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America's War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History by [Bacevich, Andrew J.]
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America's War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 189 customer reviews

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Length: 480 pages Word Wise: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“[Andrew J.] Bacevich is thought-provoking, profane and fearless. . . . [His] call for Americans to rethink their nation’s militarized approach to the Middle East is incisive, urgent and essential.”The New York Times Book Review
 
“Bacevich’s magnum opus . . . a deft and rhythmic polemic aimed at America’s failures in the Middle East from the end of Jimmy Carter’s presidency to the present.”—Robert D. Kaplan, The Wall Street Journal
 
“A critical review of American policy and military involvement . . . Those familiar with Bacevich’s work will recognize the clarity of expression, the devastating directness and the coruscating wit that characterize the writing of one of the most articulate and incisive living critics of American foreign policy.”The Washington Post

“[A] monumental new work . . . One of the grim and eerie wonders of his book is the way in which just about every wrongheaded thing Washington did in that region in the fourteen-plus years since 9/11 had its surprising precursor in the two decades of American war there before the World Trade Center towers came down.”The Huffington Post

“The book reveals a number of critical truths, exposing deep flaws that have persisted for decades in American strategic thinking—flaws that have led successive American presidents to ask the American military to accomplish the impossible, often while barely providing it with the resources to accomplish even the most modest of goals. . . . Read Bacevich—not for the solutions he proposes but to be sobered by the challenge.”National Review

“In one arresting book after another, Andrew J. Bacevich has relentlessly laid bare the failings of American foreign policy since the Cold War. This one is his sad crowning achievement: the story of our long and growing military entanglement in the region of the most tragic, bitter, and intractable of conflicts.”—Richard K. Betts, director, Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies, Columbia University
 
“Andrew Bacevich offers the reader an unparalleled historical tour de force in a book that is certain to affect the formation of future U.S. foreign policy and any consequent decisions to employ military force. He presents sobering evidence that for nearly four decades the nation’s leaders have demonstrated ineptitude at nearly every turn as they shaped and attempted to implement Middle East policy. Every citizen aspiring to high office needs not only to read but to study and learn from this important book. This is one of the most serious and essential books I have read in more than half a century of public service.”—Lieutenant General Paul K. Van Riper, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.)
 
“Bacevich asks and answers a provocative, inconvenient question: In a multigenerational war in the Middle East, ‘Why has the world’s mightiest military achieved so little?’ ”—Graham Allison, director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and Douglas Dillon Professor of Government at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government

“Andrew Bacevich lays out in excruciating detail the disasters orchestrated over decades by the architects of the American empire in the Middle East. Blunder after blunder, fed by hubris along with cultural, historical, linguistic, and religious illiteracy, has shattered cohesion within the Middle East. The wars we have waged have given birth to a frightening nihilistic violence embodied in radical jihadism. They have engendered an inchoate rage among the dispossessed and left in their wake a series of failed and disintegrating states. These wars have, as Bacevich writes, laid bare the folly of attempting to use military force as a form of political, economic, and social control. Bacevich is one of our finest chroniclers of the decline of empire, and America’s War for the Greater Middle East is an essential addition to his remarkable body of work.”—Chris Hedges, former Middle East bureau chief for The New York Times and author of Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt
 
“Andrew Bacevich’s thoughtful, persuasive critique of America’s crusade for the Greater Middle East should be compulsory reading for anyone charged with making policy for the region. We cannot afford to repeat the past misjudgments on the area. As Bacevich wisely argues, the stakes are nothing less than the future well-being of the United States.”—Robert Dallek, author of Camelot’s Court: Inside the Kennedy White House

About the Author

Andrew J. Bacevich is a retired professor of history and international relations at Boston University. A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, he served for twenty-three years as a commissioned officer in the United States Army. He received his PhD in American diplomatic history from Princeton. Before joining the faculty of Boston University in 1998, he taught at West Point and at Johns Hopkins University. His three most recent books—Breach of Trust, Washington Rules, and The Limits of Power—all hit the New York Times bestseller list. A winner of the Lannan Notable Book Award, he lectures frequently at universities around the country. He lives with his wife, Nancy, in Walpole, Massachusetts.


