Aviation Book Reviews
Operation Iraqi Freedom: What Went Right, What Went Wrong, and Why!
By Author/Historian, Walter J. Boyne
Before delving into the "guts" of Walter's book, it is appropriate to mention something about the man.
Walter J. Boyne is the former Chairman of the Board of Wingspan, Air & Space Channel and his own firm, Walter Boyne Associates. The author of 42 books, he is one of the few persons to have had best sellers both on the fiction and non-fiction list of the New York Times. His books have been published in nine countries. His Beyond the Wild Blue: A History of the United States Air Force was made into a five-part television series for the channel, and his Clash of Wings: World War II In The Air was made into a thirteen part series for PBS. Boyne hosted and narrated both series.
A career Air Force officer, Boyne retired as a Colonel with 5,000 hours flying time in everything from the T-6 to the B-1B. After his retirement in 1974, he joined the National Air & Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution. He became Acting Director in 1981 and Director in 1983. Upon his retirement in 1986, he began a third career of writing and consulting. His fourth career, in television, began seven years ago when he co-founded Wingspan, Air & Space Channel for which he was Chairman of the Board. His consulting clients include aviation, publishing and television companies.
An honor graduate of the University of California, Berkley, with a BSBA, he graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh with an MBA. He received an honorary Doctorate of Aeronautical Science from Salem in West Virginia.
Rather than do a critique or review of Walter's book in this writing, I feel that it is of greater value and interest for the reader to learn of Walter's own thoughts about why he wrote the book. You can find reviews by going to Amazon.com where the book can also be ordered.
Walter said, "These are serious times, and one of the great side benefits of writing Operation Iraqi Freedom, What Went Right, What Went Wrong and Why was developing into a true appreciation for how advanced our armed forces have become, and how fortunate we have been in the foresight of our military leaders.
The Armed Forces of the United States today have a capability that overshadows the military capability of all other countries in a way that has never been achieved before. The difference is so vast that it is not even perceived by most people. It is not the comparative difference that existed between, say Germany and Poland in 1939, or the United States and Spain in 1898. It is vastly different by orders of magnitude, and the great news is that this difference will tend to increase over time.
The military prowess did not come about by accident. It was brought into being by the military leaders of this country over a period of forty years. This is the same as saying over the period of ten presidential terms, of almost seven senatorial terms, and twenty Congressional terms. Those divisions are given deliberately, for every military system in use today had to face scrutiny by the executive and legislative branches every year. They had to be defended in the budget and against competing systems.
The fact that the year 2003 saw the space, air, naval and army of the United States come together with such power is a tribute to the military leaders who had the vision to look twenty or thirty years into the future and say 'these are the weapons that we will need.'
And the defense industry has to be complimented as well, for delivering the weapons the military asked for, and seeing to it that they worked so well.
Normally the 'military-industrial complex' is used as a whipping boy, an object of contempt. There are certainly abuses within the complex by selfish individuals, but on the whole, the American military-industrial complex has functioned well for the country.
Now, in the war on terror, we need only to bring ourselves out of this slough of political correctness that seems to sap our will, and use this military power ruthlessly to stamp out terrorists wherever-and I mean WHEREVER-they exist.
Sorry about the soap-box performance, but it's an important issue about which I feel strongly."
Please visit Walter's website at http://www.air-boyne.com/.
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