Harold Brown

Harold Brown

Offsetting the Soviet Military Challenge 1977-1981

Book - 2017
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Author Edward Keefer chronicles and analyses the tenure of Secretary of Defense Harold Brown, who worked to counter the Soviet Union's growing military strength during the administration of President Jimmy Carter. Flush with cash from oil and gas development, the Soviets came closest to matching the United States in strategic power than at any other point in the Cold War, threatening to make the U.S. land-based missile force vulnerable to a first strike. By most reckonings the Kremlin also surpassed the West in conventional arms and forces in Central Europe, creating a direct threat to NATO. In response, Brown, a nuclear physicist, advocated for the development of more technologically advanced weapon systems to offset the Soviet military advantage, but faced Carter's efforts to reign in the defense budget. Eventually the secretary, backed by the JCS, the national security adviser, and key members of Congress, persuaded a reluctant Carter to increase defense spending for the last two years of his term. As a result weapons development such as stealth technology, precision-guided bombs, and cruise missiles went forward. These initiatives and more provided a head start for the acclaimed Ronald Reagan revolution in defense. As the author points out, there was more continuity than contrast in defense policy between Carter and Reagan.

The book also highlights Brown's policymaking efforts and his influence on Carter as the administration responded to international events such as the Middle East peace process, the Iran revolution and hostage crisis, the rise of radical Islam, negotiations with the Soviets over arms limitations, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and the creation of a new security framework in the Persian Gulf region. Other topics cover policy toward Latin America Africa, China, and Southeast Asia. The book is also a history of the Defense Department, including the continual development of the All-Volunteer Force and the organizational changes that saw improved policy formulation and acquisition decisions.

Political strategists, political scientists, international relations scholars, foreign policy advocates, historians, and political economists may be interested in this comprehensive historical reference for United States defense and foreign policy under the James (Jimmy) Carter administration. High school students pursuing research for essays and term papers for Government , Modern World History, and United States History may be interested in this resource. Additionally, undergraduate and graduate level students may be interested in this authoritative resource for research relating to international relations, public administration, military science, public policy economics, and introduction to political theory courses.

Related products:
Presidential History resources collection is available here: https://bookstore.gpo.gov/catalog/presidential-history

Other resources relating to the President James (Jimmy) Carter administration can be found here: https://bookstore.gpo.gov/catalog/39-jimmy-carter

Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series resources can be found here: https://bookstore.gpo.gov/catalog/foreign-relations-united-states-series-frus

Other published works by the US Department of Defense, Office of the Secretary of Defense can be found here: https://bookstore.gpo.gov/agency/office-secretary-defense

Publisher: Washington, DC : Historical Office, Office of the Secretary of Defense, 2017
Edition: U.S. Government official edition
ISBN: 9780160937552
Characteristics: xix, 815 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm


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