Document created: 15 October 2003
Air University Review, November-December 1974
At no point on the spectrum of
does the use of combat offer much promise
for the United States today.
The American Way of War
Professor Weigley’s suggestion, rather more complex than it may appear on the surface or at first glance, will be treated in some detail later in this article. It appears in the concluding paragraph of a persuasive history of American military strategy and policy and derives whatever justification it may have from thoughtful considerations of our military experience dating back more than 200 years. Another way to arrive at worrisome conclusions is to concentrate on the relatively recent past—say the last thirty years and the last ten in particular—thereby to derive generalizations to the effect that (1) “the American military machine is defeated,”* or (2) American military power is a myth based on “military delusions of grandeur,”** or (3) in refusing to acknowledge our “failure” in Vietnam, “we seem content to tread water in the hope that somehow the consequences of failure will just go away.”*** Dreary diagnoses these, but nonetheless indicative of modes of thought that would likely be far more rampant than they presently appear to be were not the country’s attention diverted by domestic political and economic concerns.
Stuart H. Loory, Defeated: Inside America’s Military Machine (New York:
Random House, 1973, $10.00), x and 407 pages.
** John J. Chodes, The Myth of America’s Military Power (Boston: Brandon Press, 1972, $8.95), 224 pages.
*** William R. Corson, Consequences of Failure (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1974, $7.95), 215 pages.
Stuart Loory, former newsman and now Kiplinger Professor of Public Affairs Reporting at the Ohio State University, became interested in his topic during 1969 and devoted most of 1971-72 to research, interviews, and a tour of military installations “throughout the world.” Profoundly disturbed by much of what he saw and heard, Loory describes the American military today as
wounded, confused, drugged, demoralized, feeling betrayed, its lifeblood clogged in hardened bureaucratic arteries, its reflexes numbed by political intervention. . . . The American military machine today is not qualified to protect the nation’s vital interests in situations short of nuclear exchange. There is some question that it could function properly even in that ultimate holocaust. The American military machine is defeated. (p. 10)
By way of illustrating the “dry rot” affecting the military services, Loory parades forth all the horror stories of the 1969-72 period, from race problems to post exchange scandals, from drug abuse to hang-ups over hair length. He must have talked with every mumbler on active duty, the great majority of whom seem to derive a perverse joy out of posing their own particular problems as the most crucial and destructive in the history of the Republic. He is particularly shrill on the subject of the sex lives of men stationed overseas—Korea, Utapao, Sydney, Saigon, etc.—concluding his chapter on “The Yobo Culture” by wondering aloud about the extent to which the military did not mirror a moral breakdown in civilian society but actually fostered it! (p. 234)
There’s not much new in all this, except perhaps the degree to which Loory parades the dirty linen of all the services rather than singling out just one. Even his central thesis is not particularly original, but it is stated with unusual force. Since the end of World War II, he argues, the United States has transformed itself into a militaristic nation, skewing Clausewitz to the point where war no was longer looked upon as a continuation of political relations but rather as a substitute for political relations.
The defeat was made possible by a civilian leadership whose conceptions of the use military power were faulty. Those conceptions grew from the single idea that the spread of international communism could be contained with weaponry and with vast numbers of men to operate that weaponry. (p. 373)
The military played along, seeing in this perception a justification for its continued existence and expansion and becoming in the end an entity in itself that had to be pampered and maintained like the nation’s economy.
Mistakes could be tolerated but not the exposure of mistakes, for that might cast doubt on the utility and capability of the machine. This led to the toleration of the practice of always putting the best face on any situation, then to the encouragement of cover-up, and finally to the widespread practice of lying. (p. 334)
All very neat, and very damning—so much so in places as to make Watergate look like a parish picnic by comparison. In the end, however, the ease with which Loory leaps from the gripe of the individual dissident to broad-ranging generalities leaves the reader wary about accepting the diagnosis in its entirety. What about some of the parts, in particular Air Force-related parts?
