In This Review

Illusions of Choice: The F-111 and the Problem of Weapons Acquisition Reform
Illusions of Choice: The F-111 and the Problem of Weapons Acquisition Reform
By Robert F. Coulam
Princeton University Press, 1977, 432 pp

The F-111 as a common aircraft for the air force and navy was a centerpiece of McNamara's reform of the Pentagon's weapons-acquisition process. By most criteria, the "reform" failed. This first-rate and detailed study, which draws upon the conceptual works of Graham Allison and John Steinbruner, explores the reasons for the failure. It advances new, and somewhat pessimistic, theoretical concepts about weapons development which question the ability of political leadership to fundamentally change enduring institutional process. As the U.S. enters a new era, an implicit challenge to Harold Brown to do better.