Tomgram: William Astore, American Militarism Is Not A Fairy Tale
Posted by William Astore at 10:46am, June 14, 2011.
President Obama recently reshuffled his top Washington warriors, sending CIA Director Leon Panetta, a man who knows Congress well, on to the Pentagon to replace retiring Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. In turn, the president is bringing in General David Petraeus, present Afghan War Commander, former Centcom commander, and former Iraq War commander (as well as “Bush’s general”), to run the Agency.
Whatever the local politics involved, and the Petraeus appointment ensures that the potentially popular general will be on the political sidelines for campaign year 2012, these moves catch the zeitgeist of our Washington moment. Since the bin Laden assassination, in which U.S. military special operations forces “commanded” by Panetta took out the al-Qaeda leader, a new face of American war, “where sovereignty is irrelevant, armies tangential, and decisions are secret,” has been emerging according to Foreign Policy in Focus analyst Conn Hallinan.
With the latest news (revealed last week by the New York Times) that the U.S. has launched a significant “intensification” of its secret air campaign against Yemeni tribesmen believed to be connected with al-Qaeda, the U.S. is now involved in no less than six wars. Count ‘em, if you don’t believe me: Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Libya, and what used to be called the Global War on Terror.