The Sorrows of Empire Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2004-01-13
  • Publisher: Metropolitan Books

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n the years after the Soviet Union imploded, the United States was described first as the globe's 'lone superpower,' then as a 'reluctant sheriff,' next as the 'indispensable nation,' and now, in the wake of 9/11, as a 'New Rome.' Here, Chalmers Johnson thoroughly explores the new militarism that is transforming America and compelling its people to pick up the burden of empire. Reminding us of the classic warnings against militarism-from George Washington's farewell address to Dwight Eisenhower's denunciation of the military-industrial complex-Johnson uncovers its roots deep in our past. Turning to the present, he maps America's expanding empire of military bases and the vast web of services that supports them. He offers a vivid look at the new caste of professional warriors who have infiltrated multiple branches of government, who classify as 'secret' everything they do, and for whom the manipulation of the military budget is of vital interest. Among Johnson's provocative conclusions is that American militarism is putting an end to the age of globalization and bankrupting the United States, even as it creates the conditions for a new century of virulent blowback. The Sorrows of Empire suggests that the former American republic has already crossed its Rubicon-with the Pentagon leading the way.

Author Biography

Chalmers Johnson is president of the Japan Policy Research Institute and professor emeritus at the University of California, San Diego.

Table of Contents

Prologue: The Unveiling of the American Empirep. 1
Imperialisms, Old and Newp. 15
The Roots of American Militarismp. 39
Toward the New Romep. 67
The Institutions of American Militarismp. 97
Surrogate Soldiers and Private Mercenariesp. 131
The Empire of Basesp. 151
The Spoils of Warp. 187
Iraq Warsp. 217
Whatever Happened to Globalization?p. 255
The Sorrows of Empirep. 283
Notesp. 313
Acknowledgmentsp. 367
Indexp. 369
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.


From The Sorrows of Empire:As of September 2001, the Department of Defense acknowledged that at least 725 military bases exist outside the United States. Actually, there are many more, since some bases exist under informal agreements or disguises of various kinds. And others have been created in the years since. This military empire ranges from al-Udeid air base in the desert of Qatar, where several thousand troops live in air-conditioned tents, to expensive, permanent garrisons built in such unlikely places as southeastern Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan. Much like the British bases in Darjeeling, Kalimpong, and Srinagar—those north Indian hill stations used for the troops’ rest and recreation in the summer heat—U.S. armed forces operate a ski and vacation center at Garmish in the Bavarian Alps, a resort hotel in downtown Seoul, and 234 military golf courses worldwide. Seventy-one Learjets, thirteen Gulfstream IIIs, and seventeen Cessna Citation luxury jets are ready and waiting when U.S. admirals and generals come due for some R&R.

Excerpted from The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic by Chalmers Johnson
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