DANNY SJURSEN

Anti-War Activist and Scholar

Retired U.S. Army Major

Danny Sjursen is a non-resident senior fellow at the Center for International Policy. His public writing and scholarship focuses on U.S. military policy, the Greater Middle East, imperialism, civil rights history, and the linkages between war and empire at home and abroad.  A retired U.S. Army officer and West Point graduate, he served combat tours with reconnaissance units in Iraq and Afghanistan and later taught history at the military academy.  He transitioned to full time writing, speaking, and activism in 2019, and is now a contributing editor at antiwar.com. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Nation, HuffPost, Mother Jones, The Hill, Salon, Popular Resistance, Scheer Post, and Tom Dispatch, among other publications. He is the author of a memoir and critical analysis of the Iraq War, Ghostriders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge. His forthcoming book, Patriotic Dissent: America in the Age of Endless War is now available for pre-order; Steerforth Press will also publish his comprehensive revisionist history of the United States in mid-2021. Prior to joining CIP, Danny was a fellow at Defense Priorities and continues to research and publish part-time with the Future of Freedom Foundation.  He co-hosts the podcast "Fortress on a Hill," with fellow vet Chris "Henri” Henrikson.  In recent years, he’s been active in intersectional antiwar/social justice organizations such as About Face: Veterans Against the War and Veterans For Peace.  Sjursen was selected as a 2019-20 Lannan Foundation Cultural Freedom Fellow.  He lives with his two sons in Lawrence, KS, home of the University of Kansas - where he earned an MA and is completing a PhD in American History.  Follow him on Twitter @SkepticalVet and visit his professional website for further information and past work.

Latest News

The Tortured Legacy of the Mexican-American War, Part 4

by Danny Sjursen

Sept-22-2020

Senior Fellows

The American Army’s invasion of Mexico was justified by a lie, overtly aggressive, and unnecessary. In that sense it bore striking resemblance to the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq. Yet, even more so than the Iraq occupation that followed, the conduct of large segments of the U.S. Army in Mexico was exceptionally ruthless throughout the two-year campaign.

The Syria Boondoggle: Who’s Ready to Die in Vain?

by Danny Sjursen

Sept-22-2020

Senior Fellows

Mark my words: an American soldier will soon die for next to nothing in Syria. Here’s a mission that takes all the absurdity of America’s post-9/11 wars of choice to their logical conclusion...amidst a whole range of post-Russiagate alarmism, an Afghan "bounty" scandal that wasn’t, and in response to the (gasp!) Russian “ramming” of an American party three weeks ago, Washington is sending in reinforcements to buck up that US military non-mission in Syria.

Presidential Candidate Joe Biden Announced That No Major Defense Cuts to the US Budget are Expected

Danny Sjursen interviewed

Sept-17-2020

Senior Fellows

For our last segment, Retired Major Danny Sjursen joins us to argue that the election season timing of the latest Mideast peace deals is hardly coincidental and that the road show is less about scoring regional "peace" than partisan points.

Trump and Netanyahu's “Peace Deal”

Danny Sjursen interviewed

Sept-16-2020

Senior Fellows

The president calls it a “previously unthinkable regional transformation.” But perhaps it both solidifies the power of medieval monarchies masquerading as modern states, as it ramps up sales of US weapons systems to them. Retired US Army Major Danny Sjursen says this alleged peace deal, announced with such fanfare on September 15th, does nothing for peace. Neither the people of Bahrain or the UAE or the Palestinians had any input in the process. Meanwhile the Saudis are of course behind the scenes, worried about the Shia people who live above where the oil is. And Sjursen says it is curious how Israel makes peace with avowed anti-Semites.

Arranged Marriage: Bahrain and Israel’s Peculiar ‘Peace’

by Danny Sjursen

Sept-15-2020

Senior Fellows

At a White House ceremony today, the Israelis and Emiratis will officially normalize diplomatic relations. Bahrain, the latest "prospect" to sign on to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s diplomatic road-show, is sending some officials to the party. When both deals are sealed, Abu Dhabi and Manama will be the third and fourth Arab countries to officially recognize Israel. Only don’t be too impressed.

September 14, 2001: The Day America Became Israel

by Danny Sjursen

Sept-14-2020

Senior Fellows

The rubble was still smoldering at Ground Zero when the U.S. House of Representatives voted to essentially transform itself into the Israeli Knesset, or parliament. It was 19 years ago, 11:17pm Washington D.C. time on September 14, 2001 when the People’s Chamber approved House Joint Resolution 64, the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) “against those responsible for the recent attacks.” Naturally, that was before the precise identities, and full scope, of “those responsible” were yet known – so the resolution’s rubber-stamp was obscenely open-ended by necessity, but also by design.

9/11/20 Danny Sjursen: America in the Age of Endless War

Danny Sjursen interviewed

Sept-11-2020

Senior Fellows

Scott interviews Danny Sjursen about his new book, which chronicles his own story of disillusionment with America’s endless wars, in addition to outlining what he believes should be the new attitude of true American patriotism. He calls this type of patriotism “patriotic dissent,” explaining that when one’s country has become an empire of military adventurism founded on lies, the truly patriotic thing to do is to oppose these trends.

