Bacevich, The Limits of Power

From the History Department at US Army Combined Arms Center comes the following recommendation for Andrew Bacevich’s book, The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism: 

Andrew J. Bacevich, The Limits of Power (Metropolitan Books, 2008), should be on everyone’s reading list over the holidays.  Of special interests are his criticisms of how we view our current operating environment and how we are preparing for it. 

For example, discussing the 2003 invasion plan, Bacevich writes:

"For starters, it was devoid of political context. Narrowly focused on the upcoming fight, it paid no attention to the aftermath. Defining the problem as Iraq alone, it ignored other regional power relationships and made no provision for how war might alter those relationships, whether for good or ill. It was completely ahistorical and made no reference to culture, religion, or ethnic identity. It had no moral dimension. It even failed to include a statement of purpose." (166-167)

His book hits at the heart of what we teach here at CGSC.  While you may not agree with his argument, it will cause you to think about what we are doing here in a new light.  It should be on the Chief of Staff’s reading list.

Unrelated to the book review, the US Army CAC “blog collective” is a poster example of a new dynamic in the U.S. Army to educate and empower new media engagement. The Foreign Service Institute should explore this as should must the State Department as a whole. From DipNote to to embassy sites should also think about implementing a “collective” model as the FCO is doing.

One thought on “Bacevich, The Limits of Power

  1. It is a great thing to see the Army engaged in “official” blogging, and yet the comments are pretty sparse over there. I think there’s still an unstated fear of retribution by those reading the blog who still wear the uniform. How do you overcome that cultural norm?

Comments are closed.