In This Review

National Security in the 1980s: From Weakness to Strength
National Security in the 1980s: From Weakness to Strength
Edited by W. Scott Thompson
Institute for Contemporary Studies, 1980, 524 pp

Those who want to know the thinking of Ronald Reagan's advisers should pay close attention to this recent, quickly published paperback. Most of the authors are on his foreign and defense policy team and many could well become part of a new Administration. Eighteen short papers providing a policy agenda are presented; even more interesting is the discussion of them. The common thread is "the heritage of weakness," as evidenced by the strategic nuclear balance favoring the U.S.S.R. and the lack of adequate conventional forces for Persian Gulf and other Third World requirements. The authors make their cases for a number of "quick fixes" for problems ranging from nuclear forces and intelligence capabilities to expanding defense production and industrial mobilization. They call for greater attention to geopolitical strategy. This book makes clear that there is a coherent set of assumptions in the worldview of many of Reagan's advisers.