From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

  • File Size: 26349 KB
  • Print Length: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; Reprint edition (April 5, 2016)
  • Publication Date: April 5, 2016
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0174PRIY4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,237 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Loyd Eskildson HALL OF FAME on April 5, 2016
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Author Bacevich opens by contending that our military involvement in the greater Middle East began with the failure to rescue the American hostages in our Tehran embassy. Mechanical breakdowns, very limited visibility due to stirred up dust, and a chopper accidently hitting a stationary C-130 resulted in the mission being canceled and the deaths of 8 Americans. While President Carter quickly took responsibility, Bacevich points out that the myriad errors in design and execution were attributable to the military professionals involved.

Bacevich also points out that Carter's predecessors going back to WWII had done him no favors with their forging ill-advised relationships and foolhardy commitments. Nonetheless, Carter had launched America's War for the Greater Middle East, compounding those inherited errors. That war continues today, with no end in sight.

America's War for the Greater Middle East was a war to preserve the American way of life, rooted in an abundance of cheap energy. In 1969, imports already accounted for 20% of American consumption, and the next year U.S. domestic oil production peaked. By 1973, in retaliation for U.S. support for Israel in the October War, Arabs suspended oil exports to the U.S. and the West. Eventually, oil imports resumed, but the availability and price of gasoline had now become a matter of national concern. The hierarchy of national security priorities was beginning to shift from nuclear weapons and the Soviet Union.

President Nixon launched a plan to insure that Americans would not have to rely on any source of energy beyond our own (Project Independence), but the idea that retrenchment was needed did not sit well with some. There was a strong sense of entitlement, notwithstanding Britain's prior experiences.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the most incisive military analysis of America in the Middle East from Carter to Obama. An expose of the self seeking and self promoting actions of our generals and politicians and the fatuous neoconservative militarism which presently guides the foreign policy of our country. Brilliant! There is no better exposition of the delusion associated with the self proclamation of critically strategic areas of the world which before the end of the Cold War held absolutely no importance whatsoever to our well being. The folly of reliance on military power to cure political and cultural defiencies, defined as an absence of neoliberal Christian democracy, and the failure to attain that objective is documented in this engrossing study of self deception and evangelization.
When you finish reading this book you will understand the reasons why we cannot effectively engage middle eastern problems but also why we can't bring ourselves to disengage.
When american soldiers are sent overseas and become casualties their blood becomes a symbol to shed more blood. We have seen this in every war fought since 1945. The men we elect to the presidency with the exception of Eisenhower have had no clue how to conduct foreign policy when the lives of our men and women are at risk. We seem to be caught up in some macho vendetta with the entire world. The continuation of this vendetta has proven to be very profitable for a few wealthy people far from the firing line. It has proven to be amenable to vote getting. It has proven to be amenable to the self promotion of those officers above field level command into whose hands our servicemen have been encared.
It is clear that this country is in more danger today than 35 years ago when we decided to engage directly in the middle eastern quagmire.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There have been other histories of the imperialistic wars in the Middle East. Some are clouded by political ideologies or agendas; some are comprehensive others superficial. The best of these are written by news journalists, others by political hacks, yet others by self-serving politicians or talking heads.

This book is easily one of the best histories of the Middle East wars. It interprets these wars not only in its military context but as a political history of the forces and policies which shaped the conflicts. It reminds us all of those political events long forgotten. The account is given in a journalistic manner, without political commentary or spin, but placing those events in a political context, showing how those events were shaped by American political forces.

This history stands out because it is an account of military conflict written by a career military man. Author Andrew Bacevich graduated from West Point, served in Vietnam and retired a colonel in the US Army. Bacevich understands military conflict, understands this particular military conflict (or series of conflicts), and understands the forces which created and sustains those conflicts.

Bacevich cogently relates these military conflicts with the domestic political stresses and developments which influenced American intervention. American have long considered it their birth-right to have unlimited access to oil, not just simple oil, but cheap oil. This long-held and deeply ingrained belief guided American intervention in the Middle East.
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