Scott Horton Interviews Andrew Bacevich

Scott Horton, November 14, 2011

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Andrew Bacevich, Professor of International Relations at Boston University and author of The Short American Century: A Postmortem, discusses his article “The Passing of the Postwar Era;” the major factors leading to a “transformative” decline in US power and prestige on the world stage; the American political elites who are driving the country into a ditch; the redundancy or counter-productivity of overseas bases (excepting the Asia Pacific region); and the lack of “prudent” decision making in Washington D.C.

MP3 here. (10:18)

Andrew J. Bacevich is Professor of International Relations and History at Boston University. A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, he received his PhD in American Diplomatic History from Princeton University. Before joining the faculty of Boston University, he taught at West Point and Johns Hopkins.

Bacevich is the author of Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War (2010).  His previous books include The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism (2008);  The Long War: A New History of US National Security Policy since World War II (2007) (editor); The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War (2005); and American Empire: The Realities and Consequences of U. S. Diplomacy (2002). His essays and reviews have appeared in a variety of scholarly and general interest publications including The Wilson Quarterly, The National Interest, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The Nation, and The New Republic. His op-eds have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Boston Globe, and Los Angeles Times, among other newspapers.

In 2004, Dr. Bacevich was a Berlin Prize Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin. He has also held fellowships at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, the John F. Kennedy School of Government, and the Council on Foreign Relations.

35 Responses to “Andrew Bacevich”

  1. You are dead wrong on Japan and bases. I don't even know where to start.

  2. Ryan, you are dead wright in your statement!

    To suggest that Japan, China, and the Koreas couldn´t work out their own problems is ludicrous.

    To suggest that they need our idiotic leaders in order to work out their problems is totally insane. Here in America we are fed up with their total incompetence and evil, but they are somehow good for Asia?

    And, whatever happened to “self-determination”?


    Professor Bacevich,
    “The Washington political elite has not kept up with the way the world has transformed.”
    “Politicians will say whatever is best to advance their political fortunes.”
    “Our country would be A-OK if it were not for all the bad decisions our politicians keep making.”
    “Our military bases in the Asia-Pacific keep Japan and China from going to war.”

    As evidenced by our High Society doubling its wealth every ten years, our Empire has an all encompassing morality, “There is security only in expansion.” And as this quote was made by a US president over 200 years ago, surely the problem is systemic and can be corrected only by taking all control away from the rich and powerful, including their paid actor politicians.

  4. Agree.

    Bacevich seems to have one foot inside the Beltway (instead of two feet).

    Among other factors, what does anyone inside the Beltway know about that area (or any area) of the world, anyhow.

  5. True, for most of the voting majority are of the educated middle-class, and being to smart to ever do a hard days manual labor they know nothing about the misery and corruption inflicted upon those below them. And being to dumb to ever be rich, only after upper management steps out of the boardroom, only after their little cubical is giving its marching orders, only then can they walk in lock-step.


    New York judge, “The activists have not demonstrated that they have the First Amendment right to freedom of expression… to the exclusion of… others who might wish to use the space safely.”

  7. Immediate action must be taken to remove Barack Obama from the office of the presidency. All those who plan to wait until elections are mistaken on the real political climate which is being created by Obama and you are a traitor to our republic and constitution if you are not intending to have him removed through impeachment or article 4 of the 25th Amendment. The elections have officially been ruled out of any true patriots frame of reference, not simply because all of the candidates are completely incompetent almost more so than Obama, but because Obama is the spitting image of an emperor Nero who now wishes to see the world engulfed in flames as he watches basketball. The President is making quite clear to the nations of the world that he has no regard for international law and to the people of the United States that he has no intention to abide by the law of the constitution, if we are willing to accept this than we deserve the destruction which he will bring us in this coming year. This man has proven his most significant thrill is unlawful execution and he dances on the graves of his victims on national television, this is an extremely dangerous form of criminal insanity. 

    His stationing of US troops in Australia show the true intention of his provocations of Iran and Syria is to engage the major Asian Nations in combat as they undoubtedly can not isolate the middle east any longer without turning their backs on treaty agreements which have been long standing. If you wish not to see a nuclear holocaust, remove Obama. The stated intention of Obama's most favorite lady in all the world, Queen Elizabeth, is to reduce the worlds population down to 1 billion people, this is undoubtedly the purpose behind this drive for war. The nuclear option is the only option, should this escalate to where Obama is intending it to. We must remove him immediately.

    There is a highly regarded lawyer, Prof. Francis Boyle, who has offered his services free of charge to any government official who wishes to save this planet by raising articles of impeachment in the congress or senate for president Obama. He is asking every man woman and child to call their representatives and request this action be taken. This is an interview with him, please listen to it and share it with your contact base and call your reps as often as possible on this subject.&nbsp ;

  8. So, the New York judge has today ruled that the Occupy Wall Street protester’s freedom of speech takes second priority to anyone setting on a park bench and looking at the birds.

  9. CATCH 22

    PeacefulPatriot, says, “Obama… have him removed through impeachment.”

    #1… Can’t impeach Obama without honest politicians.
    #2… Can’t have honest politicians without public funded elections.
    #3… Return to #1

  10. CATCH 22

    #1… Can’t impeach Obama without honest politicians.
    #2… Can’t have honest politicians without public funded elections.
    #3… Return to #1

  11. Well, since I sometimes complain about the interviews, I thought that when I was impressed with one, I should say that, too. But I see that the other commenters disagree…

    Anyway, I didn't know anything about Andrew Bacevich, but I thought his commentary was thoughtful, as opposed to the knee-jerk reactions we hear so often.

    I don't know about the stationing of troops in Japan, but I feel sure that Europe can do without American troops. And what does Australia need or want with them?!?

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