Restoring America's Military Prowess

Creating Reliable Civil-Military Relations, Sound Campaign Planning and Stability-Counter-insurgency Operations

By (author) John E. Peters

Hardback - £41.00

Publication date:

29 September 2016

Length of book:

168 pages


Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

ISBN-13: 9781442274716

The U.S. military spends more than 14 countries combined and possesses state-of-the art weapons and equipment, yet after 13 years of effort, $1.4 trillion, and some 6,000 casualties, it still has been unable to defeat its enemies in Afghanistan and Iraq. The book explains why and how it can be remedied. It first demonstrates the negative effects of four factors that are prerequisites for military success and that have undermined U.S. military performance since the end of the Cold War. These include uneven civil-military relations; an inability to formulate and execute sound campaign plans; a mistaken approach to counter-insurgency, irregular warfare, and stability operations; and inattention to military options other than regime change. It also acknowledges that other factors often also intervene, and that the enemy plays a decisive role in military outcomes.

Still, if the United States is to preserve the use of military force as a reasonable (albeit last resort) policy option, it must develop the means to maintain healthy, reliable civil-military relations, design and execute sound campaign plans appropriate to the adversary in question and the threat it poses to U.S. interests, conduct effective counter-insurgency and irregular warfare campaigns suitable given the size and capabilities of today’s all volunteer armed forces, and develop a menu of military options beyond regime change. The intent is to bring attention to the under-performance of the U.S. armed forces in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere and prescribe remedies. These solutions cannot be left solely in the hands of the Department of Defense and congressional action and oversight will be essential to favorable outcomes. This is a timely survey as the military is facing downsizing in response to budget pressure that will constrain defense and counter-terrorism spending.
The best military in the world wins every battle—and loses wars. What's wrong with this picture? Jed Peters knows. With the unsparing eye of a combat veteran and the analytic acumen of a defense policy expert, Peters digs deep. What he finds is troubling indeed. But he also recommends common-sense solutions. If you want to know how America can win the next war, this is the book to read.