American Military Crisis: Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson Speaks Out

Former Chief of Staff to Colin Powell, Lawrence Wilkerson, exposes the crumbling facade of U.S. global power and the consequences of its aggressive foreign policy in Gaza and beyond.

It is clear to at least half the world, some four billion people, that the United States is not the power that it once was… Our reputation is in tatters in the world.” That is what retired U.S. Army Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson told MintCast host Mnar Adley today.

“When you talk about history and the history of empire in particular, what you find are examples of precisely what is happening to us today,” Wilkerson added, noting, in particular, the fall of the Western Roman and Persian empires and how, after they began to teeter, their leadership started to reinforce failures in military operations, in diplomacy and foreign policy in general.

“Look at Ukraine. We are reinforcing what is clearly a defeat for NATO, Washington and London (Washington’s poodle). And yet, we are reinforcing. We are sending billions more dollars,” he said, noting that U.S. policy in Gaza and Afghanistan were similar stories.

Lawrence Wilkerson served in the Army for 31 years before joining the State Department, where he was Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell. Yet, in recent years, he has become one of the most vocal critics of American foreign policy. Today, he is a member of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.

The military is facing a severe recruitment crisis. Public confidence in the armed forces is at a modern low. According to a November poll, one-third of Americans would actively discourage their friends and family from military service. In 2023, the Army, Navy and Air Force all fell well short of the recruitment goals—a common occurrence in recent years. It appears Generation Z simply does not want to fight.

Wilkerson says this has led to a serious dilemma for war planners in Washington. “If the United States were to go to war with China or Russia today, we would lose badly,” he told Adley, stressing that America has neither the mobilization capacity nor the defense industrial base to defeat their largest foes, and certainly not both of them together.

If this were the case, the U.S. would likely fall back on its gigantic nuclear arsenal to equalize the playing field. Yet one major nuclear engagement would likely be enough to permanently devastate organized human life on this planet, meaning that the consequences of U.S. imperial decline could hardly be more significant.

In today’s interview, Adley and Wilkerson touch on many of the key geopolitical hotspots of the day, including the Israeli assault on Gaza. Wilkerson is horrified by what he has seen there and suggests that U.S. support for Israel is costing Washington dearly on the world stage.

Part of the reason why it continues to support Israel’s aggressive maneuvers is the power of the domestic Israel lobby and the extent to which the Apartheid state interferes in U.S. politics. “Israel is the greatest and most dangerous foreign agent operating on US soil. There’s no question about that,” Wilkerson said.

Mnar Adley is an award-winning journalist and editor and is the founder and director of MintPress News. She is also president and director of the non-profit media organization Behind the Headlines. Adley also co-hosts the MintCast podcast and is a producer and host of the video series Behind The Headlines. Contact Mnar at or follow her on Twitter at @mnarmuh.

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