Roundtable 2-6 on From Hot War to Cold: The U.S. Navy and National Security Affairs, 1945-1955

From Hot Water to Cold coverOne of the more astonishing facts that demonstrates simultaneously the global requirements of World War Two, the industrial capacity of the United States, and (by comparison) the real impact of the nuclear revolution on great power conflict is the size of the United States Navy in September 1945.  There were twenty-three battleships, twenty-eight aircraft carriers, and seventy-one escort carriers—in total, including cruisers, submarines, and destroyers, some 1,166 major combatant ships.  The smaller craft numbers are even more astonishing.  The U.S. built some 88,000 landing craft during the war.  With the war over, the question was what to do with all of it.  How large should the U.S. Navy be now that peace was at hand and no serious naval opponent remained?  What place was there for a navy in a world with air-delivered nuclear weapons and the promise of collective security through the United Nations?

H-Diplo | ISSF Roundtable, Volume II, No. 6 (2011)
Diane Labrosse and Thomas Maddux, H-Diplo/ISSF Editors
George Fujii, H-Diplo/ISSF Web and Production Editor
Commissioned by Thomas Maddux
H-Diplo/ISSF Roundtable Review of Jeffrey G. Barlow, From Hot War to Cold:  The U.S. Navy and National Security Affairs, 1945-1955Stanford:  Stanford University Press, 2009.  728 pp.  ISBN:  9780804756662 (cloth, $65).
Published by H-Diplo/ISSF on 25 March 2011
PDF-  http://issforum.org/ISSF/PDF/ISSF-Roundtable-2-6.pdf
Contents
Introduction by Jonathan Reed Winkler, Wright State University. 2
Review by Roger Dingman, University of Southern California. 6
Review by Jakub Grygiel, Johns Hopkins University. 10
Review by Ingo Trauschweizer, Ohio University. 13
Author’s Response by Jeffrey Barlow, Naval History and Heritage Command. 18

Introduction by Jonathan Reed Winkler, Wright State University

One of the more astonishing facts that demonstrates simultaneously the global requirements of World War Two, the industrial capacity of the United States, and (by comparison) the real impact of the nuclear revolution on great power conflict is the size of the United States Navy in September 1945.  There were twenty-three battleships, twenty-eight aircraft carriers, and seventy-one escort carriers—in total, including cruisers, submarines, and destroyers, some 1,166 major combatant ships.  The smaller craft numbers are even more astonishing.  The U.S. built some 88,000 landing craft during the war.  With the war over, the question was what to do with all of it.  How large should the U.S. Navy be now that peace was at hand and no serious naval opponent remained?  What place was there for a navy in a world with air-delivered nuclear weapons and the promise of collective security through the United Nations?

As the Cold War unfolded over the next decade in a world of nuclear weapons and the United Nations, the United States Navy remained nonetheless an important tool for implementing national security policy.  Whether it was the implicit signal of U.S. attention to Turkey with the return of Turkish ambassador Mehmet Munir Ertegun’s remains aboard the USS Missouri in April 1946 or the steaming of the Seventh Fleet through the Taiwan Straits, globally deployed naval forces could and did serve both diplomatic and military roles highlighting the power and interests of the United States.  By their nature warships offered a flexibility and subtlety that the army and the air force lacked, even if their role in a future conflict with the Soviet Union was not expected to be as central as it had been in the war in the Pacific against Japan.

The job of protecting the Navy’s interests and missions in the face of postwar military consolidation, nuclear weapons, and the evolution of Cold War strategy fell to the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), the principal naval officer in the United States Navy.  Jeffrey Barlow’s From Hot War to Cold chronicles the efforts of the CNOs and staff to influence defense policy and national security affairs between 1945 and 1955.  Barlow, a historian with the Naval History and Heritage Command, previously examined a portion of this story, the fight over the future of naval aviation known as the ‘Revolt of the Admirals,’ in a book of the same title.[1]  In his most recent work, Barlow explores in far greater detail the two significant influences on the actions of the CNOs in this period, namely the fight over service unification that ended with the National Security Act of 1947, and the struggle between 1947 and 1950 over the roles and missions of the Army, Navy and Air Force.  Barlow concludes that senior naval officers learned valuable lessons from these experiences about maintaining a constant bureaucratic fight to protect the Navy’s interests as the Cold War continued, and that on balance the navy made a positive contribution to the national security policy of the United States in the early Cold War.

Historiographically, Barlow attempts two things.  First, he is trying to fill in existing holes in U.S. naval history since 1945, a field that has largely centered on either specific topics or operational matters rather than administrative and policy issues.  He is also seeking to improve the history of national security policy by adding in the naval perspective, something not yet covered in great detail by either official historians or academic scholars.  By looking at the senior-level officials and the internal discussions about the Navy’s purpose after the war, Barlow shows how the Navy argued it could be used as a unique tool to accomplish the nation’s policy objectives in areas as diverse as the Mediterranean and East Asia, and indeed accomplished this task better than the Army in East Asia.  But Barlow’s work goes far beyond being simply an administrative history of naval policy.  It complements the important work by Mel Leffler and others who have focused on the critical interrelationship between foreign policy and military strength, and on the development of the national security state, without focusing entirely on nuclear issues. [2]  As a consequence, this is best described as a synthetic work that blends foreign relations and military history with administrative and policy history to trace the evolution of national security policy in a formative decade for the United States.

The reviewers are strong in their praise for the depth of research involved in the book and the care with which Barlow has crafted his argument.  All recognize that this is more than a work of naval history, and one that foreign relations scholars will need to engage closely.  Trauschweizer in particular praises Barlow’s ability to bring out the full nature of the bureaucratic struggle among the armed services and between the services and their civilian leaders amidst a fluid, uncertain period in U.S. history.  He also hopes that Barlow will continue the work forward in a projected second volume.  Given the gap in the literature that Barlow has identified in his introduction, such a work would indeed be highly beneficial.

There are several points of criticism that the reviewers offer as well.  The size and complexity of the work can at times appear daunting to those not well versed in the nuance of military policy or planning.  The synthetic nature that earned praise can also cause some scholars to quibble with Barlow’s treatment of certain issues in passing.  Traushweizer in particular wonders whether the date range is not too artificial, given that the work really begins with the administrative changes of World War II, and feels that the conclusion is too abrupt with the departure of Admiral Carney in 1955 given that substantial, and significant, interservice competition occurred in the latter half of the 1950s.  The brevity of the conclusion comes in for criticism as well.  Dingman wishesthat Barlow had gone farther in contextualizing this decade into the larger evolution of 20th century naval history, while several reviewers want a better placement of the story into the bigger sweep of the Cold War.  Though the reviewers do not address the issue, the question of financial and budgetary matters and their effects could also have received closer treatment.

