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Trump’s General Just Announced a New Cold War. Who Will Stop It?

Trump’s General Just Announced a New Cold War. Who Will Stop It?

Richard Eskow
Defense Secretary James Mattis announced a dramatic shift in military policy last week, and it threatens to plunge the world into new forms of conflict.

The secretary, known as “Mad Dog” Mattis when he was a four-star Marine general, now commands the most powerful military force in human history. Mattis insists the nickname came from the press. That may be true, although generals are notoriously canny about their own publicity.

Well, sorry, you’ve made such a fearful stew of history and currency, associations and actions, that you’ve lost the point. I do believe you when you say,

Mattis has now declared, however, that the primary goal of the US military is to prepare for state-to-state conflict with “Great Powers” and “rogue nations.”

The operative word is “prepare,” but it’s for wars that will never be fought. The “cold” in Cold War is the small reassurance that it’s only preparation for war, but it’s clear that the kind of all-out war, even with conventional weapons, that you envision is unthinkable to all. Just what would trigger it? Who would invade whom? Not. gonna. happen. And in the absence of hot war, all the military-industrial complex is left with is preparation, driving the industries building to nowhere.

The big threats from Russia (hardly a great power now, except for holding nukes) and China are measured in trade and cyber meddling. They will not be met with any kind of hot-war weapons. We need to be about a different kind of preparation and confrontation, one that Mattis, and maybe Eskow, hardly seem to understand.

“Who will stop it?” The people will have to stop it—again. We’re the only ones with any incentive to stop it.


December’s GOP Inequality Exacerbation Act (IEA) disguised as tax reform gives the military industrial media infotainment complex (MIMIC) more money than ever to lobby for and spread propaganda to enable the escalation of a new cold war.

For the past quarter century MIMIC has missed the huge profits they enjoyed from the previous cold war (1946-1991). A big part of “make America great again” (actually GILDED again) includes more eternal occupations, wars (including cold wars) than ever.

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Turkey has invaded Syria - with Leopard tanks from Germany.

There’s no cold war , small or large c about that - this is the real McCoy, as it was in Afghanistan, Iraq, etc…

This is what the United Nations was created to prevent.

It looks like the UN is going the way of The former League of Nations.

China’s sphere of influence is expanding, implacably.

Russia’s too - and in particular, Russia owns the Siberian Arctic - a future refuge from all but unstoppable climate change and ocean acidification.

I see Joe Kennedy III is front and center in Davos. I don’t know much about him yet.

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Very curious about the US response to the Turkish incursion into Kurd-controlled border areas in Syria.

It seems as though the US will hang the Kurds out to dry, in favor of placating NATO ally, Turkey.

Of course, I’m not so sure that the Kurds won’t give Erdogan all he can handle. Nor am I certain about Turkey choosing to remain in NATO. Looks like Mattis, that ‘adult in the room,’ is watching Russia win in Syria and expand influence. Hey, Mattis, what happened to that demand that assad step down?:


No, we musn’t wait for “leaders to emerge.” We have the Internet now, and (@MCH) that was the big thing that Bernie tried to offer the Dems in 16. It’s not relying on a savior that will stop the war, but rising up to make our voices unignorable. We have to say “too bad” to the military industries and also to health insurance. We have to build a sustainable economy without them.


Wow, bks, you’ve totally missed the historical point.
How young are you?

For those of us who have lived the bulk of our lives during the Cold War, Mr. Eskow is spot on.

For those of us who have marched against the insanity and barbarity of the Vietnam War, the “preparation” you laud granted for permission to rush our military into a multitude of conflicts on multiple continents, as if they were in some way protecting our way of live (“American Interests”).

More of this empire-building can only bring wealthy for a tiny few, and ruin for the rest of us --oh, any death and destruction for the unlucky victims of our military adventurism all over the world.

Dropping bombs on people is not a good idea. Nor is “preparing” to do so, as the past 50+ years of history proven so well.


Wow. You missed my entire point. There was no lauding of preparation for war. I said it’s going nowhere.

