Charles Stevenson skilfully shows how, although the United States has never faced the danger of a military coup, the relations between civilian leaders and the military have not always been easy. Presidents have contended with military leaders who were reluctant to carry out their orders. Generals and Admirals have appealed to Congress for sympathy and support. Congressional leaders have tried to impose their own visions and strategies on the US armed forces. This triangular struggle has recurred time and again, in wartime and in efforts to reshape the military for future wars.
Illustrating this dual system of civilian military control in a series of case studies, this new volume starts from the way the Continental Congress ran the Revolutionary War by committee and concludes with the George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld efforts to transform the US military into a modern terrorist-fighting force. This detailed coverage shows how warriors and politicians interacted at key points in US history.
This book will be of great interest to all students of the US Military, government of the United States and of strategic and military studies in general.
In Congressional Odyssey: The Saga of a Senate Bill you will discover:
- a cast of main characters including Jimmy Carter, Edward Kennedy, Walter Mondale, Hamilton Jordan, Howard Baker, Tip O'Neill, Russel Long, and other key political figures
- a covert alliance between the railroad lobby and environmentalists, masked by a money-laundering scheme
- the White House in-fighting triggered by the bill, leading to the ouster of Brock Adams during President Carter's cabinet shakeup
- Carter's problems with the Congressional leadership, exacerbated by his support of the Inland Waterways Bill authored by Republican Senator Pete Domenici
- "know-who" lawyers, who get things done through their connections rather than their legal abilities
- the Alton, Illinois, Lock and Dam 26 project that earned Senator Proxmire's first "Golden Fleece Award" for wasting tax dollars
- the thoughts and feelings of the dozens of central personalities who talked with surprising frankness to T.R. Reid
Congressional Odyssey: The Saga of a Senate Bill makes fascinating reading for anyone interested in the people and the power struggles in the public eye, and behind closed doors, on Capitol Hill and in the White House.
The story of Gen. Carl “Tooey” Spaatz’s life is more than a biography of one of America’s great military leaders. It is a history of the development of airpower, and a fascinating, inside look at the long, difficult struggle to win autonomy for the U.S. Air Force. Spaatz earned his wings in 1918, when flying was a new and dangerous occupation; aviation school mortality rates were 18 percent. After gaining experience as a fighter pilot during the “Great War,” he became one of the Air Corps’ top pursuit commanders during the 1920s. During the 1930s, he moved over to bombers just as modern, long range aircraft were coming into service. As a senior bomber commander, Spaatz significantly influenced the emerging strategic bomber doctrine. By the time of the outbreak of the Second World War, Spaatz was one of America’s most experienced aviators.
He was at the helm of the evolution of the new American military “strategic airpower” doctrine, which proved to be a decisive factor in World War II. After the Allied victory, planning and launching an independent Air Force would occupy Spaatz for the remainder of his career.
Today’s Air Force bears his indelible stamp. “Tooey” Spaatz was a low-profile leader who was known for his open mind and pragmatic approach, and who was influential in a quiet, forceful way. Possessed of absolute integrity, even when his beliefs were unpopular, he pressed them at the risk of his career.