Magazine article The Wilson Quarterly

Editor's Comment

Magazine article The Wilson Quarterly

Editor's Comment

Article excerpt

Longtime readers of the WQ know that this magazine has an affinity for the intellectual curve ball, the idea that takes an unexpected course. Andrew J. Bacevich, the author of this issue's cover story has been throwing curve balls for quite some time. When I first met him in the early 1990s, he was a recently retired army officer who had just begun an academic career. A West Point graduate, his career had taken him to Vietnam, to Princeton University, where he earned a Ph.D. in history, and to a variety of army posts. Nothing Bacevich wrote sounded like the usual utterances of either an ex-officer or an academic. In fact, he rarely mentions his military background in print, not wishing to become one of those who "claim authority to comment based on what they once were," he told me recently.

Bacevich's first essay in the WQ appeared exactly 10 years ago. It was an original and unsparing critique of the American military's reluctance to adapt to the new missions and challenges of the post-Cold War world, yet it was delivered in a voice sympathetic to what he called "the soldier's dilemma. …

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