Breaking the Phalanx: A New Design for Landpower in the 21st Century

Breaking the Phalanx: A New Design for Landpower in the 21st Century

Breaking the Phalanx: A New Design for Landpower in the 21st Century

Breaking the Phalanx: A New Design for Landpower in the 21st Century

Synopsis

Macgregor's study economically and convincingly makes the case for the inescapable importance of land forces in wars of the future and, no less important, in the deterrence of such wars.

Excerpt

The end of the Cold War has not brought an end to the need for careful thought about the defense of peace and security in the world. On the contrary, the collapse of the system on which international relations were based for a half-century, the rapid development of new military technology, and the predictable demand in the United States and among its allies for sharp reductions in expenditure for defense together require the most serious and penetrating consideration of what should be the shape and character of the forces needed to preserve the peace and defend American interests in the years to come.

There is broad agreement that we are probably in the midst of what is called a revolution in military affairs that is rapidly altering the character of warfare. Because this has been driven largely by the availability of new or greatly improved technologies, the tendency has been to look primarily to the application of advanced technology as the answer to current and future military challenges. the temptation is to seek victory through the use of accurate and deadly bombs and missiles fired from aircraft far above the ground or from ships far out at sea, to find a “silver bullet” that will achieve the goals of war without casualties and without, for the most part, any serious use of ground forces.

The development and use of such weapons will certainly be important, but it is wrong and dangerous to imagine they can do the job alone. the Gulf War showed the potentiality of such weapons, but they were no silver . . .

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