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

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

PPREFACE

The Vietnam experience was a unique chapter in U.S. Army history. It was the first war the Army did not "win." In fact, the Army emerged from the Vietnam era institutionally on its knees. In significant part, this was caused by expedient and shortsighted internal policies that weakened and allowed to unravel the human fabric that bound the Army together. The Army has since passed through two institutional phases of development. The first was the late 1970s' era of the "hollow Army" with its grave problems of poor discipline and performance and unusually high numbers of low-quality personnel measured in terms of mental capability. The next, beginning in the early 1980s, was the self-proclaimed Army of excellence, dramatized by higher-quality personnel with a marked improvement in discipline and performance.

While its architects and proponents are still actively building and promoting the new quality Army, it appears to some that this phase also has run its course. Essential to maintaining this second phase has been the marketing or selling of the new quality Army to the U.S. public, the Congress, and internally, to the Army itself. The marketing orders have been to tell the Army's story, and the fine print has been to be upbeat and positive, to tell only the story of the glass half-full. This marketing effort has been enormously successful. As a result, it is currently accepted by most who follow defense issues that the U.S. Army has never been better. The Army has even been pronounced, without question or objection, the best Army in the world, while in fact it has not risen above average to mediocre levels of performance.

It is the endeavor of this book to set in motion the next phase of the Army's evolution, which is needed if the Army is to achieve standards of

-xv-

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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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