In This Review

Army Relations with Congress: Thick Armor, Dull Sword, Slow Horse
Army Relations with Congress: Thick Armor, Dull Sword, Slow Horse
By Stephen K. Scroggs
Praeger, 2000, 266 pp

A book's subtitle normally explains what the book is really about. Here it reflects the withering scorn that pervades this densely written study. After serving 20 years as a U.S. Army officer, Scroggs seeks to explain why (in his view) the army has been spectacularly inept in dealing with Congress. Relying on both scholarly literature and extensive interviews, he paints a picture of an organization suffering ills far more serious than a few tongue-tied generals being outmaneuvered by wilier counterparts in the other services. "Naive, trusting arrogance" is the kindest thing he has to say about the army's leaders. The more serious indictment is that the organization is inward-looking and risk-averse. He also examines the transfer of m1a1 tanks to the Marine Corps before the Gulf War, has interesting chapters on the role of military liaison officers in Congress, and discusses army culture. This book is not an easy read (except when it quotes indignant general officers, whose humor is often unintentional). It is nonetheless an analysis that the new secretary of the army should read with care -- and alarm.