A. Bacevich: A Conservative Against U.S.’s Perpetual War


Andrew J. Bacevich, pronounced Base’-a-vich, was born in 1947 in Normal, Illinois. He’s a conservative but is critical of the last few presidents of both parties for their economic and international policies. He went to West Point, was a career officer in the army, has a PhD in diplomatic history from Princeton, and is a professor of international relations at Boston University.

According to Bacevich, American Exceptionalism once meant we were proud of our values and of the way we conducted our affairs; we were proud of being all we professed to be. It didn’t mean forcing our values down the throats of others.

Bacevich says the U.S. occupation of Iraq is a failure and George W. Bush’s endorsement of preventive wars such as it was immoral, illicit, and imprudent.

Basevich criticizes U.S. senior leadership for:

* having Utopian expectations.

* developing an over-reliance on military power, in contrast to diplomacy, to achieve its foreign policy aims.

* keeping military service limited to volunteers, which has produced in the American people a romantic, highly unrealistic, dangerous notion of what combat and military service are like.

* disregarding the need to consult the American people on their actions.

* ignoring political dimensions, considerations, and differences and engaging in target assassinations instead. And much more.

Jake Whitney in Guernica Magazine wrote: “While [Bacevich’s] criticisms [of U.S. policies] may seem akin to those leveled by ‘radicals’ such as Dennis Kucinich, Bacevich maintains that his views are consistent with classic conservatism. In fact, Bacevich began his writing career in right-leaning publications such as the National Review and the Weekly Standard. But his trenchant critiques of U.S. militarism clashed with the views of mainstream conservatives, and in recent years he has been embraced primarily by those on the left.”

Personality type

One of his former students described Bacevich as “short but fair, gruff but encouraging, serious but oftentimes funny in an off-handed way, confident but slightly self-deprecating… he has always been keen on self-criticism and review.” The way he speaks and presents himself is exacting. He’s highly principled and likely to be a Perfectionist in the Enneagram system. He’s especially fair, serious, and speaks clearly and to the point. My second choice is a tie between the Observer and Questioner personalities.

His books include American Empire: The Realities and Consequences of US Diplomacy, The New American Militarism: How Americans are Seduced by War, and The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism. His newest is The Short American Century: A Postmortem.

Changing the subject….. have you heard my two sets of ENNEAGRAM PIANO VARIATIONS on YouTube? I play the nursery rhyme Jack and Jill on one and Chop Sticks on the other, each 9 times. They match the 9 Enneagram types.

In a more serious-music vein, my Beethoven Enneagram CD is a way to experience some of Beethoven’s piano sonatas and learn about his personality via the Enneagram. It’s available only on Amazon.com.

For Famous People’s Enneagram and MBTI types, see my Psychology Today blog and my web site.


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