Andrew Bacevich

Articles by this author

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Sunday, April 24, 2016
War Out of Sight, Sacrifice Out of Mind
In the dispiriting of summer of 1979, a beleaguered President Jimmy Carter tried to sell his fellow citizens on a radical proposition: Having strayed from the path of righteousness, the nation was in dire need of moral and cultural repair. Carter’s pitch had a specific context: An “oil shock” —...
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Tuesday, April 05, 2016
The United States as a Prisoner of War
Let’s face it: in times of war, the Constitution tends to take a beating. With the safety or survival of the nation said to be at risk, the basic law of the land -- otherwise considered sacrosanct -- becomes nonbinding, subject to being waived at the whim of government authorities who are impatient...
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Tuesday, March 01, 2016
Don’t Cry for Me, America
Whether or not Donald Trump ultimately succeeds in winning the White House, historians are likely to rank him as the most consequential presidential candidate of at least the past half-century. He has already transformed the tone and temper of American political life. If he becomes the Republican...
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Tuesday, January 26, 2016
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 03, 2015
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
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
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
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 09, 2015
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
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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