Andrew J. Bacevich

(Andrew J. Bacevich, Sr.)

Andrew J. Bacevich
Andrew J. Bacevich
  • Born: July 5, 1947
  • Nationality:
  • Profession: Historian, Writer, Professor; Colonel, U.S. Army (Retired)









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Andrew J. Bacevich, Sr. is an American historian specializing in international relations, security studies, American foreign policy, and American diplomatic and military history. He is a Professor Emeritus of International Relations and History at the Boston University Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies. He is also a retired career officer in the Armor Branch of the United States Army, retiring with the rank of Colonel. He is a former director of Boston University's Center for International Relations (from 1998 to 2005), now part of the Pardee School of Global Studies.

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Any great power—especially a great one suddenly deprived of its traditional adversary—faces the perennial dilemma of showing a reasonable return on its costly military investments. Military & Veterans
As with budget deficits or cost overruns on weapons purchases, members of the national security apparatus — elected and appointed officials, senior military officers and other policy insiders — accept war as a normal condition. Once, the avoidance of war figured as a national priority. On those occasions when war proved unavoidable, the idea was to end the conflict as expeditiously as possible on favorable terms. These precepts no longer apply. With war transformed into a perpetual endeavor, expectations have changed. In Washington, war has become tolerable, an enterprise to be managed rather than terminated as quickly as possible. Like other large-scale government projects, war now serves as a medium through which favors are bestowed, largess distributed and ambitions satisfied. Budgets & Budgeting ;War & Peace
Besotted with ambition, empires in our age have betrayed an astonishing propensity for self-inflicted wounds…. Of the dangers that threaten a Great Power, the most insidious come from within. Power
Desert Storm seemingly reversed one of the principal lessons of Vietnam—namely that excessive reliance on technology in war is a recipe for disaster. Defense & National Security
How the United States chose to deal with its growing reliance on foreign oil would determine its future. Energy ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
Large-scale corruption persists, with Afghanistan third from the bottom in international rankings, ahead of only Somalia and North Korea. Adjusted for inflation, American spending to reconstruct Afghanistan now exceeds the total expended to rebuild all of Western Europe under the Marshall Plan; yet to have any hope of surviving, the Afghan government will for the foreseeable future remain almost completely dependent on outside support. Corruption ;Foreign Aid ;War & Peace
Market expansion is not an opportunity. It is a necessity. Foreign Trade
No American witnessing the way that President George W. Bush and his generals have bungled the Iraq war can deny that our leaders, civilian and military alike, will have to get a lot smarter if the U.S. armed services are to persuade the Islamic world to embrace the blessings of democracy. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Our army is really an imperial army…. We used to wonder why British imperialists went to Iraq and Afghanistan. Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism
Our foreign policy reflects the perceptions of our political elite about what we want. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
Ronald Reagan was the modern prophet of profligacy. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
The aim of war now is not to defeat your enemy – that’s probably impossible – but to change the way he and his supporters think. War & Peace
The first obligation towards those we love is to keep them from harm. So if we love our troops, the most important thing we can do is to send them into harm’s way only if it absolutely necessary… We have abused our troops—particularly the army and the marines. War & Peace
The mainstream of both the Republican and Democratic Parties are equally committed to militarism today. Military & Veterans
The Pentagon has expended stupendous sums. Yet when it comes to promised results—–disorder curbed, democracy promoted, human rights advanced, terrorism suppressed—–the United States has precious little to show. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
The Persian Gulf region would have zero strategic importance were it not for the oil. Energy
There is a yawning discrepancy of what Americans expect and for what they are willing to pay. Budgets & Budgeting
Time and again, attempts by machine-age armies to impose their will on irregular forces supported by a sympathetic population failed. War & Peace
U. S. forces [are] more or less permanently engaged in ongoing hostilities. In one theater after another, fighting erupts, ebbs, flows, and eventually meanders toward some ambiguous conclusion, only to erupt anew or be eclipsed by a new round of fighting elsewhere. Nothing really ends. War & Peace ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
Wars once begun drag on in perpetuity. War & Peace
When the state does go to war ... so too should the nation. War & Peace
When you go to war it is highly unlikely that it will end with a neat, tidy conclusion. War & Peace