Colonel (ret) Douglas Macgregor is a decorated combat veteran, the author of four books and a PhD. He is also Executive Vice President of Burke-Macgregor Group LLC, a consulting and intellectual capital brokerage firm based in Reston, VA. He was commissioned in the US Army in 1976 after one year at VMI and four years at West Point.
His groundbreaking books, Breaking the Phalanx (1997) and Transformation under Fire (2003) has influenced change inside America’s ground forces. His doctoral dissertation, The Soviet-East German Military Alliance, published as a book by Cambridge University Press in 1989.
In 1991, he was awarded the bronze star with “V” device for valor under fire with the Second Armored Cavalry Regiment that destroyed a full-strength Republican Guard Brigade on 26 February 1991. The Battle of the 73 Easting, the U.S. Army’s largest tank battle since World War II is the subject of his book, Warrior’s Rage. The Great Tank Battle of 73 Easting.
Macgregor has testified as an expert witness on national security issues before the House Armed Services and House Foreign Relations Committee. He is a frequent guest commentator on radio and television.
MARGIN TO VICTORY: FIVE BATTLES THAT CHANGED THE FACE OF MODERN WAR
Author: Cal. Douglas Macgregor, Retired Publisher: Naval Institute Press
Reviewing a book is like opening your prize in a raffle contest.
You are holding ticket. You just don’t know what is inside the wrapped
cover until you crack the book’s spine, open the book and begin to read.
When that book is about the author’s selection of the five battles that
changed the face of modern war”, it is unanticipated the book will be a
straight read from coffee shop to coffee shop. Inside the Beltway, that
is how things get done.
By surprise, a key element.
Col. Douglas Macgregor, retired, sat down to pen his book affirming
lessons are learned from the past. After all, Macgregor says, America
is under the global microscope of its competitors when it comes to
organizing and equipping forces.
Col. Macgregor has a University of Virginia degree in International
relations. The author of five books Macgregor set up a defense and
foreign policy consulting firm in what insiders called NoVa, Northern
Virginia, close enough to the movers and shakers yet far enough away to
maintain distance and not break the budget.
West Pointer Macgregor researched deeply in to the last centuries
major battles of Mons, 1914, Shanghai 1937, Belorussia 1944, Suez 1973
and Iraq, 1991 focused these clashes show restructuring the American
military is core to “what it takes to fight and win” according to Lt. Gen. Daniel P. Bolger USA, Retired.
The days of WWI and WWII are gone in a cyber security world. Rules
of engagement are changed when a flash drive is the tool of deception,
carrying secrets of the door, not one document at a time, more,
undetermined war. The margin of victory is changed beyond bad policies,
failed tactics and dysfunctional command structures. Macgregor puts
forth proposing replacing old leaders with new concepts, new strategic
concepts that can be operational, new questions being asked.
Leadership must be on board, writes Macgregor or the “margin of victory”
will be lost by failed strategy leaders won’t let go of. Macgregor
provides the example of Sir Richard Haldane as an example of world stage
leaders seeing this military leadership strategy as pattern. There are
better solutions, Macgregor writes.
The appeal of “Margin of Victory” is beyond the obvious military
market. Macgregor’s thoroughness to detail allows the dates of events to
be woven in to timelines providing an eye in to progression of the
world, evolving in to our world situation today.
One could read the year 1914 in relation to the Battle of Mons.
Time-lining that date in to a technological trail shows what is often
not seen, that the world moves on parallel paths. Technology was
evolving as WW1 was being fought, during the time the Nazis were using
scientists and academics in the Nazi grand plan of a New World Order.
One day’s enemies can become the next days friend. Conversely, one
days friend, Russia, to whom a country, to whom Roosevelt gave arms
access in a 5 year lend-lease can become an enemy, as it is portrayed in
Who could have thought to consider, picking up “Margin To Victory,”
a history lesson Macgregor teaches, beyond the battles of Mons,
Shanghai, Belorussia, Suez and Iraq, is military practice to ‘hold your friends close and your enemies closer’ a practice of America’s military over the century, repeatedly, over and over again as did America with its “lend to lease” program.
Keep your eye on the prize. Read at one’s own pace, with an eye on
history Macgregor provides, detailing moments the average man and woman
would not otherwise read. History does have a way of repeating itself,
WWI, WWII…. hopefully not WWIII.