Lecturas militares en libertad: "Parameters"

Son años ya leyendo Parameters -más de diez- a través de Internet. Los tíos de Small Wars Journal facilitan la comunicación estratégica de los contenidos de su número de otoño de 2007.

Dejo al amable lector elegir qué leer en dicho número sobre Irán, la libertad de expresión de los militares, las operaciones en El Líbano, compañías militares privadas, China, los juicios sobre torturas en Abu Ghraib, etc, etc, etc.

Todo bajo los auspicios de la Escuela de Guerra del Ejército de los EE.UU., una plaza fuerte de la civilización...

Para europeos perplejos, desde otra de las plazas que tal, Shoulder to Shoulder. La foto es, claramente, de los días de la Liberación... el civil, sospecho, tiene de francés lo que servidor.


The Autumn 2007 issue of the US Army War College’s Parameters is posted.

Parameters, a refereed journal of ideas and issues, provides a forum for the expression of mature thought on the art and science of land warfare, joint and combined matters, national and international security affairs, military strategy, military leadership and management, military history, ethics, and other topics of significant and current interest to the US Army and Department of Defense.

Here is the line-up:

From the Editor (.htm format) (.pdf format)
This issue presents an eclectic tour de force of a number of the challenges associated with the conduct of land warfare in the twenty-first century. Our authors explore themes as diverse as nuclear proliferation and nation-building, and as consubstantial as strategic communication and freedom of speech.

Strategic Communication by Richard Halloran (.htm format) (.pdf format)

For five years, Americans have been struggling to comprehend strategic communication as they have seen the standing of the nation plummet around the world and political support at home evaporate for the war in Iraq. They have lamented the seeming failure of their government to persuade the Islamic world of America’s good intentions while Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda operate in the best fashion of Madison Avenue.

Propaganda: Can a Word Decide a War? by Dennis M. Murphy and James F. White (.htm format) (.pdf format)

Propaganda is “any form of communication in support of national objectives designed to influence the opinions, emotions, attitudes, or behavior of any group in order to benefit the sponsor, either directly or indirectly.”3 Certainly propaganda has been used from time immemorial as a tool in warfare. But it is only since the US experience of World War I that this rather innocuously defined term has become pejorative in the national psyche.

Stabilizing Lebanon: Peacekeeping or Nation-Building by William K. Mooney, Jr. (.htm format) (.pdf format)

While outside actors have played a major role, the weakness of the Lebanese government lies at the foundation of these problems. The Lebanese government finds itself unable to exercise the most fundamental elements of state sovereignty: the control of borders and a monopoly on the use of force. Thus, any international effort to stabilize and reconstruct Lebanon in the wake of this most recent conflict needs to focus on the political objective of strengthening the Lebanese government.

Responding to a Nuclear Iran by Christopher Hemmer (.htm format) (.pdf format)

The choices America would face if Iran developed nuclear weapons are not simply between preventive military action and doing nothing. The calculations America would face are not between the costs of action versus the costs of inaction. A nuclear-armed Iran will certainly pose a number of challenges for the United States. Those challenges, however, can be met through an active policy of deterrence, containment, engagement, and the reassurance of America’s allies in the region.

Nation-Building: A Joint Enterprise by Gregory L. Cantwell (.htm format) (.pdf format)

America’s Army remains at war. And we will be fighting this war for the foreseeable future. This is not just the Army’s war. Yet in light of the scale of our commitment we bear the majority of the burden, serving side by side with Marines and our other sister services and coalition partners. General Schoomaker identified the crux of the issue; America relies upon the Army, and from a joint perspective, the Department of Defense, to fight and win the nation’s wars. The American people have every expectation that the military will succeed when committed. They hold the military accountable for achieving victory. Yet the military does not command or control the elements of national power (diplomatic, information, and economic) essential for achieving victory.

When Soldiers Speak Out: A Survey of Provisions Limiting Freedom of Speech in the Military by John Loran Kiel, Jr. (.htm format) (.pdf format)

As America continues surging troops into Baghdad, a number of active-duty service members have publicly condemned President George W. Bush and criticized his handling of the war in Iraq. Remarks against the President have become more prevalent among service members because they communicate through a host of mediums unfathomable to yesterday’s generation of fighting men and women. Soldiers frequently post digital journals, cell phone photos, and music videos on popular Internet sites such as YouTube and MySpace. A few techno-savvy troops even manage their own milblogs, or online personal diaries where they can communicate in cyberspace about virtually anything to virtually anyone. In fact, some military blogs and videos have become so popular that they garner tens of thousands of visits each day.

Civilian Contractors under Military Law by Marc Lindemann (.htm format) (.pdf format)

Over the course of its efforts to stabilize Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States has increasingly relied upon the work of civilian contractors. By the US Central Command’s count at the end of 2006, there were nearly 100,000 contractors operating in Iraq alone. An estimated 30,000—more than the number of non-US Coalition forces in Iraq—provide armed military services such as personal and site security. The insertion of five words into Congress’s fiscal year 2007 defense authorization act may now subject every civilian contractor operating in a combat zone to the discipline of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). This legislation ostensibly brings long-overdue regulation to contractor behavior, but it also raises a number of questions regarding interpretation and enforcement. By drawing on the lessons of past efforts to control contractors, the military should be able to craft a workable standard for the exercise of its expanded UCMJ jurisdiction.

