Magazine May 23, 2016, Issue

The Costs of Retreat

America’s War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History, by Andrew J. Bacevich (Random House, 480 pp., $30)

America’s very long war in the Middle East has been an expensive, bloody mess; on that point, virtually all can agree. But has it been a failure? Has it been a waste? And what are the credible alternatives?

Andrew Bacevich’s ambitious new book attempts to answer these questions by examining the intentions and outcomes of every significant American military conflict in the Muslim world — he defines the “Greater Middle East” as stretching from Afghanistan to North Africa, and even into Bosnia and Kosovo — beginning with the failed attempt to rescue American hostages in 1980 and stretching into the present …

In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners


Politics & Policy


The Apartment of Labor Scott Lincicome’s comprehensive and illuminating article “The Truth about Trade” (April 11) describes several government policies that have acted to exacerbate current labor-market inefficiencies. One could speculate ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ As Abraham Lincoln said, “You’re fired.” ‐ Protesters, many of them riotous, dogged Donald Trump in southern California. In Costa Mesa, they blocked an interstate, threw debris at passing cars, ...
Politics & Policy


THE SS NORMANDIE Confiscated from Vichy France, she sat In the Hudson for months until the fire. The smoke was so thick over midtown, rumors Spread the Japanese had attacked New York. The old transatlantic ...


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