In the end, Barlow’s work reminds us that to give a full recounting of the history of foreign relations and national security policy, we must take into consideration the evolution of administrative, budgetary, and personnel policies in the military services as well.  In a time of strategic uncertainty for the United States after World War II, the services faced not only the need to justify their share of the budget but also their utility to the larger strategic objectives of the nation in both peace and wartime.  Their bureaucratic shape and policy influence evolved in line with these arguments and opportunities.  As the United States now enters a similar period of strategic reappraisal and steep budgetary constraint, military officials once again find themselves making arguments about their role, force structure, and relationship to the nation’s diplomatic and grand strategies in ways that would not have seemed all that unfamiliar to those whom Barlow has examined in his book.[3]

Participants:

Jeffrey G. Barlow has been a historian with the Naval History and Heritage Command since 1987. An expert on high-level civil-military relations, he writes books about the U.S. Navy during the Cold War.  Barlow, who served in the U.S. Army from mid-1967 to mid-1970, received his B.A. in history from Westminster College (1972) and his M.A. (1976) and Ph.D. (1981) in international studies from the University of South Carolina. While at South Carolina he served as an H. B. Earhart Fellow for three successive years.  In addition to the book under review, he is the author of Revolt of the Admirals: The Fight for Naval Aviation, 1945-1950 (1994).

Jonathan Reed Winkler is Associate Professor of History at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.  He is a historian of U.S. diplomatic, military and naval history, and international affairs in the modern era.  He is the author of Nexus: Strategic Communications and American Security in World War I (Harvard, 2008), winner of the Paul Birdsall Prize (2010) among others.  Winkler is a graduate of Yale University (PhD. 2004).  He serves on the Executive Council of the Ohio Academy of History and is an editor-at-large for H-Diplo.  In 2010-2011 he holds a Junior Faculty Research Fellowship in International Security from the Smith Richardson Foundation for work on a book-length examination of U.S. national security policy and international communications technology across the twentieth century.

Roger Dingman is Professor of History, Emeritus at the University of Southern California, where he taught American international, naval, and military history for thirty-six years.  A U.S. Navy veteran, he also served as visiting professor at the U.S. Naval War College and the U.S. Air Force Academy. His research and teaching has focused on American relations with the nations and peoples of the Asia/Pacific region.  His three books deal with the origins, conduct, and consequences of the Second World War in the Pacific.  The most recent,   Deciphering the Rising Sun: Navy and Marine Corps Codebreakers, Translators, and Interpreters in the Pacific War, was published by the Naval Institute Press in 2009.

Jakub Grygiel is George H.W. Bush Associate Professor of International Relations at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.  He is the author of Great Powers and Geopolitical Change (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006) and of, among other articles, “The Dilemmas of U.S. Maritime Strategy in the Early Cold War,” Journal of Strategic Studies (April 2005), which won the Rear Admiral Ernest M. Eller article prize in naval history for 2005.

Ingo Trauschweizer is an Assistant Professor of History at Ohio University. Trained as an international military and diplomatic historian, Trauschweizer’s interests in research and teaching have focused on the military history of the Cold War and on strategy, policy, and national security of the United States in a global context. He has published The Cold War U.S. Army: Building Deterrence for Limited War (University Press of Kansas, 2008), winner of the 2009 Distinguished Book Prize of the Society for Military History.  He is currently investigating questions of war and national identity in American and German history.

Review by Roger Dingman, University of Southern California

Most historians of American foreign relations in the Cold War era know well what the United States Navy did overseas.  It fought in Korea and Vietnam.  It patrolled the seas with nuclear-powered, nuclear-armed submarines that became key instruments of deterrence.  Its blockade helped de-fuse the missile crisis in Cuba; and its intelligence-collecting faux pas led to the embarrassing Pueblo incident with North Korea.  But few of us can claim to know much about what the Navy did at the core of the American national security state – in Washington.

Fifteen years ago in his Revolt of the Admirals, Jeffrey Barlow told us what its leaders did in a particular controversy – the struggle to save naval aviation.  Now, in this sprawling, massively documented volume, he tries to explain the admirals’ broader behavior within the new national security apparatus created during the Truman and Eisenhower administrations. There is a need for that, he argues, because in contrast to the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, there is no work that treats a single armed service’s behavior in the early cold war years. Thus he focuses on the Navy’s command center: the office of the Chief of Naval Operations, defined to mean both the individuals who held that office and the staff that served them.  Implicit in his account is the notion that it is there, rather than at the Joint Chiefs of Staff level or in fleet or individual ship operations, that one will see best how the Navy operated during the first decade of the Cold War.

How did the men at the Navy’s core respond to the massive changes within their service, inside the American government, and in the world at large that occurred between 1945 and 1955?   The key to answering that question, Barlow argues, lies in understanding the essentially conservative nature of navies.  As he puts it, “The Navy’s conservative approach toward national policymaking…was very much in line with its traditional jaundiced view about the benefits of major change.” (363)  Admirals are rarely radicals. More often than not, they react to, or even resist, change rather than instigating it.  That fundamental cast of mind, not lust for power or some new vision of world order, best explains what they did during the first turbulent decade of the Cold War.

Barlow develops that argument by turning back to the challenging years of World War II.  Then Chief of Naval Operations Ernest J. King met fearsome internal resistance to centralizing command and control of the navy.  From 1945 on, however, his successors fought tenaciously against what Barlow properly sees as the key trend in the development of American national security policy: the assertion, in an ever more orderly way, of greater civilian control over the military establishment.  The admirals resisted the unification of the armed services in a single department of defense that President Harry Truman wanted.  They balked at relying solely on new atomic weapons to defeat the new Soviet enemy, as the fledgling United States Air Force and much of the American public dreamed of doing.  They were slow to respond to the emerging Soviet threat in their war planning and driven, in that process, far more by fear of the air force than by anything the Russians might put to sea. The admirals were less than pleased by the creation of a chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1949 and quite unhappy with Dwight Eisenhower’s Reorganization Plan No. 6 in 1953, which gave the secretary of defense still more power and subjected them to more control by the secretary of the navy. Indeed, it was their conservatism expressed as defense of what they perceived as navy prerogatives that prompted Presidents Truman and Eisenhower to relieve, or decline to re-appoint, Admirals Louis Denfeld and “Mick” Carney as chiefs of naval operations.

