America and the Remaking of the Modern Middle East

“Perpetuating the War for the Greater Middle East is not enhancing American freedom, abundance, and security,” argues Andrew Bacevich in his newest book, America’s War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History. “If anything,” he continues, “it is having the opposite effect.”

This is far from a noncontroversial statement. So what does Bacevich mean? We invite you to come and hear from him yourself, at our upcoming summit, Advancing American Security: The Future of U.S. Foreign Policy, on Wednesday, May 18 in Washington, DC. Bacevich’s keynote breakfast address will center on American foreign policy in the Middle East and the outcomes of American involvement in that region.

Bacevich is a retired U.S. Army colonel and professor emeritus of international relations and history at Boston University. He is an expert on American diplomatic and military history, as well as U.S. foreign policy, with a particular emphasis on the Middle East. Bacevich graduated from the U.S. Military Academy and earned his doctorate in American diplomatic history from Princeton University. He has written multiple books on U.S. foreign policy and has been widely published in both newspapers and academic journals.

America’s War for the Greater Middle East, which was released in early April, has quickly gained a great deal of attention, including positive book reviews in both The Washington Post and The New York Times. Writing in the Post, former deputy assistant secretary of defense Celeste Ward Gventer said, “Those familiar with Bacevich’s work will recognize the clarity of expression, the devastating directness and the coruscating wit that characterize the writing of one of the most articulate and incisive living critics of American foreign policy.”

David Rohde’s Times review confirms Gventer’s assessment of Bacevich’s talent: “This book, Bacevich’s eighth, extends his string of brutal, bracing and essential critiques of the pernicious role of reflexive militarism in American foreign policy.” Rohde gives readers the strong recommendation that “Bacevich’s call for Americans to rethink their nation’s militarized approach to the Middle East is incisive, urgent and essential.”

The United States is currently heavily engaged in the Middle East and in other places around the world. At the Charles Koch Institute’s upcoming conference, prominent experts will discuss the costs of this forward posture and how it impacts our strategic independence and financial future. Bacevich has long been one of the primary voices questioning the wisdom of U.S. engagement in the Middle East, and his speech is not to be missed.

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