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Getting It Right: American Military Reforms After Vietnam to the Gulf War and Beyond Hardcover – November, 1993


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow & Co; 1st edition (November 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688120962
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688120962
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,220,419 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Dunnigan, of wargaming book fame ( The Complete Wargames Handbook , LJ 11/15/92), has become one of the most prolific of the amateur military pundits. This latest entry, coauthored with former army colonel Macedonia, outlines changes made in U.S. military thinking and training since the Vietnam War. It focuses on the army, while shorter sections cover the other services. The authors touch upon salient points of current interest such as interservice rivalries, women, and gays. They point out some interesting facts, for example, that ten percent of the defense budget goes for military pensions. A strictly military view of the military reorganization is found in Al Santoli's Leading the Way ( LJ 10/15/93). Recommended for public, academic, and military libraries.
- David H. Hall, Sunnyvale P.L., Cal.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Format: Hardcover
When I came back from the Middle East in April 1991 all the talk was about the ghost of Vietnam had been purged but the general public seemed shocked that military of Desert Storm was so radically different. So many wondered where did this modern military machine come from? Well this book is the answer.

Published in 1993 it covers the trials and tribulations of how the military when from draft to volunteer and all the assorted growing pains with a short history of lessons learned and forgotten before this. So lets be frank in saying that the military of the 1970s (especially the Army) was not one of this country's proudest achievements. In terms of troop quality, planning, training and equipping the US military, the 1970's were a crap shoot. The country was in upheaval and the military was not immune to those forces. Thankfully there were leaders and thinkers in the right place at the right time to make the right decisions. All done with the foresight to understand that the problems were not going to fixed overnight.

The authors do an excellent job of covering the issues and dissecting them without it all ending up in all kinds of milspeak and techno babble. The problems are well covered and discussed without going into so much detail that the eyes of those so less inclined to military history roll back in their heads. This book really is written for anyone with an interest in how the military got from 1972 to 1991.

The interesting thing is that although this book has now been out for 21 years many of the issues are still relevant today. The military is in a drawn down and uncertainty is on the horizon. This would be one of those books that our current military leaders and politicians need to read so that the many painful lessons of the 1970's are not learned all over again.
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