Barlow suggests that the navy was as conservative, with one significant exception, in its response to changes abroad as it was to shifts in the balance of power within Washington.  His chapters on war planning reveal a service not just skeptical of air force claims as to what nuclear weapons could do to the Soviet Union but also inclined to see the new enemy in terms similar to the old.  Otherwise impotent at sea, the Russians, like the Germans, might deploy submarines that would threaten the U.S. Navy’s ability to safely convey fighting men and their weapons across the North Atlantic to a third great land war in Europe.  Barlow also challenges the notion that the admirals set out to make the Pacific an American lake in the wake of Japan’s defeat.  His careful description of the tortured internal process to create the (eventually) mighty Seventh Fleet, together with the navy war planners’ downplaying of the Soviet threat in Northeast Asia and their ad hoc responses to the unfolding communist conquest of China, will quickly disabuse readers of that notion.  Chief of Naval Operations Forrest Sherman’s insistence, four days before President Truman formalized the decision, that the United States was going to fight in Korea in response to the communist attack there, might appear radical or aggressive to some. In fact, it grew out the realization that, in this particular instance, deterrence of the broader Soviet threat demanded decisive action.

The foregoing summaries of key portions of this book cannot do justice to what Barlow has accomplished.  This is an extraordinarily well documented study.  Two hundred pages of footnotes follow its four hundred pages of text.  It has emerged after years of careful research by its author.  He has capitalized on the advantages that his heritage and position have conferred upon him.  The son and grandson of naval academy graduates, he has worked for many years as a historian at the sometime Naval Historical Center in the Washington Navy Yard, now known as the Navy History and Heritage Command.  That gave him privileged access to naval documents there not to be found in the National Archives or the files of the Truman and Eisenhower presidential libraries. In that post he was also able to identify and interview surviving former staff officers from the office of the Chief of Naval Operations during the early Cold War years.  These materials form the basis for his many and detailed “inside” accounts of changes in naval leadership and the admirals’ responses to governmental and global change.  Its documentation alone will make this a “must” read for anyone seeking to understand how Washington decision-makers responded to early Cold War challenges.

The book’s brief conclusion, however, is, in my view, less satisfactory. Barlow summarizes what the navy’s top leaders did and how they did it, rather than focusing on why they acted as they did. This approach yields a rather timid conclusion. In essence, Barlow concludes that the Navy weathered the storms and challenges of the first Cold War decade about as well as it could. Despite uneven leadership by its five chiefs of naval operations, and because of its talented second level staff, the sea service survived and laid foundations for its future strength and importance.  Budget-cutters and reorganizers may have scarred the Navy, but it emerged from this turbulent period possessed of forces  needed to fight a war, if necessary, and assured of a strategic role in the new world of defense by deterrence.

After reading the book, I found myself wishing Barlow had done two things. First, he could have dug more deeply to explain why key individuals led the Navy in the right direction.  Two of the most remarkable of those at the top – Chief of Naval Operations Forrest Sherman  and Admiral Arthur Radford, Eisenhower’s choice for Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – merit surprisingly slim biographical detail. Both were highly competent and distinguished naval professionals, but they stood out above their peers because of their political skills and grasp of the nature of change in the international environment.  Barlow never looks back beyond the Second World War for explanations as to their excellence.   Similarly, the second-level officers whom he praises so highly for rescuing their sometimes less talented superiors from faux pas – Admiral Walter F. Boone, who served as assistant chief of naval operations for strategic plans, acting Seventh Fleet commander, and deputy commander in chief of Naval Forces Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean, for example—come onto the stage with no explanation of who they were or why they operated so successfully in the Pentagon environment.

Second, I think Barlow could have done more to put the Navy in the first Cold War decade into broader historical perspective.  That period was also a postwar period – the second such era through which the Navy’s leaders, the nation’s principal political figures, and much of the American public had lived.  The notion that the United States had won the First World War but muffed the peace after it fed the widespread belief that America must do better after the second such conflict. It is hard to imagine that the admirals were not touched by that idea.  It is more difficult still, to think that they failed to see the parallels between the traumatic events that buffeted the Navy in the late ‘teens and early ‘twenties and the challenges of the late 1940s and early 1950s.  Then, as now, the Navy suffered rapid demobilization, budget cuts, and, worse still, permanent constraints in the form of the Washington naval arms limitation treaties.  Back then, Billy Mitchell bombed a battleship and claimed its days as America’s pre-eminent strategic weapon were over; now the air force advocates of strategic bombing posed the same challenge to the aircraft carrier. Two of the five Chiefs of Naval Operations in the 1945-1955 period had been mid-career officers when these earlier blows struck their service, and the other three were recent naval academy graduates who had to have been concerned about what they meant for their own careers as well as the Navy at large.  Surely lingering memories of the more distant past, as well as contemporary Cold War concerns, shaped the way these naval leaders thought and acted near the end of their careers.

The sheer weight of this volume and the arguable deficiencies in its conclusion should not deter historians of the Cold War era from considering carefully what Barlow has to say.  For in its focus as well as its substance, he has given them an extremely important reminder:  organizational concerns, no less than domestic political imperatives and international change, shaped American policy and policy-making institutions in the early cold war national security state.  International historians need the specialized insights that their military and naval historical colleagues bring to the crafting of interpretations of the past.  Jeffrey Barlow surely has done all a great service by illuminating what the Navy did in Washington during the early Cold War years.

Review by Jakub Grygiel, Johns Hopkins University

This is a detailed, meticulously researched book on how the United States Navy weathered the first decade after the end of World War Two.  The challenges that the U.S. Navy faced encompassed both the larger geopolitical changes of the late 1940s as well as the bureaucratic competition among the various branches of the U.S. military, the new national security apparatus, the U.S. Congress, and public opinion.  Jeffrey Barlow, author of the excellent 1994 book on the “Revolt of the Admirals,” offers the reader access to the internal debates as well as the geopolitical context of this period, and he does so in a well written prose.  In brief, this is a book worth reading.

The first impression one gets from Barlow’s book is that the military leaders, and in particular those of the U.S, Navy, were almost shocked by the complexity of the international and bureaucratic challenges facing them after 1945. World War Two was tragic, bloody, and exhausting, but what followed required not just grit and military knowhow but also what would today be called “inside the Beltway” skills, combined with an appreciation of the new geopolitics, the new technologies, and the long-term demands of a looming confrontation with a continental Soviet power. Barlow does an excellent job of describing this complexity, covering the minutiae of the debates internal to the U.S. Navy and of the bureaucratic battles between the various political and military leaders of the time.  He gives the reader a strong overview of this confusing decade.

