Academic journal article Military Review

Breaking the Phalanx: A New Design for Landpower in the 21st Century

Academic journal article Military Review

Breaking the Phalanx: A New Design for Landpower in the 21st Century

Article excerpt

BREAKING THE PHALANX: A New Design for Landpower in the 21st Century by Douglas A. Macgregor. 238 pages. Praeger Publishers, Westport, CI. 1997. $25.00.

Breaking the Phalanx by Douglas A. Macgregor is essential reading for any serious student of the current military modernization debate embodied in the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), National Defense Panel and Joint Vision 2010 processes. Macgregor provides a studied prescription on how the Army can maintain its relevance and dominance in a changing strategic environment. Although focused on the Army, Macgregor's conclusions about Army, Navy and Air Force conributions to current and future US military strategy, though controversial, are also important to the larger question of a relevant and decisive defense strategy in an era of constrained resources and varied challenges.

Macgregor's well-reasoned analysis arrives at several essential conclusions. For example, even with the advent of the information age, land power remains the decisive means of military power. Despite their essential contributions, neither air power nor sea power can exact lasting change on land where mankind exists and where wealth is created. Also, the opportunity and necessity for change in the Army's organization and doctrine and in the Department of Defense are present now. Failure to act could result in lost opportunities and operational or strategic failure, and also in an era of constrained resources, all operations will be joint. …

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