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The Boston Globe


opinion | Andrew J. Bacevich

The endless Army

Is ‘Pacific Pathways’ a necessary pivot, or a military budget grab?

On the scale of outrages emanating from Washington, D.C., which has become a byword for tomfoolery and cockamamie schemes, it barely registers. Yet let us pause for a moment to contemplate the US Army’s new initiative known as “Pacific Pathways,” established to counter threats in the Asia-Pacific region.

Note that the 21st century has not been kind to the Army. Since 9/11, it has engaged in two protracted and debilitating conflicts. The Iraq war, launched in 2003, finally ended more than eight years later in something other than victory. The Afghanistan war, begun even earlier, shambles toward its own ambiguous conclusion, having become the longest and least popular war in the nation’s history.

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