In This Review

America Can Win: The Case for Military Reform
America Can Win: The Case for Military Reform
By Gary Hart with William S. Lind
Adler & Adler, 1986, 301 pp.

Not a campaign tract, this is a serious book with the purpose of explaining and propounding the ideas of the "military reform movement." The catalyzing ideas have come from a small group of specialists, including John Boyd, Steven Canby, Norman Palmer, Pierre Sprey and co-author Bill Lind. They have fed the grist of their mill to the Congressional Military Reform Caucus, an ideologically diverse and loosely knit bipartisan group, two of whose most prominent members are Senator Gary Hart and Congressman Newt Gingrich. Among their recommendations: adopt maneuver instead of attrition warfare; define quality in terms of what works in combat, not by the complexity of the technology; strengthen unit cohesion by keeping personnel together for many years rather than rotating them; restructure the navy so as to make the submarine rather than the aircraft carrier the capital ship; reduce senior positions in the officer corps and refocus officer education on the art of war rather than the art of management. The authors, making their case fully and fairly and without much jargon, have written an important book. Although there is resistance in the other services, the army has already gone some length in adopting such ideas.