From the Editor


From Parameters, Winter 1996-97, pp. 2-3. .


In This Issue . . .

Charles S. Robb, United States Senator from Virginia, has defined an intellectual context for conducting the first Quadrennial Defense Review. He selects the most challenging of four frameworks for analyzing military requirements and identifies and describes specific national security objectives. He then proposes that the review develop a national consensus on defense by linking the objectives to military strategy and ultimately to force structure.

Luigi R. Einaudi cites ten issues related to inter-American security in his hemispheric tour d'horizon. Concluding that careful cooperation between civil and military authorities--and between the United States and Latin American nations--can advance both security and democracy in the region, he suggests ways in which the United States can foster such an outcome.

Geoffrey B. Demarest describes recent changes in Spanish national security policy and national military strategy. He highlights Spain's options for security relations with the United States--bilateral, through European organizations, or both--and points to opportunities for new or refurbished US policy initiatives toward Spain and, with Spain, toward Latin America.

W. W. Rostow assesses the regional implications of US involvement in Vietnam in a review of Robert McNamara's memoir, In Retrospect. He notes that because Americans held the line in Vietnam for ten years, a free Asia was able to survive and grow. America's role as a "bastion for those who believe deeply in democracy," he concludes, cannot always be fulfilled without pain, loss, or controversy.

Jeffrey Record explores the question of whether the United States could have won in Vietnam by examining our "war aims," the changing nature of the war, and whether victory was even possible. He concludes that the United States could not have prevented forcible reunification of the country at an acceptable price, whether measured in moral, material, or strategic terms.

Joseph R. Cerami looks at three instances during the Vietnam conflict when US Presidents sought to advance a specific policy through direct application of military power. He concludes that all three efforts failed to achieve the strategic goals on which the presidential policies were based, and extends the learning process to operations in the Balkans.

Timothy L. Thomas explores the theoretical aspects of assaults on information-based assets, noting the almost complete absence of means to deal with this form of attack on national sovereignty. He concludes that it is time to take such threats seriously, starting with the national security strategy.

Sergei A. Modestov provides insights into Russian concepts of deterrence in a temporarily mono-polar world. He explores ways in which technology affects conventional and nuclear weapons and strategies for their use, as well as the effects of information technologies on management and infrastructure systems.

Frédéric Drion describes planned changes in France's armed services following the recent decision to professionalize and downsize French national military forces. He examines France's national strategic objectives, describes ways to achieve them, and identifies the means that France is planning to commit to ensure success.

Michael Boll uses the memoirs of key US, German, and Soviet participants in the negotiations that led to German unification to explore three aspects of the process: the relations of each superpower with its European allies; steps taken by each superpower to protect its interests in Germany's future, and the West's initiatives to ensure continued German participation in NATO.

Tadeusz Pieciukiewicz provides a concise summary of Polish security concerns, past and present, as he assesses current security issues in central and eastern Europe. He concludes that the best possible outcome for all is the integration of interested states into "European and Euro-Atlantic structures."

Review Essays include another of William F. Burns' insightful assessments of recent books on arms control, including one by a former Soviet officer with whom he worked for several years while Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency; Henry G. Gole's reappraisal of the role of the media in shaping perceptions of the war in Vietnam; and Russell W. Ramsey's third annual review of trends in assessing and reporting on events in Latin America.

Warfare in an Information Age . . .

Selection of a seemingly non-traditional topic for coverage in the journal may have raised some questions about relevance, particularly to strategists. In fact, we were behind the times. The following is based on transcripts posted on the Web of the 16 July 1996 meeting of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs.

Price Increase . . .

The Superintendent of Documents has informed us that the price of a subscription through them to a domestic or APO address will increase on 26 November from $11 to $14. For subscriptions to foreign addresses, the price will increase from $13.75 to $17.50. -- JJM


Reviewed 6 November 1996. Please send comments or corrections to usarmy.carlisle.awc.mbx.parameters@mail.mil.