The nation's military policy follows what Andrew Bacevich calls Washington Rules, which can be summarized as follows: To ensure global order America must maintain throughout the world an armed presence that is prepared to wage war anywhere, at any time.
These "rules," operative for 50 years through different administrations, have essentially put the nation into a state of permanent war. The author argues that our self-perpetuating faith in military might to maintain our security, freedom, and prosperity must change, because it is rapidly impoverishing the country and producing armies of new enemies.
Bacevich, a retired Army colonel, is a professor of history and international relations at Boston University and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. His writings have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Foreign Affairs, and major newspapers. Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War (Metropolitan Books) is Bacevich's third book, following his well received The Limits of Power and The New American Militarism.
If you go: Bacevich reads at The Elliott Bay Book Company, 1521 Tenth Avenue, Tuesday, Aug. 10, 7 p.m. Free.