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The 1970s and Early 1980s: Enabling a Military Offset

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Technical Report,25 Jul 2016,05 Apr 2017

Corporate Author:

Defense Acquisition University Aberdeen Proving Ground United States

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Looking at past offsets - gaining an advantage over an adversary - might provide insight to the institutional Army on how to develop and implement a Third Offset. Although an examination of history may not point to the answer for the Third Offset, it may bring to light the factors that made past offsets successful and offer a model that leaders can use as they wade through the options. Coming out of the Vietnam War, the Chief of Staff of the Army and the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command TRADOC commanders recognized that the Army needed to change, used the 1970s to develop that change, and then was able to integrate its technology investmentsacquisitions to complement new doctrine. Although there was a Department of Defense effort to use technology as a force multiplier to offset the Soviets, senior leaders had already realized this need by the time Secretary Harold Brown and Undersecretary Perry undertook technology investments in the late 1970s. The Army was able to complement Brown and Perrys effort due to doctrinal changes and investments already made. TRADOC worked to understand how its technologyacquisition investments complemented its operational concepts and doctrine and to ensure that these investments would prove successful in meeting the threat. There was a role to play both for concepts devised to meet the strategic environment and technologyacquisition innovation in the Second Offset.

Subject Categories:

  • Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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