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A Military Culture at War with Itself The Mission: Waging War and Keeping Peace with America's Military by Dana Priest (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2003), 429 pages.
This journalistic account of recent American military operations is a must read for anyone who needs to understand the fundamental beliefs, attitudes and culture in today's US Army. Dana Priest, an experienced Washington Post reporter, has tried to capture the essence of a "new American way of war" by describing the strategic objectives of the regional combatant commanders (known until recently as the "CinCs") and then demonstrating how these objectives are pursued by combat soldiers on the ground. Her basic theme is that the commanders have become powers unto themselves, and that their ability to influence US foreign and security policy presents an important threat to the most basic ideas of civil control of the military.
Although her subjects are all …