Command, Control And Common Defense

In This Review

Command, Control And Common Defense

By Kenneth Allard
Yale University Press, 1990
317 pp.

If America's military services are all supposed to be on the same side, why are they so different? This soldier/scholar's answer, nicely done, is their institutional histories and personalities. The young American republic determined that its commerce required a permanent navy, but would raise an army only if and as circumstances required. The doctrines of the two services were sharply different: combined arms for the army meant discretion at low levels but centralization at the top; the navy by contrast centered authority in ship captains, with more decentralization at the top. What is needed is a "strategic paradigm" that would unify these separate perspectives born of distinct operational requirements.

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