The 1945-47 period, the early Cold War, was a period of adjustment for the U.S. and its armed forces.  The massive military effort to defeat the Axis powers on the European and Asian fronts had ended.  The Soviet threat was gradually becoming more tangible but the U.S. response to it lacked clarity and consensus.  In fact, vague notions of great power cooperation and world peace maintained by international organizations permeated military planning.  As Barlow points out, a 1944 paper prepared for the Joint Chiefs, JCS 570/1, foresaw three periods after Germany’s defeat: first, an enforced peace in Europe and continued war in the Pacific; second, “world-wide peace enforced under the Four Power Agreement, pending establishment of a world-wide organization for collective security”; and third, “peace maintained by formally established world-wide machinery.” (47) It was at best unclear what the third period demanded from the U.S. and the Navy in particular.

There were certainly similarities between the new and old strategic landscapes. For instance, the theaters of actions that characterized World War Two, spanning from Europe to Asia, continued to be central in the competition with the Soviet Union. The U.S. Navy continued to have a vital role in securing the Pacific and Atlantic oceans and in linking the U.S. with the Eurasian rimlands. Yet, from Barlow’s book one can glean also profound strategic differences that created technical, bureaucratic, and political challenges.. First, the presence of the atomic bomb, and the fight among the U.S. services to control it, called into question the utility of the U.S. Navy. By avoiding a nuclear monopoly in the hands of the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Navy won one of the most decisive bureaucratic battles in this period. Second, sustaining the level of mobilization reached during World War Two was politically unfeasible but deterring the Soviet Union demanded long-term and global engagement.  As Barlow notes, in 1945 the Navy had 1,166 major combatant ships that became a “wasting asset” in the succeeding months and years. (10) A rapid demobilization was necessary. But then it became unclear how the U.S. Navy should best structure its force to face the Soviet threat: it could not sustain the massive fleet of 1945 and yet it needed capabilities to secure the sea lines of communications (SLOCs) to Europe in light of the growing Soviet submarine threat (well described in chapter 8), to deter a potential Soviet attack, and to maintain links between the continental U.S. and its interests abroad. In many ways, the war in Korea stressed the importance of retaining a navy capable of projecting power to distant shores and maintaining the logistical links to the Eurasian rimland. Third, while many of this decade’s tensions were in locations familiar from World War II (northeast Asia, the Mediterranean, northern Europe), the confrontation had very different geographic characteristic. It was waged on the rimlands of Eurasia, but its focus was on its continental core. This presented a challenge for the Navy, as it needed to demonstrate its utility in containing and threatening a continental power, the Soviet Union. As a response to this need, the Navy restructured its fleets and forward deployed them to the waters adjacent to Eurasia (most importantly to internal seas with the establishment of the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean).

To describe this period, Barlow switches between different geographic theaters (Europe, Mediterranean, Asia, Washington D.C., back to Europe, and so on) and between different layers of explanation. In fact, this work is really three books in one, and not just because of its length (roughly, 400 pages of text plus 200 of notes). The core story – the title of the book – recounts the inner discussions and organizational challenges of the U.S. Navy in this period. As mentioned above, it is a very well researched, exhaustive account, with serious use of primary sources. By itself, this could have made a fascinating read, and it will serve as a key reference for historians in the years to come.

The second layer – still part of the title of the book – is about the competitive relationships between the U.S. Navy and the other branches of the military forces. It makes for a fascinating history, in part because of the clash among personalities, but in part because of the continued relevance of the underlying theme. The Navy, as the other services, seemed often more interested in the pursuit of narrow organizational interests rather than in U.S. national security per se. The fight for naval aviation, for instance, was a fight for a part of the organization, with its own entrenched interests, rather than a conscious effort to improve U.S. military capabilities vis-à-vis the Soviet Union. That in the end the U.S. was stronger appears to be almost a side effect, rather than a consciously pursued objective of the military leadership.

The third layer covers the larger, geopolitical context of this decade, with excursuses on, for instance, the 1944 Warsaw uprising, the rising Russian threat, events in China, and so on. Barlow has incorporated recent literature, based on the latest archival sources, in these accounts, which serve as an illuminating background for the main story, the first two “books” or layers.

All three are necessary to understand what happened in this decade. After all, the Navy was responding not simply to bureaucratic infighting but also to a larger geopolitical context. Events such as the war in Korea imposed themselves forcefully on the decisions of the Navy and the Washington leadership. These three “books” are ambitious in scope, and each is well written and researched. Yet, they may also represent a weakness of sorts. This project is obviously very ambitious in scope and length, and at times, the different layers or “books” read as separate, parallel stories. For instance, when was the U.S. Navy defending its organizational interests and when was it pursuing U.S. national interests? The two, as it is clear from the book, were not always perfectly aligned, but the reader is at times left uncertain as to the link between the geopolitical situation and the decisions of the Navy leadership. Barlow concludes the book by arguing that the role of the U.S. navy was “on balance beneficial to the aims of the U.S. government.” (406) But this may have been the result of strong presidential management and, perhaps, luck. In fact, the concluding impression from reading this book is that the process of defining the national interest of the United States and of pursuing it in the 1945-55 decade was quite haphazard. It did not have to turn out as well as it did.

This weakness is, however, minimal. Barlow’s book is a serious tome that will be the primary reference for the study of the U.S. Navy in this period for many years to come.  He should be congratulated on this impressive work of scholarship.

Review by Ingo Trauschweizer, Ohio University

Jeffrey Barlow has provided us with a deeply researched, meticulous, and valuable discussion of the making of national-security policy in the early stages of the Cold War through the lens of the U.S. Navy. Specifically, he considers the role of the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) and his staff in shaping and defining defense policy of the Truman and Eisenhower administrations. Naturally, this leads to the question, what drives national-security concerns: strategic or bureaucratic considerations? Barlow’s response favors domestic considerations. He assesses the interplay of parochial interests of the Navy and the national interest as ultimately more beneficial than problematic. His primary examples are the retention of naval air power, which subsequently became a great asset during the Korean War, and the Navy’s reasoned opposition to unification of the armed services, which helped to create a diversified defense and security establishment for the Cold War including the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Council, and other civilian agencies. Consequently, the argument of From Hot War to Cold is built on two conflicts within the bureaucracy, one among the armed services and the other between individual services – sometimes in alliance with a brother service and at other times all by itself – and the administration. The author knows the relevant archives like few others and his long experience as historian at the Naval Historical Center [now the Naval History and Heritage Command] has given him a keen sense of the significance of institutions in the making of strategy and policy. From Hot War to Cold reminds us that the history of the Cold War is a rich fabric that we can best understand in dialogue with a diverse group of scholars. Barlow powerfully places government historians in that group.

