Mohsen Abdelmoumen: In your opinion, is not the crisis in Syria and Iraq the direct result of the American interventions in Iraq of 1991 and 2003?
Dr. Andrew Bacevich: There is no single cause of the crisis, but the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 played a large contributing role by shattering that country.
You are opposed to the US intervention in the world; can we consider an America without imperialist war?
I’m not a pacifist and I’m not opposed to all uses of force. The problem is that since the end of the Cold War, the United States has used its military recklessly and foolishly.
In your very relevant books as « The New American Militarism », « How Americans are seduced by War », « The long War » or « America’s War for the Greater Middle East », your observation is very critical of US wars. How did you come to these conclusions?
I tried to look at the facts without prejudice and without being unduly influenced by ideology.
Don’t you think that there is a risk of total war waged by the US against Russia and China?
I think the risk is minimal at present. War between the major powers, especially in an age of nuclear weapons, is in no one’s interest. If leaders keep that in mind, we can avoid any such cataclysm.
In case of Hillary Clinton’s election, who is supported by the neoconservatives, will not be the nuclear threat on the agenda?
What do you think of the Jasta law? Are relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia deteriorated? And why this law now, in 2016?
I am not familiar with the Jasta law.
Does the US dropped the Saudis to get closer to Iran, especially after the Iranian nuclear agreement?
The United States has not « dropped » the Saudis. It’s certainly the case that the United States has irritated and even disturbed the Saudi leadership by forging an agreement that ends the isolation of Iran. However, it’s an oversimplification to say that the United States is trying to « get closer to Iran. » The powers who negotiated the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action=Iran nuclear deal) with Iran are giving that country an opportunity to demonstrate that it can become a responsible player in international politics. It very much remains to be seen what Iran will do with that opportunity.
Do not you think that Daesh-Isis will suffer the consequences of tensions between the US and Saudi Arabia?
The Islamic state is doomed. Unfortunately, the factors that gave rise to ISIS will persist.
Do not you think that George W. Bush and Tony Blair should be judged for the crimes they have committed in Iraq, and Nicolas Sarkozy and David Cameron for their crimes in Libya?
No court has found them guilty of crimes so that will have to happen first.
As a U.S. Army colonel, do you think that a soldier must obey orders, even if those who give them are irresponsible, and even if these wars are immoral, illicit and imprudent?
I am no longer a soldier, but, no, I do not believe that a soldier is obliged to obey orders that are illegal or immoral.
How do you explain the unconditional support of the United States to Israel?
Well, it’s not unconditional.
Will you support a candidate in this 2016 election?
Yes, I intend to vote.
Interview realized by Mohsen Abdelmoumen
Who is the Dr. Andrew Bacevich?
Andrew J. Bacevich is Professor of International Relations and History at Boston University. He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1969. He received his PhD in American Diplomatic History from Princeton University. Before joining the faculty of Boston University, he taught at West Point and Johns Hopkins University. He served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War. Later he held posts in Germany, the United States and the Persian Gulf up to his retirement from the service with the rank of Colonel in the early 1990s.
Andrew Bacevich was regarded as « a persistent, vocal critic of the U.S. occupation of Iraq, calling the conflict a catastrophic failure. » In March 2007, he described George W. Bush’s endorsement of such « preventive wars » as « immoral, illicit, and imprudent.
Dr. Andrew Bacevich is the author of America’s War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History (2016); Breach of Trust: How Americans Failed Their Soldiers and Their Country (2013); Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War(2010); The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism (2008); The Long War: A New History of US National Security Policy since World War II(2007) (editor); The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War (2005); and American Empire: The Realities and Consequences of U. S. Diplomacy (2002).Among his essays:The battle for truth over Saudi Arabia’s Role in 9/11, 2016; How we became Israel : peace means dominion for Netanyahu—and now for us (2012). His essays and reviews have appeared in a variety of scholarly and general interest publications including The Wilson Quarterly, The National Interest, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The Nation, andThe New Republic. His op-eds have appeared in the New York Times,Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Boston Globe, and Los Angeles Times, among other newspapers. He is also the editor of a volume entitledThe Short American Century: A Postmortem, which was published in 2012.
In 2004, Dr. Bacevich was a Berlin Prize Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin. He has also held fellowships at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, the John F. Kennedy School of Government, and the Council on Foreign Relations.
Published in American Herald Tribune, October 13, 2016: http://ahtribune.com/us/1260-andrew-bacevich.html
In French in Palestine Solidarité: http://www.palestine-solidarite.org/analyses.mohsen_abdelmoumen.141016.htm