Having recently read Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War (American Empire Project) by Andrew J. Bacevich, I believe it is essential for “We the people” to carve out a more palatable path for America. Reflecting on Bacevich’s central message that “Promising prosperity and peace, the Washington rules are propelling the United States toward insolvency and perpetual war” is disturbing. As a two year combat veteran of the Vietnam War-see Sitting in the Flames: Uncovering Fearlessness to Help Others-it is disconcerting that elected leadership re-creates and recycles national security policy and continues to plod down a rather dim path: bankrupt and unending war does not sound like peace and prosperity to this combat veteran, spouse, dad and grandpa. The past must identify our scars and lessons; and not direct us where the future needs to go. Our Founding Fathers would be unhappy with us!
As Bacevich suggests, global leadership, per Washington rules are: 1) The world must be organized. 2) Only the U.S. possesses the capacity to prescribe and enforce such a global order. 3) America’s writ includes the charge of articulating the principles that should define the international order. 4) The world wants the United States to lead. Such a charter implies power; and history offers that the search for the means to achieve such power is escaping us; and will continue to escape us. With the 2016 Presidential race well underway-Hillary, Jeb et al- it is beginning to feel like “human recipes” will continue to direct our foreign policy efforts; however, it feels like a new vision and strategies are overdue and possible.