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Breach of Trust

Breach of Trust

How Americans Failed Their Soldiers and Their Country

American Empire Project

Andrew J. Bacevich



The United States has been "at war" for more than a decade. Yet as war has become normalized, a yawning gap has opened between America's soldiers and the society in whose name they fight. For ordinary citizens, as former secretary of defense Robert Gates has acknowledged, armed conflict has become an "abstraction" and military service "something for other people to do." In Breach of Trust, bestselling author Andrew J. Bacevich takes stock of the damage this disconnect has wrought.

National defense, he argues, should become the business of "we the people." Should Americans refuse to shoulder this responsibility, the prospect of endless war, waged by a "foreign legion" of professionals and contractor-mercenaries, beckons. So too does bankruptcy—moral as well as fiscal.

Massachussetts Book Award - Honor Book


War is an unvarnished evil. Yet as with other evils—fires that clear out forest undergrowth, floods that replenish soil nutrients—war's legacy can include elements that may partially compensate (or...

Praise for Breach of Trust

“Scorching...heartbreaking...Bacevich dismantles the warrior myth we civilians and politicians so enjoy worshiping from afar, and replaces that idol with flesh and blood, vulnerable humans, who deserve better than the profligate, wasteful way in which we treat them.” —Rachel Maddow, the New York Times Book Revie

“A powerful critique...splendid...Bacevich has written a book that precious few people in Washington will like, at least those people...who are connected in one way or another to what Dwight Eisenhower in 1961 called the ‘military-industrial complex.'” —The Washington Post

Breach of Trust is a necessary and important commentary on modern American life....I can almost guarantee that, in these war-weary times, this timely and informative read will change the way you think.” —James Carville, The Hill


In the Press

Andrew J. Bacevich examines American militarism and the gulf between citizens and the all-volunteer Army. - The New York Times

Reviews from Goodreads

Andrew J. Bacevich

Andrew J. Bacevich, a professor of history and international relations at Boston University, served for twenty-three years as an officer in the U.S. Army. He is the author of Washington Rules, The Limits of Power, and The New American Militarism, among other books. His writing has appeared in Foreign Affairs, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's Magazine, The Nation, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal.

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Andrew Bacevich

Read Articles by the Author at the Nation


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