|Born||Normal, Illinois, USA
|Education||West Point (B.S.)
Princeton University (M.A., Ph.D.)
|Known for||Analysis of U.S. foreign policy|
|Religious beliefs||Roman Catholic|
Andrew J. Bacevich, Sr. (born 1947 in Normal, Illinois) is a professor of international relations at Boston University, former director of its Center for International Relations (from 1998 to 2005), and author of several books, including American Empire: The Realities and Consequences of US Diplomacy (2002), The New American Militarism: How Americans are Seduced by War (2005) and The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism (2008). He has been "a persistent, vocal critic of the US occupation of Iraq, calling the conflict a catastrophic failure." In March 2007, he described George W. Bush's endorsement of such "preventive wars" as "immoral, illicit, and imprudent." His son died fighting in the Iraq war in May 2007.
Bacevich graduated from West Point in 1969 and served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War, serving in Vietnam from the summer of 1970 to the summer of 1971. Later he held posts in Germany, including the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, the United States, and the Persian Gulf up to his retirement from the service with the rank of Colonel in the early 1990s. He holds a Ph.D. in American Diplomatic History from Princeton University, and taught at West Point and Johns Hopkins University prior to joining the faculty at Boston University in 1998.
On May 13, 2007, Bacevich's son, also named Andrew J. Bacevich, was killed in action in Iraq by an improvised explosive device south of Samarra in Salah Ad Din Province. The younger Bacevich, 27, was a First Lieutenant. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 8th U.S. Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division.
Bacevich also has three daughters.
Bacevich has described himself as a "Catholic conservative" and initially published writings in a number of politically oriented magazines, including The Wilson Quarterly. His recent writings have professed a dissatisfaction with the Bush Administration and many of its intellectual supporters on matters of American foreign policy.
On August 15, 2008 Bacevich appeared as the guest of Bill Moyers Journal on PBS to promote his new book, The Limits of Power. As in both of his previous books, The Long War (2007) and The New American Militarism: How Americans are Seduced by War (2005), Bacevich is critical of American foreign policy in the post Cold War era, maintaining the United States has developed an over-reliance on military power, in contrast to diplomacy, to achieve its foreign policy aims. He also asserts that policymakers in particular, and the American people in general, overestimate the usefulness of military force in foreign affairs. Bacevich believes romanticized images of war in popular culture (especially movies) interact with the lack of actual military service among most of the population to produce in the American people a highly unrealistic, even dangerous notion of what combat and military service are really like.
Bacevich conceived The New American Militarism not only as "a corrective to what has become the conventional critique of U.S. policies since 9/11 but as a challenge to the orthodox historical context employed to justify those policies."
Finally, he attempts to place current policies in historical context, as part of an American tradition going back to the Presidency of Woodrow Wilson, a tradition (of an interventionist, militarized foreign policy) which has strong bi-partisan roots. To lay an intellectual foundation for this argument, he cites two influential historians from the 20th century: Charles Beard and William Appleman Williams.
Ultimately, Bacevich eschews the partisanship of current debate about American foreign policy as short-sighted and ahistorical. Instead of blaming only one President (or his advisors) for contemporary policies, Bacevich sees both Republicans and Democrats as sharing responsibility for policies which may not be in the nation's best interest.
In March 2003, at the time of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Bacevich wrote in The Los Angeles Times that "if, as seems probable, the effort encounters greater resistance than its architects imagine, our way of life may find itself tested in ways that will make the Vietnam War look like a mere blip in American history."
In an article of the The American Conservative dated March 24, 2008, Bacevich depicts Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama as the best choice for conservatives in the fall. Part of his argument includes the fact that "this liberal Democrat has promised to end the U.S. combat role in Iraq. Contained within that promise, if fulfilled, lies some modest prospect of a conservative revival."  He also goes on to mention that "For conservatives to hope the election of yet another Republican will set things right is surely in vain. To believe that President John McCain will reduce the scope and intrusiveness of federal authority, cut the imperial presidency down to size, and put the government on a pay-as-you-go basis is to succumb to a great delusion." 
In the October 11, 2009 issue of The Boston Globe , he wrote that the decision to commit more troops to Afghanistan may be the most fateful choice of the Obama administration. "If the Afghan war then becomes the consuming issue of Obama’s presidency - as Iraq became for his predecessor, as Vietnam did for Lyndon Johnson, and as Korea did for Harry Truman - the inevitable effect will be to compromise the prospects of reform more broadly," Bacevich wrote.
His papers are currently housed at the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center at Boston University.
"America Decides: Is Change in the Heir?". The Diplomat 7 (3): 28–30. Sep/Oct 2008.
Andrew J. Bacevich (born 1947) is a professor of international relations at Boston University, former director of its Center for International Relations (from 1998 to 2005), and author of several books about U.S. foreign policy.