The Common Defense: Strategic Programs in National Politics

Huntington, Samuel P. The Common Defense: Strategic Programs in National Politics. New York, Columbia University Press, 1961.

“Professor Robert Bowie of Harvard, who formerly headed the State Department’s policy planning staff, remarked a year ago that “we just don’t know much about … the interrelations of military policy, arms control, technology, foreign affairs, and foreign policy.” In this reviewer’s opinion, Samuel Huntington’s masterly study goes a long way to fill the gap.

Huntington’s brilliant analysis is focused on one segment of military policy, strategic programs, that is, decisions on the overall size of the military effort, force levels, and weapons. Huntington argues that military policy “can only be understood as the responses of the government to conflicting pressures from its foreign and domestic environments.” Basically, the conflicts involves are not between civilians and men in uniform, but between civilian-defined external policy goals and civilian-defined internal policy goals.'”