An American World of War: What to Watch for in 2010

10. What will surprise us in 2010?

It would be the height of hubris to imagine that we can truly see into the future, especially when it comes to war. It is, in fact, Washington’s hubris to believe itself in control of its own war-making destiny, whether via shock-and-awe tactics that are certain to work, a netcentric military-lite that can’t fail, or most recently, a force dedicated to a “hearts and minds” counterinsurgency war in Afghanistan and, in the future, globally (under the ominous new acronym GCOIN).

The essence of war is surprise. So, despite all those billions of dollars and the high-tech weaponry, and the nine areas discussed above, keep your eyes open for the unexpected and confounding, and in the meantime, welcome to the grim spectacle of war American-style as the second decade of the twenty-first century begins in turmoil. (Posted by

Tom Engelhardt, co-founder of the American Empire Project, runs the Nation Institute’s He is the author of The End of Victory Culture, a history of the Cold War and beyond, as well as of a novel, The Last Days of Publishing. He also edited The World According to TomDispatch: America in the New Age of Empire (Verso, 2008), an alternative history of the mad Bush years.

Nick Turse is the associate editor of and the winner of a 2009 Ridenhour Prize for Reportorial Distinction as well as a James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism. His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Nation, In These Times, and regularly at TomDispatch. Turse is currently a fellow at New York University’s Center for the United States and the Cold War. He is the author of The Complex: How the Military Invades Our Everyday Lives (Metropolitan Books). His website is (Posted by

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