Cover

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Frontmatter

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Contents

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-ix

This book would not have been possible without the support and assistance of a number of remarkable people and institutions. First, my graduate school adviser at the University of South Carolina, Dr. Jerel Rosati, was a great source of personal and professional inspiration. From...

List of Acronyms

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pp. xi-xii

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Introduction: On the Front Lines with America’s Nation Builders

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pp. 1-7

On March 23, 2003, a battle began near the southern town of Nasiriya, Iraq. At least nine U.S. marines were killed, and many others were wounded. According to reports of the incident, marines had not seen such intense combat since the Vietnam War.1 Unlike in the First Gulf War, when American and Iraqi armor clashed on the open desert,...

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Chapter 1. Military Learning and Competing Theories of Change

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pp. 9-26

To Carl von Clausewitz, the father of modern military thought, military learning and military change were a simple matter: “If, in warfare, a certain means turns out to be highly effective, it will be used again; it will be copied by others and become fashionable; and so,...

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Chapter 2. Two Centuries of Small Wars and Nation Building

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pp. 27-65

Writing of his experiences in Somalia in 1992, Pentagon reporter Tom Ricks observed, “This was the first U.S. brush with ‘peacemaking’— a new form of post–Cold War, low intensity chaos that is neither war nor peace, but produces enough exhaustion, anxiety, boredom,...

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Chapter 3. Vietnam to Iraq: Debating the “New World Order”

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pp. 67-96

The last two months of 1989 witnessed two significant events—one marking the end of an era, the other a beginning. On November 9, the world watched in stunned anticipation while East German citizens scaled the Berlin Wall and thus began to dismantle, both symbolically...

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Chapter 4. Learning to Learn: The Training Revolution in the Post-Vietnam Military

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pp. 97-127

Previous chapters have revealed the difficulty the U.S. military has had in translating operational experience into concrete institutional knowledge. However, the military’s experience since Vietnam suggests that this trend may be changing. In today’s military—especially the...

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Chapter 5. Doctrine and Education for the New Force

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pp. 129-158

Given the prevailing political climate of antipeace operations and the focus on “two major theater war” (2-MTW) strategy during the 1990s, one might not expect the military leadership to devote significant effort to developing doctrine and education for operations other than...

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Chapter 6. Learning to Surge in Iraq

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pp. 159-190

On January 9, 2007, President George W. Bush addressed the nation. For the first time in nearly four years of war, the president admitted, “It is clear that we need to change our strategy in Iraq.” Indeed, by all accounts, the situation was deteriorating. Over 3,000...

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Conclusion: Learning Theory and Military Change in the 21st Century

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pp. 191-202

For over 200 years, the U.S. military has conducted operations other than “major war,” including nation building, counterinsurgency, stabilization and reconstruction, and peacekeeping. Rarely, however, has the institution translated this experience into institutional...

Appendix: Key Terms and Conceptual Confusion

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pp. 203-208

Bibliography

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pp. 209-225

Index

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pp. 227-244