POL326Y1 Lecture 12: Intelligence Lecture

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26 Aug 2019
Intelligence Lecture
Began as department of navy/war; had a third component: Air Force, which acted as separate
In aftermath of WWII, it was decided to unify military as department of defense (pentagon) to coordinate
activities more internally and become more effective in American security
o NSC Act of ’47: created largest bureaucracy of American government that absorbs 50% of
discretional spending by government after paying interests on the debt/social security
o This enormous bureaucracy isn’t a single institution, comprises 4 branches
Air Force
o Far from being inclined to one another, they’re likelier to be in competition with each other;
defense department must demonstrate their worthiness in getting large share of budget
This determines the budget and who can be promoted within the department; also draw on major
corporations (must offer talented members opportunities of higher mobility)
o This competition between various branches resulted in inter-service rivalry and operations they’re
involved in; there’s considerable overlap within the military
The majority of the planes operated by US are operated by Navy
Air Force is responsible for the strategic bombing fleet
Army doesn’t rely on either Air Force/Navy, rather it operates its own ships to transport
troops and
The enormous budget of America suggests that US must be invulnerable in national security threats
o Russia’s latest defense budget was equal to Trump administration
o Largest military spenders on the planet are Americans
First Observation: American record on military successes is a spotty one
o They engaged in numerous military conflicts but some just remove American civilians from conflict
zones; the conflicts don’t paint a picture of strength
Korean War: a war that Americans were well-prepared for
Conventional war prepared by military forces; when Americans entered the war, it
succeeded rapidly in eliminating North Korean forces yet SK government collapses
Demonstrates that Americans weren’t unambiguously successful, but rather, the Chinese
military in which has successfully overthrown Chinese nationalist government
General MacArthur believed they should’ve used nuclear weapons
o Vietnam War
While convinced into defending South Vietnamese government, the main threat of SV
government was the insurgencies threatening it; lacked legitimacy
Ho Chi Minh trail: ran through Laos which resulted in Americans bombing both Vietnam and
Laos; Americans placed sensors to detect ammonia to see when things moved thru trail
Vietnamese figured out these trails; Americans ultimately lost the conflict;
Vietnam Syndrome: syndrome of modern military being defeated by troops of third-world
country; failure to maintain public support for engaging in the conflict
Overcoming Vietnam Syndrome would include demonstrating Americans could defeat other
forces (ex. Invasion of Grenada under Reagan: overthrown by military coup and governed
by left-wing people; Cubans on island were just construction workers)
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