Skip to main content
Trade Books For Courses Tradebooks for Courses

Paths of Dissent

Soldiers Speak Out Against America's Misguided Wars

Andrew Bacevich and Daniel A. Sjursen

Metropolitan Books

Paths of Dissent Download image

ISBN10: 1250870178
ISBN13: 9781250870179


304 Pages



Request Desk Copy
Request Exam Copy


Sign up to receive information about new books, author events, and special offers.

Sign up now

Twenty years of America’s Global War on Terror produced little tangible success while exacting enormous harm. In Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States sustained tens of thousands of casualties, expended trillions of dollars, and inflicted massive suffering on the very populations that we sought to “liberate.” Now the inclination to forget it all and move on is palpable. But there is much to be learned from the immense debacle. And those who served and fought in these wars are best positioned to teach us.

Paths of Dissent collects fifteen original essays from American veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan—hailing from a wide range of services, ranks, and walks of life—who have come out in opposition to these conflicts. Selected for their candor and eloquence by fellow veterans Andrew Bacevich and Daniel Sjursen, these soldiers vividly describe both their motivations for serving and the disillusionment that made them speak out against the system. Their testimony is crucial for understanding just how the world’s self-proclaimed greatest military power went so badly astray.

Contributors: Gil Barndollar • Dan Berschinski • Joy Damiani • Daniel L. Davis • Jason Dempsey • Erik Edstrom • Vincent Emanuele • Gian Gentile • Matthew P. Hoh • Jonathan W. Hutto, Sr. • Buddhika Jayamaha • Roy Scranton • Kevin Tillman • Elliott Woods • Paul Yingling


Praise for Paths of Dissent

Paths of Dissent is superb, full of enraging and courageous writing at its best. This collection of sharp, thoughtful, painfully honest and intellectually probing essays from a wide range of American veterans offers absolutely critical perspectives on what we have done as a nation over the past two decades, and what we as individuals and as citizens need to do in response.”—Phil Klay, author of Redeployment

“Through eloquent and candid essays by Americans veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq, Paths of Dissent reminds everyone of the power and the patriotism of genuine military dissent. Andrew Bacevich and Daniel Sjursen have done us all a service by lifting up the voices of those who served—and revealing the principled commitment that drives these veterans to challenge a system urgently in need of reconstruction.”—Katrina vanden Heuvel, publisher of The Nation

“Enlightening . . . Any citizen who wants to better understand our country's current military entrapments will want to read this book.”—BookPage (starred review)

“The contributors are excellent writers . . . An excellent, timely collection offering analysis of two decades of war and a broad swath of ideas and possible solutions to problems the military is largely incapable of fixing without outside attention.”—Booklist

“Gripping . . . Full of potent criticism and anguished admissions of guilt, this is a visceral takedown of America’s forever wars.”—Publishers Weekly

Reviews from Goodreads


Read an Excerpt



Andrew Bacevich

In response to the 9/11 attacks, the United States plunged willy-nilly into a war that political authorities explicitly characterized as global. Few observers at the...

About the author

Andrew Bacevich and Daniel A. Sjursen

Andrew Bacevich graduated from West Point and Princeton, served for twenty-three years in the US Army, and is now a professor emeritus of history and international relations at Boston University. Founder and president of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, a nonpartisan foreign policy think tank, he is the author or editor of a dozen books, among them The Limits of Power, Washington Rules, and After the Apocalypse.

Daniel A. Sjursen is a retired US Army officer who served combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. A senior fellow at the Center for International Policy and a contributing editor at, he is the author of Ghost Riders of Baghdad and Patriotic Dissent.

Andrew Bacevich

Daniel A. Sjursen

Official Links

Read Articles by the Author at the Nation