H/T to the History News Network for running an article by William J. Astore about How the Military and the Civilian Are Blurring in Washington.
The article is well worth reading in its entirety, but it also has this arresting image of the relationship between the U.S. military and the State Department.
In the process [of post-9/11 military enlargement and expansion into foreign policy], the military has gained a kind of unspoken and distinctly un-American primacy. Put another way, after a decade-long budgetary feeding frenzy, the Pentagon has soared, while an eclipsed Department of State, all those civilian diplomats, has been left to eke out a living on budgetary scraps or, as in Iraq today, arm and militarize itself. State, in other words, has become a remora clinging to the predatory shark that is the Department of Defense.
A Remora, also called a Suckerfish, is a parasite that attaches to a host species, commonly to a shark, using the host as transport and protection whjle also feeding on scraps dropped by the host.
The comparison is disturbingly apt.