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The United States of War


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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
A Note on Language and Terminology

Introduction: "If We Build Them, Wars Will Come"

Part I Imperial Succession
1. Conquest
2. Occupied

Part II Expanding Empire
3. Why Are So Many Places Named Fort?
4. Invading Your Neighbors
5. The Permanent Indian Frontier
6. Going Global

Part III imperial transitions
7. The Military Opens Doors
8. Reopening the Frontier

Part IV Global Empire
9. Empire of Bases
10. The Spoils of War
11. Normalizing Occupation
12. Islands of Imperialism
13. The Colonial Present
14. Building Blowback

Part V Hyperimperialism
15. Did the "Cold War" End?
16. Out-of-Control War
17. War Is the Mission

Conclusion: Ending "Endless Wars"

Gratitude and Thanks
Appendix: U.S. Wars, Combat, and Other Combat Actions Abroad
Suggested Resources

About the Author

David Vine is Professor of Anthropology at American University. His other books include Base Nation: How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World and Island of Shame: The Secret History of the U.S. Military Base on Diego Garcia.


"A wide-ranging survey of the American way of war, expensive and incessant, in support of an empire we're not supposed to have. . . . Vine offers much to ponder about our militarized foreign policy and its deep antecedents." * Kirkus Reviews *
"Military expansion, war without end, and the pervasiveness of violence in American lives: Vine offers countless insights into this uniquely American way of war."
* Foreword Reviews *
"While the idea that the global expansion of military bases corresponds with the rise of US empire may seem obvious, this book convincingly shows that it is both consequence and cause. Vine brilliantly documents the way widespread global military positions - which are always sold to the public as defensive - are, by their very nature, offensive and become their own, self-fulfilling ecosystems of conquest. . . . One walks away convinced that the US empire and its global network of bases must be dismantled if we are to have any hope of putting a stop to the devastating cycle of endless US wars and meddling." * Jacobin *
"I hope every person on earth reads The United States of War." * War is a Crime *
"Provides a comprehensive history of Washington's quest for empire. . . . The United States of War is a unique history text. Convincing in its portrayal of US military bases as both the outposts of empire and the remote supplier to the troops whose mission is to maintain and expand that empire, the timeline the author constructs is one that argues the US has always been an imperial nation-and not by some accident or circumstance of history."

* CounterPunch *
"A sweeping indictment of the nation's heavily militarized foreign policy, including the nearly incalculable costs, financial as well as moral, that have been exacted both at home and abroad. . . . The definitive account of the history of U.S. overseas bases and their role in the history of American militarism."
* Washington Report on Middle East Affairs *
"Revelatory. . . . By identifying the link between bases and war, Vine has found a simple and possibly powerful lever with which to move . . . large structural forces. You want peace? Close the bases. Fewer overseas outposts would mean fewer provocations for foreign anger, fewer targets for attacks, and fewer inducements for Washington to solve its problems by using force." -- Daniel Immerwahr, * The Nation *
"Wonderful and disturbing. . . . Encyclopedic in its coverage. . . . I highly recommend the book. It roused even me, a lifetime pacifist and antiwar activist, to increased awareness of the profound extent and impact of US bases and wars on both the United States and the rest of the world. The book is an extremely useful (and therefore very depressing) compendium of what can rightfully be called the US war machine and empire."
* Anthropology and Humanism *

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