Victory on the Potomac

Victory on the Potomac

4.12 (24 ratings by Goodreads)
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War is waged not only on battlefields. In the mid-1980s a high-stakes struggle to redesign the relationships among the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, the secretary of defense, and the president resulted in the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986. Author James R. Locher III played a key role in the congressional effort to repair a dysfunctional military whose inter-service squabbling had cost American tax-payers billions of dollars and put the lives of thousands of servicemen and women at risk. Victory on this front helped make possible the military successes the United States has enjoyed since the passage of the bill and helped to prepare the armed forces for the challenges they must still face. Victory on the Potomac provides the first detailed history of how Congress unified the Joint Chiefs and does so with the benefit of an insider's view. In a fast-paced account that reads like a novel, Locher follows the bill through congressional committee to final passage, making clear that the process is neither abstract nor automatic. His vivid descriptions bring to life the amazing cast of this real-life drama, from the straight-shooting chairman of the Armed Forces Committee, Barry Goldwater, to the peevishly stubborn secretary of defense, Casper Weinberger. Locher's analysis of political maneuvering and bureaucratic infighting will fascinate anyone who has an interest in how government works, and his understanding of the stakes in military reorganization will make clear why this legislative victory meant so much to American military more

Product details

  • Hardback | 544 pages
  • 157.5 x 238.8 x 45.7mm | 1,088.63g
  • Texas A & M University Press
  • College Station, United States
  • English
  • 29 b&w photographs, 9 line drawings, index
  • 1585441872
  • 9781585441877

Review quote

"Locher's involvement at every step enables him to accurately recreate this legendary legislative story, which has made a deep imprint on America's military capability." - Sen. Sam Nunn, from the forewordshow more

About James R. Locher

JAMES R. LOCHER III is a graduate of West Point and the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration. During the period covered by this book, he was a staff member for the Senate Committee on Armed Services. Since then, he has served as an assistant secretary of defense both in the first Bush and the Clinton administrations. Currently, he works as a consultant and lecturer on defense matters in Springfield, more

Rating details

24 ratings
4.12 out of 5 stars
5 33% (8)
4 50% (12)
3 12% (3)
2 4% (1)
1 0% (0)
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