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.

RECENT PUBLICATIONS

BOOK

Book: Patriotic Dissent: America in the Age of Endless War

By Danny Sjursen, Senior Fellows

"This incendiary work by Daniel Sjursen is a personal cry from the heart by a once-model US Army officer and West Point graduate who became a military dissenter while still on active duty. Set against the backdrop of the terror wars of the last two decades, Sjursen asks whether there is a proper space for patriotism that renounces entitled exceptionalism and narcissistic jingoism. Once a burgeoning believer and budding conservative, Sjursen performed an intellectual and spiritual about-face. He now calls for a critical exploration of our allegiances, and he suggests a path to a new, more complex notion of patriotism. Equal parts unsentimental and idealistic, this is a story about what it means to be an American in the midst of perpetual war, and what the future of patriotism might look like." You may learn more and purchase the book at heydaybooks.com/patriotic-dissent.

Book: Patriotic Dissent: America in the Age of Endless War

LATEST NEWS

Tomgram: Danny Sjursen, What If They Called an Election and Nothing Changed in the War State?

by Danny Sjursen

In this mystifying moment, the post-electoral sentiments of most Americans can be summed up either as “Ding dong! The witch is dead!” or “We got robbed!” Both are problematic, not because the two candidates were intellectually indistinguishable or ethically equivalent, but because each jingle is laden with a dubious assumption: that President Donald Trump’s demise would provide either decisive deliverance or prove an utter disaster.

While there were indeed areas where his ability to cause disastrous harm lent truth to such a belief -- race relations, climate change, and the courts come to mind -- in others, it was distinctly (to use a dangerous phrase) overkill. Nowhere was that more true than with America’s expeditionary version of militarism, its forever wars of this century, and the venal system that continues to feed it.

The Pathology of American Exceptionalism with (Ret.) U.S Army Major Danny Sjursen

Danny Sjursen interviewed

Danny Sjursen appears on a podcast where two social studies teachers discuss history, American empire, U.S. politics, and their own lives. Traditional narratives regarding American history are challenged in a tone that ranges from playful to hostile.

Ending the War on Afghanistan

Danny Sjursen on the panel

The U.S. war on Afghanistan is in its 19th year. Enough is enough!

Max Boot’s Revenge: Biden’s ‘A-Team’ in Their Own Words

by Danny Sjursen

Beware savvy, sophisticate liberals bearing gifts of evasive and ethically empty prose. Having, for my sins, spent a few weeks reading just about everything on offer from what unrepentant neocon zealot – and born-again Washington Post columnist – Max Boot dubbed Joe Biden’s foreign policy "A-Team," I can vouch for the new transition team’s vapidity and verisimilitude. Put another way, Boot’s favored Biden Posse – the Iran nuke channeling, P4 (Tony Blinken, Avril Haines, Jake Sullivan, and Nicholas Burns) +1 (Michèle Flournoy) – have a rare gift for typing tons but saying little.

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