Andrew Bacevich

Articles by this author

"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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Thousands of Iraqi civilians have been killed in recent months by imprecise bombings by the U.S.-led coalition in Mosul. Views
Monday, October 09, 2017
How We Learned Not To Care About America's Wars
Consider, if you will, these two indisputable facts. First, the United States is today more or less permanently engaged in hostilities in not one faraway place, but at least seven . Second, the vast majority of the American people could not care less. Nor can it be said that we don’t care because...
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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspecting the Korean People's Army Tank Crews' Competition-2017 at an undisclosed location. Views
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Can a War of Words Become a World of War?
There is no saner, seasoned or sensible voice on American foreign policy today than Andrew Bacevich. He graduated from West Point and served in Vietnam, earned his doctorate in diplomatic history from Princeton University, taught history and international relations at Boston University, and has...
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Tuesday, August 22, 2017
The Conflict in Afghanistan Is Trump's War Now
With President Trump’s Monday night speech, prospects for ending the Afghanistan war anytime soon have vanished. Whether that bodes well for U.S. national security is another matter. Nearly 16 years after U.S. forces first entered Afghanistan, there they remain. Success, narrowly defined as...
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