Spurred by the belief that RMA represented the future, the Department of Defense (DoD) set out to transform the U.S. armed forces by adopting RMA concepts. Led by President George W. Bush and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the DoD spent billions in an attempt to make the hypothetical capabilities real, changing the entire structure of the armed forces as a result. The services, the media, Congress, and the military industry each had its own agenda, all of which continue to come into play in the development of RMA strategies. The interplay of politics, technology, and military reality offers a fascinating narrative.
Sure to be found controversial by some, compelling by all, this is the only available book-length examination of the way the U.S. Army and Department of Defense have tried to create the capabilities promised by the high-tech Revolution in Military Affairs. Of more immediate concern, it is also the only in-depth account of the effect RMA and transformation concepts had on the American operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Many of the problems in both Iraq and Afghanistan, author Thomas K. Adams argues, arose from the DoD's implacable desire to implement RMA-driven transformation concepts--whether they were appropriate or not. What we need to do, he maintains, is to fight the war we have, not the war we want.
While sharing some weapons systems with the US Army, US Navy, and US Air Force, the Marine Corps has developed its own distinctive approach to matters of dress, personal equipment and armament. Since the year 2000 the "profile" of the Western combat infantryman has changed greatly. The most important trends are a new generation of camouflage clothing, body armor, personal electronics, and night-vision equipment, which have transformed the appearance and capability of the individual rifleman. Another trend is the increased presence of women on the battlefield, which has design implications. The men and women of the USMC have been at the forefront of these developments, utilizing innovative items of dress and equipment during their extensive service in a range of challenging environments across the world.
Featuring specially commissioned full-color artwork and detailed photographs, this book explores the USMC's key contribution to the development of the combat infantry soldier's clothing and personal equipment in the 21st century.