Here’s a Blueprint for Not Wasting the WinArmy Diplomacy: American Military Occupation and Foreign Policy After World War II. Walter M. Hudson. University Press of Kentucky (An AUSA Title). 395 pages. $50.Lt. Col. James Jay Carafano, U.S. Army retiredThe occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan would have gone much better if leaders in Washington, D.C., had paid more attention to U.S. military history. Not that the past has a playbook for post-conflict operations—it doesn’t. Like the cauldron of combat, every engagement has to be dealt with on its own terms. Yet the legacy of World War II offers a diversity of experience that would have profited planners and practitioners of contemporary operations, where the military has to do more than merely fight and win.In Army Diplomacy, Col. Walter M. Hudson provides a concise history of the Army’s major postwar efforts to win the peace with defeated foes. An active-duty judge advocate in the Army with a Ph.D. in military history from Kansas State University, Hudson relies on his experience as a military professional, legal scholar and historian to provide a readable and informative introduction to the U.S. Army as an occupation force during and after World War II.This book includes a useful overview of the evolution and development of capabilities and policies for postwar occupation duties. Much of this ground is also covered in the 1964 official Army history of these activities, Civil Affairs: Soldiers Become Governors, by Harry L. Coles and Albert K. Weinberg. In addition, Hudson includes three case studies of major Army occupation efforts: Ger-many, Austria and Korea. That is helpful. These were three very different operations conducted under different conditions.Though the book trumpets the service’s role as a postwar diplomatic corps, in practice the Army’s responsibilities during the occupation touched on virtually every aspect of governance, from managing refugees and disarming combatants to public works, public safety, cultural affairs, economic and business matters, spying and more.There is also an ugly side to U.S. military occupations that should not be glossed over, including troop riots, rape, human trafficking, black market activities and other criminal behavior. The best way to dispel the dark side of war is to shine a light on it before sending troops into harm’s way, where they could well face moral and ethical challenges.Two aspects of the Army’s postwar legacy cannot be questioned. First, despite the efforts Hudson describes in how the troops prepared for the military governance mission, the Army and the rest of the U.S. government pretty much made it up as they went along. Virtually every aspect of occupation operations were ad hoc and improvised. The Army largely learned by doing. Second, for better or worse—mostly for better—the Army’s efforts had an important and profound influence on shaping the early postwar world. This can be attributed to a handful of priorities Washington got right.For starters, there was relative unity of effort. For each major occupation, the U.S. military commander was dual-hatted as the senior U.S. government official. That status remained in place until there was an adequate modicum of security and governance.Next, the U.S. military forces stuck around until a stable situation had been achieved. The persistence of U.S. commitment had little to do with farsighted policies. For example, President Franklin D. Roosevelt abhorred the idea of military governance. He thought ground forces in Austria might stay for at most two years. They stayed for 10.The resilience of U.S. commitment resulted from the emerging American strategy of containment. Washington wanted to close off as many opportunities as possible for Soviet expansion. Fortunately, during the early years of the Cold War, Soviet leader Josef Stalin focused his efforts on consolidating his hold over the countries behind the Iron Curtain and his allies in Asia. As a result, the occupied countries were able to weather the most vulnerable times of the postwar period.Additionally, though the U.S. waffled between wanting to quickly hit the exit and grandiose schemes of remaking nations in America’s image, in the end it opted for a practical course of implementing what was then called the “disease and unrest” strategy: Make sure there is enough governance, security, economic activity and civil society to ensure the country doesn’t fall into chaos, and then let nations rebuild themselves.The Marshall Plan is a case in point. While it undoubtedly contributed to sparking global economic activity, it came about only after most nations in Europe and Japan had already steadied themselves. The Marshall Plan primed the pump; the Army had already ensured there was a pump to prime.Finally, the Army brought capacity to the mission, something no other government organization could do. There is a danger in that rejecting the messiness of Iraq and Afghanistan, too many will argue—as we did after almost every armed conflict—the answer is “just never do that again.” That thinking is a prescription for unpreparedness and repeating the mistakes of the past.There is also a great danger in embracing