Getting It Right: American Military Reforms After Vietnam to the Persian Gulf and Beyond

James F. Dunnigan, Author, Raymond M. Macedonia, With William Morrow & Company $23 (320p) ISBN 978-0-688-12096-2
One of the bitter legacies of the Vietnam War was the breakdown in discipline, morale and fighting capability that led the U.S. military, particularly the Army, to initiate dramatic reforms in the '70s. Dunnigan, the author of How to Make War , and Macedonia, founder and chairman of the war gaming department of the Army War College, review the movement led by General William DePuy that sparked a host of dynamic concepts formally outlined in the 1976 edition of Field Manual 100-5. Ensuing changes included a revamped officer corps; carefully selected, well-paid volunteer troops; realistic, rigorous and plentiful training; and an overall tactical doctrine that stressed balanced teams of combined arms. In the authors' view, the Persian Gulf War was something of a final exam for the reformed Army--which it passed in a ``historically exceptional performance.'' In the post-Desert Storm era, they warn, the problem is to avoid the ``Victory Disease,'' an affliction to which all winning armies are susceptible and which is marked by institutional arrogance and a conviction that future conflicts should be fought like previous ones. Lucidly written, highly informative, this is an up-to-date appraisal of the current state of the nation's armed forces. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/01/1993
Release date: 11/01/1993
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 978-0-688-14065-6
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