Mapping "U.S. Defense Policy in the 1980s": A Review Essay
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Mapping 66U.S. Defense Policy i n the 1980s” A Review Essay R. JamesWoolsey Duedalus, “U.S. Defense Policy in the 1980s,” Fall 1980 (Vol. 109 No. 4) and Winter 1981(Vol. 110 No. 1). T h e r e is very little wrong with the Fall 1980and Winter 1981issues of Duedulus except the title. As collections they are balanced, scholarly, perceptive, and all that. They just are not about ”U.S. Defense Policy in the 1980s”-at least they are not about very many important parts of it. Reviewing the work of these university professors and denizens of cerebral institutions (19 of the 21 contributors, at the time they wrote, fellinto these two categories; there was one businessman and one journalist) thus puts one in the position of grading blue books written by very bright students who, collectively, didn’t answer the question. They worked very hard. They did a terrific job on the part they wrote about. Didn’t they do all the reading? Didn’t they read the question? Eight of the articles are about the theology of nuclear weapons policy and arms control-a major concern for some time of that part of the American academic community that has been interested in defense problems, even long ago, in the pre-FFF (Ford Foundation Funding) era. Twelve of the articles are about the politico-military situation, as perceived in the spring and summer of 1980, in the major regions of the world-from South America to the Soviet Union, with a heavy emphasis on Western Europe. Dmdulus could have had two first-rate volumes by releasing the first eight articles together under a title such as ”Building and Controlling Nukes: Metaphysics for the Eighties,” and the second twelve as “Bogota to Bombay: A Mid-1980 Outlook for the Problems Facing American Power.” Important topics, certainly , but the two added together don’t exactly span the many streams that constitute, or should constitute, “U.S. Defense Policy.” Here and there one detects a certain alertness to this problem. In his fine preface to the second issue, for example, Editor Stephen Graubard says: An issue on defense policy that dwells so considerably on politics and diplomacy is itself an eloquent statement about how the problems of defense are now perceived. There is no excuse, however, for neglecting the more traditional defense subjects. . . . James Woolsey is with the Washington law firm of Shea and Gardner. He served as Under Secretary of the N a y during the Carter Administration, and is presently a member of the Tmunes Commission studying the M X . International Security, Fall 1981 (Vol. 6, No. 2) 0162-2889/81/020202-06$02.50/0 @ 1981 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 202 Daedalus: A Review Essay 1 203 And Harvey Brooks, at the end of a succinct and provocative note on technology and national defense, observes: My purpose . . . has been to provide a sort of typology of issues related to technology and war that deserve a lot more discussion than I have seen or than seems to be represented in most of the discussion in these volumes. The problem is not that many of these authors lack experience in or exposure to a broader range of defense problems. Severalhave served in the military and in important government jobs related to many aspects of defense , some of them several times. Their exposure as in-and-outers continues . More than one, for instance, have come into government within the last year. How then are we to account for two volumes on ”U.S. Defense Policy in the 1980s” in which not one author deals at all-even in passing-with the aspect of U.S.defense policy that: a) dominates the defense budget; b) is the prime determinant of having or not having effective military forces; and c) is at the core of the dispute between the United States and its European allies regarding America’s relative contributions to the common defense? One can speculate that there is no article on military manpower in these volumes because, in spite of its central role in determining the cost and the effectiveness...