Barlow defines national security as an “amorphous concept…having to do specifically with the interaction of national defense and foreign relations (including military assistance) at the highest levels of government.” (1) Hence the book transcends the traditional fields of diplomatic, military, political, and institutional history. Barlow is aware that it will leave him open to criticism from conventional practitioners of each field, but policy history – and indeed the international history of the Cold War – could not advance our understanding of the nature of the conflict or the pressures at play within the United States government without such attempts at inclusiveness. There are open questions, of course, but hardly any book of this scope and significance could be expected to provide the definitive history. For one, the chronological starting point expressed in the subtitle is misleading, as the first four chapters clearly demonstrate continuities from the Second World War into the Cold War, especially in the emergence of a more powerful CNO who also served as commander-in-chief of the fleet. Barlow states in his introduction that he chose 1945 for the title because he did not want readers to expect comprehensive treatment of the World War II Navy. This is curious, because the book itself does not aspire to be a comprehensive history of the Navy in the Cold War era. The logic of highlighting 1945 – and thus signaling fundamental change at the end of the Second War – is open to question.

In the text, Barlow makes a much stronger, albeit implicit, case for the significance of the end of the Second World War to the future of the U.S. Navy. He opens the first chapter with the Japanese surrender ceremony on board USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, a day that saw the Navy at the pinnacle of its strength and standing as history’s strongest navy. On that same day, Admiral Chester Nimitz broadcast the new challenge to officers and men at the end of the war: “Now we turn to the great task of reconstruction and restoration.” (10) How could the Navy avoid becoming a wasting asset? The first postwar decade challenged the Navy to define its mission and force structure in accordance with new threats and technology.  In view of this, it is surprising how little emphasis Barlow places on atomic and nuclear weapons. The Cold War offered the framework for the armed services to prove their legitimacy in the nuclear age. Hence, 1945 represents a significant departure closely linked to Barlow’s central argument that postwar national-security policy was driven largely by interservice rivalries and tensions in civil-military relations, but one wishes the author had made his thought process more explicit.

Barlow proceeds to discuss the two events that shaped the Navy’s outlook in the first years of the Cold War. First, the Navy became engaged in a fierce contest with the Army and the Truman White House over the structure of the defense establishment that centered on the plan to unify the armed services. Barlow shows how Admiral Nimitz, the CNO after December 1945, and James Forrestal, the Secretary of the Navy, opposed this idea.  He concludes that the ultimate solution was more appropriate than outright unification. In 1947, the United States created and formalized a complex national-security apparatus that included new agencies and armed services, and grouped the military under the Secretary of Defense (with Forrestal serving as the first incumbent). In Barlow’s narrative, the Navy’s constructive opposition to unification of the armed services thus helped bring about the National Security Act of 1947 and its refinements in 1949 and 1953. It is unfortunate that Barlow did not address the provocative argument of political scientist Douglas T. Stuart that the shock of Pearl Harbor and the improvised response in creating a network of national-security agencies, more than the emergence of a Soviet threat, led to the National Security Act.[4]  Like Barlow, Stuart considers the legislation of 1947 a victory of the Navy over the Army.

The second fundamental event that defined the Navy’s outlook for the first decade of the Cold War was the sustained controversy over missions and boundaries of Army, Air Force, and Navy that followed the 1947 law. Here, Barlow revisits familiar ground of his book on the naval aviation debate of the late 1940s.[5] He argues that interservice rivalry was more significant than specific geopolitical crises in preparing senior officers for political debates at the Joint Chiefs of Staff, with the Secretary of Defense, and even with the president. This is where Barlow’s argument is strongest. It is mirrored by the experience of the Army Staff in roughly the same time period.[6] This is another instance where Barlow’s excellent narrative might have been strengthened with a bolder statement of argument.  In any case, it is nonetheless remarkable that the Soviet Union appears just twice in the introduction and conclusion, and both times in very general terms rather than as the primary concern of the leadership of the Navy.

The Navy’s role in shaping national-security policy and organization is strongly portrayed throughout the book. Barlow begins by depicting Admiral Ernest King, selected by President Franklin D. Roosevelt first as Commander in Chief U.S. Fleet (immediately following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor) and as Chief of Naval Operations (in March 1942). King effectively unified the two military leadership positions in the Navy. The strengthened position of the CNO would give King’s five successors between 1945 and 1955 a foundation for the bureaucratic struggle to come and, as Barlow argues, they used it wisely. Still, Barlow notes that while the Navy’s analytical apparatus for postwar planning improved greatly from its rudimentary beginnings in 1943, the Army had developed by war’s end a much more sophisticated understanding of how to shape the political agenda. Hence, the Navy played catch-up in the early stages of the unification debate, a plan supported by the Army and Army Air Forces. The Navy’s primary concern was the survival of its air arm.  Both Secretary Forrestal and the admirals feared that unification would mean a takeover of all air power by the Army Air Forces. Barlow shows that the Navy’s opposition to unification shaped the pragmatic reorganization through the National Security Act and allowed each service a degree of sovereignty. But winning the unification debate against the interests of the Army created a different problem. An independent Air Force was bound to strive for control of the nation’s air power. Hence the Navy-Army struggle of 1944 to 1947 was soon replaced by a Navy-Air Force fight over strategy and resource allocation. Jeffrey Barlow concludes that ultimately a modus vivendi emerged between Army and Navy that gave the former more direct input in matters of European defense while the latter focused primarily on U.S. power projection in the Pacific Ocean. Oddly, he does not offer equally definitive conclusions for the naval air power debate.

There is a second fundamental narrative in From Hot War to Cold that addresses the confrontation with the Soviet Union on land and at sea. Following on Barlow’s broad definition of national security this should be a central element of his argument, but the structure of the book makes it difficult to comprehend how exactly he sees this international conflict inform his primary focus on bureaucracies. The first four chapters address the emergence of the national-security apparatus. The next group of four chapters moves from a general discussion of the Soviet threat to ways to counter it in the Pacific and in East Asia. Barlow follows this with alternating chapters on domestic debates and international crises in 1948-49. He addresses the years from 1949 to 1952 in three concise chapters on the origins of the Korean War and the decision to fight as well as the concurrent planning for the defense of Western Europe and the Atlantic. The book concludes with four chapters on national-security priorities in 1953 and 1954, particularly Eisenhower’s New Look and the role and response of the Navy. On balance, the structure of the book supports Barlow’s main argument, but the absence of analytical discussion of a substantial part of the study in either introduction or conclusion leaves a great degree of uncertainty. Barlow does provide concise conclusions for each chapter, but they do not substitute for fuller integration of the narrative.

