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The Limits of Power: The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War. The Sorrows of Empire: The Realities and Consequences of U. Review "Tough-minded, bracing, and intelligent American Empire Project Paperback: Metropolitan Books; Reprint edition March 29, Language: Related Video Shorts 0 Upload your video.

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Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War by Andrew J. Bacevich

Bacevich identifies many of the same problems I've been talking about since I went to Vietnam with the Army in the late s, listening to the generals and the politicians tell us the problems with the war were not the result of our interventionist strategy itself but of a lack of sufficient troops, lack of support from the public at home, lack of international support, lack of proper counterinsurgency strategy like the ever-popular "pacification" programs in which villages had to be destroyed to save them , etc. Maybe it's because the generals and politicians have been saying the same things in each of our idiotic interventions ever since.

They ignore the stresses on the troops resulting from lack of a clear mission, being plunked down in hellish environments where you can't tell the good guys from the bad guys, while bemoaning the troops' use of drugs and alcohol. Maybe it's because those of us in the service with some intelligence background knew that the Soviet Union was crumbling from within in the mids. As I said back then, the Soviet Union was a country which was incapable of building a decent automobile -- and then turned to Fiat for help in doing so.


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We were aware of the paper capabilities of Soviet and Warsaw Pact military units, but equally aware that they had poor morale, as well as their own serious drug and alcohol problems, and that their equipment and technology were often less than reliable. I spoke with a Soviet agricultural scientist at a national land grant university conference in , who told me the Xerox machine was a huge edge for the U.

Bacevich personally saw what East Germany was like after the Wall came down, but we'd learned what life was like there in the Eastern Bloc in places like the Defense Language Institute. To his credit, once he discovered the truth of our mortal enemy's lack of clothing, he continued to examine, question, and identify the fundamental flaws in our policies of military and political intervention like the overthrows of elected governments in Iran and Guatemala , our huge expenditures for hardware and intelligence-gathering, all of which began in the period after World War II and of which President Eisenhower warned us as he was leaving office but did little to prevent when he had the authority.

Basevich's book is the clearest exposition of the fundamental problems with what has been a suicidal -- and financially ruinous --tendency to police the world, without understanding anything about our supposed enemies in any part of the world. His prose is lucid and compelling; his style pulls the reader into the narrative, and propels him or her from page to page. I've heard him speak on several occasions on television, and his books are just as intelligent as his speaking style.

Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War

My only question is, where were people like him when I was pulling what's left of my hair out the past five decades? He's deserving of applause -- and attention. Because our military has a sacred purpose, we therefore have an obligation to intervene whenever our trigger finger gets too itchy.

Capabilities drive our doctrine; our doctrine drives our interventions; our interventions drive the expansion of capabilities. We have forgotten the value of peace; we have become addicted to war. But his focus on the twists and turns of military doctrine in a wholly American setting misses something important.

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Yes, we have lived for five centuries in a world of imperial European invasions, but we also live for a very long time in a world of anti-imperial resistance movements. It's a chronic problem. One person found this helpful 2 people found this helpful. See all reviews. Most recent customer reviews. Published 1 year ago. Published on August 12, Published on May 30, Published on May 6, Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers.

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Bacevich makes his powerful critique of American foreign and military policy in a clear analytical fashion. As an initial project for [a] more informed citizenry, I would suggest reading Andrew Bacevich's Washington Rules. Writing with Force-Five fury, Andrew Bacevich lays bare the dogmas and shibboleths that have animated national security doctrine for the last half century and produced an Orwellian nightmare of permanent war in the name of permanent peace.

This passionate, often discomforting book brings rare clarity to a subject of urgent importance for all Americans.


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  • The American People in Depression and War, May it be widely read, may it disenthrall us from the academic generals, militant academics, and cynical politicians who insist that we must invest blood and treasure in mud-brick Afghan villages, while China invests in advanced technology. His powerful book clearly demonstrates how threadbare this idea has become.

    A must-read for all those concerned with America's future. A brilliant historian's analysis of what ails America, this book should be read by every national officeholder and and by all who care about America's future safety and prosperity. Leadership in a Time of Horror and Hope, Bacevich shines a bright light on the meaning of national security and what it requires, while addressing fundamental but long-ignored questions about America's place in the world and the role of military power.

    Andrew Bacevich , a professor of history and international relations at Boston University, retired from the U. Army with the rank of colonel. He is the author of The New American Militarism , among other books. He is the recipient of a Lannan award and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.