New Rules: Modern War and Military Professionalism
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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Once again, as in Fullers day, these are disorienting times for soldiers. Recent events have torn history from its moorings, sweeping aside the constants that have defined our world since 1945. The usual hucksters grope about -- to little avail thus far -- to explain the implications of titanic changes now under way. Amidst the prognostications of self-anointed seers, Fullers quaint metaphor provides as good an azimuth as any the old rules no longer pertain woe be to those who fail to take heed. In truth, no one can foresee what new order will emerge once the flood-waters recede. Contemplating the result thus far, optimists proclaim it a triumph the long, bloodless NATO campaign bids fair to culminate in a satisfactory resolution of the Cold War. Yet even if that expectation holds true, now is hardly the time for self-congratulation. A world in flux will not deal gently with those caught resting on their laurels. Moreover, as they affect the Army, the blessings of success are proving to be mixed. Having prevailed, we now dismantle the instrument of victory. The prospect of drawing down to pre-Korean War levels -- a prospect only momentarily forestalled by Iraqi aggression in the Gulf -- does not show us at our most enlightened. Budget wars spur parochialism. Combined arms become competing arms. The instinct for self-preservation focuses institutional energies on a narrow range of bread-and-butter issues justifying end strength, preserving division flags, and salvaging valued weapon programs.
- Humanities and History
- Military Forces and Organizations