In This Review

The Pentagon Wars: Reformers Challenge the Old Guard
The Pentagon Wars: Reformers Challenge the Old Guard
By James G. Burton
Naval Institute Press, 1993, 306 pp

Burton, a rising star in the Air Force, made his mark and ended his career in the testing and evaluation business in the Pentagon. Pentagon Wars spends much of its time describing an epic bureaucratic battle with the Army over realistic testing of the Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle, which the author considered (with some justification) a death trap, at least in its first incarnation. But this book discusses much more: the eccentric personalities and fervent convictions of a group of military reformers who, among other things, tried to force the Air Force to adopt the light, dog fighting F-16 over heavier and more sophisticated aircraft, and the unpleasant realities of life in the Pentagon's acquisition sta. Burton is bitter, self-righteous, one-sided and unyielding, but he writes compellingly and often persuasively, and has produced an engrossing and upsetting book.