Really too bad that CD doesn’t have significant user profiles. I’m plenty old to have lived straight through the history, and in fact the arc of my life was significantly influenced by the cold war. I’ll never forget, in the summer of '74, the number of people who stopped me (and the other 12 in our group) on the streets of Kiev, Moscow, Leningrad, or in the trains we took between those cities, to pump our arms and exclaim, ‘As long as Brezhnev and Nixon can shake hands as you and I shake hands today, we will not have to live through another world war.’ (And yes, that was the summer that ended with Nixon’s resignation. That’s another story.) I was told that every man, woman, and child then living in the USSR could name someone at least as close as an uncle who had died in what they called “The Fatherland War.”

Again in 1988, though it was a briefer visit for me and with a different focus, I learned from people who had lived through hot war, or were in the generation who lived the rebuilding.

I learned enough to take my children, 11? and 14? to march against 41’s Gulf War, and to make them marchers against following wars and preparations. Don’t lecture me about history, or about activism. Especially if you haven’t paid attention to what I wrote.


Rational agent? No, he’s simply mad.

It’s all so ludicrous - ‘demanding that another country dispose of their leader’ - while keeping a straight face, and in the next breath decrying someone else’s breach of International Law.

It mocks International Law - non-existent for some time now.

The United States is the only country in the world which has not ratified the United Nations Convention on Biodiversity. More mocking of not only International norms - but common sense and self-preservation.

Like a death wish.

I remember reading John Kenneth Galbraith’s “The Affluent Society” so many years ago it hurts. After all those years the key lesson I learned was that only during a war was the full heft of a modern society galvanized in an orderly way, with maximum employment and a minimum of trivia.

Asymmetric war - as practiced now, is not really war in any meaningful sense. An all volunteer military - mercenary contractors later if desired - and money everywhere in the weapons industry and its spin-offs… The erosion of any national identity beyond exceptional consumerism and entertainment - farce in government - in short, how to destroy a country yet keep the stock market racket alive and well.

Not that there are not real threats, from other empires - there are. But rather the self-destruction of one’s own country and way of life because of money - keeping that money flow going - skimming as it flows - sickening beyond belief - worthy of any human beings utmost contempt.

No wonder we feel powerless - we are.


In the final analysis, Bernie stuck with the system, i.e., LOTE voting.

In the eyes of many, that’s all we’ve got. I’m not one of the many and I view those that are as being enablers of the status quo.


From the article: "Mattis also complained about ‘spending caps’ and declared that the US military is ‘overstretched and under-resourced.’”

How ironic that this should be cited as a reason to increase military spending. Is it not an equally powerful reason to decrease military spending? We now have a costly “military presence” in 170 of the 193 countries in the world, including 53 of the 54 countries in Africa. Does that mean that 23 countries are not being properly policed?

Proverbs 26:4-5 tells us: “Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will be like him yourself. Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes.” Shouldn’t we consider that if our military is “overstretched and under-resourced,” despite a budget accounting for 36% of the world’s military expenditures, maybe its ambitions should be reined in?

We wouldn’t be the first empire to collapse because it was “overstretched and under-resourced.”

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For over fifty years I have heard an endless stream of US presidents spew that this or that “Military Action” (never a Constitutionally-required Declaration of War) is to protect “American Interests”. Isn’t it time we inject a little truth into that barrel of bullshit? With a tiny and still shrinking portion of the Super-Elite now in control of more American wealth (and power) than all of the rest of us COMBINED, we must realize that our soldiers and politicians are NOT protecting OUR interests or way of life, but instead the interests of the Tiny Few, at the common peoples’ expense. Every person must remind every friend and relative considering joining the Military that he/she will only be making the Filthy Rich stronger, while sucking still more life out of what is SUPPOSED to be OUR country. All of these wars and cold wars would vanish if we required our war hawks in Congress and the Military to produce proof that they can achieve an erection on their own, meaning without Viagra or photos of sheep or little children or dead bodies. Those who most want war are usually the biggest washouts at love. Cull them out of positions of Military power if they no longer also have the power to love.


