Academic journal article Military Review

A TRANSFORMATION GAP: American Innovations and European Military Change

Academic journal article Military Review

A TRANSFORMATION GAP: American Innovations and European Military Change

Article excerpt

A TRANSFORMATION GAP: American Innovations and European Military Change, edited by Terry Terriff, Frans Osinga, and Theo Farrell, Stanford Strategic Studies, Stanford University Press, Palo Alto, CA, 2010, 272 pages, $24.95.

In A Transformation Gap: American Innovations and European Military Change, the authors, a group of European political and military scholars, set out to determine the extent of the technological and conceptual gap between European NATO members and the United States. The book's operating premise is that European NATO member states are increasingly lagging behind the United States in transforming their respective militaries, creating a capabilities gap that undermines the inherent ability of NATO to operate as an effective and cohesive force-a force equipped to undertake the full spectrum of operations in line with the alliance's level of ambition.

Utilizing a structured case-study approach in probing for military transformation, a representative cross section of European NATO members (Britain, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain, and Poland) are analyzed to determine the degree and pace of military transformation. Each country's assessment is conducted using an analytical framework consisting of three distinct elements: network enablement, effects-based operations, and expeditionary warfare. The elements are further analyzed in terms of their technological, doctrinal, and organizational innovations. The elements and factors selected proved well-suited to substantively measure transformation.

A full chapter is devoted to each of the six assessed countries. Appropriate subject-matter experts accomplish each assessment. Individual chapters are laid out similarly, making for easy country comparisons, yet each chapter can be understood independently. …

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