ndrew Bacevich has written another authoritative and well written book examining the U.S. military and its influence on the United States. His writing, as with his earlier works, is provocative, challenging, well researched, informative, and logically argued. Only someone thoroughly imbued with the rhetoric of U.S. benign stewardship of global affairs and ignorant of many key events within recent and current U.S. foreign affairs might be able to ignore Bacevich’s presentations and contentions about U.S. foreign policy and U.S. militarism.
This most recent work, Washington Rules, is appropriately titled and well focused on the one main theme that ‘Washington’ - the political and military structures of U.S. government - is responsible for and the only country capable of maintaining world peace through global leadership and the only means to do so is through military might. This leads to Bacevich’s “trinity”: a global military presence, global power projection, and global intervention. The route this trinity takes through successive governments from Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon through to Bush, Clinton, and more Bush demonstrates that it is neither a Democratic nor a Republican ideal but is instead a government institutional ideal that all presidencies have bought into up to and including Obama. The media presents presidents as being the “…Decider, a president all too often becomes little more than the medium through which power is exercised.”