The Hollow Army: How the U.S. Army Is Oversold and Undermanned

The Hollow Army: How the U.S. Army Is Oversold and Undermanned

The Hollow Army: How the U.S. Army Is Oversold and Undermanned

The Hollow Army: How the U.S. Army Is Oversold and Undermanned

Synopsis

"A blockbuster. . . sure to be controversial. A major work, not just in military sociology but among concerned citizens generally. The Hollow Army is one of a kind in that it completely runs against the conventional wisdom that today's American Army is an effective fighting force. Henderson's argument is brilliantly conceived, backed with data and penetrating insight. . . . The scholarship is extremely sound. . . and the use of data is peerless." Charles C. Moskos Chairman, Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society

Excerpt

A conventional wisdom defines the state of the U.S. Army today. It goes something like this. the Army was in bad shape coming out of the Vietnam War. Troop indiscipline, race strife, widespread drug abuse, among other maladies, all undercut soldier effectiveness. the end of the war and the draft in 1973 did not change matters very much. the early years of the all-volunteer force saw the education levels and test scores of recruits plummet, widespread recruitment scandals, and record levels of bad discharges and desertions in peacetime. But a major turnaround began in the early 1980s. High quality young people were again entering the Army; training was effective; soldiers were enthused; morale soared. Indeed, by the late 1980s, the U.S. Army was "the best ever." So goes the official story.

Colonel W. Darryl Henderson challenges that story. The Hollow Army:
How the U.S. Army Is Oversold and Undermanned
presents a compelling case of military malorganization. the evidence given here differs from the Pollyannaish glow of the public accounts on the recovery of the Army in the 1980s. The Hollow Army, however, is not muck raking. Nor is it an indictment of individual malfeasance or laxity. What we have here is an unusually well documented argument for the proposition that the Army's deep troubles in the way it prepares its soldiers for war are systemic.

The Hollow Army is all the more deserving of our attention because it alerts the reader not to noisy and well-publicized problems of the Army, such as in the latter years of the Vietnam War and the early years of the all-volunteer force. Rather, Colonel Henderson points to a quiet, and therefore more insidious, sort of crisis. the Hollow Army presents data . . .

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