Andrew Bacevich

Articles by this author

The reality of climate change was now indisputable. All that remained in question was how rapidly it would occur and the extent (and again rapidity) of the devastation that it would ultimately inflict. (Photo: Flickr/ChrisA1995/cc) Views
Tuesday, July 23, 2019
The Great Reckoning: A Look Back from Mid-Century
[Editorial note: This remnant of a manuscript, discovered in a vault near the coastal town of Walpole, Massachusetts, appears to have been part of a larger project, probably envisioned as an interpretive history of the United States since the year 2000. Only a single chapter, probably written near...
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If the purpose of Trump’s speech was to make his listeners feel good, he delivered. Yet in doing so, he also relieved them of any responsibility for thinking too deeply about the event being commemorated. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images) Views
Thursday, June 20, 2019
The Fake News of D-Day and the Art of Shaping Memory
How best to describe the recently completed allied commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of France? Two words come immediately to mind: heartfelt and poignant. The aged D-Day veterans gathering for what was probably the last time richly deserved every bit of praise bestowed on...
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 My destination was Marseilles (mar-SAYLZ), Illinois, a small prairie town with a population hovering around 5,000. (Photo: Flickr) Views
Thursday, May 23, 2019
The “Forever Wars” Enshrined
Earlier this month, I spent a day visiting Marseilles to videotape a documentary about recent American military history, specifically the ongoing wars that most of us prefer not to think about. Lest there be any confusion, let me be more specific. I am not referring to Marseilles (mar-SAY), France...
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We can thank Trump for inadvertently laying bare the reality of civil-military relations in twenty-first-century Washington: The commander-in-chief isn’t really in command.(Photo: Shealah Craighead/White House) Views
Monday, April 08, 2019
For All His Endless Lies, Trump Has Exposed Some Important Truths
Irony, paradox, contradiction, consternation -- these define the times in which we live. On the one hand, the 45th president of the United States is a shameless liar. On the other hand, his presidency offers an open invitation to Americans to confront myths about the way their country actually...
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It now becomes increasingly clear that the official rationale for initiating the Afghanistan War was bogus from the very outset. (Photo: DVIDSHUB/flickr/cc) Views
Monday, March 04, 2019
The US Quietly Negotiates ‘Peace with Honor’ in Afghanistan
A friend of mine, a veteran of America’s 21st-century wars in the Greater Middle East, recently sent along his most recent commentary on Afghanistan. It would be his last, he said. “I’m done writing on how we got here — at this point I’ve said my piece, and I’m tired of being angry.” He’s moving on...
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What term best describes a war that has cost something like a trillion dollars, killed and maimed tens of thousands, and produced a protracted stalemate? (Photo: JCS via Flickr) Views
Tuesday, February 05, 2019
Lost in TrumpWorld: What Matters and What Doesn't
The news, however defined, always contains a fair amount of pap. Since Donald Trump’s ascent to the presidency, however, the trivia quotient in the average American’s daily newsfeed has grown like so many toadstools in a compost heap, overshadowing or crowding out matters of real substance. We’re...
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President Trump arrives to speak to members of the US military during an unannounced trip to Al Asad Air Base in Iraq on Dec. 26. (Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images) Views
Monday, December 31, 2018
Trump vs. the Foreign Policy Establishment
Every time I read the papers That old feeling comes on; We’re waist deep in the Big Muddy And the big fool says to push on. I find myself haunted these days by Pete Seeger’s antiwar anthem of 1967, written when it had become evident to Seeger and many others (although not yet to me) that the United...
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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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