For far too long anyone who opposes even obscene m
Levels of military spending is roundly demonized as being unamerican, or even a communist or traitor. The war profiteers of the military industrial complex that Eisenhower warned us about will never give up the massive amounts of profits that they make from war easily if at all. Today, visits to military bases are made to appeal to children in order to get them to see warfare as fun like video games and playing with planes and trucks and pretend war. There are drone killing programs for kids who are encouraged to play with the very equipment that is being used in war to kill people with drones and the controls and software is exactly like that of a video game. I find this extremely disturbing as young people are being groomed to be the killers of the future. We should be working for world peace, not more wars to plunder other countries for their natural resources. There is too much money being made from killing people in foreign countries. It is a complicated and difficult to understand problem sometimes, as many people don’t really want to think deeply about these subjects. It is very disturbing. Perhaps more veterans could be those with the necessary qualifications to advocate for peace. I plan on joining veterans for peace as soon as I can, but we need many more members. It is not unamerican to want peace. It is not unpatriotic to want peace. We do need a defense, but we do not need a massive military buildup because this encourages us to use the weapons in wars that we don’t need to have. There are many more pressing needs that we need to consider before we commit them to future wars that may never need to happen. How many years has this country been at war since WWII? We seem to be at war more than at peace. Why cant we just be like other more peaceful countries? I see no need to drastically ramp up military spending. Trump once said why make nukes if we cannot ever use them? My sentiments exactly, and let’s not make them smaller so we can use them! Perhaps Trump was advocating using nukes, but I am advocating neither makes my themmor using them. We have made more than enough equipment of death. We need to stop with the death and seek to preserve life instead and work for peace with reason and avoid wild emotinal appeals to militaristic patriotism and fear mongering. Trump and republicans are extremely hawkish on the military, and even democrats are not reigning this constant push for militarism because of the need for profits to keep people working making missiles, planes and weapons of war. It is very depressing and we need to look at where this is leading us and re-evaluate this situation before it is too late and we destroy everything that makes the earth livable. Perhaps we need to use the money to retool our energy systems into wind and solar and a new smart grid instead of military spending for awhile. America needs new thoughts and ideas that will move us foreword, into a more peaceful and healthier world, not backwards into death and global destruction.


The answer to your title is, NOBODY! It’s too insidious and the Amerikan sheeple are too stupid to even realize they’re being duped into believing that everyone, everywhere, including US citizens are the enemy. The DHS is set to pounce on dissent. Congress just ABOLISHED THE FOURTH AMENDMENT! It was a key in Hitler’s takeover of Germany. Now it’s legal in the US for the government to spy on every American without a warrant. Any movement to stop the war machine will be seen as an enemy of the state.
Three out of three of my sister’s grandchildren have joined the war machine. Her son-in-law just enlisted in the army after four years in the marines. The family is SO proud to have their children serve to “fight for our freedom,” completely oblivious to the fact that they’re fighting for Amerikan corporations’ freedom to destroy the world. Millions of Amerikans proudly sacrifice their childrens’ lives for the war machine because it offers some semblance of education as well as HEALTH CARE. Participate in warfare and you’re guaranteed health care. That’s what lured my nephew back into the military. He couldn’t find comparable pay and benefits in the civilian world.
Unless millions of Amerikan sheeple come to their senses and realize how they’re being duped, there’s no stopping Amerika’s global murder machine. I see that happening right about the time pigs fly. (And no, Trump on Air Force One doesn’t count.)


Way too bad you couch your very good points in such holier-and-smarter-than-thou rhetoric and inflammation.

Point taken, bk. I’ve just come to the point of desperation in my decades of trying to get Americans (especially my military family) to wake up, but they refuse to listen, whether I talk in polite terms or H-A-S-T-T rhetoric.

Capitalist extremism has us on the brink of planetary destruction in myriad ways and I am devastated that my grandchildren most likely won’t have a future. Writing on these forums is one of my forms of therapy. Therapeutic vitriol in cyberspace helps keep me working in my real life to make the world a better place in spite of it all, and not giving up altogether.

Also, I was raised in a fundamentalist Christian, military family during the Vietnam invasion. It only took me 16 years of life to realize the lies our government and churches tell us when I saw awesome, loving men in my church go over and slaughter little brown children to save them from communism. “Better dead than red.” I left the church and took the principles of Jesus with me because the Lord of Love and Prince of Peace I grew up with would NEVER condone that slaughter. It’s infuriating to me how these mass invasions are lead by fundamentalist Christians slaughtering millions off innocents in the name of righteousness as they make billions of dollars doing it, so if my language seems condescending, I guess I’ll go ahead and own that.

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If young Joe stands for Peace, he will be ‘eliminated’.

For the health of the human race bring on the collapse.