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  1. See a Problem?
  2. The Whirlwind War: US Army Operations in Desert Shield and Desert Storm
  3. U.S. Military History in the Public Documents and Patents Department
  4. Naval History and Heritage Command

The consensus points to a negative response. This conclusion factors in the experiences of the U. Working with a small permanent staff, this office keeps pace through the use of Reservists and contract employees. In many cases, the Reservists chronicling recent actions are the same ones who were deployed to the field to gather the raw materials. Because of the initiative of the USSOCOM historian and the willingness of his superiors to fund Reservists from the four Services to produce some of the best narrative analyses that will never be read by the general public, USSOCOM is receiving products that are integral for the training and planning of future missions.

Unlike the special operations community, where officers rotate in and out of related assignments and appreciate the need for a robust history program, officers assigned to other joint staffs usually have 2- to 3-year tours and then rotate back to their respective Services. Involvement with their combatant command history offices during their joint assignment yields little bang during their tours. Thus, due to benign neglect, combatant command history offices are understaffed and often not attuned to the commanders they support.

Instead, DOD depends on each of the Service history offices to collect and chronicle its operational combat history. But since the combatant commands are joint, and the Services are fighting jointly, why are the Service history offices still in the business of collecting material for, producing, and distributing operational histories? Is this a call to abolish the Service history offices?

Producing operational history is only a fraction of the valuable work these organizations perform for their respective Services. Each branch still recruits, trains, equips, administers, and provides the forces that the combatant commanders draw on to perform the mission of defending the Nation. These processes have to be documented and chronicled.

In addition, each Service has a rich heritage and lore that must be preserved and promoted as a means of instilling institutional identity. But a realignment of how DOD employs its historical assets to support the chronicling and connecting of its operational history at the joint level should be considered. An obvious answer is ramping up the current 2- to 3-person shops at the combatant commands to much larger offices to include dedicated Reservist combat documentation collection support, additional historian and archival personnel to chronicle command events, and individuals to oversee the distribution of materials.

However, bolstering the history offices of the combatant commands is only part of a more efficient solution. Marine Corps. For a complete solution, it is useful to examine how another country tackled the problem. What emerged from this amalgamation were five sections that addressed various aspects of history and heritage.

Most germane to the focus of this narrative is the History and Archives Section, which gathers, preserves, and imposes intellectual control over the historical record including unit annual historical reports and unit operational records , carries out historical research and provides historical support on demand, and publishes official, commemorative, and popular histories to meet the goals of the Department of National Defence.

In addition to capturing the narrative history, this section manages the Canadian Forces combat art program. It is interesting to note that minus the musical component, the Canadian sectional alignments are quite similar to the direction the U. The DHHA would take on the operational history collection, chronicling, and connection mission. Such an agency could not only take charge of the overall collection and chronicling efforts, but also take command of all DOD historical resource management efforts. As with other Service mergers leading to the creation of other defense agencies, initial consolidation efforts would be painful and costly.

However, longer term efficiencies could be realized through standardization of collection and archival practices, the creation of joint storage and preservation facilities, and the discontinuation of nonessential and overlapping functions. While it could be entertaining to conceptualize the creation of a DHHA, however, there are words of caution: Be careful what you ask for.

In addressing the challenge of producing operational histories from a joint perspective, the DHHA solution is akin to hitting a tack with a sledgehammer. As the Canadian Forces found out when they had all of their personnel don the same uniform, there are benefits to having distinctions of Service identity. Just as it is impossible, for example, to envision the U. Because the U. Service history organization historians focus on their respective Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard narratives with all the Service-specific weapons systems, command and control structures, and customs, they produce quality Service-specific work.

For these Service historians, there is a learning curve, and the quality of work they produce often becomes apparent in comparison to projects contracted out to PhDs with little military experience. Rather than dismantle the current DOD history infrastructure and build anew around a DHHA, a more practical proposal would be to create an activity that aims to coordinate and synthesize collection, chronicle, and connection functions. An outgrowth of the Base Realignment and Closure study that occurred in , DMA consolidated various Service media functions into one activity headquartered at a Fort Meade, Maryland, facility that opened in While each of the Services retains its well-established public affairs organizations, DMA performs functions that not only enhance Service-specific outreach capabilities but also improve the overall DOD information dissemination capability.

DMA has organized itself into seven operating components. The first component worthy of emulation is the creation of a schoolhouse. Such a course would help to standardize collection methodologies and build camaraderie across Services. A Washington, DC—based orientation program could offer students visits to the local Service history offices as well as tours of the Navy, Marine Corps, and eventually, Army museums. The Defense History School could also manage an internship program expanding on an initiative by the OSD Historical Office to bring in students from respected graduate programs, obtain needed clearances, and obtain experience on producing historical products.

