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Title: The US Army and American strategic culture : an examination of the US Army's strategic thought since the Vietnam War, and its implications for US foreign policy
Author: Lock-Pullan, Richard James Donovan
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2000
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This study examines how and why US military intervention strategy changed after the Vietnam War. It argues that US strategy traditionally relied upon national mobilisation to coordinate political aims and military means, and changed to a formula of establishing militarily achievable political objectives prior to the use of force. Employing strategic culture and military innovation literature, it argues that the strategic lessons were a product of the rebuilding of the Army's identity and perception of its role and utility as it became a professional all-volunteer force. The Army's new doctrine developed a new 'way of war1 for the nation, embodied in the AirLand Battle doctrine. The Weinberger doctrine was the formal acceptance by the executive of the Army's formula. The Panama intervention and Gulf War vindicated the lessons the Army drew from the Vietnam War, and brought a revived confidence in the use of force. The failure in Somalia exposed the weaknesses and particular nature of the lessons drawn from the war. The revival of the Weinberger doctrine shows that the Army's understanding of its professional identity and operational doctrine was fundamental to the US's military intervention strategy, and provided its norms and constraints in the new strategic environment.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available