Prophetic indictment of the house of cards and hubris that is American exceptionalism. Unflinching and stunningly articulate analysis of the structural flaws in the dominant American narrative. Oct 10, Ed rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Anyone who wants to understand How we, the U. Recommended to Ed by: PBS Shelves: essays-politics-science-religion , reviewed , non-fiction Written by a true conservative, ex-military officer and current Boston University professor, this book concisely explains how the actions of citizens, government and the military over the last 45 years have pushed the U.
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His early retirement is thought to be a result of his taking responsibility for the Camp Doha Kuwait explosion  in while in command of the 11th ACR. Army,  assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 8th U. Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division. Bacevich also has three daughters. He advocates for a non-interventionist foreign policy. He also asserts that policymakers in particular, and the U. Bacevich believes romanticized images of war in popular culture especially films interact with the lack of actual military service among most of the U.
Bacevich conceived The New American Militarism as "a corrective to what has become the conventional critique of U. To lay an intellectual foundation for this argument, he cites two influential historians from the 20th century: Charles A. Beard and William Appleman Williams. Ultimately, Bacevich eschews the partisanship of current debate about U.
In March , at the time of the U. Part of his argument includes the fact that "this liberal Democrat has promised to end the U. Contained within that promise, if fulfilled, lies some modest prospect of a conservative revival. To believe that President John McCain will reduce the scope and intrusiveness of federal authority, cut the imperial presidency down to size, and put the government on a pay-as-you-go basis is to succumb to a great delusion.
Bush, characterized as wrong-headed but sincere, with President Obama, who, he says, has no belief in the Afghanistan war but pursues it for his own politically cynical reasons: "Who is more deserving of contempt? The commander-in-chief who sends young Americans to die for a cause, however misguided, in which he sincerely believes?
Or the commander-in-chief who sends young Americans to die for a cause in which he manifestly does not believe and yet refuses to forsake? His decision to escalate was certainly not a decision his supporters were clamoring for. Certainly, they are unlikely to dissuade the adversaries most likely to employ such weapons against us — Islamic extremists intent on acquiring their own nuclear capability. If anything, the opposite is true. By retaining a strategic arsenal in readiness and by insisting without qualification that the dropping of atomic bombs on two Japanese cities in was justified , the United States continues tacitly to sustain the view that nuclear weapons play a legitimate role in international politics
Bacevich thinks our political system is busted. To accommodate this hunger, pandering politicians have created an informal empire of supply, maintaining it through constant brush-fire wars. Yet the foreign-policy apparatus meant to manage that empire has grown hideously bloated and has led the nation into one disaster after another. In the dog days of the George W. The nation does seem to be in serious trouble.
The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism
We Got Trouble