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U.S. Army Doctrine

U.S. Army Doctrine

Walter Kretchik

Publication Year: 2012

The first comprehensive history of Army keystone doctrine from the Revolutionary era to the current war in Afghanistan. Explores the principles that have shaped the Army's approach to warfare and reveals that the army's leadership is more forward thinking and adaptive than has been generally believed.

Published by: University Press of Kansas

Series: Modern First Ladies

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication, Quote

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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-x

I am pleased to acknowledge the many friends and colleagues who offered advice, assistance, and encouragement during my work on this project. My academic mentors Ted Wilson and Roger Spiller reinvigorated languishing intellectual energy and provided the inspiration to make this book possible. ...


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pp. xi-xiv

Chronology of U.S. Army Keystone Doctrinal Manuals

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pp. xv-xvi

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Introduction. U.S. Army Doctrine in Historical Perspective

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pp. 1-15

Contemporaries in life, the nineteenth-century Prussian master Carl von Clausewitz and the Swiss theorist Antoine Henri de Jomini both wrote about war. While they agreed in many ways, they differed significantly in others. For Clausewitz, war is a dynamic process beyond absolute control and enduring principles. ...

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1. Mimics at War

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pp. 16-62

Since English colonization of North America commenced in the early 1600s, the colonists fought wars in the absence of doctrine. While capable of defeating the indigenous population in local engagements, the colonists’ informal practice was less effective when facing well-drilled, conventional European armies. ...

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2. From French Drill to Teutonic Initiative

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pp. 63-106

By 1848, when the War with Mexico terminated in an American victory, Infantry Tactics had been the Army’s tactical doctrine for thirty-three years. Based upon French ideas, the manual had proven its worth assisting the Army attain national policy objectives in service to an embryonic continental power. ...

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3. Doctrine for Army Operations

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pp. 107-157

Even as the 1904 doctrine was attaining government approval, pressing national affairs were conspiring to ensure the content, direction, and purpose of future editions would be altered. By January 1899, the War Department oversaw the administration and security of overseas possessions acquired from the recent conflict with Spain. ...

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4. Cold War Doctrine

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pp. 158-220

During World War II, army forces successfully executed land and air operations in Europe, the Mediterranean, and Asia through offensive-minded combined-arms warfare. In reflecting upon what the Americans had accomplished, former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill called the U.S. Army a “prodigy of organization,” the envy of the Allied powers. ...

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5. Doctrine for a Post--Cold War World

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pp. 221-277

On 25 December 1991, the dissolution of the Soviet Union ended a significant chapter in the history of U.S. Army doctrine. Since 1949, various permutations of keystone manuals had fixated upon countering Soviet aggression, primarily in Europe but also globally. ...

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Conclusion. Regulating Chaos

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pp. 278-286

Analyzing over 225 years of U.S. Army doctrine reveals that the American Army has been far more adaptive and innovative than scholars have acknowledged. Far from belonging to a rigid institution bent upon replicating the past, army leaders created a system that blended education and individual/group recognition of ideas to frame doctrine within both a national and service culture. ...


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pp. 287-344

Selected Bibliography

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pp. 345-378


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pp. 379-392

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9780700620463
Print-ISBN-13: 9780700618064

Page Count: 408
Illustrations: 17 photographs
Publication Year: 2012

Series Title: Modern First Ladies

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Military doctrine -- United States -- History.
  • Strategic culture -- United States -- History.
  • United States. Army -- History.
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