Loory’s picture of the Air Force singles out three primary areas of vulnerability. The first is a certain degree of “institutional paranoia” that discourages criticism and experimentation with tactical formulae at variance with established doctrine. In this respect one example he cites is that of Colonel Everest E. Riccioni’s long and lonely fight to encourage debate and experimentation in fighter tactics—specifically to run a full-scale test of the Double Attack system in the face of long-continued opposition from the Fluid Four establishment at Nellis Air Force Base and their allies on the Air Staff. Certain recent developments—the establishment of the so-called “aggressor squadron” at Nellis, increasing interest in dissimilar ACM, a watchful eye on the Navy program out at Miramar, and the gradual evolution of something very much like the Double Attack idea but referred to as the Fluid Two—suggest a new element of Air Force flexibility in this area. This is all to the good, given the perils of rigidity in tactical doctrine when faced with new and unforeseen circumstances. Things appear to be a lot better today in this respect than they were during the late fifties and early sixties, when flexibility and the freedom to disagree were not exactly the hallmarks of the then commanding SAC system.
A second area of criticism relates very closely to the first—the seeming pervasiveness of what Loory describes as “the yes-man syndrome.” Somewhat confusingly, Loory ascribes this phenomenon variously to “the doctrine of CYA” (p. 336) and at another place to the inflation of the OER system (p. 54). Whatever the cause, Loory sees no good that can come of it. In this respect he invokes Navy Captain Robert H. Smith’s prize-winning essay in the March 1971 U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings:
So long as the system in which an officer matures is one that esteems the juggler of figures, and rewards men who can “sell” shaky programs over a man who stubbornly insists that a bad one be killed, then we will stay in trouble. (p. 336)
The only problem with statements like these is that they are a lot easier to agree with over the bar than to act upon in the pinch, when the chips are down and the recommendation to tell the emperor about his clothes is countered by veiled threats about one’s continued status in good standing. Those who were in Seventh Air Force or VNAF Headquarters in late 1971 and fought the good fight against Project CREDIBLE CHASE may sympathize with Loory’s charges.1 They should also recognize, however, that the Air Force, as a large organization, is hardly unique in this respect.
Finally, in his chapter on “The Bridge at Thanh Hoa,” Loory raises a whole series of severe questions about the Air Force dependence since World War II—first in England and the Marianas, then in SAC, then in Japan and South Korea, presently in Europe, and recently in Thailand and Guam—on sanctuary bases, “completely safe, highly mechanized, heavily supported” with men and equipment. Loory quotes an unnamed young colonel to the effect that “the classic vulnerability of the sanctuary bases is virtually invisible to the current generation of unperceptive Air Force leadership.” That specific charge is not quite true, Air Force leaders—particularly in USAFE—having spent a great deal of their time over the last decade working the base vulnerability problem. Nonetheless, the avionics, spare parts, and AGE backup required by F-4s—let alone F-111s, F-15s, or B-ls—would create a logistical nightmare in the face of an attack by Warsaw Pact forces led by a pre-emptive air strike aimed at our bases of operation. Of which, of course, there are only so many, along with about zero combat aircraft that can operate off PSP or dirt. What one cannot argue with Loory is that the Air Force of today must remain ever aware that the relatively permissive environment surrounding its bases of operation—permissive in the sense of rarely facing imminent attack by enemy air power—could vanish overnight in a new conflict. (pp. 339-49) Given the nature of the equipment to which we are committed, we had probably better win the first air battle.2
Where Loory’s Defeated is occasionally ill-informed and aggravating, John Chodes’s Myth of America’s Military Power is a disaster area unto itself. Chodes, formerly a promotion copywriter for Forbes, Business Week, and Fortune magazines, has also published poetry, fiction, and a play. There is some of each of those in this book as well.
