The Army after Next: The First Postindustrial Army by ProQuest


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									                                                                                 Book Reviews

rowed from other like-minded European airmen,         into doctrine for precision strategic bombing
especially Hugh Trenchard—wartime and post-           during daylight. Although flawed as used during
war chief of the Royal Air Force (the only sepa-      World War II because of the available technology,
rate air force to emerge from the war)—were           its implementation ultimately led to the creation
well in advance not only of most of his fellow        of the US Air Force in September 1947. Finally,
Army and Navy officers but also of contempo-          we can still readily see the influence of Mitchell’s
rary aviation technology and the views of the         ideas in current Air Force doctrine and air opera-
American public. For the rest of his life, Mitchell   tions concerning the use of precision-guided mu-
would face similar problems as he continually         nitions. The issue, as Hurley notes, was Mitchell’s
refined his ideas on the proper and effective use     erroneous belief that “the realization of his vi-
of airpower and propounded these evolving ideas       sion would justify the tactics” (p. 139).
to different audiences through different means.           Despite the age of Billy Mitchell: Crusader for
   Other people have seen as sensationalism           Air Power, it is still compelling and should be
and deliberate controversy Mitchell’s efforts to      read by the general public, students, military
persuade superiors, fellow officers, Congress,
                                                      historians, and Airmen alike. My only criticism
and the American public on the need for a mod-
                                                      concerns the appendix, added to the 1975 edi-
ern and independent air service that could make
                                                      tion to bring the biography up to date. I would
a distinctive and vital contribution to national
defense. By focusing on the origins and continual     have preferred that the author integrate its con-
evolution of Mitchell’s airpower ideas, however,      tents into appropriate chapters of the book
Hurley sees them as tactics. For example, the         rather than include it as a separate section.
bombing trials of 1921 were not just a demon-                                         Dr. Robert B. Kane
stration of the ability of airplanes to sink major                                      Eglin AFB, Florida
warships. They were also a means to publicize to
the postwar, budget-conscious, “moralistic” Con-
gress and American public one way airpower
could contribute to national defense, as opposed      The Army after Next: The First Postindustrial
to demonstrating a purely offensive air force.          Army by Thomas K. Adams. Praeger Security
   Moving forward to 1924, the book shows that          International (, Green-
the American public, Congress, and new presi-           wood Publishing Group, 88 Post West Road,
dent Calvin Coolidge were even more focused on          P.O. Box 5007, Westport, Connecticut 06881-
“normalcy,” isolationism, and budget cutting            5007, 2006, 336 pages, $49.95 (hardcover).
than they were in 1921. Now lacking an issue to
drive home his airpower ideas, Mitchell resorted         The fall of the Soviet Union was a watershed
to public accusations and attacks on the failure      for the US military. The inexorable shift from
of senior military officials to provide an ade-       set-piece warfare through a period of global en-
quate national defense and then made “progres-        gagement into an era of international counter-
sively more reckless statements” to keep his
                                                      terrorism and counterinsurgency wrought seri-
name in the headlines (p. 97). According to
                                                      ous debate within the Department of Defense.
Hurley, “Mitchell, instead of recognizing this
                                                      The history of defense transformation is com-
new state of affairs and modifying what he was
doing, kept swinging harder until he himself dra-     plex. Particularly enigmatic is the chronicle of
matized his case w
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