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The politics of nuclear weapons.

By Samuel David Mohs


Approved for public release; distribution is unlimitedThis thesis evaluates the role of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, and the Democratic Caucus in matters pertaining to strategic nuclear weapons programs. Three strategic programs are used as case studies to support this evaluation; the Trident submarine and missile, the B-l bomber, and the MX missile. By comparing each committees' funding recommendations to that approved by Congress as well as their success in blocking amendments which would affect such recommendations, it is apparent that the respective Armed Services Committees dominate in strategic nuclear issues. This was found to be true when strategic nuclear programs were debated largely within the confines of the committees as well as when they reached the congressional agenda. The MX missile, however, was a significant exception as it resulted in a shift of power away from the House Armed Services Committee and to the liberal arms control activists, via the forum of the Democratic Caucus. A detailed analysis of the MX case provides much useful information for strategic planners concerning the formulation of new strategic nuclear weapons programs, demonstrating the potential pitfalls and proposing ways to avoid these pitfalls; and if they can not be avoided, what could be the possible consequences., United States Nav

Publisher: Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School
Year: 1991
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