In Shaping U.S. Military Forces, D. Robert Worley assesses military force changes that have been made since the Cold War, explains the many changes that have not been made, and recommends changes that must be madeas well as exploring the ways in which political and military forces line up to resist them.
For over forty years there was consensus about maintaining large U.S. military forces. Today, as evidenced by the steady decline in defense spending since 1985, that consensus has evaporated, and a new equilibrium is being sought. Yet evidence of transformation is modest. By outward appearances, today's military is principally a smaller version of our Cold War forces, despite the fact that threat, missions, and strategies have changed.
There has been no lack of reform effort at the highest levels of the defense bureaucracy. Under the leadership of General Colin Powell, the Joint Chiefs of Staff reexamined the roles and missions of the services. Recommendations followed. But, according to observers, change occurred only at the margins. Worley argues that the highly institutionalized cultures of the uniformed services offer the best explanation for why the American military is not a different force well over a decade after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Significant historical events, primarily from World War II forward, are used to explain belief systems within the individual services and sometimes within specific branches within a single service. Force planners commonly measure military end strength in terms of divisions, wings, and battle groups. Therefore, Worley examines the most important organizational structuresarmored and infantry divisions, fighter and bomber wings, and carrier battle groupsand does so in the context of conflicts, including Vietnam, the Gulf War, Panama, Kosovo, and Somalia, and of course the unfinished conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. He highlights problems associated with the clash of service conceptions of war and the requirements of real conflict to examine the shape U.S. military forces haveand the shape they should assume.
About the Author
D. Robert Worley is a Fellow with the Johns Hopkins University Washington Center for the Study of American Government. He previously held adjunct faculty positions at George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs and UCLA's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. He has served as a defense policy analyst at the National Security and Army Research Divisions of Rand, the Joint Advanced Warfighting Program at the Institute for Defense Analyses, and the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies' Center for Emerging Threats and Opportunities. Before beginning his professional career, he served in the United States Marine Corps with one tour in Vietnam.
What People are Saying About This
"There are books that make you feel a door has opened in your mindthat something crucial but unexamined has suddenly come into focus. This book is one of them. Military analysts talk offhandedly about the differences among Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps culture impeding interservice jointness; but in an admirable burst of impatience with sloppy language and sloppy thinking, Robert Worley has written the first cogent, comprehensive explanation of what those cultures are, why they clash, and how they evolved from the 19th century's big war War Department and small war Navy Department into the sprawling interservice system at war around the world today."
"Worley has written an important book that should be read by everyone interested in the U.S. military and its role in the modern world."
"This book is essential reading for anyone involved in defense research and who seeks to understand the ultimate beneficiary of their endeavours."
"Bob Worley's book is the first since Carl Builder's Masks of War to provide a candid look into the way the armed services' bureaucracies behave, helping the reader to understand why fundamental reform and change have not come to pass inside America's national military establishment."
"Robert Worley offers a solid measure of military instruction as he delivers strategic military inspiration. His book provides an excellent sense of historically supported contemporary reality for shaping military forces."
"Robert Worley has done an excellent job in aggregating and integrating a large volume of materialhe has brought Jointness to the study of American Defense Policy. His work will be a valuable reference for those studying U.S. force planning in my Georgetown class."
"This book will be invaluable to those who want to understand the American military. With precision and insight, Robert Worley has condensed volumes of information into one book. His presentations on defense reform and the distinct culture of each service are especially informative."
"Robert Worley has written an enormously important and useful examination of the American military and its culture and subcultures. It is an important book for experts as well as those Americans simply interested in the defense of their country."