National Security and The General Staff

Title:                      National Security and The General Staff

Author:                 Otto L. Nelson

Nelson, Otto L. (1946). National Security and The General Staff. Washington, DC: Infantry Journal Press

LCCN:    46005137

UB23 .N43


Dissertation note

  • A revision and An expansion of a thesis submitted to the Graduate School of Public Administration at Harvard University in March, 1940 under title: The War Department General Staff, a study in organization and administration.

Date Posted:      February 17, 2016

I served on the staff of the Assistant Chief of Staff (Army) for Intelligence (G-2) during Vietnam. It would be nice to say that good intelligence was collected (it was) and excellent analyses were produced (they were), and those receiving intelligence took note (they did) and operated on it (they did not. They filtered it to fit Army policy). My boss got the Legion of Merit for a presentation to the ACSI. I got the Army Commendation Medal as a sop. Most of the work I did was bunkered up and would have gone without notice had not my boss been a really aggressive major.

Reviewed by Paul W. Blackstock and Frank L. Schaf[1]

In this unique book General Nelsen, a student and specialist on administration and organization, develops the history of the general staff of the US. Army from its emergence after the Spanish-American War, through various changes and reorganizations after World War I, and through World War II and the broadening of the general staff concept to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Throughout the nine chapters on the various stages of the development of the general staff, General Nelson includes sections on the evolution of the military intelligence staff elements and analyzes their relationship to the rest of the general staff.

[1] Blackstock, Paul W. (1978) and Frank L. Schaf, Jr. Intelligence, Espionage, Counterespionage, And Covert Operations: A Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale Research Co., pp. 65-66

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