Academic journal article Military Review

Lifting the Fog of War

Academic journal article Military Review

Lifting the Fog of War

Article excerpt

LIFTING THE FOG OF WAR, Admiral Bill Owens with Ed Offley, The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD, 2001, 296 pages, $16.95.

In Lifting the Fog of War Admiral Bill Owens, former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, states that fewer Americans, including fewer policymakers, have personal experience with the all-volunteer military. Thus, when watching CNN news reports of the apparently easy military successes in the Persian Gulf, Kosovo, and Afghanistan, Americans might think that the military is sufficiently strong to dominate all conflicts for the foreseeable future. When discussions of the defense budget arise, many will ask, "If the military ain't broke, why spend all those billions to fix it?" Owens devotes his book to showing that, while appearing formidable, the U.S. military is, in fact, running on empty. Because of force reductions, more deployments, and aging combat systems fast approaching obsolescence, the U.S. military is in danger of imploding.

Owens offers a relatively inexpensive fix. He argues that by integrating advanced information technology into redesigned force structures and by developing innovative doctrine, tactics, and training to govern their use, the United States can conduct a revolution in the way it wages war. …

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