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Acquisition History Volume 2: Adapting to Flexible Response 1960-1968. : Office of the Secretary of Defense Historical Office , 2014


Office of the Secretary of Defense Historical Office

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From the preface: “After the end of World War II, the United States came to rely on superior weapons, primarily the nuclear bomb and its delivery systems, to offset numerical advantages in personnel and materiel held by the Soviet Union and Communist China. During the Dwight D. Eisenhower administration (1953– 1961), this meant almost total reliance on such systems in a strategy known as massive retaliation. By the start of the 1960s, however, the Soviet Union was rapidly shrinking the U.S. lead in advanced weaponry. Moreover, some critics had begun to suggest that relying primarily on nuclear weapons to respond to conflicts across the military spectrum actually weakened national security. Although continuing to believe that maintaining the advantage in weapons technology, including strategic systems, was essential for security, the incoming John F. Kennedy administration implemented flexible response, a new strategy that called for increasing conventional military capabilities.”

Authors - Poole, Walter S.



Poole, Walter S.


Office of the Secretary of Defense Historical Office


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