Andrew Bacevich

Articles by this author

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Sunday, February 19, 2012
Scoring the Global War on Terror: From Liberation to Assassination in Three Quick Rounds
With the United States now well into the second decade of what the Pentagon has styled an “era of persistent conflict,” the war formerly known as the global war on terrorism (unofficial acronym WFKATGWOT) appears increasingly fragmented and diffuse. Without achieving victory, yet unwilling to acknowledge failure, the United States military has withdrawn from Iraq. It is trying to leave Afghanistan, where events seem equally unlikely to yield a happy outcome.
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Monday, November 14, 2011
Big Change Whether We Like It or Not; Only Washington Is Clueless
In every aspect of human existence, change is a constant. Yet change that actually matters occurs only rarely. Even then, except in retrospect, genuinely transformative change is difficult to identify. By attributing cosmic significance to every novelty and declaring every unexpected event a revolution, self-assigned interpreters of the contemporary scene -- politicians and pundits above all -- exacerbate the problem of distinguishing between the trivial and the non-trivial.
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Thursday, July 28, 2011
Cheap Grace and American Patriotism
Fenway Park, Boston, July 4, 2011. On this warm summer day, the Red Sox will play the Toronto Blue Jays. First come pre-game festivities, especially tailored for the occasion.
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Tuesday, June 28, 2011
On the Mend?: America Comes to Its Senses
At periodic intervals, the American body politic has shown a marked susceptibility to messianic fevers. Whenever an especially acute attack occurs, a sort of delirium ensues, manifesting itself in delusions of grandeur and demented behavior. By the time the condition passes and a semblance of health is restored, recollection of what occurred during the illness tends to be hazy. What happened? How’d we get here? Most Americans prefer not to know. No sense dwelling on what’s behind us. Feeling much better now! Thanks!
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Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Not Why, But How: To the Shores of (and Skies Above) Tripoli
It is a commonplace of American politics: when the moving van pulls up to the White House on Inauguration Day, it delivers not only a closetful of gray suits and power ties, but a boatload of expectations.
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Thursday, January 27, 2011
Cow Most Sacred: Why Military Spending Remains Untouchable
In defense circles, “cutting” the Pentagon budget has once again become a topic of conversation. Americans should not confuse that talk with reality. Any cuts exacted will at most reduce the rate of growth. The essential facts remain: U.S. military outlays today equal that of every other nation on the planet combined, a situation without precedent in modern history.
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Monday, September 27, 2010
Prisoners of War: Bob Woodward and All the President’s Men (2010 Edition)
Once a serious journalist, the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward now makes a very fine living as chief gossip-monger of the governing class. Early on in his career, along with Carl Bernstein, his partner at the time, Woodward confronted power. Today, by relentlessly exalting Washington trivia, he flatters power. His reporting does not inform. It titillates.
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Wednesday, September 01, 2010
Obama Wants Us To Forget the Lessons of Iraq
The Iraq war? Fuggedaboudit. "Now, it is time to turn the page." So advises the commander-in-chief at least. "[T]he bottom line is this," President Obama remarked last Saturday, "the war is ending." Alas, it's not. Instead, the conflict is simply entering a new phase. And before we hasten to turn the page-something that the great majority of Americans are keen to do-common decency demands that we reflect on all that has occurred in bringing us to this moment. Absent reflection, learning becomes an impossibility.
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Thursday, July 29, 2010
The End of (Military) History? The US, Israel, and the Failure of the Western Way of War
"In watching the flow of events over the past decade or so, it is hard to avoid the feeling that something very fundamental has happened in world history." This sentiment, introducing the essay that made Francis Fukuyama a household name, commands renewed attention today, albeit from a different perspective.
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