Whither the RMA? by Christopher M. Schnaubelt (.htm format) (.pdf format)

The strategic importance of technological improvements in US military capability is a key but insufficiently examined issue in the transformation of today’s military. Is the present Department of Defense (DOD) attempt at transformation, which focuses on technological solutions to increase capabilities, being misguided by a vision of a high-tech Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA)? This question is particularly relevant with regard to attempts to use information management and networked systems in lieu of increased firepower, better armor, and more manpower. The current effort may well be leading America’s military in the wrong direction.

Book Reviews (.htm format) (.pdf format)

The Eye of Command. By Kimberly Kagan. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2006. 241 pages. $70.00 ($24.95 paper). Reviewed by Dr. J. Boone Bartholomees, Jr., Professor of Military History, US Army War College.
War Made New: Technology, Warfare, and the Course of History, 1500 to Today. By Max Boot. New York: Gotham Books, 2006. 624 pages. $35.00. Reviewed by Lieutenant Colonel Robert M. Cassidy, a US Army officer and a Fellow with the Center for Advanced Defense Studies.
The Past as Prologue: The Importance of History to the Military Profession. Edited by Williamson Murray and Richard Hart Sinnreich. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006. 287 pages. $75.00 ($23.99 paper). Reviewed by Dr. Conrad Crane, Director of the US Army Military History Institute.
Taming American Power: The Global Response to U.S. Primacy. By Stephen M. Walt. New York: W. W. Norton and Co., 2005. 320 pages. $27.95. Reviewed by Major Bradley L. Bowman, Assistant Professor of American Politics, Policy, and Strategy, Department of Social Sciences, United States Military Academy.
Imagined Enemies: China Prepares for Uncertain War. By John Wilson Lewis and Xue Litai. Palo Alto, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2006. 362 pages. $60.00. Reviewed by Dr. Paul H. B. Godwin, retired National War College professor specializing in Chinese defense and security policy.
The Dictators: Hitler’s Germany, Stalin’s Russia. By Richard Overy. New York: W. W. Norton, 2006. 849 pages. $21.95 (paper). Reviewed by Dr. Paul J. Springer, Assistant Professor of Military History, United States Military Academy.
Among the Dead Cities: The History and Moral Legacy of the WWII Bombing of Civilians in Germany and Japan. By A. C. Grayling. New York: Walker and Company, 2006. 361 pages. $25.95. Reviewed by Dr. Thomas B. Grassey, the James B. Stockdale Professor of Leadership and Ethics at the Naval War College.
The Scratch of a Pen: 1763 and the Transformation of America. By Colin G. Calloway. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. 224 pages. $26.00. Reviewed by Colonel Alan Cate, USA Ret.
Eisenhower, Science Advice, and the Nuclear Test-Ban Debate, 1945-1963. By Benjamin P. Greene. Palo Alto, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2007. 358 pages. $65.00. Reviewed by George H. Quester, Professor of Government and Politics, University of Maryland.
Capturing Jonathan Pollard: How One of the Most Notorious Spies in American History Was Brought to Justice. By Ronald J. Olive. Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press, 2006. 299 pages. $27.95. Reviewed by W. Andrew Terrill, Research Professor of National Security Affairs, Strategic Studies Institute, US Army War College.
Henry Adams and the Making of America. By Garry Wills. (Boston, Mass.: Houghton Mifflin, 2005. 467 pages. $30.00. Reviewed by Dr. Samuel Watson, Associate Professor, Department of History, US Military Academy.
Nuclear First Strike: Consequences of a Broken Taboo. By George H. Quester. Baltimore, Md.: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006. 176 pages. $55.00 ($22.95 paper). Reviewed by Colonel John Mark Mattox, Commandant, Defense Nuclear Weapons School, Kirtland Air Force Base, NM.
No Substitute for Victory: Lessons in Strategy and Leadership from General Douglas MacArthur. By Theodore and Donna Kinni. Old Tappan, N.J.: Pearson Education, 2005. 288 pages. $27.95. Reviewed by Dr. Mark R. Grandstaff, Senior Fellow, James MacGregor Burns Academy of Leadership, University of Maryland, College Park and Professor of History, Brigham Young University.
Duffy’s War: Fr. Francis Duffy, Wild Bill Donovan, and the Irish Fighting 69th in World War I. By Stephen L. Harris. Dulles, Va.: Potomac Books, 2006. 456 pages. $29.95. Reviewed by Dr. Douglas V. Johnson II (LTC, USA Ret.), Research Professor, Strategic Studies Institute, US Army War College.
The Trials of Abu Ghraib: An Expert Witness Account of Shame and Honor. By S. G. Mestrovic. Boulder, Colo.: Paradigm Publishers, 2006. 235 pages. $22.95. Reviewed by George R. Mastroianni, Professor of Psychology, US Air Force Academy.

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