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unhappycamper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 07:37 AM
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Book: Officers heavy on tech, light on strategy
Book: Officers heavy on tech, light on strategy
By Philip Ewing - Staff writer
Posted : Monday Dec 8, 2008 6:38:54 EST

Too many technicians and not enough strategists in the officer corps makes the Navy badly suited for operations in the 21st century, according to a book released Dec. 3.

Whats more, its fleet is designed to re-fight World War II, not deal with a new generation of enemies, and unless the Navy makes dramatic changes, itll be irrelevant in tomorrows world picture, one of the books 13 authors concludes.

The book, Americas Defense Meltdown, published by the Center for Defense Information, faults the Navys culture of elevating officers with technical backgrounds including aviators and engineers rather than purpose-trained tactical thinkers. No matter how well engineers perform as commanders in peacetime, argues conservative author William Lind, a wartime Navy requires tactical experts qualified as engineers.

The technical-engineering way of thinking and the military-tactical-strategic way of thinking are opposites, Lind wrote. War is not an engineering problem. ... Most engineers, which is to say most U.S. Navy officers, cannot deal well with challenges they do not expect and that do not lend themselves to quantitative calculation.

The book is aimed at the incoming Obama administration, with recommendations for rebuilding the U.S. military after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Although the book also faults Navy shipbuilding, which has been roundly criticized in other reports, its main suggestion for the Navy is to remake the officer culture.

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