Permanent War

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Andrew Bacevich, professor of international relations and history at Boston University, West Point graduate, Vietnam veteran, and author of Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War, discusses the origins of global US military presence, and challenges its efficacy.


Andrew Bacevich

Comments [16]

TONY from New York

Many good comments here. CAROLITA, what you can do is to keep caring and stay involved; STEVE S., You sound like an excellent Teacher, I hope Bacevich helps you out; MR. BAD, I believe Carolita was generalizing in her comments, and speaking as someone who is concerned, rightfully so. MICHELLE/nycer, I believe there is a lot of validity to what you said, unfortunately. MARK M, Good comments. SCOTT's comments deserve some thinking. AMY, you ask good questions. SOPHIA, I agree with you that the issues should be the focus. EVERYONE, it is good that you all are involved. Stay healthy.

Sep. 01 2010 08:17 AM
Tim Ledwith

I found Andrew Bacevich's analysis incisive and thought-provoking, but I listened with growing disbelief as the host dropped several references to the death of Bacevich's son in Iraq without the slightest trace of empathy or compassion. The fact that the guest finally had to beg off this line of questioning was disgraceful, though he handled it with great dignity, which is more than I can say for the host.

Sep. 01 2010 07:56 AM
Tony from New York

Correction: In my earlier comment, I wrote Mr. Madoff's first name as Ernie. His first name is Bernie.

Aug. 31 2010 12:42 PM
TONY Johnson from New York

Andrew, good answers and comments, for what can be said during a public interview. For decades I have been contacting US "leaders"/"experts" regarding their supporting our program that has proven and documented results (in the US, Russia, and with people from countries around the world) that prove it is the key to the solving of poverty, terrorism, war, and much more, around the world. The title of Harry Markopolos's book about Ernie Madoff and the SEC, says it well: "No One Would Listen". The monumental insecurity of the people in leadership positions in our country is tragic. Too much to say here, but, in short, take care of people, and they will take care of the problems. Treat people like garbage, and you will get garbage back. Nothing complicated. Good luck. Keep up the good fight.

Aug. 31 2010 11:49 AM

How many times does Mr. Bacevich have to repeat that he does NOT want to discuss his family's tragedy?

He seems to mention it in every interview, yet the next host in line always attempts to ghoulishly extract some "human interest" details from the unfortunate man.

Is it so impossible to just Focus On The ISSUES.

Aug. 31 2010 11:44 AM
Bruce Armstrong from Flushing

I miss Brian when he's not on, not just because he's Brian, but because his stand-in comes across like he's over-dosing on Red Bull.

What's the rush man? Chill a little. It would not only be easier to listen to, it would give you more time to listen to yourself and better choose and frame your questions, and avoid gaffes. And when you rush, sometimes your guests will feel rushed, and that can't be good.

Just my two cents.

Aug. 31 2010 10:54 AM
Mr. Bad from NYC

to Scott from Lower Manhattan:

Just curious, are you using google translate to post comments?

The notion that we created the Taliban by engaging with the Mujahadeen is ridiculous, the Taliban were created, controlled and funded by the ISI (Paki intelligence) and they still are. It's a well known fact. Pakistan was the only country to recognize the Taliban as the legit government of Afghanistan!

Hey Pesca, way to go buddy, why doncha' just ask the guy to talk about how it felt to get a visit from the casualty detail on Mother's Day ... god you're just the worst guest host ever.

Aug. 31 2010 10:54 AM
Amy from Manhattan

In Prof. Bacevich's "fire" analogy for Iraq, I think the idea is that after putting out part of the fire, we're supposed to have trained an Iraqi fire department. To what extent does he think that the US has done that, or that it can be done?

I also remember Obama's campaign promise differently. He said we were going to be "as careful getting out of Iraq as we were careless going in," not that we were going to just leave. I don't want us there either (or in Afghanistan), but the last time we just pulled troops out of Afghanistan, it helped lead to the Taliban takeover. (I know that's oversimplified, but I don't have time for more.)

Aug. 31 2010 10:50 AM

I too was uncomfortable with the aggressive and somewhat insensitive questions towards the end of the interview. I don't think Brian would have been so direct in making a personal tragedy so open.

Aug. 31 2010 10:48 AM
Scott from Lower Manhattan

Prof. Bacevich has dismissed the humanitarian concerns of allowing the Taliban free reign in Afghanistan by asking which is a greater priority, putting our own children through college or protecting women and girls in Afghanistan from third class status? My question for his, if you live in an apartment and you have a pipe burst flooding the apartment below you, which takes precedence: making restitution to your downstairs neighbor or putting your kid through college? We created the conditions for the Taliban through our engagement with Mujahadeen during the Soviet engagement and then abandoning the region after the Soviets left. Now's the time to make restitution.

Aug. 31 2010 10:43 AM

I feel this guest's view is so refreshing and on the mark, especially for an ex-military senior officer.
We need more realism like this from our leaders - and from the media.

Aug. 31 2010 10:41 AM
Scott from Lower Manhattan

Prof. Bacevich claims that we lack the capacity to understand how people on the other side of the world think. If that is so, how does he explain the description of the situation in Iraq in Reconstructing Iraq by Conrad Crane and Andrew Terrill during the buildup to the Iraq War? Can he really cite a problem with how it described how the Iraqi people would react other than the fact the political leaders decided that they were only interested in input from members of their team and that the authors of that report were not part of their team?

Aug. 31 2010 10:35 AM
Michelle from nycer

Industrial Military Complex. War is profitable. It's all about oil and resources anyway.

Aug. 31 2010 10:31 AM
Mr. Bad from NYC

Carolita are you talking about genocide? Otherwise I have no idea what you mean - we didn't kill "practically" everyone we were at war with, ever, unless you mean the American Indian wars.

Aug. 31 2010 10:16 AM
Steve S. from Washington Heights

Can Professor Bacevich say a few words about the "Real World War IV" idea which he discussed in the Wilson Quarterly some years ago? I'm going to be using that particular essay in a class I'm teaching this semester, and I'm wondering how his thinking has evolved. It seems applicable to today's topic.

Aug. 31 2010 10:05 AM

The fact is, we've come a long way since the wars where we crushed the enemy by killing practically everyone to make sure there were no more insurgents to come bite us in the rear ends later. We can't do that anymore, short and simple. There's a such thing as war crimes and crimes against humanity now. We are supposed to have evolved past that, as human beings in modern times, and personally, here, as examples to the rest of the world. There's got to be another solution than US military presence and interference, since all it does is further anger and produce insurgents. A big change in our behavior and position in the world needs to happen. I wish I knew what.

Aug. 31 2010 09:07 AM

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