April 25 , 2008

The New Legions

American Strategy and the Responsibility of Power


In an era of extensive foreign commitments and seemingly perpetual irregular warfare, America’s traditional national security model no longer works. Our forces are exhausted, our small wars stalemated, and our defense budget under inexorable downward pressure.
In The New Legions, Major General (Ret.) Edward B. Atkeson reviews the political and military strategies that brought us to this point and proposes an innovative solution: shifting the military burden from U.S. soldiers and Marines to friendly indigenous fighters recruited, trained, and equipped for operation in their native environments. Looking back through history as far as the Roman Empire, Atkeson finds ample precedent for the effectiveness of similar legions of fighters. He lays out how such a program would work and shows how these legions could help the United States achieve its global objectives in six troublesome regions from South America to Southeast Asia in a more cost-effective way. The New Legions will be of interest to policy makers, military strategists, and all citizens seeking a more effective military strategy.
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