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Page Title: The Department of Defense (DOD)
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THE  DEPARTMENT  OF  DEFENSE (DOD) In  1949  Congress  amended  the  National Security Act of 1947 to create the Department of Defense  (DOD),  In  enacting  this  amendment, Congress  set  forth  the  following  three  primary provisions: The   establishment   of   a   Department   of Defense,   including   the   three   Military Departments  of  the  Army,  the  Navy (including naval aviation and the United States  Marine  Corps),  and  the  Air  Force under the direction, authority, and control of  the  Secretary  of  Defense The  separate  organization  of  each  military department  under  its  own  Secretary The  establishment  of  unified  or  specified combatant   commands   and   a   clear   and direct line of command to such commands We  discussed  the  awesome  power  of  the President of the United States as Commander in Chief earlier in this chapter. The Commander in Chief must be kept abreast of all matters affecting the  ability  of  the  Department  of  Defense  to properly defend the United States and its allies. The  Department  of  Defense  is  the  largest government agency in the United States. It spends a  major  portion  of  the  national  budget  and employs  nearly  4  million  people  (military  and civilian).  The  DOD  was  crested  to  carry  out  the military  policies  of  the  United  States. MISSION Simply  stated,  the  mission  of  the  DOD  is  to maintain and employ armed forces to accomplish the  following: Support  and  defend  the  Constitution  of  the United States against all enemies Protect the United States, its possessions, and areas vital to its interests Advance the policies and interests of the United States Safeguard   the   internal   security   of   the United  States SECRETARY OF DEFENSE (SECDEF) The  Secretary  of  Defense  (SECDEF)  functions as a member of both the President’s cabinet and the  National  Security  Council.  The  Secretary  of Defense is delegated all the functions vested in the President regarding the DOD, including powers, duties,  and  authorities.  In  this  capacity,  SECDEF exercises  “direction,  authority,  and  control  over the  Department  of  Defense”  and  reports  to  the President on all military matters concerning the department.  SECDEF,  therefore,  serves  as  the principal assistant to the President in all matters relating  to  the  DOD.  The  Deputy  Secretary  of Defense   assists   SECDEF   by   supervising   and coordinating the activities of the department and substituting  for  SECDEF  during  absence  or disability. STRATEGIC   NUCLEAR DETERRENCE The  United  States  uses  a  TRIAD  of  three closely  related  strategic  nuclear  forces  as  a deterrent   against   a   potential   enemy.   These nuclear  forces  consist  of  the  U.S.  Navy’s  SEA- LAUNCHED   BALLISTIC   MISSILES   and   the U.S.   Air   Force’s   INTERCONTINENTAL   BAL- LISTIC   MISSILES   (ICBMs)   and   LONG- RANGE   BOMBERS. The probability of a strategic nuclear attack on  the  United  States  is  very  low.  However,  should we  ever  experience  such  an  attack,  the  conse- quences  would  be  catastrophic.  The  TRIAD  has been developed and maintained to deter nuclear attack. Similarly, the Soviet Union has developed and  is  maintaining  powerful  strategic  forces  of  its own.  Our  objective  is  to  obtain  a  condition  of essential  equivalence—a  condition  in  which  the following  situations  occur: 1. 2. 3. 4. Soviet  strategic  nuclear  forces  do  not become  effective  instruments  of  political leverage  or  coercion. Nuclear stability is maintained. Advantages in strategic force characteristics possessed   by   the   Soviets   are   offset   by advantages of the United States in other characteristics. U.S. strategic forces are not, nor are they perceived to be, inferior in performance to those  of  the  Soviet  Union. The credibility of our TRIAD as perceived by potential opponents and allies is very important. If  they  perceive  that  our  TRIAD  does  not  exist or is weak, regardless of the facts, it will no longer serve to deter an attack. This condition of essential equivalence should produce a mutual deterrence that is so stable it will  not  be  upset  in  a  crisis.  The  United  States 11-4

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