US Intervention Policy and Army Innovation
From Vietnam to Iraq
Routledge – 2004 – 304 pages
Series: Strategy and History
US Intervention Policy and Army Innovation examines how the US Army rebuilt itself after the Vietnam War and how this has affected US intervention policy, from the victory of the Gulf War to the failure of Somalia, the Bosnian and Kosovo interventions and the use of force post 9/11.
Richard Lock-Pullan analyzes the changes in US military intervention strategy by examining two separate issues: the nature of the US Army as it rebuilt itself after the Vietnam War, and the attempts by the US to establish criteria for future military interventions. He first argues that US strategy traditionally relied upon national mobilization to co-ordinate political aims and military means; he subsequently analyzes how this changed to a formula of establishing militarily achievable political objectives prior to the use of force. Drawing on a vast body of material and on strategic culture and military innovation literature, Lock-Pullan demonstrates that the strategic lessons were a product of the rebuilding of the Army's identity as it became a professional all-volunteer force and that the Army's new doctrine developed a new 'way of war' for the nation, embodied in the AirLand Battle doctrine, which changed the approach to strategy.
This book finally gives a practical analysis of how the interventions in Panama and the Gulf War vindicated this approach and brought a revived confidence in the use of force while more recent campaigns in Somalia, Kosovo and Bosnia exposed its weaknesses and the limiting nature of the Army's thinking. The legacy of the Army's innovation is examined in the new strategic environment post 9/11 with the operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.
"The failure of the US to win the Vietnam War represented a case of failure to match policy aims and military means, a classic problem of strategy, argues Lock-Pullan. He reviews how the US Army sought to reformulate its strategic role in US intervention policy, resulting in the formulation of the AirLand Battle doctrine, formally accepted by the executive as the Weinberger doctrine. He discusses how the Panama invasion and the first Gulf War were viewed as vindications of the doctrine, examines its up and down fortunes during the Clinton years, and considers how it has influenced the US conduct of the “War on Terror.”" --Reference & Research Book News
Introduction 1. The US Army and American Strategic Culture 2. The Vietnam War and the US Army 3. The All-Volunteer Army 4. Innovation in US Army Doctrine 5. The Influence of Army Thinking 6. Interventions: Panama, The Gulf, Somalia 7. Back to the Gulf Conclusion