Caspar Weinberger and The U.S. Military Buildup, 1981-1985

Caspar Weinberger and The U.S. Military Buildup, 1981-1985
Caspar Weinberger and The U.S. Military Buildup, 1981-1985
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In this tenth volume of the Secretaries of Defense Historical Series, historian Edward C. Keefer details Caspar Weinberger’s role in orchestrating the largest peacetime military buildup in U.S. history and the consequential military engagements of the Cold War’s last decade. President Reagan’s choice of Weinberger as secretary of defense was paradoxical, given his reputation as “Cap the Knife,” a ruthless budget cutter for Governor Reagan in California and for President Nixon in Washington. Reagan hoped that Weinberger would lead a cost-effective military expansion by trimming fat and increasing efficiency. Instead, he sheathed his budget knife and prioritized the buildup. The military services enjoyed record budgets, the U.S. defense industry posted record profits, and even the average service member saw increased pay and expanded training. Efficiency and fiscal moderation, however, took a back seat.

Table of Contents

Foreword  xiii

Preface  xv

Acknowledgments  xxv

Chapter 1 Caspar Weinberger’s Journey to the Pentagon  1

Chapter 2 The Pentagon Team and Relationships within the Reagan Administration  27

Chapter 3 The Buildup Budgets: Fiscal Years 1981, 1982, and 1983  65

Chapter 4 Confronting the Soviets: estimates of Military Power, Crisis in Poland, and Reassessments of technology transfer and trade embargoes  93

Chapter 5 Weinberger and Soviet-American Nuclear Arms Reduction Negotiations  127

Chapter 6 Defense acquisition reform and Pentagon Reorganization  165

Chapter 7 The North Atlantic Treaty Organization  193

Chapter 8  The Middle East: Israel, Egypt, and Jordan 233

Chapter 9 Lebanon: Into the Cauldron  271

Chapter 10 The Persian Gulf and Southwest Asia  311

Chapter 11 The Falklands/Malvinas War and Weinberger as “Assistant Quartermaster”  343

Chapter 12 Defending the Defense Budget: Fiscal Years 1984–1986  373

Chapter 13 National Security and Strategic Forces Modernization  403

Chapter 14 Grenada: Operation Urgent Fury  449

Chapter 15 Central America, Cuba, and South America  473

Chapter 16 Libya, Worldwide Terrorism, and Africa  511

Chapter 17 The All-Volunteer Force  551

Chapter 18 East Asia and Southeast Asia  583

Chapter 19 Weinberger’s Legacy  623

Maps, Charts, Tables and Diagrams


Senior military officials, foreign policy decision-makers, Congressional officials who are engaged in Department of Defense oversight, educators and students of U.S. military history, Veterans, and historians.

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