Biography

Ltc. (ret.) William J. Astore served in the U.S. Air Force for 20 years, retiring in 2005.

He was professor of history, and has written extensively for TomDispatch.com, Truthout, History News Network (HNN), Alternet, Salon, Antiwar.com, and Huffington Post among other sites.  He is the author or co-author of three books: Soldiers’ Lives through History: The Early Modern World (2007, co-written with Dennis E. Showalter), Hindenburg: Icon of German Militarism (2005, with Showalter), and Observing God: Thomas Dick, Evangelicalism, and Popular Science in Victorian Britain and America (2001). His numerous articles focus on military history as well as the history of science, technology, and religion. 

He earned a BS (with distinction) in mechanical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, an MA from the Johns Hopkins University (history of science and technology), and a D.Phil. (doctor of philosophy) from the University of Oxford (modern history). He has taught at the Air Force Academy, the Naval Postgraduate School, and the Pennsylvania College of Technology.

Areas of Expertise

  • Military history
  • Defense applications of science, technology, and religion
  • Police militarization and domestic implications of foreign wars
  • Defense spending and the Military-Industrial-Complex

Recent News

  • William Astore: Cancel the F-35, fund infrastructure instead
    Imagine you’re President Joe Biden. You need $2 trillion dollars to fund one of your stated priorities – infrastructure. You learn of a war plane, the F-35 Lightning II, that would cost as much as $1.7 trillion to buy, field and maintain over the next 50 years. It’s $200 billion over budget, and more than ten years behind schedule. What do you do?
  • William Astore: We Are All POWs in America’s “Forever Wars”
    The United States has been embroiled in “nonstop war” since 9/11, fueled by an astonishing funding of the military-industrial complex and pursuit of never-ending conflicts overseas. Retired lieutenant colonel William Astore argues in TomDispatch that we have all become “American POWs,” while brave whistleblowers like Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden, who expose what is being done in our names and with our money, are left to suffer “grim fates.” Read the full article here. Those “forever wars”… have been both truly distant from and eerily close to us, far away and yet a deeply embedded part of American life. William Astore
  • William Astore: Telling War Stories
    “What mad story can we possibly tell ourselves to justify the continued building of more ecocidal and genocidal weapons?”  Retired lieutenant colonel William Astore warns in Popular Resistance that the stories Americans tell themselves about war – ones where violence is always the answer and America is always a good actor – are dangerous.  Read the full article here.  Unless we smarten up and grow as a species, our collective war stories will likely be the death of us. William Astore