The Army after Next: The First Postindustrial Army

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Sure to be found controversial by some, compelling by all, this is the only available book-length examination of the way the U.S. Army and Department of Defense have tried to create the capabilities promised by the high-tech Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA). Of more immediate concern, it is also the only in-depth account of the effect RMA and transformation concepts had on the American operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Many of the problems in both Iraq and Afghanistan, Adams argues, arose from the DoD's implacable desire to implement RMA-driven transformation concepts-whether they were appropriate or not. What we need to do, he maintains, is to fight the war we have, not the war we want. Over the last several decades, military theorists and others began to believe that new technologies were generating a revolution in military affairs (RMA), capabilities so revolutionary that they would redefine warfare. Spurred by these beliefs, and led by President George W. Bush and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the Department of Defense (DoD) set out to transform the U.S. armed forces by adopting RMA concepts-and spending billions to make the hypothetical capabilities real. The entire structure of the armed forces changed as a result. This vision, however, was totally dependent on a set of unproven suppositions and often nonexistent capabilities, especially a network of information technologies. Moreover, the services, the media, Congress, and industry each had its own agenda, all of which continue to come into play in the development of RMA strategies. The interplay of politics, technology and military reality offers a fascinating narrative.