I wrote the first edition of Addicted to War after the U.S. war against Iraq in 1991. The major news media had been reduced to wartime cheerleaders, and people in this country had largely been shielded from the ugly realities of the war. My aim was to present information difficult to find in the mainstream media, and to explain America's extraordinary predilection to go to war. Ten years later, events compelled me to update the book. The September 11 attacks provided an opportunity for George W. Bush to declare a "War on Terrorism," which in practice turned out to be an endless binge of war-making. The second edition was published in early 2002, following the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. The Bush Administration then turned to preparing for a new war against Iraq. A thin rhetorical veneer about combating terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction hardly concealed its underlying aim: to impose a new U.S. client regime in the Middle East and assure control over a country that has the world's second largest known oil reserves. As the present edition goes to press, the U.S. is occupying Afghanistan and Iraq. In an effort to quell armed resistance, the U.S. military is taking harsh punitive measures against the civilian populations of both countries, feeding a spiral of violence that has repercussions around the world and is placing us all in greater danger.
This book chronicles over two centuries of U.S. foreign wars, beginning with the Indian wars. During this time, America's machinery of war has grown into a behemoth that dominates our economy and society and extends around the globe. Although the Bush Administration has been particularly bellicose, this country's addiction to war began long before Bush came to power and will undoubtedly survive his departure. The costs of this growing addiction are now being felt more acutely at home. Soldiers and their families are paying a heavy price, but everyone is affected. Skyrocketing military spending is contributing to huge government deficits, causing sharp cuts in domestic programs, including education, health care, housing, public transport, and environmental protection. At the same time, the "War on Terrorism" is being used as an excuse to step up police surveillance and erode our civil liberties. I hope this book will spur reflection and debate about militarism, and encourage creative action to change our direction.
It's impossible to thank all of the people who have contributed to the creation of this book here. Instead, I will mention only three: My mother, Carol Andreas, who introduced me to anti-war activities; my father, Carl Andreas, who first encouraged me to write the book; and Frank Dorrel, whose tireless promotion made a new edition both possible and irresistible.
Joel Andreas, May 2004
77 pages with footnotes
Perfect Bound Paperback
Third Edition Copyright 2004