Defense for a New Era (H)

Les Aspin, Author, Lee Aspin, Author, Bill Dickinson, Author Potomac Books $15 (93p) ISBN 978-0-02-881028-7
This bipartisan study, coauthored by Aspin, the Democratic chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, and Dickinson, its ranking Republican member, aims to teach Congress the lessons of the Gulf war with a view toward future defense policy and budgeting. The report's succinctly stated findings offer no surprises. The air campaign is judged the decisive factor in the war. High-tech weapons and equipment, it concludes, for the most part worked satisfactorily. The Total Force policy, calling for integration of reserve components in a major contingency, was successfully implemented. The all-volunteer force turned out to be not only better educated and motivated than any other army in U.S. military history, but also more capable. The Goldwater-Nichols Defense Department Reorganization Act of 1986, with its streamlined chain of command (featuring strict operational control by the theater commander), passed its first major test with flying colors. For the general reader the report serves as a just-the-facts overview and a pragmatic assessment of the performances of U.S. military forces in their first post-Cold War test. Illustrations. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
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