Paperback / softback
February 1, 1989
9780801837760
English
256
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
.8 Pounds (US)
$31.00 USD, £23.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference

The Masks of War

American Military Styles in Strategy and Analysis: A RAND Corporation Research Study

Why was the Navy ready to clear the skies over the Persian Gulf, yet surprised by the mines laid under it? Why is it that the Army is always prepared for war in Europe, but was caught off guard in Korea and Vietname? And why is the Air Force indifferent to "Star Wars"?

In The Masks of War Carl H. Builder asks what motives lie behind the puzzling and often contradictory behavior of America's militay forces. The answer, he finds, has little to do with what party controls the White House or who writes the budget. Far more powerful-and glacially resistant to change-are the entrenched institutions and distinct "personalities" of the three armed services themselves.

The Masks of War explains why things sometimes go wrong for the American military. It also explains why things will always go wrong for the military reformers. Changes in the military's strategic thinking have come only in the wake of full-blown disaster-Pearl Harbor, for instance. Today's nuclear world can't afford such lessons.

About the Author

Carl H. Builder is a senior analyst with the RAND corporation. He is the author of The Prospects and Implications of Non-nuclear Means for Strategic Conflict. He has worked with numerous government agencies to develop and analyze strategies for laser weapons, military strategic planning, nuclear materials security, and air pollution.

Reviews

"Builder's provocative book is institutional profile at its best, probing far beyond the flip phrases that usually describe the essence of each service, e.g., that the Air Force likes things it can fly."

- Foreign AffairsA RAND Corporation Research Study
Johns Hopkins University Press
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