The Masks of War: American Military Styles in Strategy and Analysis: A RAND Corporation Research Study / Edition 1

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Why was the Navy ready to clear the skies over the Persian Gulf, yet surprised by the mines laid under it? Why is it that the Army is always prepared for war in Europe, but was caught off guard in Korea and Vietnam? And why is the Air Force indifferent to "Star Wars"?

In The Masks of War Carl H. Builder asks what motives lie behind the puzzling and often contradictory behavior of America's military forces. The answer, he finds, has little to do with what party controls the White House or who writes the budget. Far more powerful -- and glacially resistant to change -- are the entrenched institutions and distinct "personalities" of the three armed services themselves.

Examines the motives behind the puzzling and often contradictory behavior of America's military forces, revealing the distinct personalities and entrenched institutions of the three armed services themselves.

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Editorial Reviews

Foreign AffairsA RAND Corporation Research Study

Builder's provocative book is institutional profile at its best, probing far beyond the flip phrases that usually describe the essence of each service, e.g., that the Air Force likes things it can fly.

A senior analyst at RAND is distressed, sometimes nearly hysterical, to discover that each branch of the US military pursues its own interests rather than the nation's, but insists that reform can only come from within. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801837760
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/1989
  • Series: Rand Corporation Research Studies Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 260
  • Sales rank: 633,786
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword ix
Preface xi
Part I Personalities 1
1 The Masks of War 3
2 Five Faces of the Service Personalities 17
3 The Service Identities and Behavior 31
Part II Strategy 45
4 What Is Strategy? 47
5 Service Strategies 57
6 The Air Strategy 67
7 The Navy and Strategy 74
8 The Army and Strategy 86
Part III Analysis 93
9 What Is Analysis? 95
10 Service Styles toward Analysis 104
11 Images of Conflict 115
Part IV Implications 125
12 The Service Concepts of War 127
13 Military Commitments to Combat 143
14 Implications for Military Planning 154
15 Implications for Regional Security 168
Part V Prospects 183
16 The Army's Identity Crisis 185
17 Implications for the Future 194
Notes 207
Bibliography 231
Index 235
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