The Korean War interrupted several years of infighting over strategic priorities and defense posture. Barlow’s contribution to the literature on the origins of the Korean War rests on the conclusion that the Navy, much like the U.S. in general, had no specific plans for the defense of South Korea and improvised in the summer of 1950. As for the war itself, Barlow argues that “despite the handicaps imposed on its force structure by years of Truman administration defense economizing, the U.S. Navy fought determinedly and with great competence in the waters off Korea and the skies above it.” (298) This may well be, but the discussion of the build-up of forces in the summer of 1950 and the Navy’s role in the Korean War is limited to less than five pages.  Absent a commanding naval history of the Korean War, it is not clear how Barlow has arrived at his conclusion.[7] In the critical years 1950-1952, Barlow is more interested in the defense of NATO, which afforded the Navy a significant role in the Mediterranean and in the Atlantic Ocean once the British had been persuaded to accept an American admiral as Supreme Allied Commander, Atlantic in January 1952. On its own merits, Barlow’s discussion of the Korean War is disappointing just as his discussion of the Navy’s role in early plans for the defense of NATO and in the emergence of a command hierarchy within the alliance is successful. Surprisingly, he misses the opportunity to discuss the outbreak of the Korean War and decisions for the military build-up in Europe in conjunction. It may be that he takes the linkage for granted, but it would have been interesting to see direct discussion of the Navy’s reading of global strategic priorities. Did the admirals regard a greater role for the Navy in Europe as a political asset or a drag on resources in the Pacific?

In the book’s final four chapters, Barlow presents a concise discussion of the reorganization of the defense establishment in the first year of Dwight Eisenhower’s presidency and the concurrent shift in deterrence strategy. Barlow’s narrative supports the conclusion of recent scholarship that Eisenhower himself was the driving force behind the thorough review of defense policy and the reformulation of Basic National Security Policy in 1953.[8] The outcome of the review represented a fundamental change in the relationship between the White House, the Defense Department, and the armed services. In the Truman administration, the Navy had successfully fought against White House priorities for unification of the armed services; now it had to accept the verdict of the commander-in-chief and find ways to further its own agenda in a more highly centralized and integrated structure that afforded greater control to the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

From the perspective of the armed services, that verdict was decidedly mixed. While the Air Force generally approved of strategy and defense posture, Army chiefs of staff throughout the 1950s opposed Eisenhower’s emphasis on nuclear deterrence. Barlow shows that the Navy had serious reservations in 1953 and 1954 as well. Ultimately, the different positions of two admirals on the Joint Chiefs of Staff serve to illustrate the Navy’s more ambiguous response: Admiral Carney, the CNO, expressed grave doubts about strategy and force structure driven by artificially imposed budgetary limitations while Admiral Arthur Radford, appointed Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff following Eisenhower’s election in November 1952, strongly supported the defense policy for the “long haul.” In the event, Carney ran afoul of Radford and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles in debates in 1954 on whether the U.S. military should intervene on behalf of the French at Dien Bien Phu. Both Radford and Dulles supported intervention; Carney counseled caution. Barlow concludes that Carney’s penchant for involvement in foreign policy made him powerful enemies. Even though Carney ultimately tripped over a New York Times story in the spring of 1955 that had him speculating about war with China during the Taiwan Strait Crisis and over a dispute with Charles Thomas, the Secretary of the Navy, about Carney’s refusal to allow Thomas access to secret messages, it was his stance in the Dien Bien Phu crisis that initiated his downfall.

Barlow concludes that the postwar decade was difficult for the Navy, but its leaders succeeded in adapting the service to a new geopolitical environment. He ascribes this success to the professionalism and experience of senior officers who had been tested – and tempered – in the Second World War. Barlow’s argument about the significance of strong CNOs in the continuous struggle among the armed services and between the military and the administration in general in an environment of near-constant international crisis is well taken. Certainly, all three services were engaged in territorial struggles with one another throughout the postwar decade. But the author’s decision to end his study in mid-1955, with the retirement of Admiral Carney, introduces limitations. Carney’s retirement seems to represent the end of the Navy’s opposition to government strategic and organizational priorities that had spanned the Truman and early Eisenhower years. The interservice struggle continued throughout the Eisenhower administration, however, and indeed gained renewed intensity with the appointment of General Maxwell Taylor as Army Chief of Staff in 1955. By 1958, Admiral Arleigh Burke, Carney’s successor as CNO, and Marine Corps Commandant Randolph Pate both supported the Army’s argument for greater strategic flexibility and preparedness for limited war against the positions of the Air Force and the White House. Hence, while mid-1955 stands as logical conclusion of one strand of Barlow’s narrative, it does not equally convince for the other. It is hoped that the author intends to apply his approach and research acumen to the remainder of the 1950s and extend the history of U.S. national-security policy and the Navy into the later stages of the Cold War era.

Author’s Response by Jeffrey Barlow, Naval History and Heritage Command

I first wish to thank the editorial staff of H-Diplo for deciding to review my book and the individuals who spent so much time in reading and commenting upon it. Jonathan Winkler was the person who first contacted me about the possibility of having it reviewed and who has since spent a great deal of effort putting the project together. Jonathan and I have been acquainted since one of his original research visits to the then Naval Historical Center some years ago. Roger Dingman and I have seen each other at various conferences over the years and have talked about our research efforts during chance meetings at the National Archives facility at College Park, Maryland. I have been acquainted with Ingo Trauschweizer’s important writing on the postwar U.S. Army since our mutual friend (and my former colleague) Randy Papadopoulos lent me his copy of Ingo’s dissertation some months before Ingo’s book The Cold War U.S. Army: Building Deterrence for Limits War was published by Kansas. And although I have had no direct contact with Jakub Grygiel, I am familiar with his fascinating 2005 Journal of Strategic Studies article entitled “The Dilemmas of the U.S. Maritime Supremacy in the Early Cold War”—a paper based on the presentation he gave at the Cold War at Sea Conference we both attended in 2004, up in Newport at the Naval War College.

As an initial comment, I have to say that I am very grateful to all three reviewers for their positive comments on the book at hand. Authoring a study that because of its length and variety of both related and unrelated topics could easily be seen as a bit ungainly, I am pleased that they viewed the text as largely coherent and readable. But beyond that, I found their criticisms and reservations to be carefully thought out and helpful in making me reexamine some of my thinking regarding the subjects covered in the book.

