Old and New Problems of Western Security

by Fred Hoffman

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This Note is the result of a review of the changing strategic context for national security policy and posture, particularly as it affects the cooperative arrangements between the United States and its principal allies. It is not an analysis of specific program alternatives and reaches no conclusions on such issues. Instead it reviews the factors governing the broad strategic choices that provide the framework for decisions on programs, deployments, and force employment doctrines. It reflects a view that strategy has been and will continue to be more than the sum of many autonomous decisions on narrow and specific issues of program, driven entirely by the interplay of technology, budgets, and bureaucratic or economic interests. Although each of these plays a part, and they collectively influence strategy, the relationship is not completely one-sided. For better or worse, Western cohesion and the effectiveness of Western policies have been affected by the broad as well as the specific choices that have been made.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Note series. The note was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1979 to 1993 that reported other outputs of sponsored research for general distribution.

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