The (Not So) Rapid Deployment Force: Bureaucratic and Political Barriers to Implementing Strategic Change

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Early in his Presidency, President Carter approved PD-18 which foresaw the creation of a Rapid Deployment Force (RDF) with the purpose of responding quickly to out-of-area crises and threats, particularly in the Middle East. The directive however was insufficient to catalyze the RDF’s implementation. The current study analyzes the main impediments to the implementation of the RDF, highlighting the bureaucratic and political barriers. The existing studies on the development of the RDF have essentially highlighted the bureaucratic resistance to its implementation. While acknowledging these constraints, the value of the current paper is its focus on the political barriers to the RDF, particularly those resulting from the interagency debate regarding the nature of détente. The current paper argues that the main barrier to the creation and implementation of the RDF was the political struggle to define US strategy within the Administration, particularly between the NSC and the State Department. It uses an assortment of primary sources to identify the political dispute between the Administration’s key foreign policy decision-makers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-174
Number of pages19
JournalNação e Defesa
Volume141
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • National Security
  • Bureaucratic Politics
  • Governmental Politics
  • Rapid Deployment Force
  • Jimmy Carter
  • Political Barriers
  • policy making

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