A Veteran’s View of Trump, Endless Wars, and the 2020 Election with Danny Sjursen

Danny Sjursen interviewed

Sept-10-2020

Senior Fellows

In this week’s episode, Kelley, Matt, and Daniel spoke to Danny Sjursen, an Iraq and Afghanistan War veteran-turned-antiwar activist. He talks about the most recent rift between Trump and the military and what veterans really think about the president and his policies.

The Tragedy of Col. (ret.) Joel Rayburn: A Former Student’s Lament

by Danny Sjursen

Sept-8-2020

Senior Fellows

Major Rayburn was smarter than your average professorial bear – even among his more cerebral, academic-inclined officer peers who’d applied for the rather competitive – approximately 15 percent selection rate – West Point gig. I took his elective on modern British History (circa 1815-present), and it was one of my favorite courses at the academy. I felt a certain kinship with this thoughtful, softer-spoken, and less brash army major.

Stone and Sjursen Part 4 – Ep 77

Danny Sjursen co-hosts

Sept-5-2020

Senior Fellows

Danny’s final discussion with Oliver Stone is here!!! The discussion includes how Oliver expressed his angst with his parents’ divorce through the stories of Elias and Barnes in Platoon, boot licking war films (like Gladiator and Blackhawk Down) and their exceptionally narrow points of view, and the DOD’s reaction to providing support for Platoon.

America’s Expeditionary Kleptocracy: A Banana Republic and Its Banana Wars

by Danny Sjursen

Sept-1-2020

Senior Fellows

According to Transparency International’s 2019 Corruption Perception’s Index, the US is the world’s 23rd least swindling state. Still, I think the index was rather generous to Uncle Sam. Maybe that’s because it "ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, according to experts and business people."

Mike Monetta, National Director of Wolf-PAC – Ep 76

Danny Sjursen co-hosts

Aug-31-2020

Senior Fellows

Mike Monetta, National Director for Wolf-PAC, stops by the podcast to discuss his organization’s vision of fighting money in politics amid a sea of political corruption, how progressives and those who align with them can find common cause, and how the American ideal of thanking veterans for their service desperately needs reform.

Patriotic Dissent: A conversation with Maj. Danny Sjursen

Danny Sjursen interviewed

Aug-27-2020

Senior Fellows

We're joined by former US Army Major and current peace activist, Danny Sjursen, in a discussion about his forthcoming book Patriotic Dissent: America in the Age of Endless War, coming out September 8th.

Lebanon: Inconvenient Truths About Syria, Iran, Hezbollah, and the Shia ‘Street’

by Danny Sjursen

Aug-26-2020

Senior Fellows

There’s been a lot of nonsense passing as truth in post-blast Lebanon reporting. Most centers around alarmism about Hezbollah’s nefarious influence, the West’s "opportunity" to destroy it, and the supposed struggle with Russia, China, and Iran for paternalist-preeminence in a country that isn’t ours (or theirs) to preside over in the first place.

The Buck Does not Stop Here – The Murder of Vanessa Guillen – Ep 75

Danny Sjursen co-hosts

Aug-26-2020

Senior Fellows

The murder of Vanessa Guillen has struck a violent, but unsurprising chord among the progressive community, anti-war veterans as a whole, and the many victims of military sexual trauma, as the activist reaction, given the high violent crime rate at Ford Hood, is to demand shutting down the entire Army post (the second biggest one in the continental U.S.) and insisting that the entire chain of command from Vanessa’s first line supervisor to the commanding general, resign in shame at their failing to protect an innocent human being under their command.

Danny Sjursen Debunks the Biggest Myths About Lebanon

Danny Sjursen interviewed

Aug-21-2020

Senior Fellows

Scott talks to Danny Sjursen about Lebanon, which has been in the news recently after a disastrous, and apparently accidental, explosion left hundreds dead there. Today Sjursen discusses Lebanon’s past, a history that has seen it become a battleground for many proxy wars throughout the Middle East.

Lebanon: The Top Ten Myths About the Country and Its Conflicts (Part Two)

by Danny Sjursen

Aug-20-2020

Senior Fellows

A look at Washington’s willful misreading of, and misleading narrative about, Lebanon – and its decades-worth of dangerous policy implications.

Lebanon: The Top Ten Myths About the Country and Its Conflicts

by Danny Sjursen

Aug-18-2020

Senior Fellows

Washington’s willful misreading of, and misleading narrative about, Lebanon – and its decades-worth of dangerous policy implications.

Unregistered Podcast 127: Danny Sjursen (VIDEO)

Danny Sjursen interviewed

Aug-17-2020

Senior Fellows

The ongoing US wars are as far from the news as ever, which is why I brought combat veteran and antiwar journalist Danny Sjursen onto the show. We discussed his road from a working-class Staten Island family of right-wing cops and firefighters to West Point and then leading scout platoons with Armored Cavalry regiments in neighborhoods across Baghdad and in the especially volatile Kandahar Valley in Afghanistan.

The truth about war with Danny Sjursen, combat veteran and West Point graduate.

Danny Sjursen interviewed

Aug-15-2020

Senior Fellows

Chris Hedges discusses Ghost RIders of the Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge, with author Danny Sjursen, combat veteran and West Point graduate.

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