Academic journal article Military Review

Kevlar Legions: The Transformation of the U.S. Army, 1989-2005

Academic journal article Military Review

Kevlar Legions: The Transformation of the U.S. Army, 1989-2005

Article excerpt

KEVLAR LEGIONS

The Transformation of the

U.S. Army, 1989-2005

John Sloan Brown,

U.S. Army Center of Military History,

Washington, DC, 2011, 558 pages, $50.00

THE LAST DECADE of war has forced the U.S. Army to adjust and "transform" itself seemingly on the fly--creating both ad hoc and permanent solutions to address today's problems. However, the Army's ability to meet these challenges and modernize for threats in the future did not begin with the destruction of the World Trade Center. Where we stand today has root in the decisions our senior leaders made in the recent past.

In Kevlar Legions, John Sloan Brown details how the Army transformed institutionally from the end of the Cold War to today's conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. For Brown, the basis of recent transformation efforts were that they were "centrally directed and institutionally driven," primarily by the chief of staff of the Army, and affected all aspects of the Army--doctrine, force structure, training, administrative and logistical policies, and the culture of the service itself. Finally, Brown contends that transformation efforts from 1989 to the outbreak of war in Afghanistan and Iraq were instrumental in creating the Army that quickly overthrew two oppressive governments and was able to adapt to fight an unconventional conflict in each country. …

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