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“America's Role in a World Transformed ”
In light of the devastating effects of the pandemic on the country, including the loss of more than 600,000 people, we cannot afford the conventional understanding of national security that has prevailed up till now.

One of the big changes that Bacevich proposes is to end U.S. involvement in NATO. “NATO has become an exercise in nostalgia,” as it tries to guard against threats that no longer exist while it is incapable of addressing contemporary problems that do not have a military solution. Our European allies have the means to provide for their own defense, but for decades the U.S. has actively discouraged them from building up their own security institutions for fear of undermining NATO. There is growing recognition on both sides of the Atlantic that the current arrangement makes no sense and European states need to assume more responsibility for their own defense. Continued U.S. membership in NATO is not only unnecessary, but it actually impedes European states’ efforts to develop their own capabilities. In short, “U.S. security guarantees to Europe have today become redundant,” and therefore Bacevich proposes that the U.S. should announce its intention to withdraw “within the next decade.”

Bacevich goes on to say that the U.S. should close down several of its combatant commands overseas, including European Command, Africa Command, and Central Command. Significantly demilitarizing our foreign policy and moving towards what Bacevich calls “sustainable self-sufficiency” require that the U.S. dismantle large portions of the structures that it has used to engage in fruitless military interventionism. It is important to note that Bacevich does not call for withdrawing from East Asia or ending any of the alliances that the U.S. has there.

the U.S. needs to cut away its unnecessary and outdated security commitments to focus on those few that truly matter.

Bacevich calls for downgrading the “special” relationships with Britain and Israel and instead treating these countries as normal countries that we deal with like any others.

Maintaining the “special” relationship has been very costly for Britain, since it has led more than one government to plunge into unnecessary war in solidarity with the U.S., and the expectation of British servility has bred an ugly willingness on our government’s part to abuse Britain and take it for granted.

The case for downgrading the relationship with Israel is even stronger. Unlike the U.K., Israel is not and never has been an ally of the United States.

Bacevich is critical of U.S. 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.
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