America’s High-Tech Problem in Low-Tech Wars

In 1997, between two very different wars with Iraq, military historian Williamson Murray highlighted what he saw as a disturbing trend in the US Department of Defense. A newfound obsession with supposedly revolutionary military technologies was sidelining history and strategic studies in professional military education programs. He believed this fascination was preparing the U.S. officer corps “to repeat the Vietnam War” in the twenty-first century, only more “disastrously.”

These new tools, such as the highly accurate Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM), F-117 Nighthawk stealth aircraft, and AH-64 Apache attack helicopter were so successful in Operation Desert Storm (1990-1991) that the defense community dubbed that conflict the 100-hour war. Gen. Colin Powell, who oversaw the operation as chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, even got his own philosophical doctrine out of it: The Weinberger-Powell Doctrine






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