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Without many tiny contingents of more proficient "boots on the ground," Americans should not plan to win any more wars. This book shows how the Pentagon could—with some "truly light" infantrymen and more self-sufficient commandos—project more overseas power at less cost in money and lives. Since Korea, America's foes haven't needed as much preparatory fire or technology, nor have they caused as much collateral damage. This makes them more appealing to local populations. "One More Bridge to Cross" takes a closer ...
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Without many tiny contingents of more proficient "boots on the ground," Americans should not plan to win any more wars. This book shows how the Pentagon could—with some "truly light" infantrymen and more self-sufficient commandos—project more overseas power at less cost in money and lives. Since Korea, America's foes haven't needed as much preparatory fire or technology, nor have they caused as much collateral damage. This makes them more appealing to local populations. "One More Bridge to Cross" takes a closer look at what happened at Belleau Wood, Guadalcanal, and later battles. Then, it shows how to defend against (and acquire) advanced surprise assault technique. Semi-autonomous U.S. squads will not be possible until control over training has been decentralized. Too little tactical experimentation at the company/school level has been the problem. Since the Vietnam War, it has become increasingly clear that America's defense establishment cannot defeat any "bottom-up-operating" (criminal-or-Asian-oriented) foe without first allowing more initiative from its own lowest echelons.
|Maps and Tables||ix|
|Part 1||A Heritage Worth Preserving|
|Chapter 1||Land of the Free||3|
|Chapter 2||Home of the Brave||9|
|Chapter 3||With Liberty and Justice for All||13|
|Part 2||How Wars Are Won|
|Chapter 4||One Nation under God||19|
|Chapter 5||A Closer Look at History||25|
|Chapter 6||Were Ideals Followed?||39|
|Chapter 7||U.S. Warfare Style in Perspective||47|
|Chapter 8||The Winds of Change||51|
|Part 3||For Those Who Still Serve|
|Chapter 9||A Job for the Tactical Technicians||61|
|Chapter 10||A Different View of the World||65|
|Chapter 11||Preserving Limited Assets in Wartime||69|
|Chapter 12||Doing More with Less in Peacetime||89|
|Chapter 13||An Interim Solution for Units||93|
|Chapter 14||The Real Need: Military Reform||99|
|Chapter 15||Decentralizing Control Works||107|
|About the Author||137|
Those brave soldiers paid a terrible price for the Nijmegen bridge, but to understand what happened there and in other battles, one must look beyond casualty approximation comparisons. After PVT Billy Yank and SGT Johnny Reb succumbed to their horrific gunshot wounds in Holland, their parents in Elyria, Ohio and Flat Rock, Alabama could do little more than attribute their tragic loss to "the necessary evils of war." But after almost 100 elite U.S. soldiers got killed or wounded by Somali irregulars in a single incident in 1993, American mothers and fathers started to wonder if their offspring had been taught enough about close combat. They didn't totally buy into the military's explanation that too few U.S. tanks had been sent to Mogadishu. They prayed that the U.S. military-industrial complex had remembered to show its infantrymen how to operate without a lot of expensive ordnance. After all, neither the North Koreans nor the North Vietnamese had needed any tanks or planes whatsoever to fight the world's most technologically advanced nation to a standstill. Far from naive, U.S. parents suspected that an overwhelming edge in firepower could pave the way for infantry only in the desert. Could there be one more bridge to cross - possibly in the realm of small-unit training or tactics - before "the world's smartest" fighting force will be able to occupy enemy territory without extensive loss of life?
Of course, everyone's dream is an end to war altogether. That goal can only be realized incrementally; the chasm between "total war" and "no war" is too wide. First, the common ground between war and morality must be found. Both sides generally have rules to protect prisoners and noncombatants, yet their soldiers still commit atrocities. Partially to blame is man's wounded nature. His flaws must be controlled, but not to the extent that his divine spark is extinguished. What society must guard against is organized inhumanity in the name of expediency. In most religions, there is the belief that God offers man the strength to resist temptation.
Just as individuals struggle to do the right thing, so too do military organizations and government agencies. It is those individuals, organizations, and agencies that view internal discord as disruptive that are the most likely to err. This book is about preserving this country's most valued asset - its youth. A great president once warned of the only real threat to America.
All the armies of Europe, Asia, and Africa combined...could not, by force, take a drink from the Ohio.... At what point, then, is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us; it cannot come from abroad. —Abraham Lincoln, from "Perpetuation of Our Political Institutions"
If Lincoln were alive today, which would concern him more - evolving standards of behavior and political dissent, or misplaced corporate priorities and inept government bureaucracy? Do not the major political parties base their platforms on monitoring either big business or government?
As the battlefield continues to change, must not the U.S. military seek out new ways to cut its losses - in both life and morality? Without realizing that opposing styles of warfare exist, military planners could misinterpret the lessons of history. If America is to continue as the world's peacekeeper, its soldiers and small infantry units must learn how to handle opposition like policemen do - with minimal force.
Posted November 12, 2000
One More Bridge to Cross is a must read for anyone interested in learning more about serious soldering at its most basic level. John Poole has very accurately broken down old military or for that matter conflict theories down to the level that does make a difference ¿ the individual soldier and the things he fights for. When reading the book I kept nodding my head in consensus and admiration for the exact, precise and yet simple way Mr Poole discusses and tries to teach us common sense. Because that¿s what it is all about. No-nonsense and common sense. I as a captain in the Swedish Army recognize much of our (Swedish) way of training, leading and using our limited military assets in the Common-Sense Style. My current assignment is as an instructor at the Army Combat School. Therefore I will make this book mandatory reading for the young Swedish Army Cadets that I¿m responsible to train in small-unit tactics. I am convinced that in time every military institution will include John Poole¿s work in their teaching and training, just as well as we learn from Sun-Tzu and Clausewitz. He might even be one of our times great military theorists.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.