In This Review

The Postmodern Military: Armed Forces After the Cold War
The Postmodern Military: Armed Forces After the Cold War
Edited by Charles C. Moskos, John Allen Williams, and David
304 pp, Oxford University Press, 1999

The lead editor of this work, Moskos, is commonly acknowledged to have inherited the mantle of the late Morris Janowitz as America's foremost military sociologist. The centerpiece of this important book is his essay on the postmodern military, which he defines as small, professional armed forces that are preoccupied with post-Cold War subnational conflicts and representative of society as a whole -- even though they are largely ignored by civilians. Taking the United States as the paradigm, Moskos vigorously and convincingly makes the case that a new model military has emerged that is quite different from the mass army of the world wars and the Cold War. His fellow authors use his model rather too rigidly in some cases, but they offer interesting conclusions all the same. Regrettably, they also ignore some large militaries in their comparative studies (discussing the Dutch, the Danes, and the Canadians but not the Chinese, the Russians, or the Indians), and the quality of analysis is uneven. Nonetheless, Moskos and his distinguished colleagues have assembled a first-rate collection by sociologists that gets to a large part of the truth of the matter.