Finding the Target: The Transformation of American Military Policy
Frederick W. Kagan. New York: Encounter Books, 2006. 432 pp. Notes. Bib. Index. $29.95.
Anyone who participated in the volatile policy-making period of the 1 990s and early 2000s will enjoy this fascinating and enlightening study of American defense policy from post-Vietnam to the second Gulf War.
The author's insights on the intellectual developments of the period offer a stark contrast to much of what posed as glimpses of the future and the promises of transformation. Professor Kagan takes particular delight in debunking concepts of John A. Warden, the strategy of "Shock and Awe," and "transformation" as a buzzword. Critical of the substitution of intellectual fervor for historical knowledge, of business practices for operational development of tactical tools, and of inflated expectations of technological advances, his history reflects many of the pitfalls of the period.