Andrew J. Bacevich

Andrew J. Bacevich is president of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft.

Is the USA still worth fighting for?

I have no personal investment in America’s Afghanistan war. My own service in Vietnam, now a half-century in the past, remains an abiding preoccupation, as does the more recent Iraq war, where my son was killed. But I feel no more emotional connection to America’s ‘longest war’ than to US efforts to pacify the Philippines

Time we left

The journalist Michael Kinsley defines ‘gaffe’ as that which occurs when a politician accidentally tells the truth. Reacting to the latest bad news coming out of Afghanistan — an American soldier in the Panjwai district of Kandahar province went on a rampage, killing 16 civilians in cold blood — the presidential candidate Newt Gingrich committed

How good a general was David Petraeus?

Neoconservatives have constructed dangerous illusions around David Petraeus’s strictly limited successes History has not dealt kindly with American generals of late. Remember when ‘Stormin’’ Norman Schwarzkopf ranked as one of the great captains of the ages? When members of Congress talked of promoting General Colin Powell to five-star rank, hitherto reserved for the likes of

Mission impossible

The killing of Osama bin Laden settles nothing, decides nothing, and repairs nothing. Yet the passing of the al-Qa’eda leader just might serve an important purpose. We confront a moment of revelation: coming across bin Laden comfortably ensconced in a purpose-built compound in the middle of major Pakistani city down the street from the nation’s

Remember Iraq?

The process of forgetting ‘Bush’s war’ has already begun, says Andrew J. Bacevich. But if President Obama fails to learn from that disaster, he’ll pay the price in Afghanistan What is it about the war in Iraq that induces officials to lie, dissemble, prevaricate, and otherwise exert themselves to dodge the truth? Now even Barack

Obama is in hock to the hawks

At the turn of the 20th century, an army of half a million Tommies imposed Britain’s will on the Boers, yet this nominal victory served chiefly to accelerate the downward spiral of British power. Foolishly attempting to recover its imperial holdings in Indochina after the second world war, France succeeded only in showing how weak

This is not World War Three — or Four

In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, Norman Podhoretz, the distinguished American journalist and neoconservative godfather, penned a series of articles describing the attacks of 11 September 2001 as the opening shots of what he called ‘World War IV’. For Podhoretz, the more commonly used construct ‘global war on terror’ is too generic. Placing 9/11 in