the “whole of government” answer as an easy-button alternative to the difficult tasks of interagency operations overseas. For one, it is a distraction and diverts many federal agencies from their core missions. For another, it is a bad approach and implies the answer to big, thorny, complicated problems is to just throw more government at them.What the U.S. needs is a more responsible, judicious and restrained doctrine that helps it think through how to win the fight for peace under different conditions. Accompanying that doctrine ought to be the modicum of professional education, training, exercise and capabilities that would enable Washington to manage mayhem rather than contribute to it.Army Diplomacy provides more than a little food for thought in how to build peace from conflict. Hopefully, this book will stimulate more reflection, interest and serious introspection on how to not waste winning.Lt. Col. James Jay Carafano, USA Ret., a 25-year Army veteran, is a Heritage Foundation vice president in charge of the think tank’s policy research in defense and foreign affairs. Vietnam War Still MattersYoung Soldiers, Amazing Warriors: Inside One of the Most Highly Decorated Battalions of Vietnam. Col. Robert H. Sholly, USA Ret. Stonywood Publications. 437 pages. $22.95.By Col. Steven A. Patarcity, U.S. Army retiredIn the almost 50 years that have elapsed since the beginning of the U.S. Army’s direct involvement in the Vietnam War, many works have been published on the Southeast Asia conflict. Some of the best works covering tactical engagements and the units that fought on that level are well-known to most students of military history.Young Soldiers, Amazing Warriors, by retired Col. Robert H. Sholly, is a book that is destined to be regarded as one of the best accounts of the Vietnam War and the soldiers who fought in it. A 35-year Army veteran, Sholly did two tours in the Republic of Vietnam. He concluded his distinguished career at the Center of Military History as a historian. His book is the tale of his first tour of duty, in 1966 and 1967 as a young captain, battalion staff officer and then company commander of B Company, 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, operating in the central highlands of Pleiku.Sholly’s account takes us from a brief discussion—one chapter—of his early career, commissioning, and snippets of his personal life to his arrival in Vietnam and his tour of duty. This is a must-read with excellent writing; it made me feel like I was there. I was struck by the author’s meticulous ability to account, almost minute by minute, for his and his unit’s actions on a particular day, even after the passage of so much time. This detailed accounting can be traced to two factors: a highly effective use of oral histories, which were actively encouraged and solicited from his soldiers and others associated with his company; and Sholly’s own detailed and precise journal that he kept and refers to throughout the book.Couple those factors with Sholly’s style and method of delivery along with good references, explanations and photographs, and you have a superb accounting of men at war and a great glimpse into the daily life of a combat infantryman. One can clearly see how Sholly remains honest about his own successes and mistakes. He constantly sought to improve himself and his unit. He cared for his men, agonized over their training and performance, mourned losses, and to this day continues to marvel at their heroism and dedication to each other.Sholly’s delivery is very accurate. He is quite thorough in his prose and precise in description, so his style makes the book easy to digest. In addition, he has taken the time to simplify, explain acronyms, and provide clear descriptions and pertinent background information so that a reader with no military experience can easily understand the scenario without confusion. He has even noted the Murphy’s law in each chapter—an interesting and humorous touch.Conversely, this same method of delivery can come across as a little dry, with many passages seemingly almost matter-of-fact with little embellishment or emotion. Some passages consist of extreme activity and action, while others seem rather bland in comparison. This doesn’t mean the work is a poor read; on the contrary, it is an excellent read. I’ve heard warfare described as long periods of intense boredom alternating with short periods of intense, gut-wrenching fear. Sholly has captured that description perfectly in this work.Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, Sholly doesn’t try to analyze the war, the political ramifications, or its polarizing effects back home. Nor does he speculate about American involvement in Southeast Asia. He also doesn’t make it his autobiography. In the end, the story is about the soldiers of an American infantry unit at war far from home who fight, bleed, die or sustain horrific injuries and privations, and still care for and support each other as best they can. They display the very best of humankind in the very worst of places and times.This book is highly and unreservedly recommended on many levels, most notably as a fine historical study and as a treatise on the best of leadership and command at the tactical level of war.Col. Steven A. Patarcity, USAR Ret., is a planner with the Strategic Plans and Policy Branch, Army Reserve Installation Management Directorate at the Office of the Chief, Army Reserve. He retired as a colonel in the Army Reserve in October 2010 after 33 years of service.Leadership Lessons Courtesy ‘Stormin’ Norman’With Schwarzkopf: Life Lessons of the BEAR. Gus Lee. Viking Press. 