America’s War for the Greater Middle East, by Andrew J. Bacevich

The war in the greater Middle East, as Andrew Bacevich construes it, has been going on for nearly 40 years. Its purpose continually changes: to keep oil flowing to the West; to put down rogue leaders like Saddam Hussein and Muam­mar Qaddafi; to fight terrorism; and to remake the Middle East. There are no heroes in Bacevich’s narrative. Demo­crats, Repub­licans, civilians, and military leaders all come under sharp scrutiny. And the conflict has no endgame. Americans are by and large disengaged, and no Eugene McCarthy or George McGovern is at hand to challenge America’s warring madness. Bacevich provides another case of the fraught dream of managing history that Reinhold Niebuhr critiqued.