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The Evolution of Deterrence The McNamara Years. Robert S. McNamara Secretary of Defense, 1961-1968 Secretary of Defense, 1961-1968.

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Presentation on theme: "The Evolution of Deterrence The McNamara Years. Robert S. McNamara Secretary of Defense, 1961-1968 Secretary of Defense, 1961-1968."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Evolution of Deterrence The McNamara Years

2 Robert S. McNamara Secretary of Defense, Secretary of Defense,

3 A new approach at DoD McNamara applied techniques from the private sector to manage, analyze, and evaluate defense programs. McNamara applied techniques from the private sector to manage, analyze, and evaluate defense programs. planning-programming-budgeting system (PPBS) planning-programming-budgeting system (PPBS) systems analysis systems analysis

4 The Whiz Kids McNamara brings in a new civilian team to apply his more centralized, quantitative approach. McNamara brings in a new civilian team to apply his more centralized, quantitative approach. Cyrus Vance Cyrus Vance William Bundy William Bundy Paul Nitze Paul Nitze

5 John F. Kennedy President, President, Critical of Eisenhower policies. Critical of Eisenhower policies. Under McNamaras guidance, his administration develops the policy of Flexible Response. Under McNamaras guidance, his administration develops the policy of Flexible Response.

6 Flexible Response The U.S. would develop the capacity to meet Communist encroachments with an appropriate level of force. The U.S. would develop the capacity to meet Communist encroachments with an appropriate level of force. Included a more optimistic assessment of the U.S. economy. Included a more optimistic assessment of the U.S. economy. Greater defense spending could actually stimulate the economy. Greater defense spending could actually stimulate the economy.

7 Appropriate levels of force? Nuclear Nuclear Conventional Conventional Assistance to allies Assistance to allies Counter-insurgency Counter-insurgency

8 McNamara and Nuclear Weapons: Two Issues Modernize U.S. strategic nuclear forces. Modernize U.S. strategic nuclear forces. Limit damage to civilians (should war occur). Limit damage to civilians (should war occur). Initial development of counterforce strategy for U.S. nuclear forces. Initial development of counterforce strategy for U.S. nuclear forces.

9 McNamara rejects defense options Included civil defense and anti-ballistic missiles (ABMs) Included civil defense and anti-ballistic missiles (ABMs) Arguments against them: Arguments against them: Soviets could overwhelm ABM systems by building more missiles/warheads. Soviets could overwhelm ABM systems by building more missiles/warheads. Such systems very expensive (about $40 billion each) Such systems very expensive (about $40 billion each) Soviets might interpret such programs as a sign U.S. thought it could survive nuclear war. Soviets might interpret such programs as a sign U.S. thought it could survive nuclear war.

10 The problems of counterforce doctrine If U.S. targeted Soviet military targets after U.S.S.R. had launched a first strike, the number of such targets was exceedingly high. If U.S. targeted Soviet military targets after U.S.S.R. had launched a first strike, the number of such targets was exceedingly high. The about of damage would invariably kill millions of Soviet civilians. The about of damage would invariably kill millions of Soviet civilians. Developing such an ability would appear as if the U.S. was building a first strike capability. Developing such an ability would appear as if the U.S. was building a first strike capability.

11 Assured Destruction McNamara seeks to avoid programs that could be considered provocative. McNamara seeks to avoid programs that could be considered provocative. Bolsters stability by emphasizing survivability of U.S. nuclear arsenal and capacity to retaliation. Bolsters stability by emphasizing survivability of U.S. nuclear arsenal and capacity to retaliation. Becomes known as assured destruction, also mutually assured destruction, or MAD. Becomes known as assured destruction, also mutually assured destruction, or MAD.

12 Such policy sought: …the ability to deter a deliberate nuclear attack upon the United States or its allies by maintaining at all times a clear and unmistakable ability to inflict an unacceptable degree of damage upon any aggressor… even after absorbing a surprise first attack. …the ability to deter a deliberate nuclear attack upon the United States or its allies by maintaining at all times a clear and unmistakable ability to inflict an unacceptable degree of damage upon any aggressor… even after absorbing a surprise first attack.

