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The Thrust of the Nixon Doctrine
The President outlined the first elements of the Nixon doctrine at Guam in 1969, expanded them in theory and action in 1970, and, in 1971, further updated and clarified the long-range guidelines for US foreign policy. These guidelines, along with his previous statements, frame a doctrine that skillfully adjusts US policy to historical change, However, a challenge remains in carrying it out. The Nixon doctrine recognizes the increased capabilities of Free World nations, the diversity within the Communist camp, and the national interests and domestic mood of Americans.
The Decline of the Mass Army
The mass army based on conscription with extensive reserves is being phased out of existence in Western industrialized countries. During the 1970s, the force structure of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization will be altered with profound implications for international relations and domestic civil-military relations. The decline of the mass armed force takes place under conditions of advanced industrialism, but reflects both technological and socio-political factors. In NATO countries, the movement is toward shorter length of conscript service and toward a militia with six months’ active duty service and greater reliance on an all-volunteer system. In the United States, the termination of conscription was one issue on which antiwar Congressmen and pressure groups could unite with the Nixon administration. The result was the political decision not to extend Selective Service legislation beyond 1 July 1973, and the initiation of planning by military officials to reach a “zero draft’ call by 1 January 1973 so that there would be a six-month period for trial and transition.
Genesis to Revelation
Brigadier General Samuel Lyman Atwood Marshall, also known as Slam, discusses the circumstances by which he entered upon professional writing and how he has matured as a military writer because of his experience in war.
A Historian Looks at the Army
The golden anniversary issue of the Military Review obviously presents a suitable occasion for a historian’s retrospection. Unhappily, the 50th anniversary year of the Military Review also finds the US Army fallen upon a time of troubles. The troubles cannot help but color the retrospection although they scarcely need to be cataloged again here. To approach the Army’s current troubles from the historian’s view, it is enough to say by way of beginning that the war in Vietnam has more than confirmed all the misgivings about unconventional war that Sir B. H. Liddell Hart expressed in his chapter on “Guerrilla War” appended to the 1967 edition of his book Strategy. There, Liddell Hart warned against the West’s involving itself in unconventional wars, fearing that, in “replying to our opponents’ ‘camouflaged war’ activities by counter-offensive moves of the same kind,” any possible gains would be “outweighed by the political and moral ill effects on the future. The disease has continued to spread.”
Where Does the Navy Go From Here?
It is not generally realized, least of all by the Navy itself, but the Navy has been doing fantastically well in the annual competition for budget dollars. At a time when the total defense budget has been going down, particularly after allowing for inflation and pay raises, the Navy budget has been increasing. Let us look at the figures. Consider, first, the period when the Vietnam war was building up to its peak, say, from Fiscal Year 1965 through Fiscal Year 1969. During this period, of course, the defense budget and the budgets of all the services rose substantially. However, when we remove those costs that would not have been incurred without the war (the “incremental cost” of the war) and consider only the non-Vietnam portions of the service budgets, an interesting pattern develops.
Military Review: 1922-1972
"The Instructors’ Summary of Military Articles makes its first appearance with the present number. It is contemplated to issue this document the 10th of each month. The publication will be printed to uniform size, 6 by 9 inches prepared for convenient filing." With this introductory note, the Military Review came into being 50 years ago. Although different in title and only vaguely similar in content, the Instructors’ Summary of Military Articles would, after several changes in name, format, and content, become the Military Review of today.
US Tactics in Vietnam
The long-term results of our efforts in Vietnam are not yet discernible, and the conduct of the war is a subject of dispute. This may cause all of us to learn the wrong lessons from that difficult conflict and to ignore some of the things we have done reasonably well. There is a tendency on the part of many to feel that we in the Army have gone about the whole thing wrong, even at the tactical level. While we have certainly made many mistakes, a knowledgeable appraisal will result in a more valid judgment.
A campaign has started in the Federal Republic against the defense concept of the Bundeswehr. The procurement of modern Leopard battle tanks is claimed to be too expensive and, what is more, unnecessary. The battle tank is said to be the classical offensive weapon system-a favorite of the former proponents of a strategy against the USSR. True defensive concepts, it is said, do not require offensive weapons: Reequipping the Bundeswehr with tanks makes Bonn’s doctrine of detente dubious.
A Volunteer Draft
How should the Army meet its future manpower requirements? Present discussion of this question focuses on the lottery draft and the Volunteer Army. There is, however, another possibility: the volunteer draft.
Armed Services Associate Degree Program
ONE of the major problems facing the armed services in the post-Vietnam era is the attainment of prescribed levels of education for military personnel. Because of adherence to the fairly strict provisions imposed by Army Regulation 601-100, Appointment of Commissioned Officers in the Regular Army, the required educational standards of the commissioned officer corps essentially are attainable. Those officers who fail to meet these standards, and who are to be retained as career officers, may acquire the necessary education either at full Government expense through the Officer Undergraduate Degree Program (Army Regulation 350-200, Training of Military Personnel at Civilian Institutions) or under the highly successful Project Bootstrap (Department of the Army Circular 351-5, Officer Undergraduate Degree Civil Schooling Program).
Military Notes on a range of equipment and technologies being used in militaries around the world.
A series of book reviews on military books about Zhukov, Singapore, Smoked Yankees, National Liberation, and From the Jaws of Victory. Highlighted are also a number of new books just in.
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