Lifting the Fog of War

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JHU Press, Oct 19, 2001 - History - 296 pages
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Is the United States an exhausted superpower? Recent military operations in Iraq, Somalia, and Kosovo have resulted in defeat or stalemate. America's key weaponry is fast becoming obsolete, and its men and women in uniform are disenchanted. Yet the U.S. remains committed to a wide variety of conflicts around the world and is increasingly confronted by threats against which traditional military power will be ineffective.

As Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the first Clinton administration, Admiral Bill Owens saw the challenges facing the U.S. military firsthand. In this trenchant, fascinating, and forward-looking book, Owens explains the full extent of the military crisis and proposes bold new solutions to revolutionize the armed services. Instead of spending trillions of dollars to update obsolete weapons systems, he argues, the Department of Defense should take advantage of recent advances in computing, communications, and satellite technology and bring our military into the Information Age. These changes—collectively known in defense circles as the Revolution in Military Affairs or RMA—would transform the way that America wages war, bringing about a smaller, stronger, and more flexible military better able to monitor enemy forces in real time and thereby counter the "fog of war" that has bedeviled commanders throughout history. Lifting the Fog of War offers both an insider's account of today's armed forces and a vital blueprint for a more effective and affordable military tomorrow. For the paperback edition, the author has written a new preface about the Bush administration's attitudes toward military reform.

 

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Lifting the fog of war

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Historically, military commanders had problems getting the right information at the right time, contending with the "fog of war." Within the last decade, though, the fast growth of technology has ... Read full review

Contents

INTRODUCTION
3
THE EXHAUSTED SUPERPOWER
27
SEEDS OF REVOLUTION
67
THE TECHNOLOGICAL BASE
97
LAUNCHING THE REVOLUTION
150
THE LESSONS OF KOSOVO
178
WINNING THE REVOLUTION
202
ACRONYMS AND EXPLANATIONS FOR TABLE 31
237
SUGGESTED READING
241
NOTES
245
INDEX
265
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About the author (2001)

Admiral Bill Owens commanded the U.S. 6th Fleet during the Persian Gulf War and served as Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1994-1995. He is currently Vice Chairman and Co-CEO of Teledesic LLC. Ed Offley is the military reporter for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.