From SAC to STRATCOM: the origins of unified command over nuclear forces.
Gilmour, Gregory S.
Brown, R. Mitchell
Wirtz, James J.
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This thesis examines the creation of the United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM). This assessment reviews the past and recent attempts to create a unified strategic command over nuclear forces. Interviews conducted by the author with the major individuals involved in the current creation of STRATCOM, along with a historical review of past attempts to consolidate nuclear forces provide the basis for this thesis. In examining why STRATCOM was created, two competing arguments were used to answer the question presented. The main argument for the creation of STRATCOM was the fact that there was no need to keep strategic nuclear forces in separate commands at the end of the Cold War. The counter argument is that the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986 alone forced the creation of STRATCOM. The results from this research show that there is now a trend among the military leaders to cooperate among themselves. The author uses the reasons for the creation of STRATCOM as a possible blueprint for how the Services will react to possible Unified Command Plan changes in the future.
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