This book, Bacevich’s eighth, extends his string of brutal, bracing and essential critiques of the pernicious role of reflexive militarism in American foreign policy. As in past books, Bacevich is thought-provoking, profane and fearless. Assailing generals, journalists and foreign policy experts alike, he links together more than a dozen military interventions that span 35 years and declares them a single war ... But it is in his description of the 'Islamic world,' that Bacevich stumbles. What is missing in this book about 'the greater Middle East' are the people of the greater Middle East.
...a deft and rhythmic polemic aimed at America’s failures in the Middle East from the end of Jimmy Carter’s presidency to the present ... This is how the book goes. It sweeps you along, unless you are willing to stop and say: Hey, wait a minute, that’s not the whole truth. Nevertheless, there is wisdom aplenty in one of Mr. Bacevich’s key propositions, which is that in all the decades that the Americans sent troops to fight in the Middle East there was far too little appreciation of the region’s deeper problems.
Those familiar with Bacevich’s work will recognize the clarity of expression, the devastating directness and the coruscating wit that characterize the writing of one of the most articulate and incisive living critics of American foreign policy ... Bacevich does not explain how different decisions by U.S. policymakers over time would have delivered a more satisfactory outcome to this 'war for the Greater Middle East.' His critique would also have been strengthened by a greater empathy for decision-makers facing radical uncertainty and complexity, an unknown future, and few easy choices, and by allowing that smart, patriotic public servants sometimes get it right.