The Washington Rules
When it comes to formulating foreign policy, particularly since the end of World War II, from Truman to Reagan to Obama, it hasn’t mattered much who is in the White House. There is a virtual catechism of Washington Rules which produce permanent war. Institutionalized militarism is built into the structures of power. And the warfare state has seriously eroded constitutional freedoms and the economic vitality of society. An archipelago of bases stretches across the planet. Massive spending on weapons is called defense. Eisenhower gave the first warning in 1961 of the dangers posed by the “military-industrial complex.” If the former president and five-star general were alive today he would be appalled at how deeply entrenched militarism has become.
Andrew Bacevich is a graduate of West Point and a Vietnam War veteran. He is Professor of History and International Relations at Boston University. He is the author of The New American Militarism, The Limits of Power, and Washington Rules.