of the world,” said Daniel Yergin, the energy historian. 



Cost to US of Iraq and Afghan wars could hit $6 trillion 

The fresh calculation – which includes the cost of spiraling veterans' care bills and the future interest on war loans – paints a grim picture of how America's future at home and abroad has been mortgaged ...

"There will be no peace dividend" is the stark conclusion from the 22-page report from the Kennedy School of Government...







Both the public and veterans oppose bringing back the draft. More than two-thirds of all veterans (68%) and a larger share of the public (74%) oppose reinstating conscription. Among veterans, opposition to the draft is highest among those who have served since 9/11 and lowest among those who served before the draft was abolished in 1973 (82% vs. 61%).



The growth of oil production in North America, particularly in the US, has been staggering," says Columbia University's Jason Bordoff. US oil production levels were at their highest in almost 30 years.  "Shale has essentially severed the linkage between geopolitical turmoil in the Middle East, and oil price and equities,"says Seth Kleinman, head of energy strategy at Citi.



Pew Social & Demographic Trends

October 5, 2011
The Military-Civilian Gap
War and Sacrifice in the Post-9/11 Era

The report compares and contrasts the attitudes of post-9/11 veterans, pre-9/11 veterans and the general public on a wide range of matters, including sacrifice; burden sharing; patriotism; the worth of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; the efficiency of the military and the effectiveness of modern military tactics; the best way to fight terrorism; the desirability of a return of the military draft; the nature of America’s place in the world; and the gaps in understanding between the military and civilians.
It also presents what we believe is a vivid portrait—albeit one painted exclusively in numbers—of the rewards and burdens of serving in the all-volunteer military during the past decade.



The missing context behind the widely cited statistic that there are 22 veteran suicides a day

Where does this figure come from, and what does it tell us about suicides among veterans? It is important to remember that suicide is already the tenth leading cause of death among Americans, so the question is whether the rate among veterans is significantly higher.