Starting from a general charge raised by many writers—that Americans have become hung up on replacing men with machines in warfare—Chodes launches right off into a severely unbalanced history of the European campaign of World War II. He chooses the European theater because, “like Vietnam, it was a land war in which the U.S. mobilized a large conscript army.” (The Pacific was largely a naval war and, besides, “the Americans largely depended upon a small number of highly trained volunteers—Marines—to do the bulk of the fighting.”) If this doesn’t sound quite right so far, then consider the next sentence: “Thus, only the European campaign can give us a clear understanding of the events in Southeast Asia.” (p. 15. Emphasis added.) So much for demonstrations of logic; let’s move quickly to a few of the “facts” that follow.
Chodes describes the war in the air over Europe as completely ineffectual, both misquoting and misunderstanding the reports of the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey to the extent of alleging that it found “the airplane had only a minor detrimental effect on the Third Reich’s capacity to make war.” (p. 45) He then proceeds to claim that the U.S. Army Air Forces willfully engaged throughout the war in a policy of “saturation bombing,”3 citing the criticisms of that RAF Bomber Command policy that were registered by Adolf Galland and later by Noble Frankland—both citing specifically British policies and attacks. (pp. 46-52) After referring again to “America’s saturation bombing campaign against Germany,” he advises that German industrial production continued to rise well into 1944 “in the face of having absorbed an incredible 10,996,063 tons of high explosives and incendiary bombs on her cities and factories.” (p. 55) The unwary reader who does not know that the grand total of tonnage dropped on Germany throughout the war by both the RAF and USAAF was 1,419,604 tons may find these statistics persuasive rather than exaggerated by a factor of eight!4
Perhaps the major danger with a book so blatantly error-ridden as this is the incompetent reviewing that seeks to encourage wider attention. In The Nation it is ballyhooed as “an important contribution to the growing awareness of the myths on which much military thinking and decision making are based”; in the prestigious Library Journal, on the basis of whose recommendations many librarians depend, we find even this: “At times Chodes’s thesis is quite valid; his attack on airpower is based on scholarly research and it is particularly impressive.”5 Good grief!
Bill Corson’s Consequences of Failure bears little resemblance to the Loory or Chodes books. Where Loory speaks of defeat, Corson treats of what he prefers to call failure; where Chodes uses history he tends to invent it whereas Corson’s grasp of historical perspective is what lends to his analysis its particular cogency. Corson, a retired Marine colonel, is well known to readers of military literature, particularly for his scathing indictment of search-and-destroy tactics in The Betrayal, which appeared in 1968. In the more recent book Corson ranges well beyond I Corps in an attempt to “evaluate the consequences of America’s failure in Vietnam in terms of its observable effects upon the United States and its institutions.” (p. 17)
Corson begins by reminding us to understand that we have not experienced a defeat in Vietnam but a “military failure”—defined as the nonperformance of something required or expected—a phenomenon with distinct characteristics and by no means an uncommon experience in the life of a nation. Such failures have been less studied than victories and successes, even though “failure is as much a determinant of future political behavior as is success.” Corson fervently believes that we will repeat our failure in Vietnam elsewhere unless we as a nation immediately acknowledge the fact of failure and undertake a rigid examination of our collective conscience. (pp. 15-18)
By means of a series of historical case studies, Corson sets out to illustrate how the violating or ignoring of certain principles of “limited war” strategy contributes to the failure of a great power in any conflict that does not affect its national existence. Starting with the Dacian and Parthian campaigns of the Emperor Trajan (A.D. 98-117), he moves through the catastrophic involvement of Spain in its war in the Netherlands during the sixteenth century to the British problems on this continent during the eighteenth century. Then, in somewhat more detail, he treats Britain’s military failure in Ireland between 1916 and 1922. From these examples Corson derives a number of general principles that need be applied (and others that need be omitted) if a great power is to avoid encountering military failure. (pp. 28-30, 72-73) In essence, these boil down to abandoning—for limited wars not affecting national survival—MacArthur’s definition of victory in favor of Clausewitz’s rather more complex idea that winning means either to achieve one’s objectives by offensive action or, defensively, to thwart the enemy’s intentions; that losing is defined simply as the failure to achieve one’s objectives even though one’s forces are undefeated and still able to engage the enemy. Or, to quote Secretary of State Kissinger on Vietnam, “In the process we lost sight of one of the cardinal maxims of guerrilla war: the guerrilla wins if he does not lose. The conventional army loses if it does not win.”6
The rest of Corson’s book deals with identifying symptoms of failure as it has affected American society as a whole—not simply the military establishment—and with some speculative scenarios on how the nation might react in the end, in terms both of its continued safety and self-respect. He treats drugs, dissent, race, the career civil service (“not unlike convicts serving a life term who have become trusties in a well-regulated prison”), the confusions of the antiwar groups, the state of the economy, and the plight of the Vietnam veterans. He has particularly strong feelings about the treatment accorded the veterans, some of whose antics gain them little sympathy from those still on active service; so strong are these feelings that they lead him into some thoroughly inaccurate comparisons with the returned POW’s.7 Generally, the second half of the book fails of its purposes, but this is understandable in what the author himself describes as a “trial essay.” But his major point—that we probably can’t win them all; indeed, in some instances probably should not even try without major modifications of traditional strategies—comes across well in the first half.
