Brown, Harold
January 1967
Foreign Affairs;Jan1967, Vol. 45 Issue 2, p277
Academic Journal
This article presents information on military planning in the U.S. Modern weapons need not of themselves inexorably beget more sophisticated, expensive and destructive devices. It is true that pressures exist which, if unrestrained, would needlessly proliferate and duplicate weapon designs. There is a tendency to do what potential opponents are doing, or thought to be doing, or predicted to be able to do. In acquiring the capability to defend the U.S., direction is given and decisions are made at the highest level, by the President with the advice of the Secretaries of Defense and State. Assumptions, concepts, economic analyses, divergent estimates of potential danger to our national security all periodically are translated into an explicit defense program for the U.S. To say that there is uncertainty in tomorrow or virtue in flexibility is hardly novel. Reconciling the two, however, is a job calling for much diverse information and refined analysis. There are, of course, numerous broad areas where uncertainty complicates choices about the composition and overall magnitude of forces. Military planning is projected forward at least ten and sometimes fifteen years, intelligence estimates are made of what forces the other side will have far in the future.


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