Andrew Bacevich on the Secularization of U.S. Foreign Policy

americas-war-for-the-greater-middle-eastThese two paragraphs from Andrew Bacevich’s book, America’s War for the Greater Middle East, expose a very difficult truth the U.S. needs to take seriously.

Bacevich says,

“But among those paid to think about strategy, soldiers and civilians alike, history and religion counted for little. In the wake of World War II, in large part due to the primacy assigned to nuclear issues, economists, mathematicians, political scientists, and specialists in game theory had come to exercise an outsized influence on framing the debate over basic national security policy. On matter where so little history existed, historians seemingly had little to offer and could therefore safely be ignored. As for theologians, with rare exceptions, they were excluded altogether. National security policy was a thoroughly secular enterprise.

For Generals Kingston, Crist, and Schwarzkopf to incorporate history or religion into their thinking alongside geography or the prospective enemy’s order of battle would have required an enormous leap of creative imagination. At CENTCOM headquarters, such imagination was – and would remain – in short supply.”

I would argue that it is largely due to the secularization of our foreign policy that we are completely unable to come to grips with how to deal with Islamic countries (many of which should be our allies), Islamic terror organizations, and the broader Middle Eastern region. Secularism has created massive blind spots when dealing with these deeply religions cultures, and I see very little hope for improvement in the future.


– Lucas G. Westman

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