Academic journal article Military Review

Transforming Command: The Pursuit of Mission Command in the U.S., British, and Israeli Armies

Academic journal article Military Review

Transforming Command: The Pursuit of Mission Command in the U.S., British, and Israeli Armies

Article excerpt

TRANSFORMING COMMAND: The Pursuit of Mission Command in the U.S., British, and Israeli Armies, Eitan Shamir, Stanford Security Studies, Stanford, CA, 2011, 269 pages, $24.95.

Transforming Command is a worthy addition to the military professional's library, especially with mission command being the subject of much attention in the Army. Chief of Staff of the Army General Martin Dempsey lists it among his nine areas of focus. TRADOC has founded a "Center of Excellence" to make "mission command institutional across the Army."

Author Eitan Shamir teaches at Tel Aviv University and is a research fellow for the Israeli Defense Forces. He presents a well-sourced and thorough understanding of mission command and its varied history. He gives a broad overview of its beginnings and attempts to implement mission command in three very different militaries: British, Israeli, and American. While these Armies' experiences with mission command form the core of the book, Shamir also explains how mission command originated in the early 19th century in reforms undertaken by the Prussian Army. The book concludes with an assessment of the success of the reform attempts and asks the question: Is it even possible to implement a concept from the early 19th century into a modern army? …

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