World will anyone in the civilian or military departments

World War III” and to the post–9/11 war on terrorism as “World War IV” (p. 175). Although many readers will disagree with that analytical categorization because of its reliance on a neocon perspective, Bacevich uses that paradigm to provide insights into where and how presidents from Jimmy Carter to George W. Bush have used interventionist policies to impose American objectives on the Middle East, based on U.S. dependency on petroleum stability and U.S. ties with Israel, in order to transform countries that were not in harmony with U.S. interests. In one of his blunter assessments, Bacevich states: “Bush and members of his inner circle conceived of this aggressive interventionism as a great crusade” (p. 202) in part because “they had drunk deeply of the waters that sustained the new American militarism” (p. 203).
In concluding, Bacevich expounds on ten principles that can reduce U.S. tendencies toward militarism: pay attention to the nation’s founders, bolster the separation of powers, treat the use of armed force solely as a last resort, strengthen U.S. self-sufficiency, emphasize national defense, control defense spending, use more soft power, emphasize citizen-soldiers, use the National Guard and reserves properly, and improve U.S. civil-military relations. Were the United States to pursue these goals, including greater reliance on civilian education for U.S. military officers, Americans would benefit from the demilitarization of U.S. policy and the U.S. role in world affairs. These recommendations are sound. If implemented, they would reduce militarism sharply within U.S. society and in U.S. policymaking and help to stop the policy shift toward the maintenance of a de facto empire.
As I noted earlier, a number of liberal-progressive analysts have criticized militarism in the United States. However, Bacevich’s criticism and recommendations, voiced by a conservative with military credentials, are important for people across the entire U.S. spectrum to read and heed. Liberals may be pleasantly surprised. Although some conservatives may be taken aback, they too will benefit, as will anyone in the civilian or military departments of the U.S. government regardless of his ideological inclinations.