Rachel Maddow's "Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power" is a sometimes humorous look (she can't help it) at:
1-the depressing distance the American Government has put between itself (especially the Executive) and the Constitution,
2-the depressing extent to which the Military operates beyond the knowledge and control of the legislature (let's hear it for the Contractors, public and private), and
3-the depressing state of our Nuclear Arsenal and its attendant, uselessly rising, costs.
One of the first things many Iraqi refugees we met in New York said, with uniform incredulity, was "There's no war here." This book goes a long way to explaining why.
It is the unmooring of the American people from the realities of our foreign policy actions that is most worrisome to me.
Did you know that in the last 2 years there were 182 U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan? [New America Foundation] Some 1,280 people died in these dronings. Most of America knows nothing about this.
U.S. Special Operations Command spokesman Colonel Tim Nye the number of nations in which U.S. Special Forces will be operating in 2012 "will likely reach 120." [Nick Turse, Salon] This includes operations in which there are only Contractors with no legal accountability.
Unfortunately, Maddow's proscription for change fails to move me to more optimism. Her ideas are fine. "Let's do away with the secret military" is a good thought, but how? How can this trend of out-of-popular-control be reversed?
It will take a transformation of the American psyche. More facts will help. Exposing the truth of the extralegal, extraconstiturional, beyond oversight mechanisms [like Maddow's "Drift"] will help, but the change must be deeper than statistics. Our failure to act to oppose and change these systems is not just a deficit of information. It is a moral failure. I must admit that the solution eludes me.