Vietnam and American Culture

Published: 2021-06-29 06:53:23
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Category: American History

Type of paper: Essay

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Military strength in American foreign policy after the war in Vietnam became less prominent than it had been in the past. This was because of widespread doubts about the war and of weakened confidence in military resolutions to problems overseas. It is because of these doubts that the then Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird decided to stop sending his annual reports to Congress with foreign policy reviews in the preface, as McNamara had done in the past. However, the Department of Defense maintained its participation in the foreign policy process via representation. Generally, the Department of Defense had two representatives; one was supplied by the Secretary of Defense, the other came from the Joint Chiefs of Staff; on each interagency meeting, they also provided many of the staffers who were on the National Security Council. Even though it was totally plausible that President Nixon and his staff could have limited their contacts with the military and relied on civilians from the State Department or other agencies for guidance, it was basically impossible to do so. This is because even though the policies would involve less military, in order for them to be executed by the military the military would have to help in the development.
One of the main reasons the Pentagon assumed a lower foreign policy stance after Vietnam was because the defense security problems in the 1970s were over shadowed by economic and political obstacles. However, there were exceptions that included the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks with the Soviet Union which required U.S. military involvement on a number of different levels, and continued U.S. participation in NATO and other programs to support American allies. Other than that most of the U.S. politicians focused on inflation, energy shortages and the global economy all of which were far from the norm at the Pentagon. Also during this period the American and soviet relations began to improve, this became known as Détente, and between 1969 and 1972 the possibility of a confrontation was reduced dramatically. During this time, as the problems overseas multiplied, The Defense Department established a superior approach to foreign Policy issues. part of this new approach was the addition of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy the main objective of this position is to advise the "secretary of defense for matters pertaining to interagency groups in the national security area, arms control, security activities, political-military affairs, requirement or deployment of forces, humanitarian assistance, space policy, psychological operations, and U.S. information programs."The other Part of this new approach included the formation of the Office of Net Assessment, which is still in operation today; it is a military strategy think tank and its main objective is to "Develop and coordinate net assessments of the standing, trends, and future prospects of U.S. military capabilities and military potential

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