Reinventing U.S. Military Policy

By Atkeson, Edward B. | Army, July 2007 | Go to article overview

Reinventing U.S. Military Policy


Atkeson, Edward B., Army


Reinventing U.S. Military Policy Finding The Target: The Transformation of American Military Policy. Frederick W. Kagan. Encounter Books. 444 pages; index; $29.95.

By Maj. Gen. Edward B. Atkeson

U.S. Army retired

Frederick Kagan's Finding the Target is a compendium and critique of the development of virtually all serious American military theory during the service of our entire officer corps currently on active duty, and a fair share of what has gone before. The unprepossessing dust cover, depicting a single combat aircraft high in its operational environment, suggests a narrow interpretation of the title. Aeronautical specialists will search in vain for discussion of target acquisition techniques close to their stock-in-trade, for that is not what Kagan offers us. On the contrary, he brings us an impressive discussion of the full range of military intellectual challenges to the security of the United States at both the operational and strategic levels over the last half century. While he tends to focus on ground conflict, he also covers theories applicable to air and sea operations.

The first four chapters of this work set the stage for Kagan's inventory of where we are in our pursuit of military theory. They deal with problems of recovery from Vietnam, especially the Army's difficulties in developing a sensible doctrine oriented towards Europe for dealing with the enormous Soviet threat. Kagan argues that the abolition of the draft improved the Army, but a number of measures adopted in that period were counterproductive. He points out that the 1976 version of Field Manual (FM) 100-5 Operations resulted in an overemphasis on forward defense in Europe and oversight of the threat posed by the Soviets' "second echelon" or "follow-on-forces." In Kagan's view, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command commander Gen. William DePuy's concept of an "active defense" was a "fiasco"-so much so that "not even the Army accepted the doctrine or its underlying concepts, and outside the service it was entirely stillborn."

From there, Kagan delves into the "Reagan Revolution," overcoming the threat of Soviet aggression and succeeding concepts of airpower. He highlights John Boyd's OODA (observation, orientation, decision, action) loop, a concept of how people interact with each other and their environment, and also discusses John Warden's focus on airpower as the single most essential requirement for victory in any modem conflict. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Reinventing U.S. Military Policy
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.