FROM Michael Gordon
Rethinking the Art of War After America's defeat in Vietnam, the US Army abandoned counterinsurgency doctrine and prepared for a big war with the Soviet Union. That never happened, and the Army was left ill-prepared for the kind of operations required in Iraq and Afghanistan. At the end of this month, the Association of the United States Army will debate proposed changes in the operations manual that defines what the Army is all about. Currently, doctrine focuses on defeating adversaries on the battlefield. The new manual would give equal importance to stabilizing war-torn nations. We hear how efforts to turn the Army around are being hotly resisted within the Army itself. Is war fighting more than guns, tanks and boots on the ground? Are proposed changes needed or are they a recipe for a new kind of colonialism?