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Published by The Economist on Fri, 23 Sep 2016


How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything: Tales from the Pentagon. By Rosa Brooks. Simon & Schuster; 438 pages; $29.95.IT SEEMED simple enough. The White House wants a surveillance drone to monitor an evolving showdown over human rights in Kyrgyzstan. A member of staff at the National Security Council calls the author, Rosa Brooks, at the Pentagon to tell her to send it on its way. Ms Brooks explains that this is not how the chain of command works in the military. Where would the drone come from' Which job would it no longer be doing' Who was going to pay for it' Whose airspace would it operate from' The incredulous response: 'We're talking about like, one drone. You're telling me you can't just call some colonel at CentCom and make this happen''The story illustrates two themes in an interesting and worrying book, 'How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything'. The first is the growing tendency of politicians and bureaucrats in Washington to turn to the armed forces when something, almost anything, needs doing. The second, despite or perhaps because of this, is the...Continue reading
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