In This Review

The Fall and Rise of the Pentagon: American Defense Policies in the 1970s
The Fall and Rise of the Pentagon: American Defense Policies in the 1970s
By Lawrence J. Korb
Greenwood Press, 1979, 192 pp
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The author, a longtime student of U.S. defense affairs, argues that a combination of the Vietnam War, an overcentralized decision-making process under McNamara, and lack of congressional and public support led to the "decline" of the Defense Department in the late 1960s and early 1970s; he also believes that since the stewardship of Melvin Laird the Pentagon has been on the upswing. To a greater extent than he acknowledges, the Defense Department reflects the politics of the country and the international environment. Nevertheless, there is much informed and valuable analysis in this book, and its relevance has been heightened by the new perspectives on defense arising from the recent Iranian and Afghan crises.