Another section of DHA could serve as a clearinghouse for historical products—both classified and unclassified—produced by the Service history organizations, combatant command history offices, and affiliated academic organizations such as the war colleges. Sort order. Io marked it as to-read Feb 01, Dylan Bailey added it Mar 04, Ava Parsons is currently reading it Mar 04, Penelope Blake added it Mar 04, Angela Greene added it Mar 04, Sebastian Reid added it Mar 04, Phil Simpson marked it as to-read Mar 04, Lucas Black marked it as to-read Mar 04, Mary Nash added it Mar 04, Christian Terry is currently reading it Mar 04, Sam Marshall is currently reading it Mar 04, Victoria Parsons is currently reading it Mar 04, Rebecca Blake added it Mar 04, Ryan Mills is currently reading it Mar 04, Nicholas Grant added it Mar 04, Donna Taylor is currently reading it Mar 04, Benjamin Quinn is currently reading it Mar 04, Sam Short is currently reading it Mar 04, Steven Baker marked it as to-read Mar 04, Ian Wright marked it as to-read Mar 04, Gordon Short marked it as to-read Mar 04, Grace Skinner is currently reading it Mar 04, Audrey Lawrence added it Mar 04, Owen Burgess added it Mar 04, Kitfield, James.


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New York: Simon and Schuster, With interviews as his principal source, a journalist examines some of the strategic, social, and doctrinal developments in the services during the period between the Vietnam and Persian Gulf Wars, using the careers of select individuals as lenses for viewing the larger picture. Lamb, David. The Arabs: Journeys Beyond the Mirage. Good survey. Langdon, Frank C. Ross, eds.

See a Problem?

Superpower Maritime Strategy in the Pacific. London and New York: Routledge, This collection of essays provides a strategic overview from the perspectives of the United States, Soviet Union, and other Pacific powers. Laur, Tim, et al. Desert Score: U. Gulf War Weapons. Washington: Carroll Publishing Co. Highly detailed catalog of U.

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The Whirlwind War: US Army Operations in Desert Shield and Desert Storm

Naval Institute Military Database. Marolda, Edward J. Shield and Sword: The U. Navy in the Persian Gulf War. Washington: Naval Historical Center, forthcoming. This is the first scholarly history focusing on naval forces in the Persian Gulf during and after the war; describes the political and military background of the war, the Navy's part in the evolution of Central Command, and the role of naval forces in Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, and Desert Sortie.

Matthews, James K. Wahington D. Includes four folded maps. McClaughlin, Martin, ed. Detroit, MI: Labor Publications, McNaugher, Thomas. Military Strategy and the Persian Gulf. Washington: Brookings Institute, McWilliams, Barry. A Gulf War Sketchbook. Novato, CA: Presidio Press, Cartoons and anecdotes from the war. Meisner, Arnold. Desert Storm Sea Victory. Heavily illustrated popular account of U. Metz, Helen Chapin, ed. Iraq: A Country Study. Washington: Library of Congress, Area handbook covering Iraqi history, society, economy, government, national security, and other topics.

The Military Balance. London: Institute for Strategic Studies, Provides statistical summaries of the world's military forces. Miller, Duncan E. Operational history. Mroczkowski, P. Dennis Lt. Wshington, D. Motter, T. Nakhjavani, Mehran. Iraq: What if Sanctions Fail! London: Economist Intelligence Unit, Discusses whether sanctions, particularly a naval blockade, would have forced Iraq from Kuwait.

Nye, Joseph S. Smith, eds. After the Storm: Lessons from the Gulf War. New York: Madison Books, Pagonis, William G. Part logistics study, part autobiography, and part management primer, this book provides a very readable account of what is normally considered a dry topic. Palmer, Michael. Diplomatic, military, and economic history of the United States'involvement in the Gulf, with a concise treatment of Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

Washington: Naval Historical Center, Why, how, and when the U. Navy became a presence in the Persian Gulf, covering the period Iraqi Power and U. Security in the Middle East. Army War College, Examines the implications for U. Middle East policy of Iraq's victory in its eight-year war with Iran. Pfaltzgraff, Robert L.

U.S. Military History in the Public Documents and Patents Department

Polmar, Norman. Ships and Aircraft of the U. Fleet , 14th ed. A standard reference source. Potter, Michael C. A history of the development of the Spruance , Kidd , and Ticonderoga classes of surface warships. Powell, Colin. My American Journey. With Joseph E. Candid autobiography. Quilter II, J. Charles Col. Rashid, Nasser Ibrahim.

Naval History and Heritage Command

Saudi Arabia and the Gulf War. Record, Jeffrey. Washington: Brassey's US , Salinger, Peter. New York: Penguin Books, Originally published in French, this book details international arms sales and diplomacy leading to the war. Sasson, Jean. The Rape of Kuwait. Beverly Hills, CA: Knightsbridge, Controversial, emotional account of Iraqi invasion and occupation based on interviews with Kuwaitis; allegedly funded by the Kuwaiti government. Schneller, Robert J. Washington D. Schubert, N. Frank, and Kraus, L. Schwarzkopf, H. Norman, Jr. Candid, insightful, provocative, and well-written autobiography by Central Command's Commander-in-Chief.

Sciolino, Elaine. Diplomatic correspondent for the New York Times competently chronicles Saddam's rise to power, the Gulf War, and the war's aftermath. Sifry, Micah, and Christopher Cerf, eds. New York: Times Books, Collection of documents, articles, speeches, congressional testimony, and related material. Silverstein, David. Washington: Heritage Foundation, Smith, Hedrick. The Media and the Gulf War. Smith, Jean E.

George Bush's War. New York: Henry Holt and Co. Highly critical of President Bush's direction of the war. Smith, Perry M.