Defense Policy Formation: A Study and Translation

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When Robert McNamara became U.S. Secretary of Defense, he introduced a new mode of making policy decisions: systems analysis. In Defense Policy Formation, Clark Murdock examines what effects this systems analysis had on policy-making process both in theory and the actual practice of military innovation.

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Publisher
SUNY Press
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Pages
209
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ISBN
9781438413945
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / General
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This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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This report argues that nuclear weapons are still important to U.S. national security, and it outlines a set of recommendations for how the Department of Defense (DOD) should organize for nuclear missions in the twenty-first century. After first chronicling a failed effort in 2007 to develop a “balanced and integrated” package of policy initiatives on nuclear issues, the report provides a rationale for why the next administration should chose a strategic option as it confronts a number of nuclear challenges, ranging from the growing risk of nuclear terrorism to the proliferation risks associated with the expansion of nuclear energy to the role of nuclear weapons in a proliferating world.Although the United States appears to be allergic to all things nuclear, much of the rest of the world remains intensely interested in nuclear weapons. Those states that have nuclear weapons are modernizing their inventories; others have paid dearly in terms of political and economic isolation to join the nuclear club; and as that club grows larger, still others are pondering if they might need to go nuclear as a result.Resuscitating the U.S. nuclear deterrent is necessary, therefore, and it must begin with the recognition that nuclear weapons provide unique capabilities and play unique roles in both warfare and international affairs. That the United States needs a nuclear deterrent in the post-9/11 era should be self-evident at the most fundamental level: Nation-states still possess nuclear capabilities that threaten our very existence and can inflict “unacceptable” damage; Deterring nuclear attacks against the United States and its citizens is still a first-order requirement; U.S. allies and friends that do not possess nuclear weapons depend on our extended nuclear deterrent; and Credibly extending the U.S. nuclear umbrella is key to the decisions that our nonnuclear allies make about their nuclear futures.
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