History of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, V. 5, The McNamara Ascendancy, 1961-1965

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Overview

TheMcNamaraAscendancy1961-1965       The McNamara Ascendancy, the first of two volumes in the History of the Office of the Secretary of Defense dealing with the tenure of Robert S. McNamara, examines the dynamic, sometimes turbulent early years of his secretaryship under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. Few secretaries of defense before or since entered the Pentagon with such a commanding start or left behind a more controversial legacy. Authors Lawrence Kaplan, Ronald Landa, and Edward Drea chronicle both McNamara’s remarkable achievements during the pathbreaking years of the New Frontier and the disappointments and miscalculations that by 1965 had already begun to hinder his performance and diminish his reputation.      McNamara brought to the Pentagon an energy and intelligence that made him certainly the most successful manager of the department up to that time. His aggressive pursuit of economy and efficiency introduced new approaches to organizing OSD, managing the services, and linking the budget to programs—employing techniques that would have lasting impact even as his reforms incurred growing resistance from leading members of the military and Congress. In the policy realm, too, he embraced innovative ideas for strategic deterrence, collective security, military assistance, and, of paramount importance, the use and control of nuclear weapons. The search for solutions that would insure U.S. preparedness while containing the strategic arms competition was a difficult balancing act, complicated by powerful economic and political as well as strategic considerations. Here, also, he provoked controversy and resentment from key allies abroad and traditional interests and reluctant partisans within his own department.      The McNamara Ascendancy traces the determined efforts of McNamara and his band of “Whiz Kids” to cut costs and centralize the Pentagon’s functions and operations against the backdrop of successive international crises and in the broad context of national security decisionmaking involving the White House, State Department, NSC, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the intelligence agencies. Even as the secretary and the administration were able to put Berlin and Cuba behind them, the problem of how to defend South Vietnam from communist aggression threatened to overshadow McNamara’s accomplishments and unravel his unfinished institutional agenda. The deepening commitment in Vietnam dominates the last year of the book, but not before, as the authors convincingly demonstrate, McNamara’s seminal first four years had fundamentally transformed roles and methods and redefined relationships in the ongoing evolution of the Cold War national security establishment. Lawrence S. Kaplan is University Professor Emeritus of History and Director Emeritus of the Lyman L. Lemnitzer Center for NATO and European Union Studies at Kent State University. He is currently Adjunct Professor of History at Georgetown University. A leading scholar of NATO and the author of numerous books and articles on diplomatic history, he has been a Fulbright Lecturer at the Universities of Bonn, Louvain, and Nice, as well as a visiting lecturer at University College, London. Ronald D. Landa holds advanced degrees in history from Northwestern University and Georgetown University, from which he received the Ph.D. in 1971. From 1973 to 1987 he was a historian in the Office of the Historian, U.S. Department of State, where he edited volumes in the documentary series Foreign Relations of the United States. From 1987 until his retirement in 2000, he worked in the Historical Office, Office of the Secretary of Defense, where he has since served as a consultant and contract historian. Edward J. Drea obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Kansas following military service in Japan and Vietnam. He spent many years as a senior historian with the U.S. Army and is the author of MacArthur’s ULTRA: Codebreaking and the War Against Japan and other books and articles on military history. 
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

October 2, 2006 issue of the Washington Post Newspaper column, 'In The Loop'  article 'Another War, Another Book' by Al Kamen.

Reviewed in the July 2007 issue of the Proceedings Magazine by the US Naval Institute "While his "reforms" and methods were controversial, McNamara brought the Department of Defense into the era of systems analyses and budgetary planning, and derivatives of those procedures are still used today, contributing efficiencies and positive budgeting procedures."

 

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Product Details

Meet the Author

 Lead author Lawrence Kaplan is University Professor of History and Director of the Lemnitzer Center for NATO and European Studies at Kent State University and Adjunct Professor of History at Georgetown University
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Table of Contents

