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PRISM 3, no. 4: What Is Wrong with the American Way of War?


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This article argues that, for the last decade, most books and articles on the American way of war have assumed that there is something wrong with it. Various criticisms and cures have been offered, as if a way of war can, and ought to, be perfected. The real problem was less with the American way of war than with the lofty expectations that prevailed as far as what it could accomplish. American policy was eventually corrected by American politics, and American objectives, too, were realigned. Still, the way of war that fought two major campaigns over the last decade has been changed by that experience and by recent adjustments in force structure. What it is now is not what it was then.

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