Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. Bacevich’s dense text may not be ideal for an “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. “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 immediate. Andrew J. Bacevich, The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism ( New York: Metropolitan Books, ), pp., $ Andrew Bacevich’s latest .

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Seeing themselves as a peaceful people, Americans remain wedded to the conviction that the conflicts in which they find themselves embroiled are not of their own making.

Iraq has revealed the futility of counting on military power to sustain our habits of profligacy. The collapse of the Soviet Union appeared to offer an opportunity to expand and perpetuate that empire, badevich something akin to a global Pax Americana. In came the main event, an open- ended global war on terror, soon known in some quarters as the “Long War.

Bill Moyers Journal . THE LIMITS OF POWER | PBS

He vigorously opposes the argument that high-ranking military commanders should be given more latitude in the field. It summons Americans to see themselves without blinders.

Hubris and sanctimony have become the paramount expressions of American statecraft. Writing with knowledge born of experience, conservative historian and former military officer Andrew J. In bacevifh 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. Indispensable reading for every citizen. The Realities and Consequences of U. Rather than soft and consensual, oc approach to imperial governance became harder and more coercive.


The Limits of Power

April 16, Welcome to The Blog The American Empire Project poses questions to American thinkers and writers: In others, it might be cause for regret. Certain of our own benign intentions, we reflexively assign responsibility for war to others, typically malignant Hitler like figures inexplicably bent on denying us the peace that is our fondest wish. Copyright Andrew J. In Andrew Bacevich, realism and moral vision meet.

It argues that the actions of Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden, however malevolent, cannot explain why the United States today finds itself enmeshed in seemingly never- ending conflict.

Inthe Pentagon was prepared for any number of contingencies in the Balkans or Northeast Asia or the Persian Gulf. It only became more itself.

In our own day, realism and humility have proven in short supply. In this sense, the Long War is both self- defeating and irrational. That President Bush is waging his global war on terror to preserve American freedom is no powee the case. During the s, at the urging of politicians and pundits, Americans became accustomed to thinking of their country as “the indispensable nation.

Certainly, the president and his advisers, along with neocons always looking for bacefich to flex American military muscle, bear considerable culpability for our current predicament. While the defense of American freedom seems to demand that U. Freedom is the altar at which Americans worship, whatever their nominal religious persuasion.

The End of American Exceptionalism Author: The preferred American lower was to rely, whenever possible, on suasion. The collective capacity of our domestic political economy to satisfy those appetites has not kept pace with demand. In contrast to the multiple illusions that have governed American policy sincehe calls for respect for power and its limits; aversion to claims of exceptionalism; skepticism of easy solutions, especially those involving force; and a conviction that Americans must live within their means.


All three share this characteristic: These are fundamental questions, which cannot be bacevichh with a rhetorical wave of the hand. This conviction finds expression in a determination to remake the world in what we imagine to be America’s image. Especially since the s, freedom itself has undercut the nation’s ability to fulfill its commitments.

When President Bush declared in his second inaugural that the “survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands,” he ppower in effect claiming for the United States as freedom’s chief agent the prerogative of waging war when and where it sees fit, those wars by definition being fought on freedom’s behalf.

Realism in this sense implies an obligation to see the world as it actually is, not as we might like it to be. Reprinted with kind permission from Henry Holt.

In an immediate sense, it is the soldier who bears the burden of such folly. Simply put, as the American appetite for freedom has grown, so too has our penchant for empire. Moreover, Bacevich argues, President George W.

As individuals, Americans never cease to expect more.

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