The Evolution of U.S. Military Policy from the Constitution to the Present, Volume III

Another World War and Cold War

by Elizabeth Tencza, Adam Givens, Miranda Priebe


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Tracing the evolution of the U.S. Army throughout American history, the authors of this four-volume series show that there is no such thing as a "traditional" U.S. military policy. Rather, the laws that authorize, empower, and govern the U.S. armed forces emerged from long-standing debates and a series of legislative compromises between 1903 and 1940.

Volume III covers the period from 1940 to 1970 and examines how the Army, while retaining the basic legal underpinning established by 1940, evolved in light of the radically different security requirements associated with the nation's emergence as a superpower and the need to maintain forces overseas and to rapidly respond in support of alliance commitments. The wars in Korea and Vietnam, and associated debates best to generate the required forces and how to balance military requirements with political concerns, led ultimately to the development of Total Force Policy: an effort to eliminate the need for conscription, except in special circumstances, and to further professionalize U.S. military forces.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    Mobilization for World War II, 1939–1943

  • Chapter Three

    Planning for Postwar Military Policy: The Final Debates Over the Competing Constitutional Clauses for Organizing the Army, 1940–1945

  • Chapter Four

    The Drive for Universal Military Training, 1945–1950

  • Chapter Five

    The Korean War and Changes for Army Expansion, 1950–1961

  • Chapter Six

    The Berlin Crisis and McNamara's Reforms, 1961–1967

  • Chapter Seven

    Vietnam and the Early Movement Toward the All-Volunteer Force, 1965–1970

  • Chapter Eight

    Volume Conclusion

  • Appendix A

    Summary Table of Legislation Pertaining to the Evolution of U.S. Military Policy

  • Appendix B

    Taxonomy of Important Terms

Research conducted by

This research was sponsored by the United States Army and conducted by the Strategy, Doctrine, and Resources Program within the RAND Arroyo Center.

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