Domestic determinants of American strategic nuclear doctrine: 1965-1980
Helgeson, Marc Arnold
Yost, David S.
Laurance, Edward J.
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This thesis examines the hypothesis that American strategic nuclear doctrine since 1965 has been significantly influenced by multiple domestic variables. This analysis begins with an examination of the changes in American strategic doctrine, as expressed in the Secretary of Defense' s annual statement, between 1965-1980. The relationships which precipitated these changes are explored in terms of the following domestic variables (1) American perceptions of the Soviet threat (2) Strategic weapons system development (3) American public opinion (4) The personalities of key American policymakers (5) The Vietnam War Because of the complex inter-relationship between these variables, the modification of strategic doctrine can be accomplished only incrementally and thus rapid doctrinal change is virtually beyond the control of "grand strategists."
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