320 pages. $27.95.By Col. Kevin W. Farrell, U.S. Army retiredThis book is essential reading for anyone interested in becoming a better leader, regardless of the stage of his or her career. It is based on the life journey of author Gus Lee, who first met Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf Jr. in the mid-1960s when Schwarzkopf, then a major, was a temporary engineering professor at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and Lee was one of his cadets. Schwarzkopf became a lifelong mentor to Lee, an ethicist, best-selling author and West Point’s first Chair of Character Development.This book, by extension, is a detailed study of the leadership philosophy of Schwarzkopf, most famous as commander of the Allied effort during the 1991 Persian Gulf War. However, it looks at Schwarzkopf before he became famous. It is also an interesting exposition on the tremendous influence he had on Lee, a Chinese-American cadet from a disadvantaged background when they met.Written in an informal and intimate style, the book contains numerous moving and humorous anecdotes. It is a fast read that can be completed in an evening, yet one that can be revisited repeatedly. Along the way, the reader is exposed to engaging insights regarding the changes in American culture and society during the tumultuous ’60s and ’70s.Lee’s depth of erudition is impressive, ranging from a comprehensive understanding of such diverse sources as Confucius, Lao Tzu, Napoleon Bonaparte, Victor Hugo and Cervantes. Equally impressive is his knowledge of American history, the history of West Point, and world affairs in general. However, the most compelling aspect of the book is Lee’s leadership journey and vulnerability. With remarkable honesty, he details his personal failures and ultimate triumph as a leader of character.The chapters are short and brisk, and each can be read individually. Arguably the best is Chapter 13: “Assess Need.” This revealing chapter explores a frank discussion Schwarzkopf had with cadet Lee in the West Point gymnasium—Arvin Gymnasium, named after the First Captain of the USMA Class of 1965, who was killed in action in Vietnam. Schwarzkopf shared his frustration with the poor senior leadership of the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War.“The Bear said leadership consists of two laws. First, do the right thing and care for your men. Second, take command and responsibility by equipping and preparing them. I remember Confucius: Knowledge is easy; action is difficult.”There are many great lines throughout the book, although one of my favorites is his description of cadet life in Scott Barracks, “the Lost Fifties,” the area where this reviewer spent his plebe year. Lee’s description of a tactical officer conducting an inspection of an unkempt cadet’s room is timeless: “The E-4 Company Tactical Officer, a Quasimodo with a cattle prod, would enter cadet rooms like bold Caesar crossing the Rubicon. But he approached the Pigpen with the moral defeat borne by a broken survivor of Napoleon’s winter retreat from Moscow.”Along the way, Lee provides a view of Schwarzkopf that is more intimate and human than those who might remember him from his “Stormin’ Norman” fame. A dedicated leader and champion of the underdog, it is clear Schwarzkopf’s first priority was with the soldiers he led. A telling example is that while teaching at West Point after a challenging combat tour in Vietnam, Schwarzkopf wore two watches. One displayed local time and the other, the time in Vietnam.It is also clear that even in the first decade of Schwarzkopf’s career, he was obsessively focused on his own professional development and those whom he led, reminding his students the importance of leadership, military history—including an obsession with the Battle of Cannae (216 B.C.)—and above all, character.Lee mixes humor and powerful imagery to narrate his journey. Anyone remotely familiar with West Point or the U.S. Army will appreciate his many observations. One regarding the Thayer Hotel on the grounds of West Point is telling. He describes it beautifully: “[We] were in the Gothic Revival Hotel Thayer, which looms like the dark Bastille inside the main gate to Post.”Combining a unique mix of lighthearted wit, deep erudition, serious conviction and remarkable examples of self-exploration, Lee has crafted a lasting memoir of personal growth. A telling episode regarding Schwarzkopf’s influence is recounted movingly: “So that night, I changed. That merciful correction Schwarzkopf gave me governed the way I served as an officer. It was the best ass-chewing I ever got. I’m still grateful.”The reader also experiences a personal and intimate account of the formidable Schwarzkopf. Reminiscing over the harsh combat and personal mistakes from his time as an adviser to the Army of the Republic of Vietnam, we learn he was haunted by his experience.In one of many episodes in which Schwarzkopf doles out advice, he urges, “Gus, don’t let social culture dictate actions. Don’t be common. Be honorable. You know the line: Live above the common level of life.”Col. Kevin W. Farrell, USA Ret., Ph.D., is the former chief of military history at West Point. He commanded a combined arms battalion in Iraq, and his most recent book is The Military and the Monarchy. Special Forces Through an Academic LensThe U.S. Special Forces: What Everyone Needs To Know. John Prados. Oxford University Press. 