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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Yet especially since the s, the reinterpretation of freedom has had a transformative impact on our society and culture.

Foreign policy has, for decades, provided an outward manifestation of American domestic poder, urges, and fears. Expending the lives of more American soldiers in hopes of deferring that day is profoundly wrong. 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 was 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.

He offers the options of containment and selective engagement as promising strategic approaches. Pimits spent twenty-three years serving in the US Lumits.

The End of American ExceptionalismBacevich argues that although many in this country are paying a heavy price for US domestic and foreign policy decisions, millions of Americans simply continue to shop, spend and satisfy their appetite for cheap oil, credit and the promise of freedom at home.

Although Americans seem to be intent on saddling the rest of the world with their form of freedom, their domestic profligacy and military adventurism have made them more dependent on foreign resources, such as oil, and more vulnerable to attacks from renegade terrorist elements. In others, it might be cause for regret. One sees this, for example, in the way that heightened claims of individual autonomy have eviscerated the concept of citizenship.


Yet, as events have made plain, the United States is ill prepared to wage a global war of no exits and no deadlines.

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

In some respects, this must be cause for celebration. 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. Niebuhr speaks to us from the past, offering truths of enormous relevance to the present. The American Empire Project poses questions to American thinkers and writers: Well, been fighting a war in — where?

The Limits of Power

See more from this Author. My family and I greatly appreciated such gestures. Robert HeinemanPoweg University. These are fundamental questions, which cannot be dismissed with a rhetorical wave of the hand. Nacevich Limits of Power will suggest that this heedless worship of freedom has been a mixed blessing.

This is only possible with your support. We produce our daily news hour at a fraction of the budget of a commercial news operation, all without ads, government funding or corporate underwriting? Metropolitan Books and Henry Holt, Yet that commitment, however well intentioned, begs several larger questions: In the years that followed, Americans became inured to reports of U.

Hubris and sanctimony have become the paramount expressions of American statecraft. Except in the eyes of the deluded and the disingenuous, it has long since become a fool’s errand. The enemy of humility is sanctimony, which gives rise to the conviction that American values and beliefs are universal and that the nation itself serves providentially assigned purposes.

Do you see the end of American empire? In our pursuit of freedom, we have accrued obligations and piled up debts that we are increasingly hard- pressed to meet. That transformation has produced a paradoxical legacy. What is its content? After all, these small events left unaltered what many baceich to be the defining reality of the contemporary era: Bacevich believes that constructive strategy in foreign oof must recognize that the U. Bush, and gets at the heart of the delusions that have crippled the country’s foreign policy for decades.


Non-commercial news needs your support We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work. He is the author of The New American Powreamong other books. Good fortune and a position of apparent preeminence placed the United States “under the most grievous temptations to self- adulation. Political leaders have too often confused strategy with ideology, and, in turn, military leaders have tended to mistake operations for strategy.

Meanwhile, from the Carter administration through the Reagan presidency the military was continually building both politically and ideologically for a major effort in the Persian Gulf region. We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. Odd as they may seem, these priorities reflected a core principle of national security policy: Both of them — McCain explicitly, I think Obama implicitly — endorse the notion that a global war on terror really provides the right frame for thinking about US national security policy going forward.

Congress bacecich been moved outside the circle of real power over decisions about military initiatives. Freedom is the altar at which Americans worship, whatever their nominal religious persuasion.

The Enduring Relevance of Reinhold Niebuhr.