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Tomgram: Making Sense of America’s Empire of Chaos

Tomgram: Making Sense of America’s Empire of Chaos

[Note for TomDispatch Readers: Every week Truthout chooses a book, a “progressive pick,” to highlight (and sell). This coming week, it’s my new book, A Nation Unmade by War. As part of the process, I did an interview about the book’s themes with Truthout’s Mark Karlin who was kind enough to let me post it here on this Memorial Day weekend for TomDispatch readers. So check it out, then go to their book club and buy a copy, if the mood strikes you, or should you want a signed, personalized copy of the book, donate $100 to this website ($125 if you live outside the U.S.) and it’s yours. Check out our donation page for the details, but first read my thoughts below. Tom]

A Truthout Progressive Pick Interview with Tom Engelhardt

Mark Karlin: How much money has gone to the U.S. war on terror and what has been the impact of this expenditure?

Tom Engelhardt: The best figure I’ve seen on this comes from the Watson Institute’s Costs of War Project at Brown University and it’s a staggering $5.6 trillion, including certain future costs to care for this country’s war vets. President Trump himself, with his usual sense of accuracy, has inflated that number even more, regularly speaking of $7 trillion being lost somewhere in our never-ending wars in the Greater Middle East. One of these days, he’s going to turn out to be right.

As for the impact of such an expenditure in the regions where these wars continue to be fought, largely nonstop, since they were launched against a tiny group of jihadis just after September 11, 2001, it would certainly include: the spread of terror outfits across the Middle East, parts of Asia, and Africa; the creation — in a region previously autocratic but relatively calm —

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