The Hollow Army: How the U.S. Army Is Oversold and Undermanned

By William Darryl Henderson; Charles Moskos | Go to book overview

FOREWORD

A conventional wisdom defines the state of the U.S. Army today. It goes something like this. The Army was in bad shape coming out of the Vietnam War. Troop indiscipline, race strife, widespread drug abuse, among other maladies, all undercut soldier effectiveness. The end of the war and the draft in 1973 did not change matters very much. The early years of the all-volunteer force saw the education levels and test scores of recruits plummet, widespread recruitment scandals, and record levels of bad discharges and desertions in peacetime. But a major turnaround began in the early 1980s. High quality young people were again entering the Army; training was effective; soldiers were enthused; morale soared. Indeed, by the late 1980s, the U.S. Army was "the best ever." So goes the official story.

Colonel W. Darryl Henderson challenges that story. The Hollow Army: How the U.S. Army Is Oversold and Undermanned presents a compelling case of military malorganization. The evidence given here differs from the Pollyannaish glow of the public accounts on the recovery of the Army in the 1980s. The Hollow Army, however, is not muck raking. Nor is it an indictment of individual malfeasance or laxity. What we have here is an unusually well documented argument for the proposition that the Army's deep troubles in the way it prepares its soldiers for war are systemic.

The Hollow Army is all the more deserving of our attention because it alerts the reader not to noisy and well-publicized problems of the Army, such as in the latter years of the Vietnam War and the early years of the all-volunteer force. Rather, Colonel Henderson points to a quiet, and therefore more insidious, sort of crisis. The Hollow Army presents data,

-xi-

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The Hollow Army: How the U.S. Army Is Oversold and Undermanned
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contributions in Military Studies ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Figures and Tables ix
  • Foreword xi
  • Ppreface xv
  • 1 - Introduction: Selling a Mythical Army 1
  • Notes 9
  • 2 - The Army Mission: A Mismatch for Today's Army 11
  • Notes 18
  • 3 - Army Manpower: An Issue with No Constituency 19
  • Notes 45
  • 4 - Training on a Treadmill 49
  • Notes 74
  • 5 - Personnel Turbulence 77
  • Notes 89
  • 6 - Small-Unit Leaders Should Be War Winners 91
  • Notes 104
  • 7 - Why Can't the American Army Create Cohesive Units? 107
  • Notes 125
  • 8 - The Broken Backbone 127
  • Notes 143
  • 9 - It's Broke and Needs to Be Fixed 145
  • Notes 154
  • Bibliography 155
  • Index 161
  • About the Author 165
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