The term “traditional strategies” in the preceding sentence is the major subject matter of the book cited in the opening paragraph of this article. Professor Weigley’s American Way of War * is the eighth volume to appear in the Macmillan series on the “Wars and Military Institutions of the United States,” under the general editorship of Louis Morton. It is also Professor Weigley’s second contribution to that series, his History of the United States Army having appeared in 1967.
* Russell F. Weigley, The American Way of War: A History of United States Military Strategy and Policy (New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1973, $12.95), xxiv and 584 pages.
The dust jacket describes this book as “authoritative and controversial”; it is both of those and artfully persuasive as well. Starting with the American Revolution and concluding with Vietnam, Weigley traces the whole of American military history and thought, developing in the process a thesis that there has in fact developed a characteristically American way of conducting war. Borrowing from both Clausewitz and Hans Delbrück, Weigley begins by stating that there are basically only two kinds of strategy: the strategy of annihilation, which seeks to overthrow—where possible, utterly destroy—the enemy’s military power; and the strategy of attrition, exhaustion, or erosion, customarily employed by a strategist whose means are not great enough to permit him to pursue the direct overthrow of the enemy and who therefore resorts to an indirect approach designed to wear down either the forces or the will of the enemy.
Given the dearth of American writers on strategy prior to 1945, Weigley is forced to write not a history of ideas but rather a history of ideas as expressed in actions. The early strategists—George Washington, Nathanael Greene, Winfield Scott—were restrained by the limits of the resources available to them and therefore tended to adopt moderate aims. But later in the nineteenth century, given both the increasing wealth of the nation and the idolatry afforded the Napoleonic model by army officers the world over, the initial trend in favor of a strategy of attrition gave way to the adoption, in fact if not in name, of a strategy of annihilation. The turning point came during the Civil War when the nature of the North’s problem—to subdue, indeed to conquer, the South—literally required the escalation of war aims beyond anything hitherto seen in the American experience. Grant and Sherman, of course, stand out as the premier exemplars of the new approach, but even Lee’s strategy of the offensive-defensive so much emphasized the offensive that it aimed at the destruction of the enemy army.
From Cold Harbor to Hamburger Hill is a long way, a century in fact, yet Weigley establishes a strong case for the unconscious acceptance within the U.S. Army of the search for the climactic victory, the Austerlitz battle designed not only to dislocate but to destroy the enemy armed forces, as the only legitimate means toward victory in war. This conception utterly dominated the strategy of World War II, was frustrated in Korea, and in the face of similar frustration in Vietnam reasserted itself in the form of “search and destroy” tactics and occasional suggestions about tactical nuclear weapons—and even, in one JCS paper, a recommended invasion of North Vietnam that “could be suspended short of full destruction of the DRV if our objectives were earlier achieved.” “Full destruction of the DRV” is a long way from the “whole new kind of strategy and wholly different kind of force” proclaimed by President Kennedy in 1962 as an appropriate response to unconventional and guerrilla warfare, each with its special problems of indecisiveness. (pp 464-67)
The military, led on in part by the impatience of its civilian superiors and unable to cope with prospects of indecisive warfare, abandoned its limited strategy and reverted to traditional modes of action in the hope of returning decisiveness to warfare. That the means by which this was to be accomplished would become abhorrent to large numbers of citizens at home—very few of whom had as big a stake in “victory” as did the political and military leadership—was not a question that attracted the attention either of the JCS or their commander on the scene.