Contents        I. McNamara and the New Frontier...... 1              The McNamara Appointment.. 3          McNamara’s Team 6              On a Fast Track... 10         II. Shakeup in the Pentagon... 16              The Symington Report   17              The Vance Task Force 19              Defense Intelligence Agency   22              Defense Supply Agency      24              Civil Defense 29          Counterinsurgency   35              The Space Mission 43          LeMay’s Reappointment, Anderson’s Departure..... 47              A Balance Sheet 49       III. Expanding the FY 1962 Budget 52          Eisenhower’s FY 1962 Budget. 53          Congress Defers Action    55              A Quick Look by DoD and BoB 57              28 March Amendment... 62              26 May Amendment... 64              The Berlin Crisis and the 26 July Amendment .. 67        IV.    The FY 1963 Budget: Introducing the PPBS..... 72          Antecedents... 72          Organizational Framework: Getting Started      75              BoB’s New Approach to the Spring Preview 78              The Requirements/Planning Phase 79              The Programming Phase 80              The First Draft Presidential Memorandums (DPMs) 83.......                    ..... The Budgeting Phase      85              White House Decisions      87              A Lasting Impact      91         V. Congress and the FY 1963 Budget 96          McNamara at Center Stage. 97          Rebellion over the RS-70.... 100          Vinson’s Walk in the Rose Garden 104              Furor over Army National Guard and Reserve Reorganization    107              The Senate Weighs In 110          Finessing the Controversies    112        VI.    The FY 1964 Budget    118              White House Expectations 119          Shrinking the Service Estimates.... 122              Final Decisions.... 125              The Ups and Downs of the Authorization Bill 131              Calls for Substantial Cuts 135              The House Shaves the Appropriation Bill 136          Averting Deeper Cuts in the Senate    137      VII.    Berlin: The Wall.. 143              Berlin in the Eisenhower Administration    143          Indecision, Spring 1961 144              The Acheson Initiatives... 147              The Vienna Summit    150              Toward the Berlin Wall    151              The Wall 156          “Poodle Blanket”..... 162          Confrontation at Checkpoint Charlie 165          Aftermath: Clay vs. Washington    166              Toward a Soviet-GDR Treaty    169    VIII.    The Bay of Pigs Fiasco   172              The Eisenhower Legacy   172              Road to “Trinidad”. 174              The JCS Role..... 175              The Civilian Leadership Role    180               ..........          Invasion 183.....                    ..... The Taylor Report    186          Recriminations    188          Repercussions    192       IX.    The Cuban Missile Crisis 195          Supporting Cuban Exiles 196          Operation Mongoose... 198          Contingency Plans 199          Prologue: September-16 October 203.....              Act I: 16-21 October    206              Act II: 22-28 October    209          Epilogue: 29 October-20 November... 214              Impact on Berlin.... 218          Withdrawal of Jupiter Missiles from Turkey 220              Cuba after the Missile Crisis 223         X.    Laos    228          Responding to the Eisenhower Warning 231          Divisions within DoD 239          Geneva: May-June 1961... 243              The Phoumi Burden, 1961-1962.. 247              Geneva Again: June-July 1962.... 254       XI. Vietnam: Reluctant Engagement, 1961-1963.. 260          Kennedy and Counterinsurgency, January-April 1961.. 262              The Gilpatric and Staley Reports    266              The Taylor-Rostow Mission 270          McNamara’s Initiatives, December 1961-July 1962.... 274              The Strategic Hamlet Program .... 277          Comprehensive Plan for South Vietnam, July 1962-May 1963    281              The Buddhist Rebellion and the Fall of Diem    283      XII. Flexible Response.... 293              Basic National Security Policy (BNSP) 296.....                    ..... The “Missile Gap”    298              The Acheson Report    303              The Athens and Ann Arbor Addresses    305          Counterforce and Flexible Response..... 309              SIOP and Command and Control. 316              Assured Destruction. 319    XIII.    The Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty 323          Initiatives under Eisenhower. 324                  Establishment of ACDA    325.....          Proposing a Test Ban Treaty.. 327                      End to the Moratorium    331                 Search for Compromise, March-November 1962    335                 Seizing a Window of Opportunity. 340                  Harriman’s Mission to Moscow 345              Debate over the Treaty    351    XIV.    NATO Relations: Transatlantic Differences 357              NATO Strategy in 1961    358                 NATO Force Requirements for the 1960s 362                      France and the Force de Frappe   370.....          Germany: Nuclear Aspirations? 373                      Skybolt    375         XV.    MLF: A Notion Too Far 385              Birth of a Concept... 386                      JFK and the Ottawa Signals   388              Defense Reservations, 1961-1962.. 390                        .......... Athens and After    396              Impact of Nassau ... 402              The Merchant Team    405              Slowing the Pace 410           Johnson and the MLF 412              Demise    415    XVI.    The Embattled Military Assistance Program.... 421          Adjusting the FY 1962 Budget 421              Latin America 426              The Kitchen Steering Group    427.....              The FY 1963 Program    429               ..........          Troubles at AID    431              The Clay Committee    432              The Shift to Military Sales 433              The FY 1964 Program    435              The FY 1965 Program    439               ..........          Preparing the FY 1966 Request 443   XVII.    The Search for Savings 447          Balance of Payments.... 447               The Cost Reduction Program      453              Base Closures 462              The TFX and Cost Effectiveness 466   XVIII. Tightening the Budget: FYs 1965 and 1966    475              The Kennedy Administration and the FY 1965 Budget   476          Kennedy’s Assassination: Johnson Takes the Reins..... 479              The FY 1965 Authorization Bill 484              The FY 1965 Appropriation Bill 487          Preparation of the FY 1966 Budget   489    XIX. Vietnam: Into the Vortex498          McNamara in Saigon–December 1963    499              The Khanh Coup 502              Toward Escalation: Spring 1964 504              The Other Players: Laos and Cambodia... 515              The Tonkin Gulf Resolution... 517              Crisis in Saigon.... 524              Back to the Drawing Board    527          “McNamara’s War” 531      XX. Conclusion535                List of Abbreviations    550              Notes    555              Note on Sources and Selected Bibliography    630              Index    650         Charts         1. Department of Defense, 9 March 1961.. 21       2. Department of Defense, 1 August 1964. 50           Tables         1. Eisenhower Proposed FY 1962 Budget (NOA)           54       2. Eisenhower FY 1962 Budget.. 55       3. FY 1962 Appropriations (NOA) Enacted      69       4. Military Services’ Program Estimates for FY 1963 and               Secretary of Defense 22 September 1961 Guidance...... 83       5. January 1962 Budget Estimates for FY 1963 Program 92       6. TOA and NOA by Program, FY 1962-FY 1964    130        7. Selected Country Programs (MAP), FY 1964    438       8. Military Assistance Program Comparison of NOA Request               with Actual Funding, FY 1961-FY 1965 446       9. Financial Summary by Program, FY 1961-FY 1966    495      10. Comparison of Active Forces, 1961 and 1965    496         Photographs follow pages 183 and 367.  

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