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Drift: The Unmooring of American Military…

Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Rachel Maddow

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Title:Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power
Authors:Rachel Maddow
Info:Crown (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 288 pages
Collections:Your library

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Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power by Rachel Maddow (2012)

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A very insightful book which details how the country has learnt "to be at peace with being at war" and how the bipartisan executive over the last few decades has made it happen. Essential reading for the politically conscious citizens. ( )
  ksahitya1987 | Jun 13, 2017 |
I thought she gave Clinton too much of a pass for his escalation of outsourcing the military and failure to have a consistent foreign or military policy but other than that it's very illuminating and interesting.

reading this in the aftermath of the Snowden NSA disclosures it's also interesting that snowden was a contractor not a govt or military employee at the time. it's interesting in that it seems there's no aspect of national security that is too sacred to outsource to save a few $$. ( )
  jimbomin | Jan 23, 2017 |
Reading this book was like watching Maddow's show. The writing is deceptively simple, while each sentence makes its impact. The presentation of research is more like a story than a jumbled up collection of facts. It's really depressing to see the way politicians morphed the American mind into believing that a standing army of this size is always necessary. A great read for anyone interested in current events, politics, and America's obsession with war. ( )
  Sareene | Oct 22, 2016 |
This book is full of facts and wit and impressive synthesis of foreign policy decisions over the past four decades. If you love Rachel Maddow, you'll enjoy this prose (you can hear her MSNBC style voice in the writing). If not, well, give it a try anyway. One of its most important contributions is a debunking of the myth that Reagan was a great President. So not true (she gives us the details of why, including testimony from people in his own party, at the time, who have since participated in the revisionist historical project called the Reagan Presidency). Maddow ends with an important conclusion: “Policy decisions matter. Our institutions matter. The structure of government matters. They can all be changed… There were specific decisions made in time that set us on our current war-is-normal course. If specific decisions in time landed us where we are today, we can unmake those specific decisions.” And then she offers a specific “to-do” list, including pay for all wars up front (taxes, war bonds, etc.) instead of using deficit spending (this as a way of avoiding more and endless wars); get rid of the secret, outside the government military (e.g. remote drone pilots); make CIA ops accountable; get rid of the privatized war and military operations; return war-making authority to Congress. (Brian) ( )
  ShawIslandLibrary | Sep 1, 2016 |
Maddow lays out a sound argument and provides examples that the increasing reliance on private contractors decreases politicians reluctance to send the U.S. into the war. While private contractors may cut the cost of going to war, the actions of contractors can further complicate international conflicts, let alone the complications of on going wars. ( )
  MichaelC.Oliveira | Jul 4, 2016 |
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War, in Maddow's world, is not in need of abolition so much as proper execution, which sometimes means more massive and less hesitant execution. LBJ "tried to fight a war on the cheap," Maddow quotes a member of Johnson's administration as recalling. On the other hand, when Colin Powell and Norman Schwarzkopf propose five or six aircraft carriers for the First War on Iraq, Maddow recounts that this "would leave naval power dangerously thin in the rest of the world." Dangerous for whom?
added by Lunar | editWar is a Crime, David Swanson (Apr 3, 2012)
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Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, becasue it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debt and taxes; and armies and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds are added to those of subduing the force of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes and the opportunities of fraud growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals engendered by both. No nation could reserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.

Those truths are well established. They are read in every page which records the progession from a less arbitrary to a more arbitrary government, or the transitions from a popular governmet to an aristocracy or monarchy.

-James Madison, "Political Observations," April 20, 1795
To former vice president Dick Cheney.  Oh, please let me interview you.
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In the little town where I live in Hampshire County, Massachusetts, we now have a "Public Safety Complex" around the corner from what used to be our hokey, Andy Griffith-esque fire station.
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Maddow shows how deeply militarized our culture has become--how the role of the national security sector has shape-shifted and grown over the past century to the point of being financially unsustainable and confused in mission.

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