Articles by

Richard Lachmann

Richard Lachmann is a professor at SUNY Albany, and the author most recently of What Is Historical Sociology?

The Making of US Military Defeats

I review the evidence for, and Brownlee’s critique of, my argument that misspent money, growing aversion to American casualties, and neoliberal policies doomed recent US invasions and occupations. I then look at the role of geopolitics in shaping both US war policies and the effectiveness of mass opposition to American wars. I interrogate Brownlee’s use of Arendt’s distinction between military and political power and argue that he and Arendt are wrong to assert that military success is inherently untranslatable into political rule. Finally, my analysis provides the basis to evaluate the role that public opinion and mass movements, which get pride of place in Brownlee’s critique, might play in deflecting or weakening future US interventions.