All very neat, perhaps too neat. The thesis has that peculiar symmetry often so dear to academics and other intellectuals; everything seems to fall into place. But have all the right questions been asked? Were the strategies adopted by Washington and Scott the result only of limited resources? Or were they conditioned as well by the nature and capabilities of their opponents? Was Lee all that hung up on the Napoleonic model, or did his strategy take into account the low opinion in which he held most commanders of the Army of the Potomac? What Weigley would seem to slight is the predominantly pragmatic nature of Americans, whose general tendency is to react to the circumstances in which they find themselves with the tools at hand. That these tools have become ever more devastating may well say more about the history of technology than about the American way of war. Still, the search for decisiveness has marked the American approach to war, along with impatience on the part of soldiers and civilians alike when that decisiveness has been delayed in its appearance. Impatience, in fact, may well be the driving force and the adoption of strategies of annihilation its reflection, given the tools available and the delayed results promised by a strategy of attrition, exhaustion, or erosion.
Before concluding with some thoughts on what the moral of this tale might be, the reviewer is impelled to point out that Weigley’s case for the Navy and Air Force having adopted strategies of annihilation is less persuasive than his case for the Army. He is correct in seeing Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan’s battle fleets, designed to produce Trafalgars on the Nelson model, as a fairly direct parallel with the search for the Austerlitz battle, albeit at sea. But his argument that this conception was the actual driving force behind Admiral Nimitz’s Central Pacific Drive requires more evidence.
Similarly, his treatment of Air Force doctrine in the thirties gives far too much weight to Douhet and Seversky at the expense of those within the Army Air Corps who devised the American technique and plans for strategic bombardment. General LeMay’s campaign over Japan fits the thesis all too well, of course, but that came during the last few months of the war, when eventual victory had been assured and the pressure was on to achieve final and total victory as soon as possible with the least possible number of Allied casualties. What Weigley completely ignores is the work of those who designed the American theory for the employment of strategic bombardment as well as the specific goals set down by the wartime air planners.8 The theory set forth at the Air Corps Tactical School and incorporated in AWPD-l and Operation POINTBLANK was most positively not a strategy of annihilation but rather of the attrition, exhaustion, or erosion of Germany’s industrial capacity for war—Douhet, the Billy Mitchell of the early 1930s, and Seversky to the contrary notwithstanding.
Weigley’s final four chapters treat the period since 1945, and they are superbly done. Especially is this true of Chapter 17, “Strategies of Deterrence and Action: The Strategy Intellectuals,” covering the period 1952-60. Starting with the “New Look” and massive retaliation concept of the early Eisenhower years, Weigley traces the civilian-dominated revolution in strategic thought that marked the years 1956 to 1960, the revolution that spawned the academic fields of “national security affairs” and “defense policy.” In these carefully reasoned and tightly written pages, Weigley identifies all the major contributors (individuals, books, institutions, popular ideas) to the conceptions of national security policy ushered in with the election of President Kennedy in 1960. It is must reading for all military professionals who were either too young or too busy to have followed the debate in its original form. For this was also the revolution in thought that spurred the McNamaras, Bundys, Enthovens, Hitches, Taylors, and Rostows—and provided both the rationales and capabilities for eventual wide-scale military involvement in Southeast Asia.
