January 9, 2008

Book Review - Military Reform

Military Reform: A Reference Handbook
Winslow T. Wheeler and Lawrence J. Korb
UA 23 .W4135 2007

Wheeler and Korb assert that as the United States military has shrunk in size, its equipment has become older and more expensive to maintain. Although they acknowledge recent military successes, they argue that if the United States faced a "competent foe," it would certainly loose. Wheeler and Korb overview the military reforms that were undertaken by Congress and at the Pentagon since the 1970's. Much of this is based on both author's personal experiences as civil servants working for the Defense Department, though a few citations are provided along the way. In the last of seven chapters, Wheeler attempts to define military reform, but does so primarily by defining what he believes it is not. Approximately half of the book's pages are devoted to reprinting four essays written by military officers or defense analysts for other venues, but which offer reform recommendations that contribute to Wheeler's definition of military reform. This book is of interest to all those within the Department of Defense, but it's basis in personal experience and opinion rather than research should be noted.