Andrew J. Bacevich, The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism ( New York: Metropolitan Books, ), pp., $ Andrew Bacevich’s latest . “Andrew Bacevich speaks truth to power, no matter who’s in power, which may be why those of both the left and right listen to him.”—Bill Moyers An immediat. With The Limits of Power, Andrew J. Bacevich, professor of history and international relations at Boston University and retired U.S. Army colonel, continues his.

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The Limits of Power: Andrew Bacevich on the End of American Exceptionalism | Democracy Now!

Yet, as events have made plain, the United States is ill prepared to wage a global war of no exits and no deadlines. Yet especially since the s, the reinterpretation of freedom has had a transformative impact on our society and culture. It was prepared — it specialized in power projection. As military officers, we shared an ironic kinship of sorts, each of us demonstrating a peculiar knack for picking the wrong war at the wrong time.

In some respects, this must be cause for celebration. For the United States, the ongoing war makes plain the imperative of putting America’s house in order. By drawing on critics of U. Expending the lives of more American soldiers in hopes of deferring that day is profoundly wrong.

He vigorously opposes the argument that high-ranking military commanders should be given more latitude in the field. Indispensable reading for every citizen.

This is viewer supported news. How exactly did the end of the Long Peace so quickly yield the Long War? He maintains that this story reveals a nation with imperial ambitions.

Bacevich argues that if the nation is to solve its predicament, it will need the revival of a distinctly American approach: And I think, in that regard, if we look at Afghanistan today, we have to see a country that historically, at least as I understand Afghan history, has never really functioned as an integrated and coherent nation state.

Although critics of U. But Thought It Did. Inthe Pentagon was prepared for any number of contingencies in the Balkans or Northeast Asia or the Persian Gulf. Certainly, the president and his advisers, along with neocons always looking for opportunities to flex American military muscle, bear considerable culpability for our current predicament.


Yet to charge them with primary responsibility is to credit them with undeserved historical significance. In our public discourse, freedom is not so much a word or even a value as an incantation, its very mention enough to stifle doubt and terminate all debate. By the time the East- West standoff that some historians had termed the “Long Peace” ended inthe United States had already embarked upon a decade of unprecedented interventionism.

The Limits of Power. In Andrew Bacevich, realism and moral vision meet. Reliance on government power to impose U. Rather than insisting that the world accommodate the United States, Americans need to reassert control over their own destiny, ending their condition of dependency and abandoning their imperial delusions.

Andrew Bacevich is a conservative historian who spent twenty-three years serving in the US Army. In terms of what you want an army to be like and to do, they are competent, they are disciplined, they know their business.

We teeter on the edge of insolvency, desperately trying to balance accounts by relying on our presumably invincible armed forces. Nobody was paying attention to the possibility of actually having to defend the United States of America.

Pkwer benefits, Andrew Bacevich? Rather than soft and consensual, the approach to imperial governance became harder and more coercive.

The collective capacity of our domestic political economy to satisfy those appetites has not kept pace with demand. Whether the issue at hand bacevkch oil, credit, or the availability of cheap consumer goods, we expect the world to accommodate the American way of life. I think there are differences between the two, but I think we should see the limjts as differences in operational priorities.

A real debate would be one in which we would have one candidate, and certainly it would poewr McCain, arguing for the global war on terror and an opponent who was questioning whether the global war on terror makes sense. Although it cobbled together a new agency to attend to “homeland security,” the administration also redoubled its efforts to shore up the Pax Americana and charged the Department of Defense with focusing on this task. Realism in this sense implies an obligation to see the world as it actually is, not as we might like it to be.


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Where does the money come from? In the immediate aftermath of the Cold War, few questioned that assumption. And the post-Cold War period, beginning with the elder Bush, sees this pattern of interventionism — you know, Panama, Iraq, Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo, on and on and on baceevich mostly small conflicts, baceich brief conflicts, conflicts in which we, the people, sit on the sidelines and mostly applaud, and the all-volunteer force seems like the most successful federal program of the recent decades.

Reprinted with kind permission from Henry Holt. Maybe you come for in-depth stories that expose government and corporate abuses of power.

The Limits of Power

Simply put, as the American appetite for freedom has grown, so too has our penchant for empire. The End of American Exceptionalism Author: As pastor, teacher, activist, kimits, and prolific author, Niebuhr was a towering presence in American intellectual life from the s through the s. Yet even as they celebrate freedom, Americans exempt the object of their veneration from critical examination.

He spent twenty-three years serving in the US Army. Even today, he deserves recognition as the most clear- eyed of American prophets.

The Limits of Power by Andrew Bacevich | American Empire Project

Bacevich believes that constructive strategy in foreign policy must recognize that the U. With Americans, even in war time, refusing to curb their appetites, the Long War aggravates the economic contradictions that continue to produce debt and dependency. Moreover, the basic nature of war is also here to stay. After all, these small events left unaltered what many took to be the defining reality of the contemporary era: I mean, who serves?

August 15, Andrew J.