In his final paragraph Weigley suggests that the use of combat does not offer much promise for the United States today. This tentative conclusion is apparently based on his dual conviction that: (1) nuclear combat, at whatever level, is unlikely to prove controllable and would hence add whole new dimensions of futility; and (2) the record of nonnuclear limited war in obtaining acceptable decisions at tolerable cost is also less than heartening, and therefore the history of usable combat may at last be reaching its end.9
The reader who would argue these propositions with Weigley is more likely to come armed with technical reasons why neither is necessarily true of the future—this plan, that command and control mechanism, a possible weapon breakthrough, etc. What he is unlikely to come prepared to argue with is an idea implicit in Weigley’s having undertaken the book in the first place.
This book of history, like probably most histories that look back beyond only yesterday, is based on an assumption that what we believe and what we do today is governed at least as much by the habits of mind we formed in the relatively remote past as by what we did and thought yesterday. The relatively remote past is apt to constrain our thought and actions more, because we understand it less well than we do our recent past, or at least recall it less clearly, and it has cut deeper grooves of custom in our minds. (p. xx)
This assumption—foreign to most professional officers though not entirely uncommon among professional historians—formed the essential starting point for Bernard Brodie’s Strategy in the Missile Age as long ago as 1958. Brodie was more interested in how the European tradition in strategic thought had set the stage for the strategies of the nuclear age, but Professor John Shy of the University of Michigan took a similar line in a provocative and groundbreaking article late in 1971.10
In treating the meaning of a nation’s military experience, Shy suggested that any “approximation of truth must take into account the deep, primitive understanding of what war means in the life history of the tribe.” (p. 227) Speaking to the American experience specifically, he tried to show how military doctrine
has rested upon, and drawn upon for emotional sustenance, the characteristic attitudes and beliefs that were implanted, transmitted, and reinforced by almost four centuries of American military experience. . . . In the future, those who seek to explain American governmental or popular behavior on issues involving war and the military must ask more seriously than they have before to what extent they are dealing with learned responses which operate beneath the level of full consciousness. (pp. 225-26)
Any such approach to strategic studies has traditionally been frowned upon in the Air Force, by far the most future-directed of the services and one in which the past is tolerated, perhaps, but generally considered irrelevant. In the Navy on the other hand (and they fly airplanes, too) the direction taken by the Naval War College, beginning with the class entering in the fall of 1972, might suggest that the Air Force’s congenitally cavalier attitude about the past is open to question. In an address to that class Vice Admiral Stansfield Turner, then President of the College, noted his dissatisfaction with the previous approach to strategy through the study of international relations and political science.
. . . Our courses of instruction have hitherto concentrated too exclusively on the brief period of military strategy since the close of World War II. The domination of this period by only two world powers will likely prove to have been a temporary aberration. The current trend toward a multipolar world would seem to confirm this. Studying historical examples should enable us to view current issues and trends through the broader perspective of the basic elements of strategy. Approaching today’s problems through a study of the past is one way to assure that we do not become trapped within the limits of our own experience. We will not be concerned with history as chronology, but with its relevancy and application to today and tomorrow. We will start with Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War. [431-404 B.C.] What could be more related to today than a war in which a democratic nation sent an expedition overseas to fight on foreign soil and then found that there was little support for this at home? Or a war in which a sea power was in opposition to a nation that was basically a land power? Are there not lessons still to be learned here?11
If the national strategy of the United States today is one of deterrence, can we afford to continue devoting the overwhelming majority of our study to how to fight—at whatever level of force—if deterrence should falter or fail? The essence of deterrence, to be sure, is a force so capable that it will in fact deter a potential enemy. And this fact in turn requires that the overwhelming training emphasis out in the squadrons be on maintaining a realistic combat capability. But at the level of the war colleges, and on the whole question of preparing the future leadership of the service for high-level posts in plans and operations or the Joint Staff, is there not more room for the study of war as a social phenomenon, for the study of how different peoples and nations—but at least our own if no others—have tended to respond to military crisis? And is it not perhaps possible that another way to help prevent war is to know more about why nations have tended to go to war in the first place? All the past is prologue, and while yesterday’s experience will not provide ready-made answers to today’s problems, a familiarity with that experience will make us something less than strangers to at least the general parameters to today’s and tomorrow’s problems. The study of history, rightly undertaken, contributes to wisdom. If nothing else it can lead us to realize that the unpredicted and unforeseen results of particular decisions and actions are those that are likely to have the most far-reaching and long-lasting effect. It can also teach us what questions to ask—of men, of theories, of systems, and of ourselves. Martin Blumenson said it best: “What history teaches is scepticism. What it gives is wisdom. Out of wisdom may come faith and hope, tempered by a sense, of reality.”12
