Academic journal article Military Review

Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power

Academic journal article Military Review

Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power

Article excerpt

DRIFT: The Unmooring of American Military Power, Rachel Maddow, Crown Publishing, New York, 2012, 264 pages, $25.00

FEW MODERN BOOKS written by political commentators provide Drift's ideological dichotomy. Its author, Rachel Maddow, is a well-known television host on MSNBC who consistently takes a liberal, witty, and informed view of the news. However, the message in the book is as conservative as they come: that our government has overstepped its bounds and is incapable of representing our people, at least in respect to our national security. As she says, "Our political process doesn't actually determine what we do [in national security]. We're not directing that policy anymore; it just follows its own course." Despite the mechanisms put into place by the Founders to prevent the executive branch from solely conducting war, today there are no institutional brakes to warmaking.

Based mostly on historical anecdote and storytelling, Drift primarily concerns how the United States finds itself in this situation. This subtle shaping of a political narrative is the unfortunate direction the book takes. …

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