The American Imperium
Untangling truth and fiction in an age of perpetual war

Bacevich, Andrew J.
Date Written:  2018-05-01
Publisher:  Harper's
Year Published:  2016
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX21973

With the present-day US military overextended throughout the globe, this essay takes a look at past American military policy and actions in overseas conflicts, and how these events of the past century affect public perceptions and ultimately how the military continues to be used.



Republicans and Democrats disagree today on many issues, but they are united in their resolve that the United States must remain the world's greatest military power. This bipartisan commitment to maintaining American supremacy has become a political signature of our times. In its most benign form, the consensus finds expression in extravagant and unremitting displays of affection for those who wear the uniform. Considerably less benign is a pronounced enthusiasm for putting our soldiers to work "keeping America safe." This tendency finds the United States more or less permanently engaged in hostilities abroad, even as presidents from both parties take turns reiterating the nation's enduring commitment to peace.

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