United States Air Force Academy
1. See Aviation Week & Space Technology, vol. 95, no. 16 (18 October 1971), p. 18.
2. Hopefully, the Directorate of Doctrine, Concepts, and Objectives, Hq USAF, has such matters well in hand. However that may be, the doctrinal issue in Air Force history has not enjoyed an unsullied record. See, for examples: R. Frank Futrell, Ideas, Concepts, Doctrine: A History of Basic Doctrine in the USAF, 1907-64 (Aerospace Studies Institute, Air University, Maxwell AFB, Alabama, June 1971) and I. B. Holley, Jr., An Enduring Challenge: The Problem of Air Force Doctrine (16th annual Harmon Memorial Lecture in Military History, USAF Academy, Colorado; publication scheduled for December 1974).
3. The term “saturation bombing” appears repeatedly, is usually preceded by the adjective “American,” and in all instances cited refers to RAF Bomber Command!
4. Well actually 7.7. For the full statistics, their sources, and other games that have been played with both, see the present writer’s “What the Bombing Survey Really Says,” Air Force Magazine, June 1973, pp, 60-63.
5. The Nation, 16 July 1973, p. 60; Library Journal, vol. 98, p. 3007 (15 October 1973). Alvin Sunseri’s review in Library Journal concludes that “this book deserves to be read by all citizens concerned with the state of the armed forces.” “Ignored” would seem a more appropriate verb!
6. Henry A. Kissinger, “The Vietnam Negotiations,” Foreign Affairs, 48, 2 (January 1969), p. 214. Quoted in Corson, p. 29.
7. For example, on p. 170, when he reports that “they were not isolated from one another.” Still, his comments about the Vietnam veterans say things about the national reaction to Vietnam that we would do well to heed.
8. See, for example, Haywood S. Hansell, Jr., The Air Plan That Defeated Hitler (Atlanta: Higgins-McArthur/Longino & Porter Inc., 1972).
9. Pp. xxiii, 477. Weigley is not alone in questioning the continued resort to war. See, for example, Louis J. Halle, “Does War Have a Future?” Foreign Affairs, 52, 1 (October 1973), pp. 20-34, and Fred Charles Iklé. “Can Nuclear Deterrence Last Out the Century?” Foreign Affairs, 51, 2 (January 1973), pp, 267-85.
10. John Shy, “The American Military Experience: History and Learning,” Journal of Interdisciplinary History, I (Winter 1971), pp. 205-28.
11. Syllabus for Strategy and Policy, Center for Continuing Education, The United States Naval War College, 1 September 1973, p. 1-3, emphasis added. See also Philip A Crowl, “Education versus Training at the Naval War College, 1884-1972.” Naval War College Review, XXVI, 3 (November-December 1973), pp. 2-10.
12. Martin Blumenson, “Some Thoughts on Professionalism,” Military Review, XLIV, 9 (September 1964), pp. 12-16.
Lieutenant Colonel David MacIsaac (Ph.D., Duke University) is Tenure Associate Professor and Deputy for Military History, Department of History, USAF Academy. Other assignments have included five years with the Strategic Air Command as a personnel officer in Texas and Spain; AFIT student at Duke; and adviser to the Deputy Chief of Staff for Training, Hq Vietnamese Air Force. His articles and reviews have appeared in Air Force Magazine, Mid-America, The Social Studies, and the Air University Review.
The conclusions and opinions expressed in this document are those of the author cultivated in the freedom of expression, academic environment of Air University. They do not reflect the official position of the U.S. Government, Department of Defense, the United States Air Force or the Air University.