"One of my favorite ideas is, never to keep an unnecessary soldier," Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1792. Neither Jefferson nor the other Founders could ever have envisioned the modern national security state, with its tens of thousands of "privateers"; its bloated Department of Homeland Security;... read more
“"The Constitution is designed to inconvenience one person from taking us to war. War is a very solemn and sobering and extraordinary act and it should not be granted to one person."”Representative Ron Dellums
“The idea was for us to feel it-uncomfortably-every second we were at war. But after a generation or two of shedding the deliberate political encumbrances to war that they left us- of dropping Congress from the equation altogether, of super-empowering the presidency with total war-making power and with secret new war-making resources that answer to no one but him, of insulating the public from not only the cost of war but sometimes even the knowledge that it's happening-war making has become almost an autonomous function of the American state. It never stops.”
“When civilians are not asked to pay any price, it's easy to be at war-not just to intervene in a foreign land in the first place, but to keep on fighting there.”
“It lessens the possibility of stranding our military in conflicts the country doesn't support or, worse, doesn't care about. Have a work-around for that political sensitivity must have felt like genius to those who wanted war without the hassle, but even in the short run, that work-around had clear unintended consequences. Not only was there little public debate about the merits of a major American deployment, there was also less pressure to bring the mission to a quick conclusion. ~ on private military contractors”
“Privatization made it all easy, and quiet.”
“"Congress in recent decades has avoided its responsibility."”Pultizer Prize winning columnist and longtime student of the Constitution Anthony Lewis
“"They're not accountable to anybody and they know that."”Intellegence source commenting on private military contractors
Prologue: Is It Too Late to Descope This?
Chapter 1: G.I. Joe, Ho Chi Minh, and the American Art of Fighting About Fighting
Chapter 2: A Nation at Peace Everywhere in the World
Chapter 3: Let 'Er Fly
Chapter 4: Isle of Spice
Chapter 5: Stupid Regulations
Chapter 6: Mylanta, 'Tis of Thee
Chapter 7: Doing More with Less (Hassle)
Chapter 8: "One Hell of a Killing Machine"
Chapter 9: An $8 Trillion Fungus Among Us
Epilogue: You Build It, You Own It
Notes on Sources
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