First, with regard to Roger Dingman’s comments, he is right to note my view of the U.S. Navy as a conservative organization in the early postwar period. This conservatism manifested itself most strongly on the issue of defense organization. The Navy saw the Army and President Truman’s 1946 attempts to create a strongly centralized organization headed by a single Chief of Staff and arrayed along General Staff lines as potentially deeply injurious to its role as a combatant service. In the same fashion, the creation of a stronger Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the National Security Act Amendments of 1949, and the removal of the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s command function in a revision of the Key West Agreement following the enactment of President Eisenhower’s Reorganization Plan No. 6 in June 1953, were seen by senior Navy leaders as harmful to the Service’s and the country’s ability to respond quickly to emerging international threats. The issue was not the matter of civilian control of the military per se as much as it was a concern that the successful application of force required a careful delineation between civilian and military responsibilities once the President and his civilian advisers had decided to respond to such threats with overt military actions such as increasing the threat level, ramping up troop or aircraft numbers in forward areas, or moving naval task groups into waters adjacent to the geographic region of concern.

At this point, before moving on to his criticisms, I should correct Dingman slightly about my family’s Navy background. My father John Francis Barlow graduated from the Naval Academy as a member of the Class of 1946 in June 1945. I should mention that the wartime classes at the Academy were three-year classes. My grandfather Francis Graham Barlow, a member of the Naval Academy Class of 1918, unfortunately “bilged” (failed) in mathematics near the end of his Plebe (freshman) Year. Because he was the oldest man in his Class, he was unable to be “turned back” (taken into the incoming Class of 1919) to restart his Academy instruction. This, however, is where the coincidences sometimes seen in military service can make for interesting stories. My grandfather’s Plebe Year roommate was the youngest man in the Class, Jerauld Wright, who was the son of an Army Brigadier General. Jerry Wright went on to a far-reaching Navy career, and during the latter portion of the 1950s, as a four-star admiral, he served as Commander in Chief Atlantic and Atlantic Fleet. When my grandfather left Annapolis, he enrolled in the Columbia Journalism School. However, when the United States entered the First World War in 1917, he applied for and was accepted for training at Chanute Field, Illinois as an Army Signal Corps pilot. He subsequently saw combat in France during the last months of the war, flying day bombing missions as a member of a French squadron. Leaving the Army in 1919, he went on to become a lawyer. He was still intrigued with aviation, however, and in 1921 he applied for and received a commission in the Officer Reserve Corps. Assigned to Selfridge Field, Michigan as a fighter pilot and later serving while a captain as the commanding officer of a Pursuit Squadron, he worked for and became friends with the major who commanded the 1st Pursuit Group at Selfridge. My grandfather eventually resigned his commission in 1931. The officer with whom he had served at Selfridge—Major Carl Spaatz—went on during World War II to command the U.S. Army Air Forces’ Strategic Air Forces in Europe and later the Pacific. And in 1947, following the passage of the National Security Act, Carl Spaatz was appointed the first Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force!

In his review of my book, Dingman comments that he wishes that I had done two things I failed to do. One was to dig more deeply into the backgrounds of key individuals discussed in the book to provide biographical detail on why they “led the Navy in the Navy in the right direction.” The other was to put the Navy in the first Cold War decade into a broader historical perspective that reflected the admirals’ thinking regarding the Navy’s traumatic experiences in the interwar years. His first point is particularly pertinent, as I see it. As a historian who has long been fascinated with the biographical backgrounds of senior military officers, I should have seen the value of including additional pertinent biographical information about particular Navy leaders in the book. And despite the fact that significant portions of the text had to be dropped because of the manuscript’s overall length, it would not have been difficult for me to have included such additional material. After all, over the years I have written biographical chapters about several of these officers, including Arthur Radford and Richard Conolly, and have interviewed others, such as Robert Carney, Walter F. Boone, and Arleigh Burke.[9] Looking back on the finished book, I indeed should have provided such biographical background for the reader.

With regard to Dingman’s second point, I agree that the admirals who assumed senior positions in the U.S. Navy during the first Cold War decade, having acquired their skills principally during the years following the First World War, would have had strong memories of the traumatic events that buffeted the interwar Navy. Nonetheless, I would argue that rather than fixating on these events, most of them would have looked for lessons instead in the highly successful role that the U.S. Navy had played in the conflict just ended. For example, while the Navy came out of World War I as merely a junior partner of Britain’s Royal Navy in the events of the war at sea, it emerged from World War II as not only the full partner of the Royal Navy in the European war but as the undisputed victor of the war at sea in the Pacific. Moreover, while during the interwar period portions of the U.S. Navy’s combatant forces, including carrier aviation and the submarine force, were just beginning to emerge, by the end of the Second World War they had not only proven their combat worthiness but had become dominant aspects of the Navy’s war fighting power. Thus, knowing what their Service could contribute to the country’s national security in the years ahead, these admirals fought in the political arena to make sure that whatever the effects that demobilization and budget cutting had on their Navy, they did not reduce its combat strength to insignificant levels or leave the country’s political leaders with the idea that the Navy had been rendered inconsequential by a newer weapons technology such as the atomic bomb.

With regard to Jakub Grygiel’s review, I fully agree with him that my book provides the reader with the impression that the early postwar Navy leadership had to acquire the “inside the Beltway” skills so necessary for successfully dealing with the new geopolitical and technological realities the country faced in those turbulent days. In fact, the Navy had emerged from the war with a senior-level staff significantly less attuned to the practical aspects of accomplishing its goals in a peacetime Washington than had the Army, with its long-ingrained understanding of the merits of General Staff planning. Acquiring these skills was only accomplished through tiring wrangles with the other military services and desperate bureaucratic infighting at the level of high politics.

I think that Jakub is correct in arguing that the three separate “layers” present in my book can be seen at times as a weakness—in that the parallel stories may leave readers uncertain at particular points about the linkages between certain geopolitical events and the decisions reached by Navy leaders. Although I attempted to make such linkages clear, it is apparent that I did not always succeed in this effort.

Finally, with regard to Ingo Trauschweizer’s review, I can understand his view that my choosing the year 1945 (as expressed in the book’s title) as the starting point for my history could be confusing to the reader, especially since my initial chapters cover events that began before this date. That is why I explained my reason for this choice in the book’s introductory chapter. However, I think that Ingo misunderstands my point on what the book was attempting to accomplish. As I made evident in the Introduction, the book was not written to provide a “comprehensive history of the Navy in the Cold War era.” It was instead drafted to provide a look from the perspective of its senior military leader, the Chief of Naval Operations, and his planners at the Navy’s role in the country’s national security apparatus during this first postwar decade—the Service looking outward and interacting with the other military services, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Secretary of Defense, and the President.

