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18 J. Conflict Resol. 3 (1974)

handle is hein.journals/jcfltr18 and id is 1 raw text is: 

The Policy Basis of General

Purpose Forces


Department of Political Science
St. Thomas College

   A model based on Allison (1969, 1971) and Richardson (1970) links underlying
policies to general purpose force procurement. Popular desires lead to overall
procurement levels which are stable over a long period. A lasting bureaucratic
equilibrium determines service procurement shares. Overall procurement is unaffect-
ed by transnational inputs. Intraservice perceptions, not national strategic posture
changes, cause changes in systems types procured. The determination of naval
policies from procurements 1950-1970 of France, United Kingdom, United States,
and USSR  validates the model.

  The   application of quantitative techniques to decision-making processes
concerning  conventional (or general purpose) forces exhibits a lack of any
overall perspective based  on  strategic considerations. The most  usual
quantitative technique, cost effectiveness studies, merely attempts to assist
in  choosing  between  predetermined  alternate methods   of achieving a
predefined  capability. The strategic parameters are givens and the question
becomes  largely one of economics.
   Even  this quantitative aid is lacking from much   of the  analysis of
general purpose  decision-making. Attempts to discover the strategic basis
of decisions concerning general purpose forces are largely impressionistic.
Quantitative data merely support  a quasi-historical discussion and are not
used  in any systematic way  (see, e.g., Deitchman, 1969). Such  analysis
   AUTHOR'S   NOTE:  The research for this paper was conducted when the author
was affiliated with the Political Science Department, University of Minnesota.
Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 18 No. 1, March 1974
@1974  Sage Publications, Inc.


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