President Bush, left, sits with outgoing Sec. of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, right, before the start of their meeting with Senior U.S. Department of Defense Officials on Iraq at the Pentagon, Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2006. (Associated Press/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
The Army's massive history of the U.S. military intervention in Iraq, comprised of two massive volumes and 30,000 pages of declassified documents published by the U.S. Army War College, is a stunning survey of the service's missteps following the 2003 invasion.
But it also provides a clear-eyed look not just at the course of the invasion, but the state of the U.S. political and military apparatus in the run-up to the September 11th attacks — and the hubris that tilted the Pentagon towards invasion.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
The amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima sails past the Statue of Liberty into New York Harbor, November 10, 2016. (U.S. Navy/Petty Officer 2nd Class Carla Giglio)
In the six months since its activation, the Navy's 2nd Fleet has bulked up and is embracing its mission in the North Atlantic and the Arctic, where the U.S. and its partners are focused on countering a sophisticated and wily Russian navy.
President Donald Trump hands a pen to Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie during a spending bill signing ceremony at VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System, Friday, Sept. 21, 2018, in Las Vegas. (Associated Press/Evan Vucci)
The Trump administration wants to shift billions of dollars from government-run veterans' hospitals to private health care providers. That's true even though earlier this year the administration vehemently denied it would privatize any part of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The privatization of essential government services is nothing new, of course. Over the years, countries have privatized dozens of services and activities that were once the sole domain of governments, such as the provision of electricity and water, road operations and prisons and even health care, with the ostensible aim of making them more efficient.
But before going down that road, the question needs to be asked whether privatizing essential human services such as those for military veterans serves the public interest. New research we recently published suggests that privatization may come at a social cost.