National Security Policy, 1969-1972

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U.S. Government Printing Office, 2012 - Political Science - 1092 pages
This volume documents U.S. national security policy in the context of the Vietnam War and the changing Cold War strategic balance between the United States and the Soviet Union. When President Richard Nixon assumed office in January 1969, he was confronted with the fact that the United States no longer held commanding military superiority over its superpower rival. Since the end of his stint as Vice President in 1961, the Soviets had achieved a rough strategic parity that left the United States with "significant vulnerabilities" vis--vis the USSR. This work documents the Nixon administration's efforts to grapple with this new strategic situation and provides coverage of the following: The administration's review of U.S. nuclear and general purpose forces and strategic doctri≠ its attempts to ascertain the level of technological sophistication achieved by the Soviet missile program; and its decision to deploy Safeguard, a modified anti-ballistic missile system. The page contained in this volume also examines chemical and biological weapons policy; U.S. nuclear policy in Asia; the evolution of the administration's strategic priorities in light of an ever-shrinking defense budget; and the transition from military conscription to an all-volunteer armed force. Additionally, it provides previously unreleased material regarding the October 1969 Joint Chiefs of Staff Readiness Test, in which Nixon secretly placed on alert portions of the United States military, including its nuclear forces.

Throughout this comprehensive and historical volume, a consistent theme is the relationship between military strength and diplomatic strength; in particular, the importance of military might--real or perceived--to the United States' ability to maintain credibility in the eyes of allies and adversaries alike.

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