Andrew Bacevich

Articles by this author

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Words Not to Die For
By way of explaining his eight failed marriages, the American bandleader Artie Shaw once remarked , “I am an incurable optimist.” In reality, Artie was an incurable narcissist. Utterly devoid of self-awareness, he never looked back, only forward. So, too, with the incurable optimists who manage...
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Tuesday, March 07, 2017
The Shameful Selling of Ryan Owens
“Sentimentality,” wrote James Baldwin in 1949, “is the mark of dishonesty.” With his pronounced antipathy for fakery and cant, Baldwin denounced the “ostentatious parading of excessive and spurious emotion” as an exercise in manipulation. Sentimentality condescends. It masks indifference. Those...
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Thursday, February 23, 2017
Arrogance and Conceit at the Altar of American Greatness
Apart from being a police officer, firefighter, or soldier engaged in one of this nation’s endless wars, writing a column for a major American newspaper has got to be one of the toughest and most unforgiving jobs there is. The pay may be decent (at least if your gig is with one of the major papers...
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Monday, January 09, 2017
How We Got Here: American History After "the End of History"
The fall of the Berlin Wall in October 1989 abruptly ended one historical era and inaugurated another. So, too, did the outcome of last year’s U.S. presidential election. What are we to make of the interval between those two watershed moments? Answering that question is essential to understanding...
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Monday, January 02, 2017
On Loving Another Country
Say what you will about Israeli political leaders, you can always count on them for one thing: They will do whatever they believe necessary to ensure the security and wellbeing of the Jewish State. Love is a sentiment at odds with cold calculation. The same cannot be said of American political...
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Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Donald Trump and the Swamp of Endless War
President-elect Donald Trump’s message for the nation’s senior military leadership is ambiguously unambiguous. Here is he on 60 Minutes just days after winning the election. Trump: "We have some great generals. We have great generals." Lesley Stahl: "You said you knew more than the generals about...
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Tuesday, October 04, 2016
What We Talk About When We Don’t Want to Talk About Nuclear War
You may have missed it. Perhaps you dozed off. Or wandered into the kitchen to grab a snack. Or by that point in the proceedings were checking out Seinfeld reruns. During the latter part of the much hyped but excruciating-to-watch first presidential debate, NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt posed...
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Friday, August 05, 2016
Afghanistan: The Campaign's Forgotten War
Although hardly news, it bears repeating that the Afghanistan War stands as the longest in all of United States history. By election day, it will have entered its 16th year. Our next president will surely inherit the war there, just as Barack Obama inherited it from George W. Bush. Here is a...
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Thursday, August 04, 2016
The Decay of American Politics
My earliest recollection of national politics dates back exactly 60 years to the moment, in the summer of 1956, when I watched the political conventions in the company of that wondrous new addition to our family, television. My parents were supporting President Dwight D. Eisenhower for a second...
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Friday, July 08, 2016
Chilcot Report Damns the Charade of Iraq War
Reduced to a Tweet, the just-released Iraq Inquiry might read like this: “#Tony Blair a poodle? Verily.” That’s the key finding that emerges from the 2.6 million-word official investigation into Britain’s involvement in the Iraq War, informally known as the Chilcot Report. In the wake of 9/11, the...
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