218 pages. $16.95.By Col. Steven P. Bucci, U.S. Army retiredJohn Prados’ latest book is a short and very readable volume that has a place on most military bookshelves. Prados is a prolific author, with nearly 25 other books to his credit, and he takes the reader on a ride from the beginning of special operations to the present.The book is light on citations, even for a 150-page text, but Prados has done the subject justice from an academic standpoint. He has a political twist on history, but not one that is distracting to the reader. When discussing special operations, espionage, intelligence and terrorism, it is impossible and probably inappropriate to leave politics out of it.Prados begins the book very briefly in antiquity—Troy—but then jumps to the modern genesis of special operations, World War II and the Cold War. He even includes a section on special operations forces (SOF) in Korea, a generally ignored period. He really hits his stride, as does SOF, in Vietnam. This is probably the most written about era of special operations, but the myths are so thick that this section is valuable for clarification.Chapter Four explores the beginnings of the modern era of SOF, looking at Grenada, Panama, the First Persian Gulf War, and the reintegration of SOF with the intelligence community. The penultimate fifth chapter is the post-9/11 section and has a very good treatment of how the SOF community has grow to be a fully functioning partner with the intelligence community in the fight against terrorism. This is the actual climax of the book—addressing the future—but it’s a bit soft and feels like an afterthought.The book’s format and presentation are fairly conventional and straightforward. This is not a complaint; this adds to the ease of reading. I have one major problem, though, and I think other military professionals will understand my point. The title of the book refers to “special forces,” but the book is actually about U.S. special operations forces. The former is the term for the Army Green Berets; the latter is the proper generic term for all the different types of units across the services.While the history of the Green Berets does make up the bulk of the text, the other parts of SOF are prominent enough that the title is misleading. It is clear in the text that Prados understands this, but the title and the various chapter and section headings get it jumbled up and go back and forth. I am going to put the blame on a civilian editor who probably insisted that it didn’t matter. Actually, it does, and Prados should have fought to get it right.The biggest pluses of the book are clearly its readability and a short annex of “who’s who” at the back. It provides brief biographies on the most important leaders in SOF, and they are very handy additions for any reader or researcher. You can push through the entire book in a weekend, even if you have chores to do. It is not heavy, but it is professional and very well-written.The subtitle, “What Everyone Needs To Know,” is actually a very apt one. This gives the reader all the basics for understanding where SOF have come from, what they are doing now, and at least an attempt at where they are going. The average military professional or military historian will gain from reading it, but not extraordinarily so. Two groups I personally wish would read this book are journalists and politicians. For those groups, who usually are very happy to critique and criticize the fine men and women of SOF with little to no basis, this book would provide exactly the level of background to at least base their opinions in fact.Col. Steven P. Bucci, USA Ret., brings over 30 years of leadership at the highest levels of government. He is the director of the Allison Center for Foreign and National Security Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation. He is also a senior fellow at the foundation for all issues involving homeland security and defense. He served as military assistant to Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld; and deputy assistant secretary of defense, homeland defense, and defense support to civil authorities. 50 Years of Army AchievementsFighting the Cold War: A Soldier’s Memoir. Gen. John R. Galvin, USA Ret. University Press of Kentucky (An AUSA Title). 