Academic journal article Military Review

American Army Doctrine for the Post-Cold War

Academic journal article Military Review

American Army Doctrine for the Post-Cold War

Article excerpt


John L. Romjue. 160 pages. Military History Office, US Army Training and Doctrine Command, Fort Monroe, VA (Available from the Superintendent of Documents, GPO, Washington, DC) 1996. $8.00.

Historically, armies seem to learn more from defeat (Prussia in 1806 and the United States in 1975) than victory (France in 1918 and Israel in 1967). Breaking this pattem was one of the challenges the US Army faced in 1991 as it began revising its doctrine after lightning wins in Panama and Southwest Asia and after outlasting the Warsaw Pact.

Substantial budget and personnel cuts and the need to accommodate new information-age technologies complicated doctrine revision. US Army Training and Doctrine Command (TR historian John L Romjue's monograph describes how the Army dealt with various challenges as it revised its capstone doctrinal manual, US Army Field Manual (FM) 100-5, Operation, to conform to a drastically changed world.

Romjue's detailed narrative is what he calls "a case study of the intellectual and institutional processes" the Army used from August 1991 to June 1993 in revising its doctrine. Romjue's focus on the drafting, staffing and consensus building involved is appropriate, given then Army Chief of Staff General Gordon R Sullivan's insistence that doctrine be the Army's "engine of change" and its formulation be as much "process as product."

Romjue's protagonist, General Frederick M. Franks Jr, then TRADOC commander, led the revision. …

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