A Reference HandbookBook - 2007
This volume will help the reader understand fundamental strengths and weaknesses in America's military forces, thereby leading to a comprehension of what genuine military reform is, and is not, and what remains to be done. Ideas will be presented to compare genuine reform to cosmetic dabbling, which fundamentally improves nothing and which sometimes arrives as ill-conceived fads that promise only to burden US combat forces to the point of mental and physical immobility. The work will trace the history of various attempts to impose military reform on American armed forces, especially from Congress, starting during the American Revolution and Continental Congress up through the present day. Particular focus will be placed on the effort of a small group in Congress and the Pentagon in the 1980s (who coined the term military reform in the modern context). Emphasis will be on the reforms these actors advocated, variously successful and unsuccessful, to fundamentally alter how the Department of Defense designs and buys hardware and how our armed forces fight. The book will use Operations Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom (and the subsequent insurgency in Iraq) to demonstrate what has been reformed in US armed forces and the Department of Defense, and what has not.