542 pages. $39.95.By Brig. Gen. John S. Brown, U.S. Army retiredRetired Gen. John R. “Jack” Galvin was a committed note-taker throughout the 50-plus years of his career—in his case, on index cards. He accumulated thousands of cards that he used to write this remarkable book. His memoir is superbly written; it will be a treat for all who read it. I found it particularly noteworthy for its longitudinal balance, geographical breadth and recurrent strategic vantage points.Most military memoirs have a tendency to concentrate on the pinnacle of the respective author’s career. This is understandable, given the presumed interest of the readers and the greater volume of documentation generated when one is a senior leader. The precision of Galvin’s index card-fueled memory enabled him to better balance his account over time. His memoir is divided into several parts covering, among other things, his experiences as a West Point cadet; service in Vietnam; accomplishments as a four-star, including serving as NATO’s supreme Allied commander in Europe; and his enterprises and reflections after retiring.Galvin’s longitudinal balance may give us a little less time with him as a four-star, but it gives us more time with his experiences en route. It also offers fascinating vignettes of military service through a half-century. I was struck, for example, by his relative enthusiasm as a company-grade officer for the tactics and possibilities in a pentomic division. I have often wondered whether this concept was simply a bad idea, or whether we gave it up because of a developing distaste for optimizing for the nuclear battlefield.Galvin’s accounts of his two tours in Vietnam are gripping and poignant, forthrightly recounting the relative seren-dipity that saw him relieved as a brigade operations officer on one occasion and lionized as a victorious battalion commander on another. The chaos, hardships and happenstance of war come across, as does Galvin’s dedicated, selfless and compassionate leadership.Galvin’s Cold War featured appreciable service in Latin America, as well as in the more customary Germany and the U.S. He experienced nation-building and counterinsurgency in Colombia at the Lancero School well before he experienced it in Vietnam. As he took over command of U.S. Southern Command, he was feted by his old friends from the Lancero School staff, now key players in the Colombian military establishment. Similarly, when he took over command at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, he was feted by his old European and Turkish friends who had moved up in their military establishments as he moved up in his. His ability to converse smoothly in Spanish and German proved valuable assets as his career unfolded.Galvin occupied vantage points that afford unique insights into the strategic dimensions of the Cold War as it unfolded. As Supreme Allied Commander-Europe from 1987 through 1992, he led during the collapse of the Warsaw Pact, Operations Desert Storm and Provide Comfort, and the disintegration of the Soviet Union. These were challenging times marked by strenuous efforts to avoid or contain conflict, reduce nuclear and conventional arms, and end the Cold War gently. As commander of Southern Command, he served at a time of particular sensitivity with respect to conflicts within nations, the Iran-Contra affair, drug cartels, and the emergence of Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega.Before these, his education and talents as an organizer and writer brought him as a junior officer into working relationships with key strategic leaders including Army Secretary Stanley R. Resor and Gens. William C. Westmoreland, Andrew J. Goodpaster and Alexander M. Haig Jr. Working closely with such men imparted insights he could not otherwise have had. Some were mentors. Galvin portrayed their strategic dilemmas as seen through his eyes.Galvin was a pre-eminent soldier-scholar. He commanded at the battalion, brigade, division and corps levels. He also attended the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Medford, Mass., and wrote three highly regarded books. His academic acumen afforded him the opportunity to work with and closely observe strategic leaders long before he became one.Upon his retirement, he returned to Fletcher to serve as dean. He was a hands-on teaching dean, shepherding seminars on leadership. His final chapter, weaving together his experiences of teaching and his reminiscences of leadership, are worth the price of the book.The Army now struggles with how best to instill strategic leadership, reasonably believing it is already proficient in inculcating tactical and operational leadership. Those involved in the conversation would do well to read this book. Galvin’s career effectively prepared him for strategic leadership, and Fighting the Cold War is worth reading for this reason alone. Beyond that, it provides an outstanding survey of the life, times, issues and achievements in the Army during a 50-year period.Brig. Gen. John S. Brown, USA Ret., was chief of military history at the U.S. Army Center of Military History from December 1998 to October 2005. He commanded the 2nd Battalion, 66th Armor, in Iraq and Kuwait during the Gulf War and returned to Kuwait as commander of the 2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, in 1995. Author of Kevlar Legions: The Transformation of the U.S. Army, 1989–2005, he has a doctorate in history from Indiana University.