chapter  8
Kennedy, McNamara, and Artificial Limited War, 1961–1963
ByAdrian R. Lewis
Pages 320

The Kennedy Administration-unlike the Eisenhower Administration, which relied on Massive Retaliation-accepted a broader strategic vision and doctrine, which encompassed massive retaliation and the Army's limited war doctrine. Kennedy imbued his Administration with a romanticized vision of American power and goodness, a strong sense of American optimism, and a belief in the special role of the United States in world affairs. John was considered an intellectual. He kept company not only with the social elite, but also the intellectual elite. During the 1950s, national strategic doctrine and military affairs became, in part, the province of America's intellectuals. Modern limited war was an artificial creation caused by the development of nuclear weapons. Kennedy's thinking on national defense was influenced by the writings of Henry Kissinger, Bernard Brodie, Albert Wohlstetter, Herman Kahn, Robert E. Osgood, and others. To give Kennedy the strategic flexibility to meet Communist threats in "grey areas" an Army considerably more capable than that left by Eisenhower Administration was required.