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Defense Policy and Doctrinal Insulation

Author: CHARLES R. MILLER, PH.D.
Published in PAM, Vol. 10 No. 2

The U.S. Army changed its core battle-fighting doctrine in
response to external and internal pressures throughout the 20th Century.
Exogenous, material pressures found under the balance of power
approach explain a great deal of doctrinal change, particularly through
the first half of the Cold War, but these pressures alone were not enough
to prevent typical organizational autonomy characteristics from
surfacing towards the end of the Cold War due to an inability of the
organization to respond to an enlargement of its scope of
responsibilities. Thus, while Army decision-makers were cognizant of
systemic cues when they modified their doctrine, eventually doctrinal
change became a means of insulating the Army from the uncertainties
found in fluctuating defense policies.

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