Defense Policy Nixon Ford

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					Defense Policy: Nixon & Ford

   Nixon & Kissinger take a
    different approach towards
    U.S. security policy:
       More flexible, less rigid
        regarding possible threats.
       Less ideological, more
       Recognizes limits of U.S.
         Strategies of Détente

   engage U.S.S.R. in negotiations
   “linkage”
   establish links to Communist China
   reduce U.S. commitments abroad
   demonstrate U.S. resolve to combat
    perceptions of weakness
                   Nixon Doctrine
   The US would keep all of its treaty commitments.
   US to “provide a shield if a nuclear power
    threatens” an ally or a nation vital to its security.
   For other types of aggression, US to furnish aid if
    asked, in accordance with treaty commitments.
       “But we shall look to the nation directly threatened to
        assume the primary responsibility of providing the
        manpower for its defense.”
     Financial Impact of Vietnam

   U.S. spent $150 billion on the war.
   Defense budget reaches $74 billion in
   But inflation dramatically eroded the
    purchasing power of the dollar:
       In real terms, defense spending fell 37%
        between 1968 and 1974.
Congressional Reaction to Vietnam

   Destroys bipartisan support for defense
   Congress moves to constrain executive
       War Powers Resolution (1973)
       Congressional Budget and Impoundment
        Control Act (1974)
       Places limits on covert operations (1974) and
        arms transfers (1974-76)
                      Chile, 1973
   Salvador Allende’s
    leftist government in
    Chile overthrown in a
    military coup.
       Large outcry in U.S.
        Soviet Defense Developments
               during Vietnam
   Nuclear forces expanded and modernized.
       ICBMs & SLBMs jump from less than 500 to
        about 2,400 missiles.
       Soviet missiles improve in accuracy and
        weight-carrying capacity.
   U.S.S.R. expands global naval capacity.
           U.S. Nuclear Policy

   Sought “strategic sufficiency.”
   Continued work on new weapons, i.e.
    “MIRV”-able missiles.
   Arms control negotiations with U.S.S.R.
     Strategic Arms Limitation Talks
       (SALT or SALT I), 1969-72
   Produced two treaties signed in May 1972:
       ABM Treaty: limited each side to 2 ABM sites,
        no more than 100 missiles.
       Interim Agreement: To last 5 years.
          Froze number of ICBM’s and SLBM’s for each side
          Allowed moving warheads from ICBM’s to SLBM
           within treaty limits.
   Did not address SAC or MIRVs.
    Arms control continued by Ford
            (& Brezhnev)
   Vladivostok Accords, 1974:
       Each side limited to 2,400 on delivery
        vehicles, with no more than 1,320 capable of
        carrying MIRVs.
       Did not limit how many MIRVs could be
        carried on a given platform.
Problems for US conventional forces.

   Reductions in troop levels.
   Development of new weapons very costly.
   Result:
       Fewer new weapons
       Less $ for operation, maintenance
       Overall readiness and capabilities of U.S.
        military decline.
             All Volunteer Force

   1972: draft ends
   1973: U.S. military switches to military
    establishment composes completely of
       Complicated by new compensation packages.
       Initially, poor quality recruits.
       Ongoing morale issues.

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