Magazine article Army

U.S. Army Doctrine: From the American Revolution to the War on Terror

Magazine article Army

U.S. Army Doctrine: From the American Revolution to the War on Terror

Article excerpt

Varied Fare U.S. Army Doctrine: From the American Revolution to the War on Terror. Waiter E. Kretchik. Kansas University Press. 392 pages; index; black-and-white photographs; $39.95.

Until something better comes along, Walter E. Kretchik's U.S. Army Doctrine: From the American Revolution to the War on Terror will likely serve as the bible for tracing the evolution of U,S, Army doctrine from von Steuben's drill on the frozen fields of Valley Forge to tactics and techniques for kicking in doors in Kabul.

In his introduction, Kretchik rightly points out that while there are important and enduring studies on some U.S. Army doctrinal efforts (Bob Doughty's still widely read 1979 pamphlet The Evolution of U.S. Army Tactical Doctrine from 1946-76 and John Romjue's Active Defense to Airland Battle), there is no first-class, accessible overview of Army doctrine over the course of the nation's history. There have been other sweeping studies that have tried to look at the evolution of how the Army fights, most notably Russell F. Weigley's The American Way of War: A History of United States Military Strategy and Policy and Brian Linn's revisionist The Echo of Battle: The Army's Way of War, but none that focuses narrowly and specifically on the service's keystone doctrine. This book fills that niche nicely.

Kretchik suggests there are clear trends in Army doctrine evolving from the tactical products of the American Revolution, which focused primarily on drill and training, to more general warfighting tactics, techniques and procedures that were used during the Civil War. …

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