Andrew Bacevich

Articles by this author

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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"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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