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Contemporary Issues
 
Breaking the Phalanx
by Douglas A. MacGregor, Donald Kagan
Paperback - 304 pages (January 1997)
Praeger PubPublishing
Book Description: This work proposes the reorganization of America's ground forces on the strategic, operational and tactical levels. Central to the proposal is the simple thesis that the U.S. Army must take control of its future by exploiting the emerging revolution in military affairs. The analysis argues that a new Army warfighting organization will not only be more deployable and effective in Joint operations; reorganized information age ground forces will be significantly less expensive to operate, maintain, and modernize than the Army's current Cold War division-based organizations. And while ground forces must be equipped with the newest Institute weapons, new technology will not fulfill its promise of shaping the battlefield to American advantage if new devices are merely grafted on to old organizations that are not specifically designed to exploit them. It is not enough to rely on the infusion of new, expensive technology into the American defense establishment to preserve America's strategic dominance in the next century. The work makes it clear that planes, ships, and missiles cannot do the job of defending America's global security issues alone. The United States must opt for reform and reorganization of the nation's ground forces and avoid repeating Britain's historic mistake of always fielding an effective army just in time to avoid defeat, but too late to deter an aggressor
Fires and Furies: The L.A. Riots, What Really Happened
by Major General James D. Delk
Hardcover. Published by Etc Publications. 1994
Written by the senior military commander during the worst riots this nation has seen in this century.
 
Blackhawk Down: A Story of Modern War
by Mark Bowden
Hardcover. Published by Grove/Atlantic
Journalist Mark Bowden delivers a strikingly detailed account of the 1993 nightmare operation in Mogadishu that left 18 American soldiers dead and many more wounded. This early foreign-policy disaster for the Clinton administration led to the resignation of Secretary of Defense Les Aspin and a total troop withdrawal from Somalia. Bowden does not spend much time considering the context; instead he provides a moment-by-moment chronicle of what happened in the air and on the ground. His gritty narrative tells of how Rangers and elite Delta Force troops embarked on a mission to capture a pair of high-ranking deputies to warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid only to find themselves surrounded in a hostile African city. Their high-tech MH-60 Black Hawk helicopters had been shot down and a number of other miscues left them trapped through the night. Bowden describes Mogadishu as a place of Mad Max-like anarchy--implying strongly that there was never any peace for the supposed peacekeepers to keep. He makes full use of the defense bureaucracy's extensive paper trail--which includes official reports, investigations, and even radio transcripts--to describe the combat with great accuracy, right down to the actual dialogue. He supplements this with hundreds of his own interviews, turning Black Hawk Down into a completely authentic nonfiction novel, a lively page-turner that will make readers feel like they're standing beside the embattled troops. This will quickly be realized as a modern military classic. --John J. Miller
 

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Updated 8 February 2016