Andrew Bacevich

Articles by this author

Retired Gen. John Abizaid was the top U.S. commander in the Middle East as head of Central Command from July 2003 to March 2007. (Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)  Views
Tuesday, November 27, 2018
Rule Number One in Warfare: Know Your Enemy
What does President Trump’s recent nomination of retired Army General John Abizaid to become the next U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia signify? Next to nothing—and arguably quite a lot. Abizaid’s proposed appointment is both a non-event and an opportunity not to be wasted. It means next to nothing...
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Tuesday, October 16, 2018
Rethinking National Security: Some Unsolicited Advice for an Undeclared Presidential Candidate
Senator Elizabeth Warren 317 Hart Senate Office Building Washington, D.C. Dear Senator Warren: As a constituent, I have noted with interest your suggestion that you will “ take a hard look ” at running for president in 2020, even as you campaign for reelection to the Senate next month. Forgive me...
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The point of this informal midterm report card is not to argue that Donald Trump has somehow failed. It is rather to highlight his essential irrelevance. (Photo: AP/J. Scott Applewhite) Views
Tuesday, September 11, 2018
The President Is a Pimple
Donald Trump’s tenure as the 45th U.S. president may last another few weeks, another year, or another 16 months. However unsettling the prospect, the leaky vessel that is the S.S. Trump might even manage to stay afloat for a second term. Nonetheless, recent headline-making revelations suggest that...
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"They have abdicated responsibility for policy to our own homegrown equivalents of Haig, Foch, Petain, Hindenburg, and Ludendorff. Their failure is unforgivable." (Photo:  Alex Guerrero/flickr/cc) Views
Thursday, June 07, 2018
Infinite War: The Pentagon's Gravy Train Rolls On
“ The United States of Amnesia .” That’s what Gore Vidal once called us. We remember what we find it convenient to remember and forget everything else. That forgetfulness especially applies to the history of others. How could their past, way back when, have any meaning for us today? Well, it just...
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"The intent of the attack was to make a statement without making a difference." (Photo: Hassan Ammar / AP) Views
Friday, April 20, 2018
Trump Declares ‘Mission Accomplished’ on Syria Attacks — But Whose Mission?
As a novice candidate for high office, Donald Trump spelled out his views on war with admirable clarity. The smart approach, he insisted, is to use maximum force in order to win quickly. If victory fails to materialize, then you cut your losses and get out. The last thing you want to do is to get...
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"Having outsourced responsibility for defending the country to people few of us actually know, we’ve ended up with a military system that is unfair, undemocratic, hugely expensive, and largely ineffective, not to mention increasingly irrelevant to the threats coming our way." (Photo: Reuters/file) Views
Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Creating a Perpetual War Machine
The purpose of all wars, is peace . So observed St. Augustine early in the first millennium A.D. Far be it from me to disagree with the esteemed Bishop of Hippo, but his crisply formulated aphorism just might require a bit of updating. I’m not a saint or even a bishop, merely an interested observer...
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Tuesday, March 20, 2018
On Seeing America's Whole Wars: A Memo to the Publisher of the New York Times
March 20, 2018 Dear Mr. Sulzberger: Congratulations on assuming the reins of this nation’s -- and arguably, the world’s -- most influential publication. It’s the family business, of course, so your appointment to succeed your father doesn’t exactly qualify as a surprise. Even so, the responsibility...
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"Instead, urged on by the uber-hawks in his own administration, he embarked upon a misguided “Global War on Terrorism.” No single action played a greater role in paving the way for Donald Trump to become president." (Photo: via PRI) Views
Tuesday, January 30, 2018
How We Got Donald Trump: American Paths Chosen and Not (1989-2018)
The present arrives out of a past that we are too quick to forget, misremember, or enshroud in myth. Yet like it or not, the present is the product of past choices. Different decisions back then might have yielded very different outcomes in the here-and-now. Donald Trump ascended to the presidency...
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Saturday, December 16, 2017
As American Statecraft Crumbles into Dangerous Incoherence, Where is the Senate?
Where is J. William Fulbright when we need him? Or if not Fulbright, perhaps Robert M. La Follette or George W. Norris. Personally, I’d even settle for William Borah or Burton K. Wheeler. During the 20th century, each of these now largely forgotten barons of the U.S. Senate served the nation with...
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Monday, December 11, 2017
Still Waiting... A Harvey Weinstein Moment for America’s Wars?
What makes a Harvey Weinstein moment? The now-disgraced Hollywood mogul is hardly the first powerful man to stand accused of having abused women. The Harveys who preceded Harvey himself are legion, their prominence matching or exceeding his own and the misdeeds with which they were charged at least...
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