Andrew J. Bacevich: How We Became Israel





Andrew J. Bacevich is a visiting professor at the University of Notre Dame.

Peace means different things to different governments and different countries. To some it suggests harmony based on tolerance and mutual respect. To others it serves as a euphemism for dominance, peace defining the relationship between the strong and the supine.

In the absence of actually existing peace, a nation’s reigning definition of peace shapes its proclivity to use force. A nation committed to peace-as-harmony will tend to employ force as a last resort. The United States once subscribed to this view. Or beyond the confines of the Western Hemisphere, it at least pretended to do so.

A nation seeking peace-as-dominion will use force more freely. This has long been an Israeli predilection. Since the end of the Cold War and especially since 9/11, however, it has become America’s as well. As a consequence, U.S. national-security policy increasingly conforms to patterns of behavior pioneered by the Jewish state. This “Israelification” of U.S. policy may prove beneficial for Israel. Based on the available evidence, it’s not likely to be good for the United States....



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