Left in the Dark: $2 Trillion and Counting…

In the early hours of Friday morning, US troops departed Bagram Air Force base in Afghanistan. They turned off the electricity and lights before leaving; it appears as though members of the Afghan government were left in the dark about the departure of US troops. Biden has been clear about a formal departure on September 11th of this year but with the definitive closure of the airbase last week, the US has completed 90% of the troop withdrawal.  In the New York Times article The Salvaged Relics of a Very Long War: Shops Near Vacated Afghanistan Base Sell Vestiges of US Presence describes how Bagram, surrounded by grape vineyards, has an economy based on the refuse of two superpowers over […]

Two Sides of the Coin

light pink background with 6 darker pink horizontal lines with a blue image of a bomb in background with a quote of Albert Camus

The Costs of War Project with the Watson Institute at Brown University recently published a report on the high suicide rates of military members and veterans of the post 9/11 wars. Their study repeated what has been known for some time, that members of the military are 4 times more likely to die by suicide than in combat. While suicide in the military had been lower than the general population in the past, the trend has reversed over the past 20 years and parallels the longest running foreign war in U.S. history in Afghanistan.   While advances in medical technology has led to less people being killed on the battlefield it has also created a situation of more military members living […]

Czar Nicholas II to the Pentagon Papers: The Unexpected Power of Individual Actions

Daniel Ellsberg, 1976

The Pentagon Papers at 50 is getting a lot of attention and giving Daniel Ellsberg another chance to tell his story as well as talk about more recent releases of secret documents including his own. Ellsberg says he’s ready to go to jail again for his use of classified information in his 2017 book The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner. He copied those papers in 1969 at the same time as he copied the documents behind the Pentagon Papers. A couple things have struck me in hearing the story again. The first is the web of individual actions that can lead to such a historically significant event as the release of the papers. Ellsberg himself writes eloquently […]

Report from NWTRCC’s Third Online Conference

NWTRCC held its third online conference the weekend of April 30 – May 2, 2021. More than 40 people attended some portion of the conference, which began the evening of Friday April 30 with a social hour. For the social hour, we broke out twice into random groups of six for 30 minutes. It was chance for old friends to chat, but also to meet new friends. Saturday featured two panels. The first was a “Panel on the New Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons & Paths Forward for Resistance,” featuring Mari Inoue (attorney and cofounder of the Manhattan Project for a Nuclear-Free World), Dr. Linda Richards (historian of science and a grassroots activist since the 1986 Great Peace […]

Redirection and Keeping Track of the People We Owe

Ammon Hennesy

April 15th saw Tax Day actions not seen in years. Well at least in 2 years. After Tax Day spread into 3 months in 2020 to finally conclude on July 15th last year, people were eager to come out on April 15th in order to join in a long tradition of holding that day as a stand out day to raise the issue of military spending in the US. War Tax Resisters and those concerned about militarism organize actions in their communities to educate that nearly half of the federal income taxes are devoted to war. April 15th also serves as a day of action to build upon community by investing our energy and resources towards human needs through individual […]

Your Rights: Use ‘Em or Lose ‘Em

Who wants to hassle with the IRS. Of course it’s a pain in the behind dealing with an agency that ranges from bullying to inefficient to inconsistent in following their own procedures. But, if we want to make a statement about refusing to pay for war, hassles come with the territory and are actually the least of the risks that a resister could face. So I was distressed to read the warning in the last issue of NWTRCC’s newsletter about sending a letter with tax forms which might lead to hassles with the IRS. In a rare success for this form of resistance, we won for the right to send those letters expressing our beliefs, complaints, and reasons for refusal. […]

Military Budget of Little Comfort to Healthcare Workers

The most visible role of the U.S. military in the past year has been the fly overs of extremely expensive military bombers to express appreciation to healthcare workers beginning in May of 2020 and showing up at the Superbowl, typically a big advertising opportunity for the military. Even the sportscaster Joe Buck pointing out the obvious of “That’s your hard earned money and tax dollars at work!” and  questioned the amount of jet fuel used for the flyover. Health care workers sat in place of the cardboard cutouts at the Superbowl in an attempt to alleviate or distract from the tremendous toll taken on health care workers including  93% of health care workers were experiencing stress, 86% reported experiencing anxiety, […]

The Graveyards of Empire

Addicted to War book cover with cartoon image of man holding missiles and tanks in his arms

Later this year the U.S. will enter into its 3rd decade of war in Afghanistan. It has been the longest ongoing foreign war in US history with some of those fighting in the war not even born when the US began bombing on October 7th, 2001. In the early years Afghanistan was referred to as “the good war” to distinguish it from the war in Iraq, the “dumb war.” In more recent years both are referenced by their country name with less emphasis on the war and all of the destruction the U.S. has caused. These countries seem to hold a higher concentration of U.S. military bases among the 800 worldwide with the wars serving as justification for more bases […]