Professor Jack Douglas has long argued that the US is a pretend civilian regime, and an actual military one. I note on CNN this morning that the US ambassador to occupied Afghanistan is an army lt. general. In the CNN discussion on US troop levels, the number of the Pentagon's "private contractors" is unmentioned, though these highly paid ex-soldiers and others act like soldiers and outnumber the official troops. Long ago, the secretary of state was the key foreign policy advisor to the president. Then as power was centralized, the national security advisor, such as Henry Kissinger under Nixon, ran things. Now that position—held by an ex-marine general under the puppet Obama—is simply a representative of the controlling power in foreign affairs, the Pentagon and its related merchants of death.