Join Brookdale Community College for a special guest lecture by Boston University professor Andrew Bacevich. Bacevich is a political scientist and historian specializing in international relations. A NY Times bestselling author, his most recent work is Breach of Trust.
The United States has been “at war” for more than a decade. Yet as war has become normalized, a yawning gap has opened between America’s soldiers and the society in whose name they fight. For ordinary citizens, as former secretary of defense Robert Gates has acknowledged, armed conflict has become an “abstraction” and military service “something for other people to do.”
Drawing from Breach of Trust, Bacevich takes stock of the separation between Americans and their military, tracing its origins to the Vietnam era and exploring its pernicious implications: a nation with an abiding appetite for war waged at enormous expense by a standing army demonstrably unable to achieve victory. Among the collateral casualties are values once considered central to democratic practice, including the principle that responsibility for defending the country should rest with its citizens.
Citing figures as diverse as the martyr-theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the marine-turned-anti-warrior Smedley Butler, Bacevich summons Americans to restore that principle. Rather than something for “other people” to do, national defense should become the business of “we the people.” Should Americans refuse to shoulder this responsibility, Bacevich warns, the prospect of endless war, waged by a “foreign legion” of professionals and contractor-mercenaries, beckons. So too does bankruptcy—moral as well as fiscal.
This event is sponsored by the departments of History and Student Life & Activities with support from Student Development as the annual Jacob Needle Lecture in history. The lecture is free and open to the public and will be held in the Warner Student Life Center, located on the Lincroft Campus starting at 7:00 PM. For more information please contact 732-224-2788 or e-mail email@example.com.