Title: Affording Defense
Author: Jacques S. Gansler
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication Date: 09/01/1991
ASIN: 0262071177Read Book
From the Publisher:
Jacques Gansler’s previous book, The Defense Industry, was hailed by Senator William Proxmire as “a superb analysis of our defense problems.” Air Force magazine called it a “brilliant dissection of the U.S. armament industry.” Now, with Affording Defense, Gansler again points the way toward a national-security policy that will enable the United States to proceed, safely and prosperously, into the 21st century.
In large part, American national-security policy dates back to the 1950’s, when the United States was dominant militarily, politically, and economically. The country’s position has changed since then, but the policy has not. Gansler warns in this practical and far-reaching book that the old ways of thinking are no longer applicable.
Gansler’s sensible proposals for reform and revitalization are based on extensive research and on his broad experience in private industry and in the Department of Defense. He identifies locales where future conflicts may break out, considers the development of a defense strategy and the hard choices to be faced in carrying out that strategy, examines the provision of weapons and personnel for the armed services, compares the United States’ approach with those of other Western countries and the Soviet Union, and addresses the challenges of terrorism and national radicalism.
Affording Defense focuses on three major problem areas, leading off with strategy and budgeting. Gansler asserts that the United States has simply not been selecting and developing the most cost-effective weapons for various missions. This problem is complicated by the potential for revolutionary shifts in the composition of the military forces brought on by advanced technology. Furthermore, shortcomings in the weapons acquisition process lead to the production of too few weapons, and too late, for the United States to maintain its technological advantage over its potential adversaries. Finally, the defense industry has not been producing weapons of adequate quality at acceptable costs in quantities sufficient to meet the nation’s defense commitments.
- The Dilemma
- Potential Conflicts
- Selecting Weapons
- Defense Spending and the Economy
- Budgeting and Congress
- Buying Military Equipment
- Research and Development
- The Industrial Base
- Other Countries’ Approaches
- Changes That Are Needed
Battles Referenced:Battle of the Beltway
Major Wars:Cold War
Military Concepts Discussed:Accounting Policies Procedures Manual, Armed Services Procurement Act, Attrition Warfare, Biological Weapons, Chemical Weapons, Civil Defense, Flexible Response Strategy, Launch-on-warning concept, Limited Nuclear Option, Maneuver Warfare, Military Strategy, Nuclear Deterrence, Nuclear Disarmament, SDI, Terrorism
Personalities Referenced:Alan Greenspan, Barry Goldwater, Dwight D. Eisenhower, George Orwell, Harry Truman, Henry Kissinger, Jimmy Carter, John F. Kennedy, Karl Marx, Lyndon Johnson, Ralph Nader, Richard Nixon, Robert McNamara, Ronald Reagan, Sun Tzu
Service Reading Lists:Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff
War Fighting Disciplines:Intelligence
Units or Organizations:Department of Defense, Joint Chiefs of Staff, NATO, Soviet Union, Warsaw Pact