The Real World War IV
America’s political and military efforts in the Middle East go by many names: War on terror. Clash of civilizations. Democratization. But our author argues that all of these undertakings grow from a fateful decision made decades ago that the American way of life requires unlimited access to foreign oil.
In the eyes of its most impassioned supporters, the global war on terror constitutes a de facto fourth world war: The conflict that erupted with the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon is really a sequel to three previous conflicts that, however different from one another in terms of scope and duration, have defined contemporary history.
To read the rest of this article, please consider becoming a WQ subscriber, which allows online access to the current WQ issue as well as archive content. Other access options are below.
Research, browse, and discover more than 35 years of articles, essays, and reviews by preeminent scholars and writers. Our searchable archive of back issues is free for WQ subscribers.
Andrew J. Bacevich is a professor of international relations at Boston University. A West Point graduate who served in Vietnam, he is the author of several books, including American Empire: The Realities and Consequences of U.S. Diplomacy (2002). This essay is drawn from his forthcoming book, The New American Militarism.more from this author >>