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Paperback Transformation Under Fire: Revolutionizing How America Fights Book

ISBN: 0313361576

ISBN13: 9780313361579

Transformation Under Fire: Revolutionizing How America Fights

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Book Overview

Are we prepared to meet the challenges of the next war? What should our military look like? What lessons have we learned from recent actions in Afghanistan and Iraq? Macgregor has captured the attention of key leaders and inspired a genuine public debate on military reform. With the dangerous world situation of the early 21st century-and possible flashpoints ranging from the Middle East to the Far East-interservice cooperation in assembling small,...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Pride goeth before destruction.....

As a civilian its troubling that marines are dying in Iraq unprotected and when someone like Colonel Macgregor offers solutions we have marines more concerned about whether these reforms bruise or exalts someone's ego. Isn't it more important that we get our marines out of flimsy trucks and into tracks than the USMC ego? Isn't life more important than death? Isn't victory more important than defeat? Something as important as war requires courageous thinking. The quote about our warriors and scholars becoming too far apart and having fools doing our fighting comes to mind. What of the wives, children and parents of the dead marines? Must they suffer lifelong grief because the marine ego was too proud to admit it needed help in the form of tracked armor? My advice to our young people having read too many cocky and ignorant marine posts is to stay away from the USMC. Don't waste any of your time or lose your life on such an outfit that creates such arrogant boys. If you are a marine with an attitude that opposes things that will save lives, you need not worry about a dead Army General slapping you, you have the dozens of family members you betrayed to answer to. Tell them about how marines don't need tracked armor in Iraq.

Mike Sparks, the Marines don't like you either...

Sparks(AKA "Sam Damon,jr"), Making an ethos statement and trying to shore up your own self-worth by dragging down brave men who are fighting and dying in Iraq, shows you weren't worthy of the chance the USMC gave you, and proves their judgement sound in not giving you the responsibility of leading a Marine rifle platoon. I'm an Army man, myself, but your constant attacks on a noble and respected Service disgust me.BTW, you are the only person on -EARTH- who calls the M113 the "Gavin". If General Gavin were alive today, he'd jap slap you.

Real USMC Maneuver, not US Army sham

Above review by Carol Hardy is one-third right, one-third wrong, one-third flat wrong.What Carol got right: "Readers must accept that Colonel MacGregor is not just re-arranging the wire diagrams into a tighter pattern with a Joint Service "cum-by-ya". His reorganization plans are based in physical realities; he is calling for STRENGTH not weakness excused away by another joint element picking up the slack." What Carol got wrong:"The biggest "slackers" in this regard is the USMC which in Iraq was given an entire axis of advance which in their troops-in-trucks ad hoc thrown-together mob mentality got stopped cold on the way to Baghdad. Had it not been for the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division, a fully tracked and armored light-medium-heavy force pressing on to take Baghdad--collapsing the enemy's Center of Gravity (COG)---when faint hearts wanted them to continually stop; the entire invasion would have failed. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link---if America's Army does not reform itself into mini-versions of the 3rd ID's powerful combined-arms team as Col Macgregor proposes; the USMC shamocracy of showing up and hoping to bluff the enemy will blow up in our face yet again with disastrous consequences." Why Carol is wrong - tactical view:All forces were under the control of the Army, which has a great fear of being shown up by the Corps; this fear is well-founded, in an Army that is 90% "support" to 10% "combat." The Marine general's wise and correct perspective on these engagements is available on the Net. Another Marine general easily, and decisively, defeated the Army's Iraq War master plan in war games so badly, the Green Machine's deadwood "leadership" demanded the game be "reset" and redesigned to insure Army victory. Why Carol is wrong - strategic view:Saddam has read Giap. We are pinned down in Baghdad, as the Iraqi army simply melted away, to surround us on their home turf. The Army, still obsessed with stopping T-55's coming through the Fulda Gap, is the wrong force for constabulary operations; indeed, it's the wrong force for Fourth Generation warfare. Lawrence Korb has written on how to cut the DoD budget in HALF with no loss in warfighting capability. Chester Richards' excellent thought piece, "A Swift, Elusive Sword," defines how to make much more war, with much less money. What else Carol got wrong:"While Col MacGregor focuses in on getting rid of excessive command layers, at no time does he advocate anything but sound and permanent combined-arms teams along the Army's current Armored Cavalry Regiment and WWII/Korean war Regimental Combat Teams with full mechanized air/ground maneuver capabilities not the style-with-no-substance marines. What America's military needs in the 21st Century as the war in Iraq has proved, is advanced technology Army tracks not marines-in-trucks."Why Carol got this wrong, too:We are using Russian helicopters in Iraq - they are designed for military operations ("flying tanks," to use Suvorov's

