The McNamara Era

  • Edward Drea


Between 1961 and 1967, US Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara exported his vision of military strategy and an accompanying force structure from America to Europe. More than a traditional military balance of power arrangement, this complex policy had multiple goals: reducing NATO’s over-reliance on nuclear weapons; making the allies do more so the US could do less; outfitting modernized European forces with American-made equipment to bolster the US economy and alleviate nagging balance of payments deficits; exploring mutual force reductions with the Soviet Union; and adapting NATO to meet the challenge of an evolving Soviet military threat in a changing postwar world. While others have discussed these issues in detail, my aim is to describe the specifics of the evolving conventional force structure that underpinned his ambitious policy.1


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  1. 1.
    J. Duffield, Power Rules: The Evolution of NATO’s Conventional Force Posture (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1995).Google Scholar

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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2001

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  • Edward Drea

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