Andrew J. Bacevich
"Tough-minded, bracing, and intelligent . . . the country is lucky to have a fierce, smart peacemonger like Bacevich."—The New York Times Book Review
Hailed as "brilliant" (The Washington Post), Washington Rules is Andrew J. Bacevich's bestselling challenge to the conventional wisdom that American security requires the United States (and us alone) to maintain a permanent armed presence around the globe, to prepare our forces for military operations in far-flung regions, and to be ready to intervene anywhere at any time. Adopted by administrations on both sides of the political spectrum during the past half century, this Washington consensus on national security has become foreign policy gospel when, according to Bacevich, it has outlasted its usefulness.
With vivid, incisive analysis, Bacevich assails and exposes the preconceptions, biases, and habits that underlie this pervasive faith in military might, especially the notion that overwhelming superiority will oblige others to accommodate America's needs and desires—whether for cheap oil, cheap credit, or cheap consumer goods. Instead, Bacevich argues that we must reconsider the principles which shape American policy in the world and acknowledge that fixing Afghanistan should not take precedence over fixing Detroit. As we enter a period when our militarism has become both unaffordable and increasingly dangerous, replacing this Washington consensus is crucial to America's future and may yet offer the key to the country's salvation.
Introduction: Slow Learner
Worldly ambition inhibits true learning. Ask me. I know. A young man in a hurry is nearly uneducable: He knows what he wants and where he's headed; when it comes to looking back or entertaining heretical thoughts, he has neither the time nor the inclination. All that counts is that he is going somewhere. Only as ambition wanes does education become a possibility.
My own education did not commence until I had reached middle age. I can fix its start date with precision: For me, education began in Berlin, on a winter's evening, at the Brandenburg Gate, not
Listen to this audiobook excerpt from Andrew Bacevich's book Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War, narrated by Sean Runnette. The bestselling author of The Limits of Power critically examines the Washington consensus on national security and why it must change.