Real Army MANEUVER not USMC sham

Readers must accept that Colonel MacGregor is not just re-arranging the wire diagrams into a tighter pattern with a Joint Service "cum-by-ya". His reorganization plans are based in physical realities; he is calling for STRENGTH not weakness excused away by another joint element picking up the slack. The biggest "slackers" in this regard is the USMC which in Iraq was given an entire axis of advance which in their troops-in-trucks ad hoc thrown-together mob mentality got stopped cold on the way to Baghdad. Had it not been for the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division, a fully tracked and armored light-medium-heavy force pressing on to take Baghdad--collapsing the enemy's Center of Gravity (COG)---when faint hearts wanted them to continually stop; the entire invasion would have failed. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link---if America's Army does not reform itself into mini-versions of the 3rd ID's powerful combined-arms team as Col Macgregor proposes; the USMC shamocracy of showing up and hoping to bluff the enemy will blow up in our face yet again with disastrous consequences. While Col MacGregor focuses in on getting rid of excessive command layers, at no time does he advocate anything but sound and permanent combined-arms teams along the Army's current Armored Cavalry Regiment and WWII/Korean war Regimental Combat Teams with full mechanized air/ground maneuver capabilities not the style-with-no-substance marines. What America's military needs in the 21st Century as the war in Iraq has proved, is advanced technology Army tracks not marines-in-trucks.

The Path to relevance for the 21st Century Army

In recent internal memorandum to the top brass of the Pentagon, Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, expressed deep reservations about our progress in the war on terrorism. He challenged the uniformed leadership to speed up transformation, writing "It is not possible to change DOD [Department of Defense] fast enough to successfully fight the global war on terror." Of all the branches of the military, the Army has been the most reluctant to restructure itself to meet the post cold war security environment's demands. In Transformation Under Fire: Revolutionizing How America Fights, Colonel Douglas MacGregor examines the Army's failure to transform itself and forge a truly effective force to carry its burden in the war on terror. Instead of delaying transformation, he argues, the war on terror makes structural reform all the more urgent. MacGregor maintains that recent Army attempts at transformation, relying on the Stryker and a distant Future Combat System, fail to address the heart of the Army's problem: its anachronistic and cumbersome organization on the tactical and operational levels. MacGregor, however, spends the majority of his book proposing a solution to the problem: an immediate re-organization of the Army's combat units; and the fielding of currently available technology that will quickly address its tactical and operational needs. MacGregor's ideas are not new. A Gulf war veteran who fought in the battle of 73 Easting, Colonel MacGregor went on to command 1-4 Cavalry at Ft. Riley. While serving there, he recognized the need to re-structure the Army to meet the post cold war demands. He likened the new world order to the American frontier in the late 1800s, which required not the mass infantry formations of the Civil War, but a flexible, expeditionary force based easily deployable, mounted formations. MacGregor's first book on transformation, Breaking the Phalanx: A New Design for Landpower in the 21st Century, laid out in detail his path to structural reform of the Army, emphasizing truly independent, self-contained Brigade sized units; elimination of the Army Divisions, and the formation of Joint Task Forces (roughly the size of a Corps) which integrate all services under a single command structure. Although his ideas received a lot critical acclaim, they went nowhere with the conservative Army leadership. In Transformation Under Fire: Revoluationizing How America Fights, MacGregor argues that the "war transforms armies." Now, more than ever, the Army must finally shed its industrialized warfare skeleton, and adapt to the realities of Information Age warfare. The Army's essential structure has remained unchanged since the end of WWII, while the end of the cold war necessitates that the Army transform into "an irresistible offensive-maneuver force against a fleeting, mobile enemy." While the Army has recently recognized the need for transformation, he points out, it has sought technological solutions at the expense
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