Andrew Bacevich

Articles by this author

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Tuesday, January 26, 2016 - 11:45am
The Top Six Global Threats the Presidential Candidates Are Never Asked About
To judge by the early returns, the presidential race of 2016 is shaping up as the most disheartening in recent memory. Other than as a form of low entertainment, the speeches, debates, campaign events, and slick TV ads already inundating the public sphere offer little of value. Rather than...
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Thursday, December 3, 2015 - 9:00am
An Invitation to Collective Suicide: From ISIS to War World IV
Assume that the hawks get their way -- that the United States does whatever it takes militarily to confront and destroy ISIS. Then what? Answering that question requires taking seriously the outcomes of other recent U.S. interventions in the Greater Middle East. In 1991, when the first President...
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Monday, November 16, 2015 - 5:00pm
A War the West Cannot Win
President Francois Hollande’s response to Friday’s vicious terrorist attacks in France, attributed to the Islamic State, was immediate and uncompromising. “We are going to lead a war which will be pitiless,” he vowed. Whether France itself possesses the will or the capacity to undertake such a war...
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Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - 9:45am
On Building Armies (and Watching Them Fail)
First came Fallujah , then Mosul , and later Ramadi in Iraq. Now, there is Kunduz , a provincial capital in northern Afghanistan. In all four places, the same story has played out: in cities that newspaper reporters like to call “strategically important,” security forces trained and equipped by the...
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Thursday, June 18, 2015 - 1:45pm
Washington in Wonderland: Down the Iraqi Rabbit Hole (Again)
There is a peculiar form of insanity in which a veneer of rationality distracts attention from the madness lurking just beneath the surface. When Alice dove down her rabbit hole to enter a place where smirking cats offered directions, ill-mannered caterpillars dispensed advice, and Mock Turtles...
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Monday, March 9, 2015 - 7:15am
Rationalizing Lunacy: The Intellectual as Servant of the State
Policy intellectuals -- eggheads presuming to instruct the mere mortals who actually run for office -- are a blight on the republic. Like some invasive species, they infest present-day Washington, where their presence strangles common sense and has brought to the verge of extinction the simple...
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Monday, February 16, 2015 - 6:45am
Obama’s ISIS War Request Is an "Extraordinary Opportunity" for Congress
Try this thought experiment. Pretend that it’s the spring of 1970. President Richard Nixon has just sent US troops into Cambodia. He thereby expands the Vietnam War, a costly undertaking already ongoing for years with no sign of victory in sight. Now imagine further that Nixon sends a message to...
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Thursday, January 29, 2015 - 1:00pm
Save Us From Washington’s Visionaries
En route back to Washington at the tail end of his most recent overseas trip, John Kerry, America’s peripatetic secretary of state, stopped off in France “to share a hug with all of Paris.” Whether Paris reciprocated the secretary’s embrace went unrecorded. Despite the requisite reference to...
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Wednesday, December 10, 2014 - 10:15am
Torture Report Highlights Consequences of Permanent War
The just-released Senate report on CIA interrogation practices since 9/11 contains nothing that would have surprised the journalist and critic Randolph Bourne. Back in 1918, in an essay left unfinished at the time of his death later that year, Bourne had warned that “war is the health of the state...
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Monday, November 24, 2014 - 7:00am
Malarkey on the Potomac: Five Bedrock Washington Assumptions That Are Hot Air
“Iraq no longer exists.” My young friend M, sipping a cappuccino, is deadly serious. We are sitting in a scruffy restaurant across the street from the Cathedral of St. John the Divine on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. It’s been years since we’ve last seen each another. It may be years before our...
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