Award winning journalist, documentary film producer and Harper’s Washington, DC editor, Andrew Cockburn, comes from an illustrious family of British journalists. In addition, he has been married to American journalist and documentarian, Leslie Cockburn, since 1977.
For more than four decades, he has focused on national security not just of the United States, but of the Soviet Union as well. Beginning with his Peabody Award winning 1981 PBS film, THE RED ARMY, which was the first in-depth study of deficiencies in the Soviet military, he has covered the wars in Afghanistan since the 1980s with his wife, Leslie Cockburn. In 2009, they produced the film AMERICAN CASINO on the financial collapse of 2007. His 8th book, THE SPOILS OF WAR: POWER, PROFIT and the AMERICAN WAR MACHINE, has just been published by Verso.
In it he asserts that “The record shows America’s Afghan War was nothing other than a prolonged and entirely successful operation – to loot the US Taxpayer. At least a quarter of a million Afghans, not to mention 3,500 US & allied troops paid a heavier price.”
He is proud to be descended from Sir George Cockburn, 10th Baronet, who ordered the burning of Washington in 1814, as he recounts in this interview.
We spoke with Andrew Cockburn on Sept. 29, 2021, as the Senate Armed Services Committee was grilling Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, about the US military withdrawal from Afghanistan after 20 years and trillions of dollars spent, which they characterized as “a logistical success but a strategic failure.”
Articles referred to or pertinent to this interview:
War in Afghanistan Isn’t Over — It’s Taking the Form of Illegal Drone Strikes https://truthout.org/articles/war-in-afghanistan-isnt-over-its-taking-the-form-of-illegal-drone-strikes/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=85e66ca2-fcf5-49a4-a3d3-bbcfa2db97a9
A Dam in Syria Was on a ‘No-Strike’ List. The U.S. Bombed It Anyway. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/20/us/airstrike-us-isis-dam.html?action=click&module=Well&pgtype=Homepage§ion=US%20News
IN RE TERRORIST ATTACKS ON SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 https://www.leagle.com/decision/infdco20210920a80
Second Circuit Reinstates Insurers’ Suit Against Saudi Bank Stemming from 9/11 Terrorist Attacks https://www.law.com/insurance-coverage-law-center/2020/09/11/second-circuit-reinstates-insurers-suit-against-saudi-bank-stemming-from-911-terrorist-attacks/?slreturn=20210826182432
My father was brutally killed by the Taliban. The US ignored his pleas for help https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/sep/27/father-killed-taliban-us-ignored-pleas-daughter-afghan-president
Support for Nuclear Ban Treaty Is Rising. Nuclear Nations Are on the Defensive. https://truthout.org/articles/support-for-nuclear-ban-treaty-is-rising-nuclear-nations-are-on-the-defensive/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=4ed37bf3-fa8f-40c4-94b4-932aea3990de
Stop Calling the Military Budget a ‘Defense’ Budget https://www.commondreams.org/views/2021/10/05/stop-calling-military-budget-defense-budget?utm_term=AO&utm_campaign=Daily%20Newsletter&utm_content=email&utm_source=Daily%20Newsletter&utm_medium=Email
Fewer Democrats This Year Supported a 10 Percent Cut to the Defense Budget https://truthout.org/articles/fewer-democrats-this-year-supported-a-10-percent-cut-to-the-defense-budget/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=85e66ca2-fcf5-49a4-a3d3-bbcfa2db97a9
Are the Motives of War Profiteers Driving Us to the Brink of a New Cold War? https://truthout.org/articles/are-the-motives-of-war-profiteers-driving-us-to-the-brink-of-a-new-cold-war/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=4ed37bf3-fa8f-40c4-94b4-932aea3990de
Why are Americans paying $32m every hour for wars since 9/11? https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/sep/09/afghanistan-us-foreign-wars-congresswoman-barbara-lee
Barbara Lee Offers Amendment to Reduce Pentagon Budget by $25 Billion https://truthout.org/articles/barbara-lee-offers-amendment-to-reduce-pentagon-budget-by-25-billion/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=9dd7dc3c-f6d6-4669-87fd-a5b2f6b00948
Nearly 50 Groups Demand Passage of Amendments to Cut Pentagon Budget https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/09/22/nearly-50-groups-demand-passage-amendments-cut-pentagon-budget?utm_term=AO&utm_campaign=Daily%20Newsletter&utm_content=email&utm_source=Daily%20Newsletter&utm_medium=Email