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

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

2
THE ARMY MISSION: A MISMATCH FOR TODAY'S ARMY

The mission of the U.S. Army, as often presented in Pentagon briefings, is shown as comprising there separate requirements in support of national strategy: (1) to deter attack along the entire spectrum of possible levels of conflict (see Figure 2.1), (2) to defeat any enemy if deterrence fails, and (3) to act globally in deterring or defeating any enemy. 1 Some variation of this mission is likely to remain even in view of the apparent erosion of the Iron Curtain and fundamental shifts in the balance of power between NATO and the Warsaw Pact nations. What is likely to change for the U.S. Army is a major reassessment and reduction of the resources, men, weapons, and materiels needed to accomplish this mission in view of the fundamental shifts in world power, military and economic, as the United States begins the 1990s.

Especially inappropriate for the new environment the Army must face are the Army's manpower, personnel, and training (MPT) practices. They are rooted in U.S. preparations for World War II and persist even though many are enormously expensive and ineffective. Forthcoming changes in the immediate future should be approached by the Army as an opportunity for open reassessment and restructuring necessary for a more effective and affordable Army. Unfortunately early signs are that the Army intends to muddle through by incremental adjustments of current MPT organizations and practices. Subsequent chapters make clear that the U.S. Army continues, especially in the MPT areas, to rely on what has become the traditional American method of preparing for war, described as follows by General Jones, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. "History books glorify our military accomplishments [but] a closer

-11-

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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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