Weinberger had been Secretary of Defense for six years and ten months, longer than anyone except for Robert McNamara and more recently Donald Rumsfeld. After Weinberger left the Pentagon, he joined Forbes, Inc., in 1989 as publisher of Forbes magazine. He was named chairman in 1993. Over the next decade, he wrote frequently on defense and national security issues. In 1990, he wrote Fighting for Peace, an account of his Pentagon years. In 1996, Weinberger co-authored a book entitled The Next War, which raised questions about the adequacy of US military capabilities following the end of the Cold War.
An imaginative and impassioned appeal from a former secretary of defense to reverse, or at least halt, ongoing cutbacks in US military budgets. With assistance from Schweizer (president of the James Madison Institute), Weinberger (who had a seven-year tour of duty in Ronald Reagan's cabinet) offers five engrossing, vivid (albeit fictive) accounts of the sort of wars America may be obliged to fight in the years ahead. His first pre-millennial belligerency pits the US against a reunification-minded North Korea in league with Communist China (which has an acquisition agenda of its own) during the spring of 1998. The next conflict brings America to deadly blows with an Iran bent on becoming the Middle East's dominant power via preemptive military strikes against its neighbors. Mexico, governed in 2003 by a radical regime that makes a hemisphere-threatening shambles of the domestic economy, becomes an opponent. Also on the enemies list is a revivified Russia whose ultranationalist president decides 2006 would be a very good year to start extending Slavic supremacy throughout Western Europe. Last but not least, America squares off against a Japan determined to recoup its flagging trade fortunes by reestablishing a Greater East Asia Co- Prosperity Sphere. Weinberger's worst-case scenarios afford crude but effective object lessons on the many ways in which US forces could be caught short (in terms of forward bases, manpower, missile defenses, intelligence resources, transport) in close encounters of the combative kind. And if not quite in a class with Tom Clancy or David Hagberg, his cautionary set pieces do pack a narrative punch. A savvy, stirring call to arms by an elder statesman who wants nothing more than to ensure that his country is prepared for whatever aggressions an uncertain future may hold. The text includes a hard-nosed foreword by Lady Margaret Thatcher.
In March 1983, "senior level" US officials debriefed Wintex-Cimex 83 with an eye towards the next exercise, in the fall of 1983. A primary concern, voiced by the representatives for the Secretary of Defense, was the need for enhanced participation from "higher level players" in Washington DC because, according to General Richard G. Stilwell, "bringing a coalition from crisis to war is demanding. We must continue to practice these exercises." According to a later slide, the "[e]xercise would have benefitted from more political inputs from Washington and more timely response from Washington to political consultations."
For nearly a decade now, every new Secretary of Defense has set out to create his own unique strategy for nuclear weapons. A press conference is called, annual "posture statements" issue forth, and op-ed pages and opinion journals debate the "new" strategic policy. And new weapons are built costing billions of dollars. It happened with Melvin Laird to a limited extent, with James Schlesinger much more so, with Donald Rumsfeld and Harold Brown after him and now Caspar Weinberger.The essence of the Weinberger program is, in strategist's parlance, to increase the probability of "escalation control;" in other words, to make it easier to fight a protracted limited nuclear war. Its main elements are to build 100 MX missiles, put them in silos currently holding older missiles, and strengthen those silos to make them more resistant to overpressures of an atomic blast; to build 100 B-1 bombers; to build Trident II missiles for new Trident submarines; and to improve the command-control-communication (C3) systems to make them less vulnerable to nuclear attack and thus make U.S. nuclear weapons easier to control. Secretary Weinberger has estimated that the total program will cost $180 billion over the next five years alone.Little is new in this program. All of it is a logical extension of a nuclear policy that has been in effect for 20 years. To appraise the Weinberger policy, one must first assess the much older strategic framework in which it fits. 2b1af7f3a8