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Unformatted text preview: Defense Policy: Nixon & Ford
Defense Policy: Nixon & Ford
19691977 Détente Nixon & Kissinger take a different approach towards U.S. security policy: More flexible, less rigid regarding possible threats.
Less ideological, more practical.
Recognizes limits of U.S. power. Strategies of Détente
Strategies of D engage U.S.S.R. in negotiations
establish links to Communist China
reduce U.S. commitments abroad
demonstrate U.S. resolve to combat perceptions of weakness Nixon Doctrine
Nixon Doctrine The US would keep all of its treaty commitments. US to “provide a shield if a nuclear power threatens” an ally or a nation vital to its security. For other types of aggression, US to furnish aid if asked, in accordance with treaty commitments. “But we shall look to the nation directly threatened to assume the primary responsibility of providing the manpower for its defense.” Financial Impact of Vietnam
Financial Impact of Vietnam U.S. spent $150 billion on the war.
Defense budget reaches $74 billion in 1974.
But inflation dramatically eroded the purchasing power of the dollar: In real terms, defense spending fell 37% between 1968 and 1974. Congressional Reaction to Vietnam
Congressional Reaction to Vietnam Destroys bipartisan support for defense policy.
Congress moves to constrain executive authority: War Powers Resolution (1973)
Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act (1974)
Places limits on covert operations (1974) and arms transfers (197476) Chile, 1973
Chile, 1973 Salvador Allende’s leftist government in Chile overthrown in a military coup. Large outcry in U.S. Soviet Defense Developments Soviet Defense Developments during Vietnam Nuclear forces expanded and modernized. ICBMs & SLBMs jump from less than 500 to about 2,400 missiles.
Soviet missiles improve in accuracy and weightcarrying capacity. U.S.S.R. expands global naval capacity. U.S. Nuclear Policy
U.S. Nuclear Policy Sought “strategic sufficiency.”
Continued work on new weapons, i.e. “MIRV”able missiles.
Arms control negotiations with U.S.S.R. Strategic Arms Limitation Talks Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT or SALT I), 196972 Produced two treaties signed in May 1972: ABM Treaty: limited each side to 2 ABM sites, no more than 100 missiles.
Interim Agreement: To last 5 years. Froze number of ICBM’s and SLBM’s for each side Allowed moving warheads from ICBM’s to SLBM within treaty limits. Did not address SAC or MIRVs. Arms control continued by Ford
Arms control continued by Ford
(& Brezhnev) Vladivostok Accords, 1974: Each side limited to 2,400 on delivery vehicles, with no more than 1,320 capable of carrying MIRVs.
Did not limit how many MIRVs could be carried on a given platform. Problems for US conventional forces.
Problems for US conventional forces. Reductions in troop levels.
Development of new weapons very costly.
Result: Fewer new weapons
Less $ for operation, maintenance
Overall readiness and capabilities of U.S. military decline. All Volunteer Force
All Volunteer Force 1972: draft ends
1973: U.S. military switches to military establishment composes completely of volunteers: Complicated by new compensation packages.
Initially, poor quality recruits.
Ongoing morale issues. ...
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This note was uploaded on 11/10/2011 for the course HISTORY War and Po taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '11 term at Rutgers.
- Spring '11