Davie Bennett's Reviews > Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power

Drift by Rachel Maddow
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's review
Jun 03, 2012

it was amazing
Read in May, 2012

Read! This! Book!

I admire Rachel Maddow very much. She's plainly intelligent, incredibly articulate, and sells her ideas with the perfect combination of rock-solid logic and artfully spoken passion.

"Policy decisions matter. Out institutions matter. The structure of government matters. They can all be changed. We saw that happen over the last forty years. There were specific decisions made in time that set us on our current war-is-normal course." This book gives the harrowing, embarrassing, unbelievable, and sometimes hilarious accounting of those decisions, those changes that have lead to the astounding drift of our military policy from that of a few generations ago. The drift began with Johnson and Vietnam, and has continued with accelerated pace through the administrations of Reagan, the Bushes, Clinton, and into the age of Obama.

"As the national security state has metastasized, decisions to use force have become painless and slick, almost automatic. The disincentives to war deliberately built into our American system of government - particularly the citizen-soldier, and leaving the power to declare war with Congress instead of the president - we've worked around them. We ought to see that constitutional inheritance as a national treasure, yet we've divested ourselves of it without much of a debate." This book, with any justice and fair hearing, could ignite that very debate.

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