In his new book, “Washington Rules,’’ the Boston University professor again ridicules that belief, and expands on his thesis that military and political hubris is “propelling the United States toward insolvency and perpetual war. Over the horizon a shipwreck of epic proportions awaits.’’
The United States spends $700 billion yearly on its military, and stations 300,000 troops abroad, more in each instance than the rest of the world combined.
A retired Army colonel who served in Vietnam, Bacevich describes in somewhat dry prose the bipartisan consensus in support of military might. Every president, including Barack Obama, has believed that the United States has the capacity and the duty to enforce global order.
Bacevich recounts the botched efforts to topple Fidel Castro in Cuba and the disastrous war in Vietnam, which had been billed as an effort to save Southeast Asia from the spread of communism. Having learned little or nothing from Vietnam, the United States more recently bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan, convinced that liberating one or two countries in the Islamic world would “unleash a wave of change eventually rippling across the entire Greater Middle East.’’