Bacevich chapter summaries_Notes

Bacevich chapter summaries_Notes - 1Bacevich chapter...

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1Bacevich chapter summaries: Main argument of the book: Americans have become accustomed to militarism and pursuing goals through militaristic means. Americans have come to define the nation’s strength and well- being in terms of “military preparedness, military action and the fostering of (nostalgia for) military ideals” –pg 3 $ a marriage of utopianism and militarism: all too reconfirmed by the Bush administration and neo-conservative clique after 9/11 $ evolved from its start in the 1960's with reaction of the counterculture movement and Vietnam; it was not spontaneous nor sporadic 1. Chapter 1: Wilsonianism under arms a. The Wilsonian paradigm left its mark on America, goal after WWI was to remake the world in America’s image and therefore, be at peace b. [elements]: i. Fourteen points–self determination, freedom of the seas, economic openness, disarmament, nonintervention, replacement of the balance of power with a “cooperative peace agreement” ii. Acting as a divine agent–was America’s mission to save the world c. Image of war by the 21 st century had profoundly changed marked by a new era of high-tech warfare, highly skilled professionals with “smart weapons” i. coercive diplomacy d. American elite has excused itself from military service and has made it a matter of individual choice ii. As a result—members of the underprivileged and minorities have had to pick up the slack b/c they have no other choice 2. Chapter 2: The Military Profession at Bay a. Vietnam was a defining event in American foreign policy–quashed any myths about USA being a unique great power that can win any war i. Led to the thinking that civilians were NOT to be trusted with how to go to war and fight–led to a restoration in faith of military personnel b. Also led to the anti-militarism movement; but also led to the counter-anti-militarism movement for people who viewed the changes that the anti-militarism movement of Vietnam was leading to c. Arab-Israeli wars of 1967 and 1973–provided military officers with a template on how wars were to be fought: 1) goals of the task at hand were straightforward and unambiguous 2) commanders empowered to command and backed by political leaders who were not as involved in operational tasks 3) civilian populations that were spared direct involvement i. Result: the conflicts ended within days; but military officers failed to realize that resolving some problems led to the creation of other problems d. Weinberger doctrine: 1) restrict the use of force to matters of vital national interest 2) to specify concrete and achieveable objectives–political and military 3) secure assurances of popular and congressional support 4) to fight to win, and only use force as a last resort
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e. Powell doctrine: modified Weinberger doctrine–same vital interests and objectives but added an “exit strategy”, emphasis on overwhelming force, and impeding (not facilitating) intervention i. Main goal of both doctrines: to prevent another Vietnam from happening
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Bacevich chapter summaries_Notes - 1Bacevich chapter...

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