Chapter 10 - Reagan Combines U.S. Defense and Arms Control Strategies

Readiness improvements total $2.8 billion in FY 1981 and $8.7 billion in FY 1982. The funds will provide improved maintenance; reduce the shortfall in critical wartime spares, supplies, and munitions; increase training; and procure equipment such as protective masks, desert camouflage uniforms, medical supplies, and mobility support equipment. Procurement of additional aircraft, missiles, torpedoes, and tanks is also included.

Modernization improvements total $2.0 billion in FY 1981 and $13.7 billion in FY 1982. Among the programs included are, for the Army, UH–60 Black-hawk helicopter, the ROLAND Air Defense system, DIVAD gun, XM–1 tanks, and Infantry Fighting Vehicles; for the Navy LAMPS helicopters, A–6E, EA–6B, F–14, F–18, and P–3C aircraft, HARM and TOMAHAWK missiles, improved communications and other ship systems; for the Marine Corps, AV–8B aircraft, CH 53E helicopters, new weapon development and facility modernization; and for the Air Force, aircraft such as the Long Range Combat Aircraft, F–15, A–10, and KC–10, AWACS, as well as electronic gear and simulator modifications.

Increases in Shipbuilding recognize both the need for U.S. naval superiority and the need to increase our ability to project forces. The revisions will procure one additional CG–47 Cruiser, two FFG–7 Frigates, one SSN–688 submarine, conversion of six SL–7 Container Ships, and the reactivation of the battleships NEW JERSEY, and IOWA, as well as the aircraft carrier ORISKANY. Also procurement of the long lead items for a CVN–72 to be fully funded in FY 1983 will be initiated.

[Active military manpower increase requested were for] . . . 10,000 in FY 1981 . . . and by 25,900 in FY 1982. . . . Civilian personnel in FY 1981 increases by 19,600 . . . in FY 1982 . . . 30,000 people. . . . [The increase in military personnel by Service from FY 1981 to 1982 was to be: Army—11,000, Navy—14,000, Marine Corps—1,000 and Air Force—18,000]. (bracketed headings added)5

Note: Further Reagan Administration defense requests and reports are reviewed in chapters 11 through 15.

4. Key Reagan Defense Strategy Examples: NSDD 75, Weinberger Doctrine, and Low Intensity Conflict—1983, 1984, 1987

Reagan’s National Security Council-coordinated overall U.S. Cold War strategy assessments and recommendations continued apace after Secretary of Defense Weinberger’s 1981 supplemental defense requests. The process gained momentum through presidential directives in 1981 and 1982 detailed in chapters to follow and culminated in National Security Decision Directive, NSDD–75, that sets out the strategy’s overall objectives and specific elements. Overall aspects of Reagan’s multi-faceted strategy, including comprehensive national security strategy drafts, are reviewed for his first term in Chapter 8, while topical chapters review detailed policy guidance and updates for specific topics. NSDD–75 excerpts on defense and arms control follow, along with reviews of the so-called “Weinberger Doctrine,” an NSDD on Counter-Insurgency, and an NSDD setting out U.S. Low Intensity Conflict Strategy.

NSDD 75: Defense and Arms Control Excerpts and Linkage—January 1983. Reagan’s early defense and arms control actions were consistent with his later first-term National Security Decision Directive NSDD 75—U.S. Relations with the USSR, issued on January 17, 1983 as detailed in Chapter 8. This directive summarized years of study and strategizing and was Reagan’s most authoritative (at the time, highly classified) document of his new Cold War strategy. It was forwarded to the President in December 1982 after a year of extensive discussion and drafting coordinated by the NSC staff’s Richard Pipes (on loan from Harvard University, former director of the “Team B” of 1975, and a co-founder of the Committee on the Present Danger as described in Chapters 5 and 6). The directive drew on officials including NSC staff specialists on international economics, arms control, and regional affairs, and representatives of other agencies. It built on the principles and experiences of Reagan’s first two years and further sharpened his Republican Platform—1980 perspective in outlining a comprehensive grand strategy to expose and roll-back the Soviet empire. NSDD 75 excerpts on defense and arms control follow:

[Defense Objectives] The U.S. must modernize its military forces—both nuclear and conventional—so that Soviet leaders perceive that the U.S. is determined never to accept a second place or a deteriorating military posture. Soviet calculations of possible war outcomes under any contingency must always result in outcomes so unfavorable to the USSR that there would be no incentive for Soviet leaders to initiate an attack. The future strength of U.S. military capabilities must be assured. U.S. military technology advances must be exploited, while control over transfers of military related/dual-use technology, products, and services must be tightened. . . .

[Book pg. 223]