13 Bolstering the U.S. nuclear arsenal The strategic triad: The strategic triad: ICBMs ICBMs submarines with SLBMs/FBMs submarines with SLBMs/FBMs manned bombers manned bombers Multiple, independently targetable re-entry vehicles (MIRVs) Multiple, independently targetable re-entry vehicles (MIRVs)

14 Another means to address nuclear weapons Arms control: Arms control: The U.S., U.S.S.R. and U.K. sign the The U.S., U.S.S.R. and U.K. sign the Limited Test Ban Treaty in October, Agreed only conduct future nuclear tests underground. Agreed only conduct future nuclear tests underground. Currently 113 signatories. Currently 113 signatories.

15 The conventional side of Flexible Response By developing conventional forces, U.S. would be better able to deter or fight conflicts without escalation to nuclear war. By developing conventional forces, U.S. would be better able to deter or fight conflicts without escalation to nuclear war. McNamara proposes a two-and-a-half war capability. McNamara proposes a two-and-a-half war capability. Of the increased funds devoted to defense, 80% goes to developing conventional forces. Of the increased funds devoted to defense, 80% goes to developing conventional forces.

16 Conventional force development Navy: maintains 24 carriers, updates aviation. Navy: maintains 24 carriers, updates aviation. Army: develops air cavalry/air mobility forces (helicopters), reorganizes ground divisions. Army: develops air cavalry/air mobility forces (helicopters), reorganizes ground divisions.

17 Counterinsurgency JFK gives attention to having the Army develop its Special Forces. JFK gives attention to having the Army develop its Special Forces. Directs other agencies to enhance counterinsurgency (CI) capabilities: Directs other agencies to enhance counterinsurgency (CI) capabilities: CIA CIA U.S. Agency for International Development U.S. Agency for International Development U.S. Information Agency U.S. Information Agency

18 Flexible Response and NATO U.S. pushes to develop alliances conventional capability U.S. pushes to develop alliances conventional capability DoD analyses determine actual Soviet threat to Western Europe only 46 divisions, much lower than New Look estimates. DoD analyses determine actual Soviet threat to Western Europe only 46 divisions, much lower than New Look estimates. NATO forces increase from 21 to 27 divisions, up to 3,500 aircraft. NATO forces increase from 21 to 27 divisions, up to 3,500 aircraft.

19 Fissures in the alliance Flexible response gave the impression that the U.S. was backing away from a commitment to use nuclear weapons in Europes defense. Flexible response gave the impression that the U.S. was backing away from a commitment to use nuclear weapons in Europes defense. Said impression reinforced by other U.S policies. Said impression reinforced by other U.S policies. Cancellation of a missile program to modernize British bomber force. Cancellation of a missile program to modernize British bomber force. Refusal to assist French development of nucealr weapons. Refusal to assist French development of nucealr weapons.

20 France leaves NATOs military organization, 1966 Pursues independent development of atomic bomb. Pursues independent development of atomic bomb. Argues French nuclear forces enhance credibility of deterrence (whereas Flexible Response undermines it). Argues French nuclear forces enhance credibility of deterrence (whereas Flexible Response undermines it).

21 Tests of Flexible Response January 1961: Nikita Khrushchev states U.S.S.R. will support wars of national liberation and support socialist governments in the Third World. January 1961: Nikita Khrushchev states U.S.S.R. will support wars of national liberation and support socialist governments in the Third World.

22 Bay of Pigs April 1961: CIA arranges a landing of anti-Castro exiles, in anticipation of provoking an uprising against the Cuban regime. April 1961: CIA arranges a landing of anti-Castro exiles, in anticipation of provoking an uprising against the Cuban regime. Invasion botched, embarrasses Kennedy Administration. Invasion botched, embarrasses Kennedy Administration.

23 Berlin Communists build the Berlin Wall. Communists build the Berlin Wall.

24 South Vietnam Special Forces introduced in November 1961 Special Forces introduced in November 1961

25 October 1962: The Cuban Missile Crisis


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