The Armed Forces: A New Breed of Brass

From the ashes of Vietnam, the Pentagon has shaped a sophisticated military that speaks well and fights smart

In the catalog of astonishments that will forever mark the chronicles of the gulf war, none is more dramatic than the remarkable professionalism of the U.S. soldiers who planned and fought the battles. That was exemplified most visibly by the smooth TV performances of top military officers in Washington and Saudi Arabia. Intelligent, frank, sometimes eloquent, these men seemed to personify a new class of American military leaders who not only have a < thorough grasp of their trade but also demonstrate broad political and worldly sophistication -- not to mention p.r. savvy.

It was not always thus. During the Vietnam...

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