The Modern American Military

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Overview


The advent of the all-volunteer force and the evolving nature of modern warfare have transformed our military, changing it in serious if subtle ways that few Americans are aware of. Edited by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David M. Kennedy, this stimulating volume brings together insights from a remarkable group of scholars, who shed important new light on the changes effecting today's armed forces.

Beginning with a Foreword by former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry, ...

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The Modern American Military

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Overview


The advent of the all-volunteer force and the evolving nature of modern warfare have transformed our military, changing it in serious if subtle ways that few Americans are aware of. Edited by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David M. Kennedy, this stimulating volume brings together insights from a remarkable group of scholars, who shed important new light on the changes effecting today's armed forces.

Beginning with a Foreword by former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry, the contributors take an historical approach as they explore the ever-changing strategic, political, and fiscal contexts in which the armed forces are trained and deployed, and the constantly shifting objectives that they are tasked to achieve in the post-9/11 environment. They also offer strong points of view. Lawrence Freedman, for instance, takes the leadership to task for uncritically embracing the high-tech Revolution in Military Affairs when "conventional" warfare seems increasingly unlikely. And eminent psychiatrist Jonathan Shay warns that the post-battle effects of what he terms "moral wounds" currently receive inadequate attention from the military and the medical profession. Perhaps most troubling, Karl Eikenberry raises the issue of the "political ownership" of the military in an era of all-volunteer service, citing the argument that, absent the political protest common to the draft era, government decision-makers felt free to carry out military operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Andrew Bacevich goes further, writing that "it's no longer our army; it hasn't been for years; it's theirs [the government's] and they intend to keep it."

Looking at such issues as who serves and why, the impact of non-uniformed "contractors" in the war zone, and the growing role of women in combat, this volume brings together leading thinkers who illuminate the American military at the beginning of the twenty-first century.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
When the draft was abolished in 1973, proponents of an all-volunteer army enthusiastically looked forward to a cheaper, more democratic, and more accountable military. What they didn’t foresee was the slow and steady critical disengagement of Congress, citizens, and the media from the goings-on of the armed forces. In the 91st Congress (1969–1971), 78% of its members had served in the military; today that number has dropped to 22%. And unlike the Vietnam War, which produced fierce opposition in Congress, today’s wars are more difficult to criticize on the floors of the Senate or House: members have learned to fear the “political fallout from charges of ‘not supporting the troops.’” In an attempt to reeducate and reengage the public, Pulitzer Prize–winning historian and Stanford professor Kennedy (Freedom from Fear) convenes 13 scholars from around the country to weigh in on timely topics like women in the military, the shift from a reliance on the “citizen-soldier” to the “warrior-professional,” military justice, weapons technology, and the business and ethics of military contractors. Academic yet accessible, this volume offers thoughtful and occasionally disturbing insights into the workings of the world’s most powerful war machine. (June)
From the Publisher

"Academic yet accessible, this volume offers thoughtful and occasionally disturbing insights into the workings of the world's most powerful war machine." --Publishers Weekly

"The world has changed dramatically for the American military in recent years. The volunteer army, re-examined in this book, has seen increased media scrutiny, questions arising from the use of contractors in war zones, and-of course-new technologies like remotely piloted aircraft that have dramatically changed the nature of warfare. And yet there are few scholarly works that look comprehensively at the challenges that the armed forces face and the responses that are required. The thoughtful essays in David Kennedy's new book explore this uniquely American institution both through the lens of history and current circumstances. We owe it to our servicemen and women and to those who command them to examine critically and debate the state of military affairs. This book is a significant contribution to that cause."-Condoleezza Rice, former Secretary of State

"The Modern American Military is essential reading. It brightly illuminates how profoundly the armed services have changed with the advent of new enemies, new weapons, new doctrines and a new generation of volunteer forces. Equally important, it insightfully shows how those changes are reshaping the critical relationship between the American military and American society."-Philip Taubman, former New York Times Washington bureau chief, consulting professor at Stanford University and author of The Partnership, Five Cold Warriors and Their Quest to Ban the Bomb

"A collection of incisive and controversial essays covering matters as diverse - and essential - as military culture and technology, contracting and doctrine, this is a book for anyone interested in the armed forces of what remains the most powerful country on earth."-Eliot A. Cohen, Robert E. Osgood Professor of Strategic Studies, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199895946
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 6/7/2013
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 632,263
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

David M. Kennedy is the Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History at Stanford University and the Director of the Bill Lane Center for the American West. He won the Bancroft Prize for Birth Control in America: The Career of Margaret Sanger, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Over Here: The First World War and American Society, and won the Pulitzer Prize for History for Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945. He is also the editor of the renowned Oxford History of the United States.

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Table of Contents

1. The Counterrevolution in Strategic Affairs
Lawrence Freedman

2. The U.S. Armed Forces' View of War
Brian McAllister Linn

3. Weapons: The Growth and Spread of the Precision-Strike Regime
Thomas G. Mahnken

4. American Military Culture from Colony to Empire
Robert L. Goldich

5. Manning and Financing the Twenty-First-Century All-Volunteer Force
David R. Segal and Lawrence J. Korb

6. Military Contractors and the American Way of War
Deborah Avant and René e de Nevers

7. Filming War
Jay Winter

8. The Future of Conscription: Some Comparative Reflections
James Sheehan

9. Whose Army?
Andrew J. Bacevich

10. Reassessing the All-Volunteer Force
Karl W. Eikenberry

11. Military Justice
Charles J. Dunlap Jr.

12. Women in the U.S. Military: The Evolution of Gender Norms and Military Requirements
Michelle Sandhoff and Mady Wechsler Segal

13. Casualties
Jonathan Shay

Index

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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2013

    Haley

    Ok im here now

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    Posted December 12, 2013

    Co karow

    Wrong res

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    Posted December 15, 2013

    Hunter

    Ill b on @930 k

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2013

    Pvt.Simmon

    Grabing a Farmas smileing and a Galil.

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