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About the Author

Andrew Bacevich was born in Normal Illinois. He was a graduate of West Point in 1969 and served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. He later held posts in Germany and the Persian Gulf up until his retirement from service in the early 1990's. He has a PhD in American Diplomatic History from näytä lisää Princeton University and has taught at West Point and Johns Hopkins University before joining the faculty at Boston University in 1998 and becoming Professor of International Relations. He has been a critic of the U.S. occupation of Iraq calling the conflict a catastrophic failure. He wrote several books including American Empire: The Realities and Consequences of U.S. Diplomacy and Washington Rules. (Bowker Author Biography) näytä vähemmän
Image credit: Kalman Zabarsky

Tekijän teokset

Twilight of the American Century (2018) 24 kappaletta

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Current US strategy is based on maintaining superpower status, and is leading Americans into useless conflicts
I noted that the author's son was killed in Iraq, perhaps contributing to the strident tone of the book. Nonetheless, I think his analysis is very accurate. The US, after the black lives matter movement and 1619 project, can no longer justify a moral stance of encouraging liberty throughout the world. Bacevich's recommendation is to join with Canada and Mexico to defend the North American continent, and to stop interfering militarily with the mideast, Africa, southeast Asia and elsewhere. He exempts the Pacific, where he sees China as a potential adversary. He would shift funding from the Navy to the Coast Guard, and stop nuclear weapon modernization. He would spend more on social issues and health care. He is unsparing about the mistakes of the US national security experts, secretaries of state, and Presidents, since the end of the cold war. He maintains that America has an empire, and has bungled its management

"The handbook on "Effective Imperial Management" consists of three basic tenets: First: Don't invade Russia. Second: Share costs. Third: Repatriate the benefits."
(p 131)
… (lisätietoja)
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neurodrew | 14 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jul 24, 2023 |
Tämä arvostelu kirjoitettiin LibraryThingin Varhaisia arvostelijoita varten.
Review thus far:

The introduction is a very meaningful read.
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hatzemach | 10 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Mar 1, 2023 |
Tämä arvostelu kirjoitettiin LibraryThingin Varhaisia arvostelijoita varten.
I am loathe to write a review of a book I haven't finished, but considering how long ago I received this book for an "early review" I feel that I should simply consider myself out of time .I requested this book because of my admiration for Andrew Bacevich, not realizing that he was simply an editor. That said, this book certainly delivers on its subtitle 'Solders speak out against America's misguided wars'. The essays I've read so far provide diverse viewpoints of those on the ground and are generally well written. Unfortunately only the introduction, written by Bacevich himself, really impressed me. To me a format change away from a straight essay (along the lines of Svetlana Alexievich) would have allowed for a far more poignant book....... However, for those looking for a specifically American viewpoint from those in our volunteer armed forces, this book certainly delivers.… (lisätietoja)
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skid0612 | 10 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Feb 16, 2023 |
Tämä arvostelu kirjoitettiin LibraryThingin Varhaisia arvostelijoita varten.
Paths of Dissent: Soldiers Speak out Against America’s Misguided Wars is a collection of 15 personal narratives edited by Andrew Bacevich. In these narratives the authors seek to encapsulate the events and struggles that led them to become military “dissenters.” Well written sometimes jarring, these memoirs in miniature are compelling stories, but together they form a comprehensive and cohesive case against the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq – indeed against all wars of choice.

The authors come from varied socio-economic backgrounds, educational levels, and military experiences. The readers engage with a self-described “grunt” like Buddhika Jayahama who noted that “There are moments in life when the smart thing to do and the right thing to do don’t necessarily align.” (14) He realized this as he felt compelled to do his part to participate in the wars and struggled with his personal responsibilities to his wife and child. But readers also meet Kevin Tillman, a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, who was the brother of the late Pat Tillman, the NFL player who joined after 9/11. Kevin’s experiences lead him to note, with exquisite accuracy, that “This nation has been living off the virtue of the greatest generation most of a century in order to systematically pillage the planet. It’s an insult to everything that generation fought for in the first place.” (230)

Bacevich, whose own son was killed by an IED in Iraq, explained that “Genuine military dissent is patriotic. It expresses a determination to right wrongs, especially policies that victimize US troops without yielding any discernible benefit to the nation. Military dissenters are not self-seeking. Their commitment is to a cause larger than themselves.” (7). Their willingness to cut against the grain of American society and call the military and the American government to account for its failures and wrongdoing infuse their narratives with a certain weightiness and seriousness that we would do well to heed.

Paths of Dissent is a powerful read. However, it does lack a diversity of voices. Only one woman contributed to this book, Joy Damiani. Her story is important, but it is disappointing that more female voices and experiences were not used. Bacevich also included a narrative by Jonathan Hutto, Sr. titled, “A Sailor’s Story.” Hutto explains, in detail, the racism and prejudice he experienced at the hands of his commanding officer and fellow sailors – and the apparent lack of concern of his immediate chain of command. However, while his story is about dissent, it is not about dissent against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, per se, and it seems as if the inclusion of Hutto’s story is a clumsy way to make the book more racially diverse. I do not want to imply that Hutto’s experiences are unimportant or that the need to examine the Navy’s response to the abject racism in its ranks should not be discussed. But in the context of Bacevich’s stated purpose, it seems disjointed and out of place. Hutto’s narrative deserves to be read and seen – and perhaps more books dealing with the current culture of racism and white supremacy in the armed forces should address those very issues.

Ultimately Bacevich’s book is an important addition to the growing literature on military dissent and opposition to American wars of choice by serving military personnel. It is an easy, but important read. And all of these men and women deserve to be heard.
… (lisätietoja)
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hystrybuf | 10 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jan 4, 2023 |



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