Great American Gamble Deterrence Theory and Practice from the Cold War to the Twenty-First Century
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Description: The Great American Gamble: Deterrence Theory and Practice from the Cold War to the Twenty-First Century presents an analysis of U.S. strategic deterrence theory and policy from the mid-1960s through to the present. It examines the development of the two major academic schools of nuclear deterrence theory as articulated by Thomas Schelling and Herman Kahn in the 1950s and 1960s. It then identifies the direct linkage between these theories and the development of actual U.S. government policy from the early-1960s to the twenty-first century. The evidence for this linkage between theory and policy comes from the authors analysis of for numerous, previously-Top Secret Department of Defense documents, including a series of Draft Presidential Memorandum that reveal the evolution of U.S. strategic deterrence policy from 1962 through 1969. The book demonstrates the extent to which U.S. policy of the Cold War conformed to academic theory, and how each was determined by the unique conditions of the Cold War. It concludes with an examination of how U.S. deterrence theory, policy and related strategic force acquisition standards might be revised for the very different threat conditions of the twenty-first century.
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Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: National Institute Press