Early on in his critique Trauschweizer notes his surprise in how little emphasis I place in my book on atomic and nuclear weapons, given that the Navy’s mission and force structure were being challenged by new technology. I do discuss the Navy’s interest in acquiring the capability to utilize atomic weapons, particularly in connection with its roles and missions fight with the Air Force. But I agree that I did not provide as much detail on this issue in From Hot War to Cold as I did in my 1994 book on the “Revolt of the Admirals.”[10] Nonetheless, I would argue that once the nuclear weapons issue moved beyond civilian leadership’s 1948 acceptance of the Navy’s right to use such weapons, the mater does not raise its head again in a significant way for the Navy until the latter half of the 1950s, when nuclear targeting concerns that culminated in the 1960 creation of the Single Integrated Operational Plan (SIOP) led to increasingly sharp Navy-Air Force strife over nuclear weapons issues.

Trauschweizer comments at another point in his review that it is unfortunate that in my discussion of the Unification issue I did not address political scientist Douglas Stuart’s provocative argument that the shock of Pearl Harbor, and the reactive responses of creating a network of national security organizations that followed it, primarily led to the passage of the National Security Act of 1947.[11] I should note in this regard that the final version of my manuscript was completed in 2004, before Stuart’s monograph appeared, but that I have addressed his argument in a review for the American Historical Review..[12]

Another issue for which Trauschweizer takes me to task is my limited analysis of the Navy’s role during the Korean War. My book contains one chapter that details the Navy senior leadership’s role in the decision to support going to war with North Korea and briefly discusses its initial build-up of combat forces in the Western Pacific. It was not intended to provide a complete account of the Navy’s participation in the conflict, though. Such an effort would require at least a volume all by itself. And when I stated as a concluding comment in that chapter that “the U.S. Navy fought determinedly and with great competence in the waters off Korea and the skies above it,” I did not intend for the reader to think that it was anything more than a comment based upon my understanding of the Navy’s portion of the history of Korean War. While I agree with Trauschweizer that a new “commanding naval history of the Korean War” would be useful, my thorough research (for other projects) through the Navy’s command histories and other official reports and high-level correspondence and my detailed interviews more than a decade ago with authors Captain Frank Manson and Vice Admiral Malcolm “Chris” Cagle have demonstrated to me at least that their book The Sea War in Korea still retains much value as a “commanding” naval history of the Navy’s Korean War participation.

As one final comment, I have to disagree with Trauschweizer’s belief that Admiral Robert “Mick” Carney’s final downfall in not being reappointed as CNO was due to his stance during the 1954 Dien Bien Phu crisis. He is certainly welcome to his opinion, but I showed very carefully in that chapter of my book how Admiral Carney was tripped up not by his stated disagreements over issues like China and Dien Bien Phu with powerful individuals such as JCS Chairman Arthur Radford and Secretary of State Dulles but instead by his inability to work effectively with Secretary of the Navy Charles Thomas. This, I believe, shows how important oral histories are.  The ability to talk with the individuals like Frank Manson, those who were intimately involved with the issues, provides an important check on official or even unofficial documentary sources.

In the final sentence of his critique, Trauschweizer states that he hopes that I will apply my approach to an examination of the Navy and national security policy during the remainder of the 1950s and into “the later stages of the Cold War era.” I appreciate his suggestion. In fact, I have already completed the majority of the research for a follow-on volume that carries the U.S. Navy’s history to mid-1963—the period encompassing the tours of Admirals Arleigh Burke and George Anderson as Chiefs of Naval Operations. But while I would like very much to complete this study, my ability to do so remains subject to the decisions of the Naval History and Heritage Command’s leadership.

In conclusion, let me again thank Jonathan Winkler and all three of my reviewers for their efforts. It has been a privilege to have had my book reviewed for H-Diplo.

 

© Copyright 2011-2015 The Authors.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.

 

Notes

[1] Jeffrey Barlow, Revolt of the Admirals: The Fight for Naval Aviation, 1945-1950 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1995).

[2] See, for example, Melvyn P. Leffler, A Preponderance of Power: National Security, the Truman Administration, and the Cold War (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1992); Michael J. Hogan, A Cross of Iron: Harry S. Truman and the Origins of the National Security State, 1945-1954 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998); Aaron L. Friedberg, In the Shadow of the Garrison State: America’s Anti-Statism and Its Cold War Grand Strategy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000).

[3] For an example of such arguments, see Commander Bryan C. McGrath, USN (Retired), “The Necessity of Dominant American Sea Power,” Proceedings (January 2011): 48-53.

[4] Douglas T. Stuart, Creating the National Security State: A History of the Law That Transformed America (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008).

[5] Jeffrey G. Barlow, Revolt of the Admirals: The Fight for Naval Aviation, 1945-1950 (Washington, D.C.: Naval Historical Center, Department of the Navy, 1994).

[6] Donald Alan Carter, “Eisenhower versus the Generals,” Journal of Military History 71: 4 (October 2007): 1169-1199; David T. Fautua, “The ‘Long Pull’ Army: NSC 68, the Korean War, and the Creation of the Cold War Army,” Journal of Military History 61:1 (January 1997): 93-120; Brian M. Linn, The Echo of Battle: The Army’s Way of War (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007), 151-192; Ingo Trauschweizer, The Cold War U.S. Army: Building Deterrence for Limited War (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2008), 18-80.

[7] No book-length monograph examining all of U.S. Navy operations in the Korean War has been written since James A. Field, A History of United States Naval Operations: Korea (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1962) and Malcolm W. Cagle and Frank A. Mason, The Sea War in Korea (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1957), both of which Barlow utilizes.  The experiences of the U.S. Marines and individual operations such as the landings at Inchon and Wonsan have been covered extensively.

[8] Robert R. Bowie and Richard H. Immerman, Waging Peace: How Eisenhower Shaped an Enduring Cold War Strategy (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998);  Saki R. Dockrill, Eisenhower’s New-Look National Security Policy, 1953-1961 (Houndmills: Macmillan, 1996); Richard M. Leighton, History of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Vol. III: Strategy, Money, and the New Look, 1953-1956 (Washington, D.C.: Historical Office, Office of the Secretary of Defense, 2001).

[9] See, for example, Jeffrey G. Barlow, “Arthur W. Radford: Aviation Trainer and Combat Commander,” in The Human Tradition in the World War II Era, ed. Malcolm Muir, Jr. (Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources, 2001), 159-175; and Jeffrey G. Barlow, “Richard L. Conolly,” in Men of War: Great Naval Leaders of World War Two, ed. Stephen Howarth (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1993), 295-312.

[10] Jeffrey G. Barlow, Revolt of the Admirals: The Fight for Naval Aviation, 1945-1950 (Washington: Naval Historical Center, Department of the Navy, 1994). See particularly Chapters Three through Five.

[11] Douglas T. Stuart, Creating the National Security State: A History of the Law That Transformed America (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008.)

[12] The American Historical Review, 115, June 2010: 859-860.