Bacevich's new book

http://www.amazon.com/Americas-War-Greater-Middle-East/dp/0553393936/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1461418363&sr=8-1&keywords=bacevichAndrew J. Bacevich published a new book, predictably on his favourite topic.

I'm somewhat of a fan of Mr. Bacevich, buteven I'm not terribly inclined to read all 480 pages (I don't expect to learn much new). Instead, I'd like to recommend this summarizing review by a Mr. Charles Glass at the Intercept:

Charles Glass, The Intercept

I'm neither living in THAT country nor in THAT region, but I still consider myself an interested party. The entire Phony War oon Terror hysteria and also the little bit of actual errrorism affected my country primarily because it's allied with THAT country through the North Atlantic Tretay. The consequences were severe for us, and this was entirely a downside of this alliance, caused by the stupidity of an allied government:
My country was infected with new stages of mass surveillance efforts, the population was divided by an almost entirely made-up conflict along religious fault lines, great expences occured in law enforcement that were wasteful and even some not-so-wasteful ones would not have happened without the conflict. Attention - a most valuable resource in a democracy - was diverted from actually important topics to BS topics again and again, our government got stupid  enough to waste public money, soldiers' lifetimes (and families) as well as the health and lives of soldiers in a country that's about the definition of "irrelevant to Germany".

It's all a higher order consequence of the stupidity and manipulation that Mr. Bacevich has campaigned against for many years.

Mr. Bacevich is a conservative, and it's extremely sad that self-proclaimed conservatives in his country choose clowns, haters and blusterers as their agents over the likes of Mr. Bacevich. We may reach a point where leaving the alliance is the only sane choice left if this stupid behaviour keeps becoming more severe.


  1. Meanwhile, the American perception of the alliance: http://i.imgur.com/3mrrAJV.jpg

    Why does Europe lack the collective will to simply go their own way, particularly given Continental opposition to the 2003 invasion of Iraq? Is it simply the budgetary convenience, hence the chronic underfunding of own forces?

    1. *sigh*

      The European forces aren't underfunded. They're overfunded. We outnumber and outspend Russia, Belarus and the Mediterranean Arabs as if we wanted to attack them, not as if we merely deterred them.
      European armed services have an efficiency problem, but the U.S. would be dead last in position to teach us efficiency in military spending if there wasn't Saudi Arabia.

      I wrote about this repeatedly, with info and sources given.

      I saw that Polandball comic before, and while it's representative of a perception, it's also gross BS. The "Russia" Polandball at the end needs to be tiny, non-threateningly tiny. Becuase that's how Russia is, particularly if we look at its forces West of the Urals only.
      I wrote about that before as well...

      About why Europe stays allied with the U.S.; I think this is an explanation (aside from delusions and some European governments liking to play war themselves):


  2. You have a certain mindset on the utility of alliances and force. Take a different look, the US controls undisputed all blue water sea lines of communication. This enables them to hinder most exchange networks of opponents and after enough build up, squash them with superior numbers and technology. The current dependence on carbon based fuels and the US control of its transport routes precludes any challenge by a would-be peer competitor. Russia is one of the few places endowed with enough resources to spin on their own for some time, but hardly enough access to technological know how to pose a successful challenge. Without a blue water escort navy or the Siberian treasures, it makes no sense to terminate this alliance, although I agree to object to the course being taken. The US is not just a power, it is a centerpiece of a human network that interacts in an institutional framework enabled by their naval control of carbohydrate and other shipments. The benefits of this network now extend to their space based information structure and will in the foreseeable future include raw materials from space. Inward-looking continental Germany needs such an ally and there is no viable alternative that would not be a heck lot more expensive unless the US really messes up.

    1. That's a huge chunk of fiction. Look what little use the British got out of dominating the oceans for generations. It was useful against Napoleon, but cost them dearly in both World Wars because spending more on the army and less on the navy during peacetime would have benefitted them more during both world wars.

      There's no economic benefit from military power equal to several per cent GDP to be gained for a Western country - with or without wars. We're more than safe from getting blockaded, bombed or invaded at roughly 1% GDP spending level already.

      It doesn't matter how very much grandiose fantasies the fans of more military spending have. Their fiction is unsupported by evidence or applicable historical analogies.

    2. KRT, very well said. One of the very few rational statements made on this blog.