Moving Mountains: Lessons in Leadership and Logistics from the Gulf War

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Moving Mountains: Lessons in Leadership and Logistics from the Gulf War

By William G. Pagonis with Jeffrey L. Cruikshank
Harvard Business School Press, 1993
248 pp. $24.95
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"Amateurs talk strategy, professionals talk logistics," the pundits wheeze, but the truth is that logistics receives far less attention than it deserves. Pagonis masterminded logistics for the U.S. Army in Saudi Arabia in 1990-91, and by all accounts did a brilliant job. No startling revelations about Desert Shield or Desert Storm (or Desert Farewell, the no-less arduous withdrawal of forces from the Gulf), but a great deal about leadership in this unglamorous but indispensable area of military affairs. Pagonis writes for a business audience, and has much of interest to say about organizations and leadership style, including his penchant for using three-by-five cards to manage an organization. The author's account of the gargantuan deployment reveals a dimension of warfare at which the United States has excelled in the past and for which it retains unique capabilities to this day. The quality of men like Pagonis-a tough, brusque commander who read about the logistics of Alexander the Great on the way to the desert and quotes business theorists critically, but knowledgeably-helps explain the military's success in Desert Storm.

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